IBE NYC 2017: Trends and highlights

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

IBE NYC 2017: Trends and highlights

Related tags Ibe Cosmetics design New york city

The Indie Beauty Expo opened its third annual show in New York City last week, and Cosmetics Design was there, meeting with founders, discovering new brands, learning about product launches, and identifying the trends and innovations that are emerging now and that will matter in the future.

Coinciding with this year’s event, the Indie Beauty Media Group (which produces IBE) announced that next year’s calendar will include a London edition of IBE in October. The show has always attracted international exhibitors and as it’s grown, international market researchers, buyers, bloggers, and pros are taking a serious interest in IBE too.

So even just anecdotally, IBE stands to do well in London. In a media release announcing this news, IBE admits, “the incredible brands that exhibit at IBE are constantly pushing the limits, and as a platform for indie beauty, we have no choice but to keep up!”

The Indie Beauty Media Group is also now squarely in the media game, publishing news for and about cosmetics and personal care startups online at BeautyIndependent.com. And, the newly launched site is in good hands; Rachel Brown, former West Coast beauty editor for WWD is Beauty Independent’s first EIC.

Coming up roses

Among the trends Cosmetics Design observed at the show is an influx of rose waters and other rose scented skin care and fragrance products. Some brands were launching these at IBE, others told this publication that such products were coming soon for holiday or otherwise in the development pipeline.

At IBE, Erin’s Faces launched a rosewater tonic as part of the brand’s skin care collection. Owner Erin Williams tells Cosmetics Design that her mission is to “empower and educate women to read beauty label ingredients.” ​She hopes to educate women on skin care and offer more how-to information about color products.

The color brand Josephine Cosmetics launched a Rose Rejuvenate Organic Tonic Elixir at the show. Founder Sholayide Otugalu tells Cosmetics Design that the product, which can be used as either a toner or a setting mist, is formulated with white roses, Damask roses, and blood orange hydrosols.

Blend it yourself

Fragrance and skin care are the standout categories for products with a DIY angle.

NoraBloom, a brand that’s been on the market for 10 years, was showing nutritive face mask powders at this year’s IBE; the dry powders are meant to be mixed with yogurt, Manuka honey, aloe, or water, depending on the consumer’s preferences and desired benefits.

The chic new botanical brand Ranavat used IBE as a launch platform. As Michele Ranavat, the skin care brand’s founder and CEO (whose background is in ingredient sourcing), tells Cosmetics Design, the product line is inspired by “beauty rituals of Indian royalty.”​ The line is a collection of mask powders and tonics formulated to be blended by the consumer for hydrating, illuminating, or detoxifying benefits.

Many other brands at this year’s New York City edition of IBE were showing similar blendable products, including Elements of Aliel and Jade Lily Skin Botanicals.

The French fragrance brand SoliNotes featured its collection of 13 simple perfumes formulated to be layered on in pairs or to embellish a favorite fragrance from another brand. And perfumer Sue Phillips launched her eponymous brand at the expo, featuring kits to layer fragrance. Each kit includes a featured scent (like sparking citrus or glamourous floral) and three enhancers.

Repackaging indie

That 220 independent beauty brands exhibited at IBE NYC this year is but one of many indications that the next wave of indie beauty has arrived. And, many brands that have been on the market for years or launched in the early days of this latest beauty movement are upping their game to remain competitive. For many brands this means new and improved packaging.

Osmia Organics, for one, began rolling out new packing about 6 to 9 months ago, Dr. Sarah Villafranco, the brand’s founder, tells Cosmetics Design. Villafranco opted for “frosted glass rather than labels,”​ and a lavender and grey color scheme. She also chose to box a lot of products in order to add messaging, including made-without information.

The year-old acne skin care brand BioClarity repackaged just this month. (Read more about that brand in this week’s Indie Beauty Profile here on Cosmetics Design​.)

Nűgg Beauty was also showing new packaging at IBE. Dr. Conny Wittke, founder of Nűgg, tells Cosmetics Design the new packages give her brand’s single portion face masks better shelf appeal—and just in time for Nűgg’s new retail partnership with CVS.

It’s fair to say that IBE itself got a bit of a ‘packaging’ update this year too. To accommodate the sheer number of exhibitors and attendees, IBE was held in a new venue this year, the West SoHo space known as Skylight Clarkson Square. And there was new PR for the show too. As Cosmetics Design reported in May​, IBE signed on with 5WPR “to position IBE as an innovator in the beauty, wellness, lifestyle and business categories,”​ according to the press release about the partnership, “and [to] create awareness and buzz for its partner brands.”

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