Thursday, June 21, 2018

Indie Expo Canada 2018 Event Recap & Photos

For a second year in a row, I had the pleasure of attending Indie Expo Canada as Press (check out last year's event recap here). I have to say that 2018 was even bigger and better than the inaugural year (though that was totally awesome). I think I had such a blast this year because I got to see so many online friends for the first time (or again) and there were even more brands I loved. I had a total blast and even had the chance to host a workshop AND emcee the Speaker's Panel (those photos are at the end of this post). A BIG congratulations to Pam and the rest of the IEC team for putting on another amazing event. And, drum roll please, IEC 2019 has been confirmed and will be held in Toronto once again! Yay! You know I'll be there. Now, go and live through my day at IEC... 



I'll start with Paint It Pretty Polish because Sherri's nails were awesome! She recreated the Indie Expo Canada logo image on her nails and totally nailed it. Sherri had the beautiful LE and Exclusive for sale (reviewed by me here) as well as many other polishes from her repertoire. I loved seeing all of her polishes in person. Paint It Pretty Polish is a brand to watch over the next year - I think big things are coming for Sherri and her brand. 

Indie Expo Canada 2018 Paint It Pretty Polish

Indie Expo Canada 2018 Paint It Pretty Polish

Indie Expo Canada 2018 Paint It Pretty Polish

It's always a good sign when a brand comes back for another year. Alter Ego Body Care Products is one of those brands. Cynthia makes a lovely array of polishes in almost every finish. I became a fan after finally trying the VIP bag polish from 2017. Alter Ego's formula is always great and it was so much fun to see what she brought for this year. One of her offerings was the new Velocirapture collection and the Fan Favorites collection. The gorgeous bright magenta polish you see in the photos was the IEC exclusive. 

Indie Expo Canada 2018 Alter Ego Nail Enamels

Indie Expo Canada 2018 Alter Ego Nail Enamels

Indie Expo Canada 2018 Alter Ego Nail Enamels

And now for a new-to-me brand... Bee's Knees Lacquer all the way from Virginia! Bee's Knees is relatively new on the indie scene but Sarah, the brains behind the brand, really knows what she's doing with nail polish. Bee's Knees Lacquers brought a lot of polishes loaded with holo, flakes and tons of magnetic options. I grabbed some for a friend and she's letting me play with them before I hand them over to her so expect to see a few Bee's Knees on the blog soon. Also, Bee's Knees might win for most cohesive display... the honey comb pattern was everywhere! 

Bee's Knees Lacquer Indie Expo Canada IEC

Indie Expo Canada 2018 Bee's Knees Lacquer

Bee's Knees Lacquer Indie Expo Canada IEC

I was so happy to see Maddy and Krystyn of Beyond the Nail once again this year! Of course, they had the Soft Neons Collection (the second half launched at the event) which I was actually sporting on my nails at the event (I did a skittle of all 8 Soft Neon cremes). They also had some new and Ultra Holos which I'm super excited to try in the future. Their VIP bag offering, Cherry Beach, is absolutely beautiful and I will be sharing it on the blog soon. I love this Canadian indie brand owned by two beautiful sisters; it makes me want to start my own line with Riley. 

Beyond the Nail Canadian indie nail polish IEC 2018

Beyond the Nail Canadian indie nail polish IEC 2018

Beyond the Nail Canadian indie nail polish IEC 2018

Beyond the Nail Canadian indie nail polish IEC 2018

And another Canadian indie brand back for another year... CANVAS Lacquer. The lovely folks behind CANVAS Lacquer had a ton of awesome products for sale. I was particularly taken with the Spotlight Body Shimmer rollers which feature pink and bronze shimmer suspended in coconut, almond and grape seed oil which nourishes skin while giving a summery mermaid glow. So awesome! I just love that you can find such diverse beauty products from indie makers using more natural ingredients. I was also particularly taken with the shimmery green nail polish in the swatch wheel photo: Summer Child

CANVAS Lacquer IEC Indie Expo Canada

CANVAS Lacquer IEC Indie Expo Canada

CANVAS Lacquer IEC Indie Expo Canada

I felt like a kid in a candy store at the Clionadh Cosmetics table. Another Canadian sister duo creating vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics! This year, Maggie and Leigh brought both the Paleo Palette and the all-new Archeo Palette. Clionadh makes the most gorgeous shimmer eyeshadows. I have a few now and I always love wearing them - the formulation is excellent with minimal fallout and maximum payoff. With a good primer, they last all day on my eye. 

Clionadh Cosmetics Canadian Indie makeup IEC 2018

Clionadh Cosmetics Canadian Indie makeup IEC 2018

Another brand returning for year two was Colors by Llarowe, an indie nail polish stalwart. What was really exciting about this year was Llarowe's brand new line of body, nail and nail care items! All of the Care by Llarowe products really piqued my interest but I only ended up grabbing the Hand and Body Cream in the delicious Citrus Scent. What excites me most about Care by Llarowe is the ingredients - tons of great oils and butters and little else. Nice and natural but sure to be effective. Care by Llarowe will be launching online on July 1, 2018. Hand and body care will be launching first with facial and hair care following. The skin and hair care is still in testing. All products are vegan, organic and cruelty free. I will be reporting back after I test out the hand cream for some time. Oh, and I almost forgot about the polish! Tisk, tisk! The four polishes in the second photo are the VIP Bag Exclusive and 3 event LEs.

Colors by Llarowe IEC 2018

Colors by Llarowe IEC 2018

Colors by Llarowe IEC 2018

Colors by Llarowe IEC 2018

The Cuter Cuticles table... one of my favorites because of the awesome people and products! Sammy and "Mr. Sammy" brought a ton of deliciously scented goodies and I sniffed my way through all the samples they brought. I was most excited to try out Peach Mango Salsa and Gummy Bears... they smell awesome! I am a Cutie through and through; Cuter Cuticles is part of my core nail care routine. I go through a cuticle oil each month and I have one at my desk and one in my purse and one by my bed. I love trying out her huge array of scents and they just work so well. 

Cuter Cuticles IEC Canadian hand care

Cuter Cuticles IEC Canadian hand care

One of the biggest tables at the event belonged to Ever After Polish, Miranda and her team were in full force with a huge array of polishes including two event exclusives: Raspberry Coolata and Never Enough. Ever After had a ton of stamping polishes to choose from as well as their iconic Cuticle Crelly and wax melts (which I forgot to smell and purchase!!!). I am a big fan of the one wax melt I have tried from Ever After (Maple Roasted Peaches) and was hoping to grab more but completely forgot because I was just so busy at the event). Next year! 

Ever After Polish IEC Canada

Ever After Polish IEC Canada Stamping Polish

Ever After Polish IEC Raspberry Coolata Never Enough

What are the beautiful polishes you see below? Well, that's the Ever After Polish x Rogue Lacquer duo inspired by The Emperor's New Groove. There were only 20 sets available and sadly I did not get one even though I really did want this set. I can't wait to see those who got a set sporting these on their nails online. 

Ever After Rogue Lacquer Emperor's New Groove IEC 2018

I was so so so happy to finally meet Tanya of My Indie Polish this year! Their table was loaded with nail polish and so many awesome body care and wax melts/candles. I was so happy to see The Pinks Collection and the Spring Watercolour Thermals at the table and I think lots of others shoppers were too. The gorgeous IEC trio is now available online for those who missed it. I'm super excited to share some swatches of new My Indie Polishes as I received some for review at the event. 



The Fair Maiden Polish table was another must visit for me as Rebecca was back managing the table and she's just the sweetest person ever. Fair Maiden Siren-ade was the Indie Expo Exclusive polish for 2018 and it's a stunner. You can check out a swatch on Intense Polish Therapy's blog - it's stunning and I also somehow managed to grab some other Fair Maidens but not this one... I don't know what I was thinking this year. My head was not in the shopping game! Fair Maiden Polish also debuted TWO NEW COLLECTIONS. The first collection is the Roller Derby Divas (the first set of four) and the second is a Circus themed collection (second set of four polishes). I grabbed Fair Maiden Cinder Hella from the Roller Derby Divas collection and Fair Maiden Step Right Up from the Circus collection. I'm excited to share those swatches!




Another Canadian indie brand that's no stranger to this blog is Fiendish Fancies! At the Fiendish Fancies table, there were tons of polishes as you can see. Just like last year for the VIP bags, Lara made 7 different colors, all small batches which is such a fun idea. Lara also debuted her third anniversary polish! And for those of you who are fans of The Handmaid's Tale, Fiendish Fancies has an entire collection inspired by the TV show (which I will never watch). There were several IEC LEs which are now available for purchase online. I always love seeing what Lara has created because she really makes such diverse polishes and always with a great formula. 

Fiendish Fancies Indie Expo Canada

Fiendish Fancies Indie Expo Canada

The Girly Bits Cosmetics table... what can I say? EPIC doesn't seem descriptive enough. Pam had a ton of new products including her new Boo Boo Butter, new Concert Series polishes and the all-new Bridal Bliss Collection which will be available online in July (swatches are forthcoming). I'm so excited to test out the Boo Boo Butter because it's multi-purpose and very rich. I love me a good butter for my nails/hands. I have swatches of the LEs which will be available online soon when the Girly Bits shop reopens on July 2. 

Girly Bits Cosmetics Indie Expo Canada

Girly Bits Cosmetics Indie Expo Canada

Girly Bits Cosmetics Indie Expo Canada

Girly Bits Cosmetics Indie Expo Canada

Girly Bits Cosmetics Indie Expo Canada Boo Boo Butter

I always joke that my favorite colour is glitter so, naturally, I was excited to check out the Green Glitter table. Green Glitter is made from Eucalyptus (from sustainably sourced farms) that is processed into a cellulose (thin film like seaweed), then coloured using food grade dyes and ultra fine bits of Aluminum for that sparkle. It contains lower levels of heavy metals than traditional glitter, and zero antimony – a byproduct of polyester which can be as high as 150ppm in traditional plastic glitter. Green Glitter is made in the UK, is compostable, digestible by microrganismins, and biodegrades in sea water. And, if that wasn't awesome enough, it is gluten free, vegan, and cruelty free. It was really awesome to see all the offerings in person and these glitters don't lack in sparkle or beauty for being green. You can also use them on your nails! The final Green Glitter photo shows the special glitter made just for IEC - golds and pinks. 

Green Glitter Canada biodegradable glitter

Green Glitter Canada biodegradable glitter

Green Glitter Canada biodegradable glitter

It's so awesome to see new Canadian indie brands popping up and one of those brands is Inspired Sense. It was lovely to see Trish again this year as well as learn more about her skincare and nail polish line. Inspired Sense is a line of all natural products for hand, body and soul, using all natural ingredients and essential oils. Trish had adorable shaped wax melts and so many different scents of her Hand and Body Butter. I think there must have been more than 20 scents. Look forward to a review of Inspired Sense on the blog soon! 



LynBDesigns had a table at Indie Expo that was packed with pretty polishes in every colour of the rainbow. I think I've maybe tried one LynBDesigns polish so it was nice to see all of her offerings in person. I was excited to check out the Lisa Frank Collection and it was as bright and fun as I had hoped. All of LynBDesigns are 5-free and vegan. 

LynBDesigns Nail Polish IEC

LynBDesigns Nail Polish IEC

Another big and perfectly displayed tables belonged to Native War Paints from Michigan. NWP had a ton of polishes, beauty products and nail care items for sale including their Shimmer Me Box and Star Wars duo with Bluebird Lacquer. So many pretty polishes for my eyes to take in! The IEC trio included Border Crossing, Road Trip Snacks and Touring Toronto (in the second photo). Native War Paints specializes in shimmers and they really have honed their art. 



Rogue Lacquer! I was excited to see some Rogue Lacquer in person at the Launch Pad (a table for newer indie brands at IEC). The Sirens of Summer trio launched at IEC... can you see the shimmer and flakes? They look like candy for your nails! 


And for all of your body care needs there was SoGa Artisan Soaperie all the way from Winnipeg. This brand's products are handcrafted in small batches in Winnipeg, using only natural vegetable oils, exotic butters, clays and botanicals which are vegan and certified cruelty-free. They also offer scrubs, lotions, bubble bath and custom soap cakes and slices, perfect for gifting. SoGa makes beautifully presented products and they smell amazing. 




Terrah Essentials is a Mississauga-based company that I had not heard of until IEC. The self-proclaimed momtrepreneur, Bhie, began making natural soaps and cosmetics exclusively for her family for two years before starting Terrah Essentials in 2013. After noticing a growing interest for natural skin care products, Bhie decided to share Terrah Essentials to people who want a safer, more natural option to feel and look good. Love it!


It was fun to check out the Turtle Tootsie Polishes table as it was packed full of body scrubs, lip balms and, of course, nail polish. The Summer Foils are the latest polishes from Turtle Tootsie and they also created 3 polishes for IEC which are pictured below. I am all about scents and it was fun to check out all of their offerings. 



And here's a look into my VIP bag which was provided to all press. Some of the items were exclusive to the bag while others were not. I got really excited about the wax melts especially the one from Under a Hula Moon which smells SO FREAKING GOOD. 


The day ended with the Speaker's Panel which I had the pleasure of emceeing. Sarah from Bee's Knees, Sammy of Cuter Cuticles, Michelle of Ehmkaynails (a blogger), Amanda of Native War Paints and Leah Ann of Llarowe shared their insights and hopes for the world of indie nail polish and beauty. 



I hope you enjoyed my recap! I will be sharing reviews of products I received at Indie Expo over the next two weeks. So many goodies to share with you all! Were you at Indie Expo? Did you have as much fun as I did?

Find Indie Expo Canada online: 

Indie Expo Canada Official Press 2018

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