Excitement was in the air from the early hours as small and large businesses set up their stalls to invite thousands of young girls into Olympia, West London for the latest Beauty Con event.
From hair brand Root 2 Tip which promotes healthy hair for black women, to NYX that is taking over the make-up world by a storm. I had the opportunity to attend and to watch many inspiring women on the panel discuss hair, beauty and the social media world. Walking around, I couldn’t help but admire the beauty of women who attended.
Beauty Con began in Los Angeles, in the city where Instagrammers and YouTubers are the new celebrity. Originally, it was just a small business that invited YouTubers to meet up in a studio in the busy city of LA, but in 2015, the movement was taken over by Moj Mahdara who through her experience in the business industry was able to grow, with 15,000 visitors filling the Los Angeles Convention Centre.
In an interview with Forbes, Mahdara shares that growing up Iranian and gay helped her establish how different she was describing herself as “Other.” This gap in the market that combines that fresh no make-up look to glitter and glam merges so many different kinds of women. I witnessed this as women of all shades, shapes and ages walked through security to be welcomed by a big sign connoting this.
The tickets for London ranged from £60 to £120 where attendees had the opportunity to hang in the VIP lounge meeting their favourite celebrities and access to shopping with exclusive deals from brands. Each stall had a variety of activities, from ring lights getting the perfect selfie to make-up games with prizes to winning gift bags with everything a young millennial could dream of.
The refreshing words of the Beauty Con banner immediately set the positive atmosphere for everyone attending. Shanae, an up and coming blogger posed by this sign confidently, as others walked in admiring her all white outfit.
When we spoke with Shanae about the sign she emphasised how “The sign showed a sense of unity within Beauty Con. Everyone was welcome and accepted and every body was made to feel equal in their own right. Although everyone is different, the words that Beauty Con chose to display showed that they believe everyone is welcome and everyone is beautiful.”
After spending the day in Beauty Con, she definitely got to experience it to the fullest: “My highlight today was definitely seeing all the brands and panelists. It was inspiring to see them in their element as I’m so used to seeing them on Instagram. Some of them were really nice too.”
Beauty Con is more than just an expo for women to buy beauty products, but it is an experience for women to leave feeling elevated and inspired. “It’s my first time here and I love it, I got glitter put on my face which was fun” says one attendee. Her striking short hair was cut after growing very long hair and after feeling defined by it as she decided to let go of the locks to discover her true beauty. “You know how it is in Zimbabwean culture, hair can equate to beauty.”
Pink is certainly @OmgLaLaLove’s colour as even on her Instagram page she flaunts it through body positivity pictures. This stylist is determined to unite women and speak openly about mental health encouraging girls to follow their dreams unapologetically. She strutted through the stadium with such confidence that I couldn’t help but notice her in her @Asos pink fluffy jacket, pink lowlights and fluffy @Aldo_Shoes ball earrings.
In the VIP lounge, I got to meet Jordyn Woods. Despite being known as Kylie Jenner’s best friend; this model is redefining beauty and the plus size industry: “I’ve been to every single one. It’s a great movement” says Woods.
Fitted in flared black and white striped trousers, a fanny pack and a black top she rocked the show with several fans anticipating to meet her. “It was a lot, I’m sad I didn’t get to meet everyone but they have so much love out here,” said the LA star.
I certainly left with more than just positive energy but a gift bag filled with cool new beauty items. The women behind the movement plan to expand to Paris and even Africa so be sure to follow them on Instagram to see whether they are coming to a city near you.
All images by Ginny Pettit