Hello! Today I have a recap of Gen Beauty Toronto 2017 which was held last weekend. I went last year and was luke warm about the experience. This year I was generously invited by a friend to join in. I thought I would do a review of this year’s festivities in comparison to last year with also a look into the goodies we got.
This year I only went one day (Saturday). My friends and I arrived at around 10am and waited until the 11am opening. Similar to last year, there were a LOT of people waiting. There were quite a few people in front of us.
The huge difference this year was that we got our goodie bags right away. I really liked this compared to last year as it came with a re-useable bag that we could store our brand booth items. Similar to last year, there were quite a few volunteers ready to help out.
A weird thing was that there were a couple of signs about a line queue app that you could download and save your space in booth lines. It seemed similar to the fast pass concept used at Disney World. Before it even got off the ground though, we were told that it wasn’t working. Whomp whomp. This would have been such a plus, but unfortunately it died before it could even be tried.
Still at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Gen Beauty this year was held in a different hall (the same one they usually do for IMATS). I liked this hall much better as there was a lot more natural light flowing through. The size still seemed fine and didn’t notice much congestion in the aisles.
Compared to last year I think this one was SO much better. A lot of full sized products and a lot of products I can see myself using. My friend Maria from Pink Petals did a fantastic overview of all the products including the prices here, so check it out! There were a couple of variations in the gift bag but I think Maria and I got the same one.
For the booths at Gen Beauty I thought I could do a ‘hot or not’ style approach. I’m not going to talk about all the booths, but just the ones that either stood out in a good way or a bad way. I also wasn’t able to go to every single booth, so these are just out of the ones that I went to.
My favourite booth of the conference was Briogeo. They are a hair care brand that I’ve seen popping up quite a bit at Sephora. Their line was decently short, but their brand booth item was the coolest. They used a deluxe sample of their Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask and allowed attendees to add 2 types of oils to it depending on their hair concerns. The personalization on this was so great! The person on the booth mixed it right away and you got to take home a personalized hair mask! So cool!
Another booth I really liked was Ciate. This was a new brand that wasn’t at the conference last year. The set up of their booth so so adorable. They had huge displays of their make and the whole London thing looked really nice. The wait I would say was decent, but once it was time, they took us in groups to get a low down on some of the products. The woman talking to us was thorough and explained some of Ciate’s newest launches. We got to pick between a liquid lip velvet, eyeliner, or mini bronzer. All of them were great choices actually! I ended up going for the eyeliner. As we were leaving, the woman at Ciate gave me an extra eyeliner and the liquid lip velvet! Don’t mind if I do!
Smashbox was a massive disappointment for me this year. They had a very similar booth set up to to last year, but it was significantly smaller. The booth item was a deluxe sample size of their primer. This was a massive disappointment as they gave us a FULL SIZE OF THE EXACT SAME PRODUCT last year. Um, what? I also found the line was more poorly managed this year. Last year there was a constant stream of people and I was able to get in less than 10 minutes last year. This one took a little longer as I feel they didn’t let as many people through at once. *sigh* Smashbox whyyyyy? Considering you were one of my fav booths last year.
Luxie was a bit of a let down for me. I was really glad they were there as I ended up buying some brushes from them, but all in all the experience wasn’t amazing. Their booth was MUCH bigger this year and featured large displays of Wonder Woman as that’s the brush set that they were selling at the show (which I bought). The crazy thing was that the Wonder Woman kit was the ONLY brush set they were selling other than some t-shrits. Weird right? Last year they had a lot more variety available. The line was SUPER busy for this one throughout the day, but I managed to go at the very end of the day and I only waited around 5 minutes. The brand booth gift was a spooly. VERY disappointing as the tapered highlighting brush I got last year is one of my fav brushes. I would have been so upset if I had waited a long time in the line to only get a spooly. Apparently they had other brushes that they were giving away, but I guess I wasn’t one of the lucky ones.
The major thing for me last year was the line ups. This unfortunately didn’t change much. A lot of the really popular booths had a significant line up all day. MAC was one of them. I just didn’t want to wait hours in line for that, no thank you.
Similar to last year, they opened and closed lines when booths got too busy. I didn’t find it as prevalent this year, but still a thing to note.
In general I did have a very nice time hanging out with friends. In terms of product, like last year, I think you do end up getting your money’s worth, but it’s the time you spend waiting in line that kills you. I had little tolerance for the lines this year and hence didn’t get to visit all the booths. So it just depends how you want to spend you time. If the product value is worth it to you, then by all means, this is probably an event worth going to.
In terms of the ‘creator’ program or ipsy OS, I’m definitely not a huge fan. Similar to last year, if you were deemed a ‘created’ and accepted into ipsy OS, you got the chance to go to a cocktail party with a different (more valuable) gift bag and the chance to go on ‘creator tours’ where you didn’t need to wait in line and could network with PR people from the brand. Since I’m small potatoes I guess I shouldn’t be complaining, but I’ve applied to ipsy OS a couple of times with no avail. My status is currently ‘pending’ which is a bit irritating. So I guess I’m not a ‘creator’? Sad times.
And there we have my Gen Beauty Toronto 2017 recap. Have you been to Gen Beauty before? Thoughts? If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!
Thanks again for reading! Have a great day!