10 Tips for Attending Beauty Conventions

Hey everyone! I recently had the ability to go to Generation Beauty NYC and had an absolute blast! Although I had an amazing time, there were some things that I wish I knew before I went. Today, I’ll be sharing what I learned from my first beauty convention experience that I think everyone should know before they go!

  1. Be Prepared to Carry Your Haul

The first thing you get after you head to the convention floor is your goodie bag, which was extremely heavy (it had a full size shampoo and conditioner, multiple other heavy products, and almost one thing from each brand attending). From going to other conventions, I knew that the totes the brands gave out got heavy easily, and even bringing your own tote-style bag was not an easy carry. Those hauls were usually papers and other informational content, but I know makeup could be just as heavy, so I decided to take a backpack. Unfortunately, a few hours into the event, between the goodie bag and the freebies I was picking up from the brands, that got really heavy too. If I were to go to another convention, I’d consider brining a small suitcase or something that doesn’t require as much weight on my back or shoulder. In any case, know that your bag will be heavy and you will have to carry it for the whole day.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Wear Makeup to the Event

I originally didn’t wear makeup because I was under the impression that there would be tons of makeovers and opportunities to try a ton of different products. Unfortunately, I was very wrong. Only two booths were really doing any form of a makeover, and though the trials were quite small, the lines were so long that they were usually “closed” for most of the day. Those makeovers were also typically small and quick so everyone on line could get through the booth. There was a lot to swatch, but not necessarily put on. Had I known this beforehand, I would’ve done my makeup for the event and all the picture opportunities that were there, though it wasn’t really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

3. Bring Your Own Food, Snacks, and Drinks (Especially If You’re a Picky Eater)

I brought a few small snacks and a water bottle with me, but I wish I brought a bit more from home. When my group was starting to get hungry, we went over to the very small food court (only two stands). Even though it was before the lunch rush, the line was still really long and moved slowly. Once we got to the food, it was expensive and didn’t taste that great. I knew that it would be similar to theme park pricing, but the quality of the food was worse than what you would find at most parks. There also weren’t too many food options, and most of them had ingredients that wouldn’t sit well with slightly picky eaters. In the future, I’d probably pack food that I know I like so I wouldn’t have to worry about having an unenjoyable lunch or not having anything to eat.

4. Have a Loose Plan of Your Must-Dos

The lines at Generation Beauty were insanely long, and many of them had lines to get onto the actual line for the booth. If you’re going, be sure to get the brands you have to see first, and don’t worry too much about the other ones. On another note, if a line is too long, don’t waste your time on it, as you could miss several other exciting brands with slightly shorter lines. By having a loose plan, you’ll have guidelines of what to do, but it’s open enough to be able to do what is the most efficient. At GenBeauty, I didn’t get to do Pixi until the end of the day because the line throughout the day was so long, and by the end of the day, it was about half the original length. Had I waited on line in the middle of the day, I would’ve missed at least four or five other brands that I wanted to see.

5. Dress Comfortably

This one I knew, but I saw quite a few people who were wearing stilettos and super formal outfits. The convention is primarily walking around on a concrete floor and standing on lines, surrounded by tons of other people. Sure, you do want to look cute for your pictures, but there is a level of practicality required for these types of events. I chose to wear my favorite adidas, American Eagle jeggings, and a comfy sweater from garage, and I was very happy until the end of the day, where I really just needed to sit down for a little bit. There are plenty of ways to look good while being in attire that is appropriate for the event, but be sure not to sacrifice your comfort for a few pictures.

6. Have a Social Media Account (That You’re Willing to Spam)

This one was not well advertised before the event, but it’s extremely important. If you want to get freebies from the brands, most require you to follow them, and some even wanted you to post pictures with their hashtags (yes, they make you show it on your phone screen before you can get the sample). This did hold the line up quite a bit from poor connections, but it’s required to get most of the products. One lady in line ahead of me was there with her daughter and some relatives, but didn’t have a social media account, or a phone that was capable of having those apps. She told my group that most of the brands refused to give her the samples, despite clearly not having the means to have an account. If you don’t want to use your regular Instagram account, or don’t have one, it is highly recommended that you make an account so you can maximize what you get from the event. After all, you don’t want to stand in all of those lines for nothing.

7. Bring a Charger (and a Backup Charger)

Between all the pictures and the social media activity, your phone will lose a lot of battery. You’ll definitely want to have a portable charger so you can keep moving and charge your phone while you’re in the queues. You never know what’ll happen, and since a phone is really necessary for beauty conventions, you’ll want to have a backup to make sure your phone doesn’t die right as you’re trying to redeem a sample.

8. Make Sure You Have Your Tickets Saved in Multiple Places

Accidents do happen, and you don’t want to get locked out of the event. Be sure to have the printout tickets, and have the image saved in a few places on your phone. It’s the safest way to ensure you won’t have problems or any extra stress the day of the event. If you have a parking or transportation reservation, be sure to do the same with those tickets- you don’t want to be standing in a parking lot and digging through your bag and your archived emails when you really just want to get your car and leave.

9. Make a Plan of How to Get There in Advance

Everything is more expensive the day of the event. I drove with my group into the city, and since we made a reservation, the cost to park at the garage we parked at was half of the walk-in rate. Not only do you want to plan how you’ll get there, you want to plan when you’ll get there, as you don’t want to be at the end of the line as the event is just opening.

10. Go With the Flow!

No two beauty conventions are the same, and you never really know what to expect. No matter how much you plan or anticipate, you never know what’s actually going to happen! If you just relax and see what happens, you’ll totally have an amazing experience and make so many great memories!

I hope you guys found this post helpful in planning for your next beauty convention, and you have an amazing time at your event! Be sure to check out my video from GenBeautyNY 2018 on my YouTube channel, Terrifically Toni, coming soon!

See ya real soon,


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