No "Arctic Front" in sight as hundreds waited outside the Long Beach Convention Center on a warm, balmy afternoon to enter the 2014 International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE) that opened today and will run through Monday, January 27. One of the West Coast's largest beauty shows, the floor was crowded, the booths busy and the audiences engaged as education events, product demonstrations and a weekend of connecting and camaraderie got underway.
Here are some of the highlights of this first, beauty-filled day:
CND: Jan Arnold, the Co-Founder of CND, described the type of woman who inspired her new Spring 2014 Open Roads Collection as being, "a young professional who might own her own PR agency but on the weekends, she ties a scarf around her head and drives out the desert with no plans, no agenda. She stops at the little curio shops along the way and experiences the desert light from the first rising of the sun, to the bright mid day and the settling-in of night and the 'amethyst hour' of sunset. "
I sampled colors from this new range of Shellac "power polishes" (also available in Vinylux shades) that take you from dawn to dusk in the desert when I was treated to a manicure by CND Artist Shelena Robinson. My nails were evened out with a Smoothing Gel and then new Desert Poppy was applied as my base coat and an Additive in Desert Chameleon plus some carefully placed copper foil created a nail that shimmered like sun on sand.
HALO COUTURE: An immediate hit when they first appeared on the trade show floor last year, Halo Couture continues to take wing and soar. They showed some new, upscale packaging: a magnetized box with swing flap, window and gold foil that opens to reveal beautiful samples of Halo hair on a ring. When stylist Argenis Pinal placed a sample style on my head, he explained as he was working how it sits below the occipital bone and then my hair was pulled through and over the "halo" for an imperceptible blend. Removal was angelically easy, too.
ARDELL: When attending ISSE, don't pass up the Pavillion. This special arena holds many of the software companies, skin care and "emerging brands." At the Ardell booth, the variety of false lashes available included styles from demure to dramatic. Once reserved for special occasions, false lashes are a cosmetic prosthetic for women who want the face-framing effect of some faux fringe. Makeup Artist Rachel Pagan applied Wispies to my wimpy lash line and gave my eyes an instant lift.
WET BRUSH: What started with their hot-selling detangling brush has spun off a variety of brushes that work through dense, textured hair. Their "intelli-flex" bristles glide right over the hair. By listening to feedback from hairdressers, Wet Brush has expanded their line to include brushes that beautifully distribute dry shampoo, brushes for pets, and mini-brushes in kid-friendly designs for that unruly head of kid hair.
MARRAKESH: They had me at the tag line "Healthy Hair Starts at the Endz" a clever catch-phrase for new Marrakesh Endz, a leave in treatment to seal the cuticle and help prevent damage to the hair. On shelf in March, this new product is being sampled at the Earthly Body booth in a gold tin, a smart alternative to the ubiquitous 'show bag'.
HAIR ART: At the Hair Art booth, the heads of Virgin European Hair on the mannequins was unbelievably silky and soft. In the business of creating fine wigs, hairpieces and extensions for forty years, Hair Art is unique in their inventory of European Hair. At the show, they were giving Ron King center stage so he could demonstrate his new Invisi-Tab hair extensions: the hair is 100% unprocessed and the bonds are applied in less than a minute.
Today was just the beginning of what promises to be a weekend filled with beauty discoveries. Tickets can be purchased at the Convention Center. To learn more: http://probeauty.org/isselb/