As I sit and type this, I am surrounded by an explosion of cosmetic brochures and beauty samples which are my takeaway from the first day of the Beyond Beauty Trade Expo in Paris. I must admit, I was dazzled and overwhelmed by the sheer size of the expo. There are two large open floors to explore, filled with hundreds of eye-catching displays and beauty products. At almost each one of the stands you could find and talk to the people who are behind the creation of the products. As the day progressed, so did my bold frankness at prompting people to explain to me what was so unique about their products.
So without further ado, here is a glance at some of the beauty brands that I came across today at Beyond Beauty’s Trade Expo:
Spanish based natural and artisanal cosmetics. They have numerous ranges of products, from facial treatments, body oils and serums, solar protection and tanning oils, and even an intimate range for amorous activities. Their range of essential oils is quite comprehensive, drawing from sources such as ylang yang, myrrh, neroli, sage, jasmine, ginger, lemongrass and the list goes on. To learn more, visit their site at www.naturnua.com
Pure, artisanal shea butter from Mali in West Africa. It was interesting talking to the ladies dressed in their colorful pagnes as they explained to me all the things you can do with shea butter. It’s useful for moisturizing the skin, the hair, for cooking, stomache aches, colds and even for alleviating sinus problems. I laughingly told them that I’ll stick to using it for moisturizing my skin and maybe my hair. Though I really do marvel at the wonders of Shea Butter. Kaloje is a fair trade project aimed at empowering women and is supperted by UNIDO. To read more visit www.projetkarite.org
Ametis is part of the Cosmeeting Color exhibit, which are cosmetic products dedicated to caring for black and ethnic skin. I asked Marie Paget, the Chadian born creator behind Ametis why different skin care products are necessary for darker skin. Her response was that dark skin have different balances of melanin which can pigment the skin and lead to dark spots and other discolorations. In any case, Ametis is quite a new name in cosmetics. Its beauty products range from daily care (cleansing, soothing and protecting) to specific care that includes skin brightening correctors and white cream and white peel-off masks. To learn more, visit their site at www.ametiscosmetics.fr
Chateau Rouge is also part of the Cosmeeting Color exhibit. Although their products are not certified natural and organic, they are created with active ingredients based on vegetal sources. The name Chateau Rouge also happens to coincide with that of a metro stop in the African quarter in Paris. Two pharmacists who were situated in the Chateau Rouge quarter, created a brand that would cater specifically to the skin problems of their clientele, the majority of whom had problems with dark spots, discolorations, poor hydration etc. It was interesting however to hear that their goal is not to lighten the skin, which is actually a common endeavor among people of darker skin tones. To learn more, visit their site at www.chateaurouge.net
The literal translation of Jardin D’Ecrivains is The Garden of Writers. Luxurious, whimsical but always inspired, Jardin D’ecrivains is another fairly young enterprise with beauty products that carry the names of great literary authors including Victor Hugo, Edith Wharton, Maupassant and the Brontë sisters. I find the concept quirky and brilliant. They carry perfumes, bath salts and candles. I was intrigued by Le Bain de Wharton, which are opulent turquoise colored bath salts that turn the color of your bath water turquoise blue. To learn more, visit their site at www.jardinsdecrivains.com.
Kadalys is a French certified organic beauty brand which exploits the cosmetic properties of the banana plant. This is news to me. So why bananas? That seemed to be the question posed by everyone who passed the Kadalys display. According to Kadalys researchers, the banana plant possesses extraordinary anti-age properties through its phytosterol and polyphenol molecules. Their skin care range includes cleansers, serums, anti-aging creams and nourishing oils. To learn more, visit their site at www.kadalys.com
Janjira Is another beauty brand that boasts the extraordinary powers of exotic ingredients from the East. It is a company based in Thailand that makes spa ritual inspired skincare. The featured active ingredient of their three main product lines are ginger, citrus and pomegranate. To learn more, visit their site at www.janjira.co.uk
A colorful and imaginative cosmetic concept dedicated to making the most out of your sunbathing experience. In fact, Coloriage takes the whole concept of sunbathing and seems to make a new art out of it. There are three phases involved in sunbathing, according to Coloriage. And Coloriage products are there to help make the most out of each phase. The first phase involves the use of a shower gel that must be applied ten days before exposure to the sun in order to prepare the skin to take on a tan in the best of conditions.The second phase involves another shower gel that can be used daily throughout the time your skin is exposed to the sun. And the third phase involves a shower gel that will prolong and maintain the tan which you’ve carefully been cultivating. To learn more, visit www.coloriage-cosmetique.com
A french natural and organic certified cosmetic brand. They have two skin lines, one dedicated for mature or dry, devitalized skin and another for skin beginning to show the first signs of aging. Demain-Nature boasts of a breakthrough formulation of a purely natural hyaluronic acid, a notable anti-ageing ingredient, through the extraction of a selection of algae and plants. The company is a young mother-daughter team based in Toulouse, France and are beginning to slowly introduce their product line abroad. To find out more, visit their site at www.demain-nature.fr
A few observations from the day:
- There seems to be an increasing trend in cosmetics that feature products with ingredients based on exotic plant from exotic origins.
- A lot of cosmetics are designed for anti-aging.
- I have specifically been looking for day creams that include SPF, and learned today that this combination is more difficult to achieve especially for natural and organic cosmetic companies.
- Many of the cosmetic products were created by a one or two-person team. I met a lot of creative, entrepreneurial people and found them to be quite inspiring.
- Skincare products as advertised by old wrinkly men, who ramble too much and smell of cigarettes are not very appealing.
- There were not as many International based beauty brands present as I would have hoped.
So that closes my first visit to today’s Beyond Beauty Trade Expo.
No, I lied. Actually I’m going to finish today’s post by gushing about my Favorite Find of The Day!
They have nothing to do with skin care. But they are super duper cool.
Introducing Paper Eyelashes by Paperself
They are stenciled paper eyelashes that you put on like any other fake lashes. The stencils are black silhouettes of frilly designs such as flowers, butterflies and even famous London attractions like the London eye. Paperself is a UK based company, created two years ago by a group of fashion and interrior designers. I spoke to one of the main creators of Paperself who humbly alluded to the use of Paperself eyelashes in the movie the Hunger Games (think paper eyelashes on Katniss Everdeen and Effie Trinket).
Paperself were offering free trial samples, so I promptly got in line, curious to see if they would look glamorous or goofy on me.
And as I write this, I am STILL wearing them. I really like how they look. You would think that they could only be taken out on Halloween, but they would fit right in at a super swanky party or a night out in the city. And they can be reused several times.
To find out more, visit their website at www.paperself.com