The Products That Impressed Retail Buyers At IBE London 2019

The No. 1 reason brands exhibit at trade shows is to meet retail buyers, and the 80-plus brands on the floor at the second Indie Beauty Expo London were not disappointed. More than 300 buyers from 170 department stores, specialty chains, spas, e-tailers, grocers and boutiques walked the two-day show that took place Oct. 23 to 24 at Old Truman Brewery. They hailed from Europe’s premier retailers, including KaDeWe, Boots, Superdrug, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Fenwick, Harrods, QVC, Beauty Mart, Planet Organic and Le Bon Marche. Beauty Independent tapped buyers from shopping event producer-cum-online store Blomma Beauty, mixed specialty retailer Asos, and beauty and wellness e-tailer Origins of Beauty to identify the products that most impressed them at the show.

Katrina Fulluck of Asos

Katrina Fulluck, senior buyer for face and body at Asos, attending IBE London last month.

1. Depixym Cosmetic Emulsions

“Could this be the new way we all apply makeup? The industry is saturated with product, but the basis for all makeup formulas is an emulsion. Depixym allows you to mix your own shades and color, creating everything you need for a full face of makeup from Lipstick to foundation. This clever brand has in some way simplified a complex category allowing the customer to be the true artist, blending and mixing colour to create your own unique and perfect shades.”

2. Hello Cup Menstrual Cup

“Feminine hygiene is not a new category, but I am so pleased that it is finally one which is becoming more acceptable to discuss and have a choice in product to manage on a personal level. The Hello Cup is a fun new take on the traditional menstrual cup, bringing energy and color into the product, which will no doubt speak to a younger audience intrigued with trying this format of feminine hygiene because of the positive impact environmentally using one of these has, alongside the amount of money you will save over time as they last years. With a good choice in three sizes and promising to be the most comfortable cup on the market, I believe this brand is well placed to radically shake up this category.”

3. Solaris Laboratories Germanium Illuminating Skin Wand

“I was impressed by the breadth of skincare tools and accessories which Solaris Laboratories were showcasing. I am a big believer in facial massage tools having immediate and long-term lifting and sculpting benefits. In particular, the Germanium Illuminating Skin Wand is a real game changer, Germanium is known to rebalance positive and negative ions on the skin by creating a natural microcurrent as the roller glides over the skin giving you immediate brightening, lifting and contouring effects. Who doesn’t need that on a daily basis!”

4. Heinrich Barth N°07 Mykonos Skin Softening Body Cleanser

“This brand has a beautiful simplicity to its presentation and aesthetic, one which is reflected also in the clean and natural formulations. Don’t be fooled by appearances, however, as the product is far from simple. In fact, they are decadent, rich and efficacious. In particular, I loved the Mykonos range, which had subtle and elegant notes of fig leaves and sage extracts whisking me straight back to summer. The cleanser lathers into a rich foam and leaves the skin feeling silky, soft and nourished. At a reasonable price point, this brand is one to watch.”

5. Green Stem CBD Bath Bomb

“An increasingly popular ingredient in the beauty industry right now, CBD is making its way into mainstream products and formulas, and was certainly something a lot of brands were showcasing at Indie Beauty Expo. I couldn’t come away from the show without highlighting my favorite CBD product, which was from Green Stem. [The brand has a] plethora of awards-winning, high-quality CBD-based products in their range. I believe there is much education needed to support knowledge of the key benefits of this trend ingredient, and I was impressed by the information and communication that Green Stem are providing on this topic. CBD is reported to have a multitude of benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and calming properties. The Bath Bomb is a great way to trial this as an entry point into the category. It contains 100 milligrams of active CBD alongside argan, coconut and evening primrose oils, and shea butter to leave skin smooth and nourished and has a relaxing sandalwood, lavender and jasmine scent. This is the perfect way to relax and unwind and try out the fastest-growing trend ingredient in the U.K.”

Karen MacDonald of Blomma Beauty

blomma beauty
Blomma Beauty’s most recent Organic Beauty Pop Up Shop was in Soho, London on Sept. 21.

1. Codex Beauty Milk Thistle & Elderflower Exfoliating Wash 

“Our ethos is all about ingredient transparency, and so I was really pleased that Codex Beauty aligns with these values. Each facet of the brand seems to have been carefully thought-out from its formulations and how the ingredients are sourced and quality tested to the environmental impact of the packaging. It’s refreshing to see a brand evolve slowly with one collection launching per year. They seem to have nailed big brand operations with small brand values. In particular, the exfoliating wash was a favorite of mine because it is so gentle and didn’t feel like it was stripping my skin of moisture.”

2. Baûbo The Balm

“We love game-changing brands and we think Baûbo is one of those. [It’s] shaking up the feminine and intimate care category with 100% organic vulva balm in contemporary rather than clinical packaging. And B Corp status and organic certification so soon after launching makes them one to watch.”

3. Inlight Beauty Lip Serum

“I’ve not stopped using this product and have even made sure to transfer it when changing bags, which must mean it’s a keeper. This serum has a very fine application, unique scent and flavour and the feeling that it’s treating your lips rather than just keeping dryness at bay or sitting on top of the skin. For our customers, it’s even better that it’s 100% organic and certified by the Soil Association.”

4. Georganics Natural Toothpaste

“Not only do our customers want to find cleaner, natural and organic beauty solutions, but they’re also concerned with sustainability, so want to be eco-conscious in all aspects of their beauty regime. It’s particularly difficult to find zero-waste and sustainable dental hygiene solutions from just one source, so the entire Georganics range ticks all of the boxes.”

5. All Tigers Liquid Lipstick

“I was immediately drawn to the branding of this brand, which was really bright and punchy. Even better was that there was an interesting story behind the concept. Our customers expect vibrant and expert brand founders and representatives at our events, and the All Tigers team didn’t disappoint. We tried one of the natural shades, and it has real staying power, which is tough to achieve with natural cosmetics. Whilst not all shades are natural due to avoiding animal-derived ingredients, it’s interesting to see a brand trying to balance a number of different ethics within a range.”

Gayathrie Seewoosurrun of Origins of Beauty

Gayathrie Seewoosurrun, founder of Origins of Beauty, samples products at IBE London.

1. Eco Stardust Bioglitter Beauty Balm

“I was very impressed by this brand, [including ] their products and the knowledge of the representatives at the exhibition. I’ve always been skeptical of so-called eco glitter, so just imagine my delight when I found out that Eco-Stardust glitter biodegrades within weeks rather than years. Four to five weeks, in fact, in normal home conditions as it is predominantly made from plant cellulose, sustainably-derived, of course. They offer two ranges, which give different looks and results: Pure, which is vegetarian, and Shine, which is Vegan. I liked the multipurpose function of their vegan and natural ingredients Bioglitter Beauty Balm, which can be used on its own as a moisturizer or as a balm to stick the glitter. I loved it even more that 10% of Eco-Stardust’s net profits go to environmental charities and bodies.”

2. Maiiro Anti-Ageing Cream

“It was really evident to me that a lot of thought went into the development of this brand and its products by the husband-and-wife team, whilst really ensuring that they did not compromise on their own personal ethics and that of their brand. Maiiro is organic, vegan and cruelty-free skincare inspired by the sea using sustainably sourced seaweed in all its formulations. They’ve developed their own blend of seaweed, soon to be patented I believe, packed with vitamins and antioxidants to protect and hydrate the skin. I really loved the texture of their creams especially, the Anti-Ageing cream for all-day hydration. Maiiro is 100% recyclable, 41% biodegradable, and working on being 100% plastic-free. Ticking all the right boxes. I was really impressed to learn that they are waiting for the go-ahead to start harvesting their own seaweed in their hometown, which will further enhance the sustainability aspect of their brand. Very exciting indeed!”

3. Shakeup Cosmetics Lip Life to the Full.

“I love the whole concept behind this brand. Shakeup is skincare combined with high-performance cosmetic features for men who like to look after their skin and do not mind a bit of enhancement with cosmetics. I think they’re here to shake things up a bit and are definitely on to something big. I love the names given to the products such as Eye Eye Captain eye concealer and moisturizer, and Let’s Face it tinted moisturizer. Very clever and entrepreneurial. Love, love love the smooth and non-greasy texture of the Lip Life to the Full lip gel with SPF10 that works to plump and firm the lips. I think it’s a product that us ladies might enjoy using, too!”

4. Flow Cosmetics The Spirit Awakens Body Butter Bar

“I love the variety of products from this Finnish skincare and cosmetics brand, and it’s beautifully visual and colorful packaging. I was really drawn to their stand and especially to their Organic Body Butter Bars based on the chakras. The Spirit Awakens Body Butter Bar smelled divine with sandalwood, neroli, grapefruit, vanilla and vetiver. I admire Flow’s commitment to using natural and organic-certified ingredients with no harsh chemicals for our own wellbeing and that of our planet. They have also made a conscious decision to ensure that their packaging is recyclable and as eco-friendly as possible.”

5. Codex Beauty Bia Skin Superfood

“This brand really appealed to me. Codex uses ancient Irish plant remedies and cures that have been passed down for centuries to heal the body. This is quite similar to a brand already retailed at Origins of Beauty, ‘Guilt Free Beauty and Wellbeing,’ and I really like that Codex Beauty use this ancient knowledge with modern and advanced technology to extract the most potent nutrients from botanicals without causing harm to the plant. Their ingredients are organic, plant-based, pure, locally-sourced, and their formulations are housed in eco-friendly tubes made from sugar cane. It was evident that the brand representatives at the event really believed in their brand and were passionate about the products. My product pick from Codex Beauty is Skin Superfood, which is a hydrating and nourishing cream for face, hands and body, and suitable for all skin types.”