This past weekend I decided to attend ipsy Gen Beauty in San Francisco. As a marketing professional, I have attended countless conferences, but I have never attended a beauty conference before. Since this conference was literally in my backyard (plus their targeted Facebook ads kept tempting me with a nice $75 price tag), I decided to attend Generation Beauty.
I have divided this blog post into useful headers so you can skip to what you want to know about (We all know you want to read about the goodies 😉
The goody bag was well worth the ticket price. Expect to receive about $200 worth of beauty products. I will say that based on other reviews online about Ipsy Gen goody bags, I was expecting a lot of discarded shades I would never use. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of brands put in the effort to share full-sized or quality sample sized products.
Some standouts: MAC Cosmetics gave you a choice of five different shades of lipstick when you visited their booth. It was a full-sized lipstick. In the actual goody bag, they gave you a greige colored lip in their Retro Matte lip collection.
Soo Ae deserves a shoutout for giving me enough masks to survive an apocalypse. They gave about 15 sheet masks in the goody bag PLUS two sheet masks when you visited their booth. While attendees were shivering in the cold waiting for their favorite beauty influencers, Sooae was running around making us smile by giving us even MORE sheet masks. I have more than enough to get sheet faced, thank you very much.
Luxie, which is a Bay Area beauty company gave each attendee a brush cleaner that looked like a plastic loofah. They make vegan-friendly beauty brushes. If you visited their booth, they gave you a choice of about 4-5 brushes to pick from. I really enjoyed speaking with the people at the Luxie booth that is for sure. Speaking of brushes, Moda Brushes also gave each attendee a brush.
Beauty Influencer Line Up
Ipsy Gen SF had a really stellar line up of beauty influencers. Here is what sucked: waiting in line for hours while in the cold. If you wanted to meet any of the influencers, Ipsy Gen forced you outside to wait. They had security guards who practically manhandled you and as you waited, they would ignore anyone who would cut the line. When I waited to see Tamanna Roashan aka Dress Your Face, literally a group of SEVEN girls cut people in front of me. THIS part of the conference was POORLY handled.
Once you got to meet the influencer you wanted to see, you were literally shoved in front of a ring light tripod with an inexperienced teenager taking your picture. PLEASE review your photo before you leave because when I met Tamanna, the person taking the picture had taken unflattering pictures of BOTH of us with our eyes closed. I don’t even know how anyone can take a bad picture of Tamanna. Tamanna was nice enough to retake a selfie with me which came out much better. So if you want that flattering photo, please CHECK. You don’t want to waste all that time to get a bad photo.
I got to meet Jackie Aina (who is very supportive of Muslim bloggers and Muslim brands). She was the NICEST human being and took the moment to appreciate all of her fans who waited for her. Her fanbase was also the NICEST. We all sat and chatted as old friends while we waited to meet her. So now, I have some local Bay Area fam. Thank you Jackie!
The programming for this conference was just awful. It was bare bones and really wasn’t as engaging as it could be. The one STAND OUT for this was that all of the panels were hosted by Daniel Musto who managed to crack jokes, stay empathetic and was always engaged. He moderated a panel I wasn’t even planning on attending about Beauty by You. The panel was made up of regular ipsy subscribers who were getting makeovers. But they each had a story that would make you want to cry or be inspired. My biggest lesson is that the attendees of Ipsy wowed me more than anything else.
I would have liked to see more makeup how-tos, more brand people to talk to, and panels on the latest makeup trends. Even break out sessions on brand building, how to edit photos, or even how to write a pitch would have been nice. A lot of the attendees are passionate makeup lovers who blog too.
Also, don’t cheap out on chargers at the charging stations Ipsy! I am lucky I brought my own charger because I would have been waiting for my phone to charge for hours.
The Haves and Have Nots
I have been to conferences that are blogger-centric. But Ipsy Gen SF was by far one where you literally feel like a peasant. If you are a “creator,” you get to go upstairs to a lounge where they serve food that most of the creators don’t eat, serve watermelon water, and other fun perks. They literally are on a balcony where they look “down” on everyone else before their meet and greet OR panel starts. Their swag bag is insanely upgraded with FULL-SIZE everything.
My friend was invited to the lounge and left her bags, and when I tried to go with her, the security guard almost tackled me! It’s not that serious, I won’t try to sneak in for your snacks (mainly because I had packed my own, I am a mom). It literally makes you feel like a high school outcast where the mean girls say “you can’t sit with us.”
Here are some tips to have a great experience.
Pack a phone charger
THIS is the most important tip. You don’t want to run out of battery juice before meeting your favorite blogger. Or before you need to order an Uber to get back to your hotel room or home. Pack a charger.
As beautiful as the attendees are, some left real stinkers in the loo. I was so glad I packed this and Clorox wipes.
I also packed snacks and water. You are going to be running around booths ALL day. The food trucks are outside the venue where it is cold since you are on the pier near water. Just pack your own snacks.
Leave Behind the Swag Bag on Day 2
That swag bag is like a small baby. You don’t want to be carrying around that baby for too long.
As much as I wanted to call out those line cutters, I just kept it to myself because I am at a MAKEUP conference. It is not that serious. Say thank you to all those people working the booths too. Saying please and having manners always works out best. Even when the security guard was about to tackle me, I was nice and didn’t make a fuss. It’s cool. Just be cool.
If you love makeup, I recommend going to Ipsy Gen SF at least once. However, I think I may just do Beauty Con LA next year. Have you gone to either events before? What do you think?