International Beauty Show, New York City

Posted on March 11th, 2010 by Gina

The Oscars are over, spring is in the air, so it was time to make my pilgrimage to the International Beauty Show (IBS) in New York City. The show is for professionals – hair stylists, makeup artists, estheticians, owner/operators, and the vendors who want to sell to them.  The exhibit hall is a mind-blowing carnival of every conceivable beauty and grooming product, tool or toy imaginable.  Stages dot the show hall, where hairdressers and product distributors demonstrate their wares and techniques, often accompanied by loud music and choreography that occasionally rivals a Madonna concert.  The beauty professionals sachet to the beat and tell jokes while clipper-cutting, styling, applying hair extensions or spray-on glitter to both women and men dressed in scantily clad outfits.  Costumed models walk the concrete floor in 4-inch heels, or painted head-to-toe in eye shadow and glitter; bathing suits to show off a spray-on tanning product and even women in corsets selling, um, something unrelated to the corset.

It’s not all schlocky, by any means.  Big-name hair stylists give demonstrations and do classes for attendees on all the latest hair techniques.  Nick Arrojo, Robert Cromeans, Brad Graham, Dee Adams and the elder statesman of bridal hair, Martin Parsons, were some of the feature artists. The Sassoon Academy had a huge hunk of the exhibit floor and held cutting and styling demonstrations round-the-clock.

So here’s what I learned:

  1. Hair-cutting trends this year are shorter and softer, with more emphasis on natural looks that have movement.  Feathered layering was being demonstrated by several of the stylists that almost resemble short shags from the 70’s.  Easy care hair heaven.
  2. We’ll be seeing more oil products in our salons, to overcome the intense amount of heat applications we women subject our hair to.  Agadir Argan Oil Hair Treatment and the original Moroccan Oil, both use oils from the nut of Argan trees in Morocco.  The hair oils are light and rich in nutrients that are absorbed quickly when hair is damp, take away frizz, and cut the drying time in half.  These products are available through salons only.
  3. Hair extensions are getting shorter, cheaper, easier to use and more colorful.  “Hair stylists are using them to create volume on shorter styles and to give their customers a way of trying out new highlights without committing to a color,” says Lori Morris, Senior Editor of American Salon.  Bright blues and pinks were also on display for the daring, although Morris says streaks from the wilder color spectrum are getting more acceptable in the workplace.  She lives in New York, though, and they have a whole different standard than the rest of the country.

There were other things to see – instructors applying eyelash extensions made from mink, piercing guns and instructional DVD’s, wholesale makeup and private label lipstick, photorejuvenation machines of all kinds for skin care; spray-on guns for tans, nylons and makeup.  Oh, so many beauty aids and so little time.

I like getting a peek of what I will undoubtedly spend most of my disposable income on in the next year.  And I bet many of you do, too.

One Comment on “International Beauty Show, New York City”

  1. Angela de Sousa

    I am looking to attend an hair show in Paris in the coming month or next. Any type of information will be appreciated.
    Thank you

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A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.