Event Recap: Gen Beauty Toronto 2016

Gen Beauty

If you’re interested in beauty, fashion or blogging, over the past couple of weeks your feed was probably clogged with posts about Gen Beauty. Generation Beauty (or Gen Beauty for short) is a conference related to beauty and social media where ‘gurus’, brands, and beauty lovers come together. Gen Beauty is put on by ipsy, the brand created by Michelle Phan. This was the first year the Gen Beauty conference came to Toronto after being in New York and LA previously.

This post will be my Gen Beauty experience. I wanted to go through booth by booth what happened, what the gifts looked like, and my general thoughts and suggestions about Gen Beauty (a very picture heavy post)! Just a note, I paid for my ticket and did not qualify for a creator pass.

Day 1

Gen Beauty Toronto

I went to Gen Beauty with one of my best makeup-loving friends, Leah. We also spent day 1 with Danielle from Darling Magpie. The conference was expected to start at 11am, and I had ‘pre-registered’ us the day before. We really didn’t need to pre-register on Day 1 as there wasn’t much of a line to grab your pass. Everyone’s pass included a name tag and a map with little perforated tabs along the side to give to booths to get the ‘free’ swag. My map below is from after the conference so all the tabs are ripped off.

Gen Beauty Toronto

Each booth I will be giving a rating from 1 (terrible) to 5 (amazing) for their different components:

Line, Gift, Overall Experience.

Make Up For Ever

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Gen Beauty Make Up For Ever

Makeup Forever Gen Beauty

Gen Beauty Make Up For Ever

Line: 1 (For me it wasn’t too bad because we hit it first thing, but I know it ended up getting extremely busy throughout the weekend.)

Gift: 5 (The best gift of the weekend in my opinion!)

Experience: 5 (A consult with one of their makeup artists and ample area to see their new Aqua XL pencils)

Total: 11


Tarte Gen Beauty


Tarte Gen Beauty

Gen Beauty Tarte

Line: 3 (This was our second booth so it wasn’t really terrible, but again, throughout the weekend the line wait was close to an hour!)

Gift: 3 (A full sized mascara, not bad at all, but I don’t use mascara!)

Experience: 2 (Mostly line waiting, but they gave us cute tattoos on our hands to promote their anti-cyber bullying campaign)

Total: 8

Gen Beauty Booth

Gen Beauty Toronto

Brows before Beaus

Line: 5 (Non-existent!)

Gift: 3 (A cute ipsy inspired bag. I will definitely find a use for it!)

Experience: 2 (there was a big wall we could sign and then also get our pictures taken with our new bags)

Total: 10

Pur Cosmetics

Pur Cosmetics Gen Beauty

Pur Cosmetics Gen Beauty

Line: 4 (A decently short wait, maybe 10 minutes?)

Gift: 3 (A double ended eyeliner. The liquid liner isn’t that great but I can see myself using the pencil end.)

Experience: 1 (The ability to see some of their products? But not really much of an experience at all.)

Total: 8


skin fix gen beauty

Line: 4 (A decently short wait at around 15 minutes)

Gift: 3 (The choice between a deluxe sized lip balm or a body butter. I went for the lip balm.)

Experience: 1 (Get-in-get-out experience for this booth. A bit of information around the brand but nothing much.)

Total: 8

Physician’s Formula

Physicians Formula Gen Beauty

Physician's Formula Gen Beauty

Line: 3 (We didn’t wait too long, but maybe still around 20 minutes? When we were at this booth Rachhloves was doing her meetup!)

Gift: 3 (The choice between a bronzer, a contour stick, a bb cream, or a blush stick. I went for the contour stick.)

Experience: 1 (A bit about their products, but definitely a get-in-get-out booth.)

Total: 7


ogx gen beauty

Line: 3 (For the gift, I was surprised we even waited the 15 minutes that we did.)

Gift: 1 (Probably the most disappointing gift from a brand. A foil packet? :/ Very unimpressed.)

Experience: 1 (They had a photobooth set up I think but no one was really working with it while we were there.)

Total: 5

Rock Your Hair

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Line: 3 (I would say a medium line at about 20-30 mins?)

Gift: 3 (A nice decently sized dry shampoo. We got the choice of hairspray or dry shampoo.)

Experience: 2 (They had some displays set up, but nothing really interactive.)

Total: 8

Moda Brushes (Royal & Langnickel)

moda brushes

Line: 3 (Another mid-sized line.)

Gift: 4 (A brush that I can definitely see myself using!)

Experience: 3 (You could get your photo taken with big cut out brushes. A cute idea.)

Total: 10


nudestix gen beauty

Line: 3 (This actually wasn’t as bad as expected! The line moved fairly quickly.)

Gift: 4 (A full sized lip + cheek balm? I’m down.)

Experience: 3 (The founders, Ali and Taylor were there! I wish I could have met them!)

Total: 10


purlisse gen beauty

Line: 2 (Not really much to the booth but still a decently long line! I think it was because they were selling things as well.)

Gift: 3 (A mini sample of their Blue Lotus Eye Serum. I’ve never tried their brand, so I’m looking forward to it at least!)

Experience: 1 (You could buy products, but other than that, not really much to it.)

Total: 6


Smashbox Gen Beauty

Gen Beauty Smashbox

Line: 5 (For such a big brand, this booth was extremely well maintained. I don’t think I waited more than 15 minutes?)

Gift: 4 (A full sized primer! Leah got a pore reducing one and Danielle got a hydrating one.)

Experience: 4 (Lots of things to do at the booth. You could wait for a makeover or take selfies with ringlights around the perimeter. If you just wanted your gift, you could do that too!)

Total: 13

Too Faced

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too faced gen beauty

Too Faced Gen Beauty

too faced gen beauty

Line: 1 (Personally one of the worst lines for me. They kept on closing and opening, and closing and opening the line. With that being said, I’m so glad we ended up doing it the first day because I heard the second day was INSANE.)

Gift: 5 (An unreleased full sized concealer which was colour matched! I also go a deluxe Melted lipstick in Chihuahua from the coconut tree game they had.)

Experience: 5 (Even though the line sucked, I would say it was one of the best experiences. The colour matching, ring lights, and coconut tree game was just too fun!)

Total: 11


pixi gen beauty

pixi beauty gen beauty

Pixi gen beauty

Line: 3 (Middle of the road line, this was the last booth of the day!)

Gift: 4 (Even though they were sample sized products, you got a lot of them! I ended up buying a Glow Tonic toner as well.)

Experience: 4 (A fun booth where you could get your makeup done and use their photobooth!)

Total: 11

Crown Brushes

crown brushes gen beauty

crown brushes gen beauty

Line: 5 (This was actually the last official booth of the day haha. Gen Beauty was pretty much closed and the guys working the booth were nice enough to let us redeem our tickets really quick!)

Gift: 3 (A full sized eyeliner. I don’t know Crown for anything other than brushes, so I’m curious about how it will perform!)

Experience: 1 (Nothing much but they were selling product which was nice!)

Total: 9

Day 1 Gift Bag

gen beauty day 1 gift bag

The standout of this bag was the Tarte powder brush. I also got some mascara samples in here which I swiftly gave away.

Day 2

With Day 1 under our belt, Leah and I felt a lot more confident about the booths left to hit!


nyx gen beauty

NYX gen beauty

Line: 2 (This was our first booth of the day and we still had to wait a bit! Nothing crazy, but the booth was a bit disorganized which I found made the wait longer.)

Gift: 4 (A choice of I think one of three different lip palettes. I picked the ‘pink’ one.)

Experience: 4 (You could either do a selfie or film a short video about why you love NYX. Leah and I filmed the video and made fools out of ourselves haha!)

Total: 10

Absolute New York

Absolute new york gen beauty

absolute new york gen beauty

Line: 2 (This booth was split into two parts, with two separate games. A plinko game and a wheel.)

Gift: 4 (Two full sized gifts? Sure! I don’t know much about the brand but I’m excited to try them out.)

Experience: 3 (The two games was a nice touch, and they also had a photobooth which was cute!)

Total: 9


luxie gen beauty

Luxie gen beauty

Line: 2 (This booth was split into two parts as well, one for people purchasing and one for just the freebie. Even just for the freebie, the line still took forever!)

Gift: 4 (A highlighter brush that I can definitely see myself using! It’s super fluffy and soft!)

Experience: 2 (The had a motorcycle you could take a picture with? Other than that, not much…)

Total: 8


essence gen beauty

essence gen beauty

Line: 5 (Very very quick, I think it was like, 5 minutes?)

Gift: 4 (A full sized lipstick. I haven’t had a chance to try any Essence lipsticks, so I’m excited to give it a go!)

Experience: 2 (They had a deal for 5 products for $15 but there wasn’t much I was really looking for. They also had a mini photobooth.)

Total: 11

Cake Beauty

cake beauty gen beauty

Line: 5 (Pretty much non-existent!)

Gift: 2 (A very small sample of their multi-use balm. Similar to Pur~lisse, a brand I’ve never really tried so I’m excited to use the sample!)

Experience: 3 (The booth was super cute and bright! You could also pose for a photo with these donut inflatables.)

Total: 10


benefit gen beauty

benefit gen beauty

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Line: 3 (On day 2 it wasn’t so bad, but not amazing either.)

Gift: 3 (A deluxe sample size of their Dew the Hoola liquid bronzer. It’s a fairly new product so I’m excited to try it, but still a sample size..)

Experience: 4 (Benefit as usual had super cute branding all over their booth. They also had a display of their new brow product line!)

Total: 10

(un-)Special Mention: Caudalie

Caudalie did not have any samples to provide even though they had a perforated ticket on the map. Very disappointing!

Day 2 Gift Bag

gen beauty day 2 gift bag

I think the day 1 gift bag was a lot better. They gave us the exact same brush (Luxie concealer brush) in this bag as the day 1 bag?! A little weird.


Best Booths

  • Too Faced
  • Make Up For Ever
  • Smashbox

Worst Booths

  • Caudalie
  • OGX

All in all, I had a great time seeing beauty blogger friends and going to the different booths. There was a lot of line waiting for sure. Some suggestions I would personally have for next year:

  • Some shows or demonstrations to divert some people away from just waiting in line
  • A dedicated meet-up area with the gurus. I was frequently confused by which line was which and usually had to ask a volunteer
  • Don’t sell tickets after the day before the event. Make Up For Ever ran out of gift bags because from what I heard, Gen Beauty continued to sell tickets throughout the weekend.

Thanks for reading through that very long overview! I hope it was helpful to understand what Gen Beauty was all about!