Category Archives: Trends

Retail notes from KL: [Show Report] Beauty Expo Malaysia 2019

Here, at long last, is my trade show review of Malaysia’s biggest beauty and salon C&T trade fair, Beauty Expo 2019 – and not a minute too soon (I’ll be leaving for Cosmoprof Asia/Hong Kong in a few days).

So let’s get started! Beauty Expo Malaysia is billed as South East Asia’s longest-running cosmetics trade show; it took place for the 19th time this year. And although the fair’s key focus are the Malaysian salon, makeup, hair and spa sectors there were still more than enough retail brands to keep me happy : )

Click on the link below to find out more about my favourite brand discoveries.

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Retail notes from Bangkok: [Show Report] Beyond Beauty ASEAN 2019

It was my first visit to Beyond Beauty ASEAN Bangkok (or BBAB for short) and – spoiler alert – it’ll also be my last BBAB. The reason: from 2020 onwards Beyond Beauty ASEAN will be combined with another key Thai beauty show (ASEAN Beauty) to form the latest addition to the Cosmoprof world of cosmetics trade fairs: Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN Bangkok (organised by BolognaFiere, Informa Markets and China Beauty Expo). These are the three of the biggest cosmetics trade show organisers in the world (and definitely the leaders in the Asian markets) so the new show is bound to be interesting, to say the least!

The reason why Cosmoprof CBE will continue to take place in Bangkok is simple: Thailand is the biggest beauty retail market in the ASEAN region and (excepting Singapore) it’s also the most highly developed ASEAN country. In fact, according to official figures by the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai beauty and personal care market is growing strongly. In 2018, the market reached a total value of 6.2 billion USD, says Federation chairman Suphan Mongkolsuthree. And the industry grew 7% annually over the past six years making it the #1 export country amongst the largest export income earners in the ASEAN region.

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Retail notes from Shanghai: [Show Report] China Beauty Expo 2019

This was my third visit to China Beauty Expo, the biggest C&T trade fair in mainland China, and every year the show becomes more manageable. Don’t get me wrong, it is still huge: in 2019 there were more than 3,500 exhibitors, 27 exhibition halls and 50 VIP halls (mostly tents) on a quare footage of 260,000 sq m. CBE is also still super crowded – tickets are free and anyone can attend, i.e. there’s no trade visitor accreditation; simply turn up, fill in a form and that’s it. However, I now know what to expect and that’s makes things much easier.

China Beauty Expo 2019 took place in the Shanghai New Exhibition Centre (SNIEC) in Pudong, just like last year. I do like the layout of this trade show centre – it might be massive but the triangular shape of the fair grounds make navigation easy and you can just cut across the grassy enclosure if you’re in a hurry. For more info on SNIEC, the hall layout and what the whole CBE experience is like, check out my show reports of China Beauty Expo 2017 and China Beauty Expo 2018.

And now, click on the link below to read more about China Beauty Expo 2019 and my favourite brand discoveries!

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Retail notes from Seoul: [Show Report] Cosmobeauty 2019

This was my third visit to Cosmobeauty Seoul and I must say, this trade fair is getting better every year. The 2019 edition took place from 9th-11th April 2019 and it was so busy; it definitely felt much more crowded than last year. Official figures confirm this: according to the organisers 52,376 visitors attended the 2019 trade fair (last year’s Cosmobeauty attracted 50,673 attendees). And, on a personal note, there were so many Westerners/foreigners amongst the visitors this year!

I remember my first Cosmobeauty in 2016: there were just a handful of foreign faces then. I guess it goes to show how K-beauty continues to influence the international beauty industry. Or something. Anyway, if you’re interested in the trade show review of my previous visits, you can check out Cosmobeauty 2016, Cosmobeauty 2017 or Cosmobeauty 2018.

And here are the official facts and figures about Cosmobeauty 2019! The exhibition space reached 11,088 m2 this year and there were around 520 exhibition booths with a total of 373 exhibitors from 13 countries – a significant increase compared to the 2018 edition of the show with its 342 exhibitors. The majority of exhibitors – 308 companies – were Korean, the remaining 65 companies came from Europe, China, South East Asia and the US.

Cosmobeauty 2019 also felt a lot more trend-driven than the previous shows – exhibitors came from the organic/natural sector and from the green/clean category; there were several young millennial-style brands and quite a few start-ups. The organisers also added some exciting features in 2019: a new section was the “Rookies of the Year” showcase which introduced interesting new exhibitors and their product innovations. Altogether a very exciting show!

And now let’s jump straight in! Click on the link below to read about some of my favourite brand discoveries.

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Retail notes from Seoul: [Show Report] 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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