On Wednesday, beauty gurus and influencers gathered at Dallas' first-ever Indie Beauty Expo. The annual event, which began in New York City and Los Angeles, features up-and-coming beauty brands from around the world and brings them face-to-face with consumers eager to discover the latest trends and products.
At Dallas' expo, hosted at the posh Sixty Five Hundred event venue near Dallas Love Field airport, more than 60 brands showcased never-before-seen products, on-trend bestsellers and more.
Here are 5 reasons you should be first in line next year for the Indie Beauty Expo in Dallas.
Reason #1: You'll learn about emerging beauty trends, and you'll be among the first to try brand-new products.
The expo was jam-packed with beauty products ranging from organic bronzer to vegan nail polish, and all the latest trends were on display. Seoul Mamas had face sheet masks made with caviar extract, Rivers Et Roses showcased candles made of wax that doubles as moisture-rich body lotion, and Hum Nutrition offered samples of its vitamins and supplements for nails, skin and more.
But not only is the expo your chance to catch up with the latest beauty trends, it's also your VIP ticket to try products that haven't hit the market yet. Some brands, such as local company Hard Night Good Morning, used the expo as an opportunity to debut new skincare and beauty products, giving attendees a first look at upcoming launches.
#2: Even better, you might inspire the next beauty trend!
Because the brand booths are often helmed by owners or executives in the indie beauty companies, attendees have a direct line to the brand's decision-makers, which provides a unique opportunity to give feedback that may actually impact future production decisions. Colleen Rothschild, owner of her namesake company, says the companies at the expo are eager to hear your thoughts.
"[It is] so great is to connect directly with the consumer," she says. "You really get a lot of information from them: what they like, what they don't like ... I think paying attention to that is very important."
You never know, your feedback may just inspire a beauty brand to develop a new product or try out a new cosmetic color!
#3: You'll be supporting businesses that source small and give back.
Body wash made by hand in Austin? Nail polish that helps lower our national debt? Check and check. In addition to being classified as "up-and-coming," many of the brands featured at the expo contribute to American jobs and philanthropic efforts.
Makeup America! founder Randa Fahmy set out to lower the national debt when, after years of living in Washington D.C., she realized, "there's no politician that's paying attention [it]."
Every year she writes a check to the U.S. Treasury: $1 for every product she sold that year. On the memo line: "To pay down the U.S. debt."
#4: There are a ton of giveaways and freebies.
OK, who can resist free samples?
Not only do most of the beauty brands offer hands-on demonstrations of their products, they also send attendees home with samples to try on their own time. Everything from ELEMENT's eco-friendly wood wick candles from to Hard Night Good Morning's morning-after eye cream were up for grabs. By the time you leave the expo, you'll have enough beauty samples to last you a month -- and a clean, earthy candle that lasts just as long.
#5: The Indie Beauty Expo is a full-blown social event.
Custom flower crowns. Mini instant photos. An open bar. A panel of prominent beauty bloggers and entrepreneurs. A full-size floral backdrop à la the Kardashian-West wedding. (OK, maybe not that big.)
There is plenty to see at the expo, even after you've made your way to all of the brand booths.
The event is practically begging to be shared on social media, and it doesn't take much convincing to crown yourself with roses and snap a few selfies. At the end of the day, you'll have earned the title of Beauty Insider, and you'll have the photos to prove it.