Retail notes from Seoul: Getitbeautycon 2019

This was a bit of an impromptu trade show visit! Visiting the big Chicor flagship in Gangnam I discovered Korean skin care brand Toun28, started following them on Instagram and saw in their Instastories that they were exhibiting at a COEX event called Getitbeautycon this weekend.

Then I googled Getitbeautycon and found out that this is an annual beauty expo organised by popular Korean cosmetics reality show, Get it Beauty. As you might expect Getitbeautycon is a lifestyle-ey event rather than a serious trade show – hordes of Korean beauty bloggers, Q&As with celebs and influencers, brand promotions and activities, live makeovers and workshops, freebies and selfie corners; you get the idea : )

I really wanted to get the opportunity to look at the Toun28 products in more detail (the Chicor only had a partial selection) so I decided to check out the expo, and I’m so glad I went! I spent most of Sunday at the show and really enjoyed myself, discovered some interesting new brands and even met some old favourites.

Click on the link below for pictures and brand discoveries from the 2019 edition of Getitbeautycon! Spoiler alert: if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen these brands in my feed already. However, I can be so much more expansive in a blog article than within the restrictive Instagram word limit : )

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Cosmoprof Bologna 2019: [Show Report]

Cosmoprof Bologna becomes more fun every year. This was my third visit to the world’s biggest C&T trade show (well, the fourth if you count my Cosnova-sponsored overnight visit from 2016 – and while I’m at it, here are my trade show reviews from 2017 and 2018!).

By now I know the basic layout of the halls (although I still get lost in the CS (Centro Servizio – press office, event rooms, store, pharmacy, post office etc.) every single time because the different sections are just so badly signposted!).

I know which buses go to the trade show from the city centre (an important consideration when selecting my accommodation!) and, almost more importantly, which of these bus lines are diverted on the weekends because Bologna’s historic city centre turns into a pedestrian zone on Saturdays and Sundays.

And I can rest assured that I won’t need need to get morning espresso fix in the city before heading to the trade show centre (like I would in any German city) because the cafés in Bologna Fiera serve excellent espresso for 1.20 Euro and a 1 ½ littre bottle of water retails for 3 Euro. Water and caffeine, two trade show essentials!

Click on the link below for an overview of some of my favourite brand discoveries at this year’s Cosmoprof Bologna!

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Vivaness 2019: [Show Report]

Ah, Vivaness. The biggest (and most exciting) organic C&T show in the world!  As I was finishing my Vivaness article for SPC Magazine earlier this week – explaining the trade show’s concept and regulatory framework for a reader demographic that is mostly non-European – it occured to me that some background info might also be interesting for you lot reading the article right here.

After all, the WordPress stats tell me that most of my readers are located outside of Europe (or at least their IP adddresses are but hey, I’m a  NordVPN fangirl so no judgment here ; )). I think it might also have to do with the fact that I have written a lot of articles about Asian retailers, brands and companies.

Many of these brands are not particularly well documented in the English-language online world  (this is a polite understatement: usually my article will be the longest and most informative brand or company profile available in English!). So, if you google certain brand or store names in English, Google lists my articles fairly prominently, despite the fact that I can’t be bothered to use SEO or keywords strategies (it seems like a lot of work).

Anyway, long story short: in this year’s Vivaness article I’ll tell you a bit about the history of the trade show and why it is so different from any other natural beauty show out there. And no, I don’t work for the trade show organisers and I don’t get paid for this either! Just wanted to clarify this point ; )

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Retail notes from Tokyo: [Show Report] Cosme Tokyo 2019

Cosme Tokyo is getting bigger and better every year. The 2019 edition of Japan’s largest trade show for retail cosmetics featured 780 exhibitors from 35 countries. And over 25.000 visitors attended during the three days of Cosme Tokyo and its sister fair, Cosme Tech.

It was one busy and very cool show! My Insta feed shows almost 30 mini brand/product profiles which is usually my Cosmoprof Asia average! Anyway, it was an exciting trade fair: I met a lot of interesting new brands (and some old favourites). And if you’re interested: here is my Cosme Tokyo 2018 show report.

For more on my favourite brand discoveries and the key trends at Cosme Tokyo 2019, click on the link below!

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Retail notes from Hong Kong: [Store Profile] Mi Ming Mart

On my very last afternoon in Hong Kong I visited beauty retailer Mi Ming Mart‘s Causeway Bay outlet.

It was actually a recommendation by someone I had met at Cosmoprof Asia trade show the previous day: Sophie from Hong Kong-based organic beauty distributor Aura HK – the company’s portfolio includes European brands like Dr. Hauschka, Melvita, Sanoflore, Flow Cosmetics and Avril – suggested that I check out Mi Ming Mart, a clean beauty store chain founded by a Chinese beauty KOL (Key Opinion Leader = Influencer). It sounded intriguing (and I do love me some female entrepreneurship!) so I went – and Mi Ming Mart is indeed a fascinating retailer.

The first Mi Ming Mart was opened in 2009, so the company has been a mainstay of Hong Kong’s niche beauty retail scene for almost a decade. Founder Erica Yuen is a former beauty queen turned social media icon/celebrity who was also active in local politics between 2011 and 2016 – she is the co-founder of Hong Kong’s radical pro-democracy party Power Voters and from 2013 to 2016 served as chairperson of the pro-democracy People Power party before focusing on further expanding her retail business.

Which she seems to have been doing successfully: in February 2018 Mi Ming Mart was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) of Hong Kong’s stock exchange. According to parent company Inwell International’s annual report, group revenue grew 19.3% to HKD 123.4 million in the financial year ending March 2018 – a result which can be traced back to the opening of three new retail stores (Quarry Bay, Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O) and the strong performance of skin care sales. The company’s gross profit climbed 18.4% to HKD 74.8 million over the same period.

For more information on the company and the store click on the link below!

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Retail notes from Hong Kong: [Show Report] Cosmoprof Asia 2018

The 23rd edition of Cosmoprof Asia was amazing and super busy. It was my fifth visit to Asia-Pacific’s largest C&T trade show and by now I know many of the exhibiting beauty brands and companies.

Cosmoprof Hong Kong is a great place to meet up with people because almost everyone in the Asia-related international beauty industry tends to be there. The trade show has become a very social event for me, with lots of meetings and coffee dates. It’s so much fun catching up with everyone!

And although this means less time to walk the floor and check out exhibitors and brands, Cosmoprof Asia – the finished cosmetics/retail beauty part of the C&T trade show – is so big that you never manage to see everything anyway. There are only three days allocated to the HKCEC trade show and even if you start at 9.30am sharp (which is when the halls open) and stay until 6pm, the days are never long enough.

Still, I managed to post a total of 30 Instagram pics/brand profiles during those three days – well done me! – and now I’ll introduce the most interesting of these brands (plus a few others that didn’t make it into my Insta coverage) in more detail.

Click on the link below for more info!

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Beautyjagd: Organic beauty news in English (Chapters 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60)

I realised today that it’s been months since I last posted any Beautyjagd translations, so here we go: the last five installments of my English translations for Beautyjagd, the biggest German-language organic beauty blog in Europe!

In News and Reviews from the World of Organic Beauty (Chapter 56)  you can find a brand portrait of Brazilian-German beauty brand Baims, an overview of German bath care brand Dresdner Essenz’ new summer launches and a show review of ingredients trade fair In-Cosmetics 2018 Amsterdam.

News and Reviews from the World of Organic Beauty (Chapter 57) offers an in-depth look at classic German Reformhaus beauty brands, a detailed post about Julia’s new organic beauty haul from Ecco Verde and a review article about German aloe vera brand Santaverde’s new Pure range for impure sensitive skin.

In News and Reviews from the World of Organic Beauty (Chapter 58) you can read all about Julia’s week at the Reformhaus training academy, plus a fascinating article on menopausal skin care in cooperation with French beauty brand Cattier and a special Helsinki edition of the Beauty Notes.

News and Review from the World of Organic Beauty (Chapter 59) includes another article on organic beauty from Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, a feature on the two trend ingredients madessassoides and centella asiatica and a detailed review post (including swatches!) of French organic makeup brand Couleur Caramel’s new limited summer edition Essence de Provence.

Finally, in News and Reviews from the World of Organic Beauty (Chapter 60) you can find an article on organic beauty products that help against hyperpigmentation, a round-up of some of the most interesting organic beauty travel and trial sets that are currently available, a Beauty Notes edition from the South West of France and a detailed review of German brand Dr. Hauschka’s recently launched Regeneration Day Cream.

Enjoy!

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SPC Magazine: Cosmobeauty 2018 and China Beauty Expo 2018

Here are my SPC articles about Cosmobeauty Seoul 2018 and China Beauty Expo 2018, highlighting the most interesting brands and product innovations that I saw at the two trade shows. [Copyright: HPCi Media]

If you’re interested in reading more about Cosmobeauty and CBE you can also refer to the individual trade show reviews I posted on my blog (simply scroll further down the page).

 

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Retail notes from Seoul: A new era of beauty retail [Boots, Chicor, Lalavla, Olive Young]

The first stop on my Asia trip this May was Seoul, for Cosmobeauty 2018 trade show (check out my trade show review here) but also to do my customary store research. This is something I do whenever I travel; even if I have visited the country/city before.

I visit as many health & beauty retailers as possible; at least one chain per distribution channel: drugstore, perfumery, department store, organic store (or equivalent) and whatever specific retail channel a particular country might have.

And then I spend hours in-store until the security staff and/or sales personnel is starting to give me suspicious looks ; ). I’m checking out the products that are displayed on the shelves: are there any interesting new beauty launches – any new key ingredients? Product types? Packaging designs?

Does the retailer have any own label brands and if so, what do they look like? Is there just one own label range or a diversified portfolio of proprietary product ranges? What is the overall percentage of domestic brands vs. international brands? And what do the retail chains look like; do they offer any in-store services, features or activities to make shopping in a bricks ´n mortar store more exciting?

I also take pictures, usually discreetly because retailers in Asia often forbid you to photograph their products or store interiors. Case in point: Chicor and Olive Young (more info in the article!); in one particular Olive Young store I was told no less than three times (by three different staff) that taking photos was not allowed! Although I am a law-abiding citizen by nature I tend to disregard these strictures and as a result I’ve become very good at clandestine photography : )

This was my fifth visit to Seoul and after the first couple of days I was struck by how rapidly the Korean beauty retail market is changing at the moment. And it all started less than two years ago.

There are three (!) new beauty retail chains on the market which offer a European-style perfumery multi-brand concept (and for the Korean beauty market this is is nothing less than revolutionary – again, more info on this in the article!) while drugstore market leader Olive Young is hastily refurbishing its stores across the capital in a scramble to keep up with all of the new competitors.

One week was barely enough to visit all of these new retailers and because so much is happening in the Korean beauty market at the moment, I think it is time for an overview article on all of the new beauty retail chains (with plenty of high-res pictures, of course).

Click on the link below!

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Retail notes from Shanghai: [Show Report] China Beauty Expo 2018

A few days ago I returned from Shanghai, the last stop on my three-week research trip to Asia. My main focus here was China Beauty Expo, the most important beauty trade show in mainland China.

However, I also managed to visit two new bars (Sober Company and Woo Bar; both very much worth a visit!) and explored the very cool M50 Shanghai Art District on Monashan Road (an old factory site converted into an art/gallery space. I have now become a big fan of contemporary Chinese porcelain art!). I also spent a considerable amount of time just walking around the city centre streets, taking pictures of Shanghai’s surreal-looking and amazingly varied cityscape.

But back to the trade show! The 23rd edition of China Beauty Expo took place from 22nd to 24th May 2018 in Shanghai’s Pudong International Exhibition Centre (SNIEC) – for a more detailed description of the exhibition centre’s layout (with pictures) check out my China Beauty Expo 2017 article.

My impression was that this year’s CBE was somehow more structured (a little better organised, perhaps?) and also more international than CBE 2017 – there was a special registration gate for „foreign visitors/media“ which they didn’t have last year (at least not that I remember!) and there seemed to be more Western beauty brands amongst the exhibitors.

Don’t get me wrong, CBE was still overwhelming; bustling, chaotic and completely crowded with visitors, including families and children – tickets are free and anyone can visit; you don’t need trade visitor credentials. The halls featuring primarily Chinese exhibitors were especially popular amongst the local visitors – most of the companies offered free skin care treatments, raffles and freebies.

But this year the show felt much more manageable; probably because I knew what to expect and I also knew which subway station was the best option for the trade show! If you’re interested: it’s the last stop on Line 7, Huanmu Road, which connects to Kerry Parkway shopping center and the Kerry hotel. So much more pleasant than Longyang Road which the official website tells you is the closest station for SNIEC.

But now let’s jump straight in! Click on the link below to read more about some of my favourite brand discoveries at China Beauty Expo 2018.

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