The show floor itself was 75% nail, 15% hair and 10% everything else. Included in the mix was mostly Asian and European companies trying to get a foothold in the USA market along with the typical die hard USA companies such as Helen of Troy, Conair, Spilo and Tweezerman. There are now more nail gel companies than Starbucks has coffee combinations. One booth featured more than 300 colors. Another claimed 1000 colors. There was also no shortage of pedicure spas with each company offering virtually the same units.
The onsite meeting rooms were very scarce as well this year. L’Oreal was nowhere to be found and even TIGI opted off the floor as did Essie and so many others. In one very small secluded section one could find OPI, CND, Keratin Complex and Moroccanoil (which was perfect for me).
George and Bill were very proud showing off their new LED light made in the USA and made of heavy steel. The $399 light will be tightly allocated in 2011 and features quick curing and the ability to do both hands and feet. Looks like the first shipment of Gel Color will arrive late September but even that will be allocated until 2012.
CND was very happy as they shipped their 6 latest shades of Shellac (we have in stock!) and continue to expand the marketing reach of the brand. It will be interesting when CND meets OPI in 2012, sort of reminds me of the Wild, Wild West.
Moroccanoil spared no budget as they offered up lunch each day and imported chocolates from Israel with the MO logo. They also featured an event at MIX on Monday night, no doubt the biggest spender at the show this year.
I bumped into many people along the way, some of which I haven’t seen in a while. There was Bob Furstenberg still loving Oakland and fried chicken. There was Simon (ex-L’Oreal and TIGI) traveling from London representing ghd as they make their USA push. There was Paul Sharnsky, a.k.a. the distributor hanging out with anyone he could latch onto and enjoying an adult beverage at the MO party. There was Jeph Wright (ex Kemon coach) taking yet another cigarette and cocktail break with a fellow stylist at 7:15AM. There was Bo of Wahl playing Texas Hold Em’ and enjoying himself. There was Tony Cuccio (enough said). There was Michael and Zoya Reyzis dining at the Four Seasons (very nice people but did they have to have Leo?). There was MIke Asher flying first class as usual on DELTA also having breakfast at the Four Seasons with Tom Fowler, now of A.I.I. fame. Mike is another nice guy just not sure what his role is these days.
For me, the highlight of the show was meeting with distributors and seeing their faces when they saw the new black 15in1 products, Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals and new PR campaign for Kemon NaYo and Actyva Care. What is very refreshing and positive for our industry is that while a few global giants control the lion’s share, there are still plenty of good guys out there that are independent, like to have fun and want the latest and greatest. As one of them said to me, perhaps we should have our own Cosmoprof and forget all this BS we have to endure. Hmmm, sounds like a good idea to me.