EWL Report on Indie Beauty Expo, LA 2017

Written by: | January 23, 2017 | 2 responses

One of the best parts of being in the beauty business is attending trade shows and events. Last week, Laura Badcock, EWL Vice President and Chief Formulator and I were able to attend the Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles, CA and, WOW! We were both impressed at the variety of products and the interesting marketing and packaging ideas created by indie business owners.

What really grabbed my attention at Indie Beauty Expo was just how many business owners were present at their respective booths. It seemed to me that the booths with the most activity and buzz were also the ones where the owners were front and center talking excitedly about their products. Nothing is more genuine and engaging than the passion of these owners talking about their vision, sharing their knowledge, and showcasing their unique products. Meeting passionate business owners– and new friends, was a remarkable experience that left me both inspired and in awe. Here are a few of their stories.

Mystic Dirt

Meet Laura Emanuel, owner of Mystic Dirt. Laura develops DIY kits that teach you how to create holistic skincare products. Inspired by beauty and healing rituals from around the world, each DIY kit comes with a selection of bases (such as olive oil, almond oil, sea salt, sugar) and mixers (including essential oils and herbs). DIY kits aren’t a new concept, however, Laura’s kit stands out immediately. Mystic Dirt kits include beautifully designed cards that explain the purpose of each ingredient in the kit along with more esoteric information. Mystic Dirt started with private workshops and events, but Laura had so many students asking for kits that she decided it was time to develop her own! In Laura’s workshops, attendees choose which spa products they want to offer to their guests and everyone creates their own all-natural, customized, and indulgent body spa products. Guests leave with the products they made and with the knowledge of how to recreate the recipes with products they can find in their own kitchen or DIY kits constructed by Laura.

The Spa Dr.

Dr. Trevor Cates, owner of The Spa Dr., received her medical degree from the National College of Natural Medicine and was the first woman licensed as a naturopathic doctor in the state of California. After working in several world-renowned spas, Dr. Cates became known as, “The Spa Dr.” and developed products and programs to help people achieve glowing skin and vibrant health. Dr. Cates explained to me how beautiful-looking skin starts from the inside with proper nutrition and that combining the right nutrients with the right skin care is the best way to help your skin look as beautiful and vibrant as possible. I must add- her skin was absolutely flawless and glowing! It was clear that she wore very little make-up and the natural beauty of her skin made her words ring true!


Sima Mostafavi is a fourth generation pistachio grower, who knows firsthand the long-term benefits of pistachio oil on hair and skin. I was intrigued by her indie beauty product line as I haven’t seen many natural products created that use pistachio oil. Sima created Pistaché Skincare because she knew from experience the benefits of pistachios, and because she wanted to harness the power of the vitamin and mineral rich California pistachio oil. With pistachios in her blood, she knows how and what to do with the nuts and oils when it comes to creating products to help us all look our best. The feel of her products is truly divine and the faint scent of pistachio is very pleasing!

Passion is Key

What these three women and many other owners showcasing their products at the Indie Beauty Expo have in common are passion and knowledge. Each has used her expertise to create unique products to meet a niche market. Laura with her amazing DIY kits and ingredient cards, Dr. Cates with her philosophy about skincare from the inside out, and Sima with her expertise on all things pistachio. The natural beauty world is vast and growing and if you’re like me, it’s easy to get distracted and sidetracked by the latest trends. One valuable lesson I took away from Indie Beauty Expo is that focusing on your area of passion and expertise is the key to differentiation and success!

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