Beautycon Los Angeles Survival Guide
Even though I watched a couple of Youtube videos before going to Beautycon, I was definitely not as prepared as I could have been but I learned fast and picked up some tips and tricks on the first day that prepared me for Day 2. There isn't much info on the website on what to expect so I'm going to share with you everything I learned so that you can have the ultimate BeautyCon weekend!
Tickets: There are a couple different ticket packages. I bought the 2 day Hauler which gives you early access to the event and a guaranteed hooked up swag bag. I highly recommend splurging on any pass with early access. The 2 hours to explore the booths before the general admission crowd was HEAVEN. Not all the booths give out samples so having a ticket that includes a swag bag definitely takes the stress off of getting your money's worth. BIG TIP: Don't pick up your swag bag till the end of the first day. It is HEAVY and you will waste time taking it to the car. Check out your bag while leaving, you won't regret it and it will be there, don't worry!
Attire: I saw too many gorgeous girls in heels that were HURTING by hour 3. Work your outfit around a comfy pair of shoes, crop your feet out of your pics if that is what your worried about. I wore a comfy pair of flats and was DYING by the end of day 2. I saw some girls carrying around sandals for later but who wants to carry around extra shoes all day? Not worth it!
There are TONS of fun photo ops and booths and people are dressed from casual to DIVA so wear what you like! You can do no wrong at Beautycon!
Where to stay: Parking can suck! I booked a hotel with my friends about 2 miles away and Uber'd to the event. It is waaaay cheaper than parking (especially in LA) and you waste no time looking for parking when you could be holding your spot in line!
Day 1: Arrive at least 45 minutes early for early access tickets and at least an hour and half early for general admission. The earlier the better!
BIG TIP: Go directly to a check-in booth and get a welcome booklet that has a map of the convention space ( this map is not available online! ) and the get in line as fast as you can. Or you can get in line and receive a booklet inside if you are late. Look through the booklet for special offers, events, and most importantly The Map! This is where early access comes into play. Use the map to game plan the booths you want to go to first and stick to your plan! This year Kylie Cosmetics had a booth and my wait in line was 30 minutes because I went straight there, compared to 2 hours I heard the general admission people waited! I wish I would have used some time to go to the MAC booth because by the time I got around to it the line was 2 hours long on BOTH days! Yes, I'm serious about the waits being INSANE and I know tons of people complained about it this year so next time I'm sure it will be better. Beautycon is known for taking feedback seriously and every year is better than the last! That being said, put your patient pants on and wait if you are in line at a booth you really want to visit because It wont get any shorter. Take note of booths that have long lines that you want to visit and put them on your early access priority list for Day 2.
Freebies: That's what I came for! At the front of booth lines sometimes there are instructions for freebies ( Follow the brand on Insta! Post a photo and tag the brand on social! Play a game ) So make sure you have your phone charged (there are also charging stations at the event). Some people created fake instagrams so they wouldn't have to blow up their real ones with posts, this is fair game, but brands really appreciate the extra promotion and love!
Save power on your phone by NOT staring at it the whole time you are in line! You can tell which booths give out freebies by watching the bags and items that other people are carrying. If you see someone with a bag from a brand don't assume it is full of freebies! Some brands were giving out just bags, EMPTY BAGS to people, I assume to draw other people to the booths. Ask the person with the bag if they are giving away freebies before you waste your time waiting in a long line for nothing. Everyone is very friendly about sharing tips and info about booths they had been to, don't be afraid to ask!
Explore as many booths as possible! Lines are the shortest around the end of the day for newbie brands. Get to know a new beauty line, the majority of them give out samples because they are growing their brands. This year I discovered 2 CBD beauty brands that ROCK and a face mask subscription company that I'm super excited about!
Buying : Target and CVS had displays of makeup but you couldn't buy anything... just sample swatch it on your arm, which I found to be really dumb. Some booths had discounts or waived shipping fees if you placed an order like at the Facetory booth ( a beauty mask subscription box ) but major brands like Kylie Cosmetics and Anastasia Beverly Hills did not.
Food: There are water stations throughout the event and a food truck section in an outside area of the LA Convention center. These lines will also be long. Food is expensive ( but delicious!) to be prepared for that. Day 1 I had a salmon, avocado and rice poke bowl and day 2 I had a mushroom burger, sooooo good!
Meet and Greets + Special guests: So. Many. Famous. People. I saw Kim Kardashian, met her makeup artist Mario. Jessica Simpson, Drew Barrymore, Snoop Dog (I KNOW!) , Manny MUA, Gigi Gorgeous, Nakita Dragon, plus tons more! These are not just people on stage, keep you eyes open for tons of influencers on the event floor also enjoying the event around you! I'm personally pissed about missing Dew Elliott ( Creative Director of Paper Magazine and judge on ANTM). He was just walking around and I didn't see him!!! Another reason to not waste your phone battery looking down at it and keep your eyes open!
You can upgrade your experience by purchasing a meet and greet pass if that interests you where you can take a photo and get an autograph. Meeting Mario was my first time doing meet and greet and I felt so weird about it! But his energy was so warm and inviting and it ended up being such a cool experience.
Kim Kardashian was the special guest this year and we went to save spots an hour early and we still weren't very close and I'm so short I could barely get glimpses of her through the crowd of cell phones. Sometimes planning ahead still doesn't work out, there will be things that you miss. Download the Beautycon app to get the times of special guest speakers and tutorials so you can schedule out your day as best as you can but be flexible. The event is from 10am (with early pass) 12pm-6pm and that time flies by so fast!
After Hours: When the event ends at 6 there will be people resting or waiting for their rides outside. If you are going to Day 2, this is a great time to mingle and get tips about booths from other people. This can be intimidating if you attended the event alone but beauty lovers are social butterflies and very friendly. In fact the friendliest encounters with strangers I've ever had in Los Angeles ,no joke! haha.
I hope this post gave you a little inside scoop of the Beautycon experience!