Always ahead of the trends, the beauty industry’s movers and shakers are always on the lookout for innovative hair, nail and skin-care products to surprise and delight U.S. consumers. So where do they sniff out the myriad of products that step out of the box a bit and entice beauty buffs to buy?
Every year, the CEOs of salons, spas and beauty distributors convene at Cosmoprof North America to scope out new products. They huddle in private suites to chart out next year while pinpointing trends and foraging for products at one of the biggest beauty-pro events in the world. A beauty addict, I wanted to check out this colossal trade show in Las Vegas with its seemingly endless rows of merchandise that promise to amplify or eliminate.
From wrinkles to waves, there was a product.
Some will make it to the stores and salons in the near future. Others will fade into the annals of failure. Here, I’ve singled out some showstoppers, but whether they’re the next Essie nail polish or Moroccanoil hair products will all depend on performance, marketing and the fairy godmother of Cinderella tales — luck.
The controversy over formaldehyde doesn’t seem to dampen the field of hair-straightening treatments. Plenty of companies were expounding on how they’ve either limited or eliminated formaldehyde from the process. So who will be among the last ones standing? I’m betting on Keratin Complex, a Florida company with sleek packaging and savvy marketing that has introduced quick-fix keratin treatments you can do at home.
The Infusion Keratin Replenisher and the Repairing Remedy Intense RX cost $40 each.
Las Vegas’ heat and humidity conspire to melt makeup. My foundation was slipping and sliding the moment my plane landed. On a whim, I decided to try the foundation from Gorgeous Cosmetics, an Australian brand by makeup artist David McConnell. It was included in my press kit, otherwise I would have been out of luck because the line is still looking for a U.S. distributor. In other words, it’s not available in America yet, so I’m really rooting for this one to end up in stores.
The foundation went on silky smooth, stayed put and covered flaws effortlessly with just a tiny dollop. Top sellers — the liquid eye pencil and eyeliner pen — didn’t budge after hours of wear, a bonus for Houstonians prone to eye makeup smudging because of humidity.
At every turn, somebody was touting oil produced from kernels of the argan tree, indigenous to Morroco. With its distinctive turquoise-blue packaging, Moroccanoil trail-blazed onto the scene a few years ago. The “miracle oil” trend continues at full speed with dozens of wannabes. The Hapuna Argan Oil by Paul Brown stood out from the pack.
It combines argan oil with kukui nut oil, which Hawaiians have used for generations as a natural sunscreen to protect hair and skin from salt water, sun and wind. I loved the moisturizing effects of Moroccanoil, but thought it heavy. Paul Brown’s version not only smells like fresh orchids, but the blend of Argan and kukui nut oils penetrates the hair immediately, resulting in a shimmering veil of shine rather than an oil slick.
The Paul Brown Hapuna Argan Oil retails for $24.
Most products at the show are geared for women, but more companies are targeting men, such as the scintillating b3 Shave System by Barista Bath and Body, a Portland-based product line that leverages the benefits of coffee. The four-step process to achieve the perfect shave starts with Grind, an exfoliate cleanser, followed by a lubricating pre-shave oil, then a shaving cream and a java-jolt aftershave soothing gel. Talk about supercharging your morning routine sans the coffee jitters.
The b3 Shave System costs $65.
Michael Graves is a famous architect whose futuristically sleek kitchen tools are sold at Target stores. At Cosmoprof, Graves and manufacturer Slice debut a new line of beauty tools. From nail clippers to ceramic nail files, these beautifully designed tools resemble miniature modern sculptures for the bathroom counter rather than ergonomic, functional tools. A must-have is the elegant, tear-drop-shaped slanted tweezers for $19.99.