Seriously, I need one of those motorized carts you see at Target for next year! By day 2 my back was a mess and I was EXHAUSTED! I bought my tickets for GenBeauty back in March as a birthday gift to myself at the Pioneer Rate of $84 with fees for both days which was a steal in my opinion. I didn't want to have FOMO at a later date when tickets were about double the price (they were actually $200 by the time of the event)! Back in March they only published that it was going to be in Brooklyn, not the exact location but I was good with that since I live in the BK. Then when I checked a couple weeks ago, I saw the venue was the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. What?! Brooklyn has a cruise terminal?? Since when did we get fancy?? Okay, I just checked, it opened in April 2006 before I even moved to NYC. Turned out it's about a 15-20 min drive from home which was great. After buying my tickets, I did some research on the event (yeah, totally backwards) and saw mixed reviews with many saying that vendors ran out of free gifts by Sunday, it wasn't that great, etc, whereas others said they had fun. I always want to try something at least once so I had no regrets with my purchase. But buying my tickets that early, it took so long for this weekend to come that it snuck up on me!
Hubby dropped me off at around 11:30 am (event started at 11 am). First issue with the event, the GPS tells you you're at your destination at the entrance, which is true, BUT you still had to walk so far from there to get to the actual cruise terminal. I was so pissed that I seriously wanted to tell my husband halfway there to come back for me and drop me to the door! Like it was seriously almost a 10 minute walk as cars, cabs and Ubers drove past me. And I was wearing a denim jacket because my WeatherBug app said it would be chilly. So I was sweating but didn't want to take it off because it was part of my look (#firstworldproblems).
When I finally made it to the building I took a quick selfie at the step-and-repeat and headed inside.
|You see across the water almost to the middle? That's where the main entrance is and where I walked from!! This pic was taken near the terminal|
Oooh la la, so nice and airy in there. Huuuge space. It is a cruise terminal after all. I went straight to the registration section which was quick and painless and I was totally happy that I made the decision to do my nails Friday after work instead of doing the early registration for GenBeauty because I didn't need it. I was so torn deciding but had finally told myself that month-old nails in need of a refill was a beauty faux-pas that didn't go with the event so they had to be done, lol. I was also worried that getting there at the time that I did, it would have been a zoo since registration started at 9 am, but nope. A breeze and absolutely no line. I showed my ticket, got my lanyard and mini Sharpie to write my name on my tag and I was off.
|My selfie outside|
In that main area they had the Ipsy booth where you could pick a pouch designed by some of the Ipsy stylists. I chose one designed by Jaleesa Moses. The line for that wasn't bad at all either, and that's when I peeped that some chicks brought their husbands and boyfriends with them! Wth?? One lady said she and her husband flew in from Texas. That's when I realized that people also traveled for the event, I totally didn't even think of that! Cool! I think living in NYC where a lot happens I don't think about going to another state for events. These chicks were smart though, they got double the goodies by bringing their significant other who had no interest in makeup! Genius!! I couldn't do it though, my husband can't handle me in Target much less a makeup convention. He would shrivel up and die, but before that, give me the beast-face several times over. I'll pass. He still doesn't get my makeup passion.
Attached to our lanyard behind our name tag there was an event map with little perforated tickets along the edges that you had to remove for each booth to claim your free gift to eliminate double-dipping. It took me a minute to get used to that and I often got to the beginning of a line and was then scrambling to get the ticket out! In that main area there was also a female DJ, milky$hake, spinning tunes, she was phenomenal all weekend. I was straight up dancing many times during the day, even in the bathroom!
|My Jaleesa "be you" pouch|
The Quay Sunglasses booth was there too. At the time I didn't know what for (it's not beauty) but my friend put me on later and told me that Desi Perkins has shades with them. Okay. Except they weren't at discount or anything. So maybe not okay, ha. They definitely had a line though.
|Main area with milky$hake and the Ipsy booth|
Next was the first room of exhibitors (there were two not including the one with the DJ). I took a quick walk-through and was overwhelmed by the lining up situation. I only had The Makeup Show (TMS) to compare this to so I didn't know what to expect. At TMS, the lines weren't like that but then I quickly made the distinction that TMS is for industry people so they were busy with classes, buying product for their kits, etc, there are no meetups with social media makeup stars, or mobs of screaming teeny boppers. Omg, the screaming girls! That caught me off-guard for sure. These social media influencers are ROCK STARS! I'll be honest, I'm not into watching YouTube all day aimlessly looking at makeup or hair videos. I follow people but don't watch religiously. YT is my main research tool for makeup and hair purchases, that's it really. If I want a highlighter, I search on YT to see someone my complexion wearing it, same with wigs or extensions. I had to wrap my head around the fact that some of these girls literally idolize some of these figures and have some sort of personal connection with them. I couldn't get with it but I learned to kind of respect it by day 2.
|Sign before entering first room|
My first booth was Ofra Cosmetics. I lined up for my free lippie and Ofra-labeled lanyard then was told that they weren't selling anything when I asked. I was highly annoyed. Then I had a mild panic attack, were we only here to jump through hoops to get free products?? I'm too old for this. Turns out some were selling and some weren't. Phew. I like to at least have the option.
I had one person I wanted to meet and that was MakeupShayla and I succeeded. Her meetup was at the Estee Edit booth. I literally had my phone alarm set to remind me 1/2 hr before. I got there about 15 mins before and was good. She's absolutely awesome! She takes your phone and gets into the selfie...she even did an IG story for me, "Makeupshayla in the houuuse!" Super sweet. And how about the fact that she looks just as great in person as she does online? A friend of mine on Facebook almost asked me if I was posing with a real person until she read my caption!
|My view from the Ofra booth|
|The gorgeous MakeupShayla giving #face while I'm smiling ear to ear :||
|I caught on here|
Our IG story, lol
After that great experience I went to get my gift bag (it's massive, WOOHOO!) That was a fast and easy line. I anticipated mayhem. I then ran into my girl Keisha near the front door. She's a YT'er, Ipsy Creator, blogger, and just a sweet gyal from Barbados, so we click since my family is from Trinidad. She and I are the same when it comes to these kinds of events. We go by ourselves. For me, I don't like anyone holding me back when I'm ready to buy my tickets for an event that I'm truly interested in. I'm very much a "march to the beat of my own drum" kind of person, I can basically go anywhere by myself and just start talking to people and make friends. Hubby hates it. I was glad Keisha and I met up though because we hung out all weekend and had an awesome time because we're so similar. We checked out the Make Up Forever booth shortly after running into each other. That line was horrendous. We stood for a bit and chatted, I charged my phone, saw at least two pregnant girls in the line (one is due this Thursday!), someone who didn't blend her highlight properly, I fell asleep, no I didn't, but thankfully Keisha had the hook-up and knew one of the make up artists so we were able to skip the line right when I was fading. We had maybe waited for only 10 minutes before that happened mind you, but it felt like 10 hrs. I'm serious. Someone later said she waited 2 hrs in that line. What? And here I was right at the point when I was going to say, "Eff this, I'm out!" when we got in. Once there, we got to pick out a full-sized lipstick from their latest collection though, then have the box decorated by a graffiti artist. Unfortunately for me, their new range of lipsticks have macadamia nut oil in them, and I'm allergic to nuts. Can you imagine if I waited 2 hrs to find that out?? I still took the lipstick though, such a pretty color. And I chose a non-matte one! So proud of myself. Useless. After getting our lipstick we had to take pics with their backdrop and hashtag them on IG. They had a city brick/graffiti theme going on which was fun. That's one thing I forgot to mention, most brands wanted us to follow them and hashtag their brand in a selfie on social media to get our free gift. Fair enough. Most of them I was already following anyway since my IG is primarily makeup brands and makeup enthusiasts with the exception of a few. One issue was that the WiFi and general cell phone reception was a bit spotty due to location (near the water) so that wasn't always easy.
We finally ducked out to eat at around 4 pm. Where did the time go? By that point I was faint because I only had an Eggo waffle that morning and yes I was still wearing that damned denim jacket because I was cute okay?? Literally, I felt like I was going to faint while speaking to the Nudestix co-founder Taylor. I took the last sip of water I had and thought I really was going to pass out. She must have been wondering what was wrong with me. I even had to take my jacket off while she was talking because I was cold-sweating. She's a sweet girl by the way and their story is phenomenal...and she's Canadian like me! (<-- click link for my IG post with their story)
|Make Up For Ever booth|
|Taylor Frankel from Nudestix. As you can see, my jacket is off :||
Okay back to the food, Ipsy had about 6 food trucks lined up outside and when we got out there the lines were bananas! We settled for Gorilla Cheese because the line was short and I wasn't playing. We ate, drank, and felt better. No more hangriness. Went back in to finish off the day. Seriously, those lines tho', grrr, some of the big brands, you go and the line is closed, they tell you to come back, and every time you circle back, same deal (hello Jouer!) We did knock out Tarte and Too Faced right at the end though, which we didn't expect so that was good. I met Jen from Tarte and took a pic with her, she's so sweet. She does their makeup videos on Periscope, YouTube and I believe Snapchat. I must admit, I prefer Periscope over Snapchat. I was obsessed with another one of their gals, Maria, and asked about her because she hasn't done a video in months and she let me know that she left Tarte and is freelancing. I am able to rest now but, wahhhh. She was the closest in my complexion to even have an idea what certain Tarte shades would look like on me.
|Their photo booth|
Day 1 was a success with tons of goodies and we left about 1/2 hr before it ended to catch the NYX-sponsored shuttle to Borough Hall before it got too hectic. Quick easy ride, very grateful for that service.
|Jen from Tarte|
More pics from day 1:
|The Too Faced selfie booth ring lighting was ON! GLOW BABY!|
|#OOTD @ the Too Faced booth|
|@ Ipsy wall|
Keisha and I had said on Saturday that we were going to get there early on Sunday to hit up Bare Minerals and Cover FX. GAME ON! Yeahhhh that didn't happen, we got there at 11:30 am. Still good time though. We also both made sure to eat big breakfasts at home first! We went to CoverFX first and got our free mini Custom Enhancer Drops (I got Moonlight) and then Bare Minerals for our free FULL SIZED barePRO Performance Wear Powder Foundation compact! Score! They ran out of the barePRO Core Coverage brush on Saturday. Boo. The rest of the day we did the regular thing, line up, snap pics and chase Jouer *rolleyes* We were literally only successful with them about 45 mins before the event ended!! We didn't get to IT Cosmetics or H2O+ Skincare because we kept doing the line tango and missing them. And we heard they were giving out a great products too. Oh well. We also didn't do NYX but weren't pressed because the line was always cray and to be honest, I love them, but got enough at TMS and their Kings Plaza grand opening. We saw Patrick Starr (who I met and took a selfie with at the NYX opening), Manny MUA, Kathleenlights, Desi and Lustrelux, and other people we didn't know but could tell they were "someone". Another disappointment for me, while in the Laneige line a young lady told us that Ofra was selling product that day (remember they weren't on Saturday) and she got the Rodeo Drive highlighter for $10!!! What?! It's $35 online! I never bought it because I don't really need it for $35 even with a coupon code, but for $10 I'd get it! It's apparently a dupe of the highly coveted MAC Whisper of Gilt highlighter. I went to the booth to speak to someone about it because I didn't want to line up again, just purchase, and it had sold out! They only brought a handful. And she wasn't nice about it either, she told me to buy it online. Thanks genius. After that we charged our phones for a bit at the charging station in the first room with the DJ and I sat down for the first time since getting there. It was around 2:30 pm or so (time really flies at these events). My back, omg, help. I can't stand for too long without back pain from my Scoliosis. It's still hurting as I am typing here hours later. I took the opportunity as I was sitting on the stairs by the DJ platform to compliment her and take a pic with her. She's super sweet and humble.
|Keisha and I|
Before going back in, we witnessed a total fangirl moment when Manny left the building. Girls were screaming and following him with his security. They had been standing outside the door where the talent was (do we call them that?) waiting to see someone! I can't. We finished up the day pretty satisfied... And tired. We took the shuttle again and headed home, except this time the driver we had took a long way, *sigh*
Pics from day 2:
|Sunday's gift bag on the left, Saturday on the right|
|Desi Perkins and Lustrelux|
|Kathleenlights @ Ofra|
|Patrick Starr and Manny MUA @ Benefit|
|Day 2 #OOTD|
|Keisha and I|
All in all it was a great event once you accept that there are lines and you have to deal with them. At least they're a good way to meet people and converse. Most brands gave out full-sized or deluxe-sized product with the exception of Hourglass. Seriously guys? You gave out a one-use sample of your primer and called it a day? The same one I got many times from Sephora.com free with purchase? Like the packet you have to rip open to squeeze product from?! Wow. Highly disappointed. E.l.f ran out of their free gifts early both days. Also didn't make sense to me but they weren't a priority for us anyway because let's face it, they're cost-efficient. I only made a few purchases, a 2-brush set from Royal Langnickel, lashes from Tarte and Joeur's new lip topper, Tan Lines, since I already have Skinny Dip.
The main thing I would say Ipsy has to work on for next year is the water and refreshment situation. No bottled water inside or even a granola bar if you wanted one (no nuts though guys, I'm allergic, haha!) It could have been the venue and certain restrictions, I'm not sure. I guess I'm used to events like NY Fashion Week where there are buckets of sponsored drinks and snacks everywhere. They didn't even have to be sponsored at GenBeauty, but for sale inside at least, or vending machines maybe? The food truck idea was cute but seriously, if you wanted a water you had to go outside, line up, and pay like $4 for a bottle at a truck, which they quickly ran out of I heard. Let me tell you, Keisha and I learned for day 2. I joked Saturday evening on IG with her that I would bring a cooler filled with food and drinks, ha! Also, they could have noted on the website along with the shuttle and parking information that there was a long walk from the entrance to the cruise terminal and/or to drive all the way in for drop-offs. Other than that, I don't have any other complaints, the bathrooms were clean with no lines, there were phone charging stations, the registration and gift bag distribution were flawless, the staff and line control were good, and they had some seating. Actually, they could have had a couple more areas with couches. Or beds!
I would go back next year, I'm thinking with positive feedback it can only get better, right?
I'll do a separate post with what I got from each vendor and my experience with them. I seriously got a lot of loot. Maybe I'll do an un-boxing on YT! Whaaaaat?! :O
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