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Forewarning: I’m finishing up this post while stranded at Ronald Reagan Airport for the 7th hour after my 24 hour flight delay due to inclement weather. Kindly excuse any extraordinary negativity regarding travel, any airlines in particular (not naming any names– for fun, let’s just call one “Southwest”), or cold weather in general. My two blogger besties, Ashley Brooke and Mash Elle, and I headed to Los Angeles for the Generation Beauty by ipsy 2016 conference two weekends ago, and since I’ve been receiving a handful of awesome questions about our experience, I figured I’d just recap the whole downtown LA adventure as a whole (you can also check out my Santa Monica and Laguna Beach recap, too).
Let me start out by saying that I don’t consider myself to be a beauty blogger; I’ve just never really had an interest in very many facets of the industry. Maybe I’m jaded from the years I spent in pageantry; who knows? When the girls mentioned the Generation Beauty by ipsy conference, I was unenthused to say the least. When they mentioned we could spend 5 days together in Los Angeles, my tune changed a bit. I accepted the conference invite with a few conditions– 1. I wanted In-N-Out as soon as we landed, 2. I wanted an entire rainbow of Lette macarons, and 3. I wanted the opportunity to have dinner with a few of my favorite West Coast bloggers (Visions of Vogue, Boho Nouveau, and By Brittani Lauren specifically). All 3 of these terms were met, starting with In-N-Out at approximately 1 in the morning– 4AM Eastern Time. But before diving into the specifics of our west coast adventure, here’s an awkward airport selfie.
After somewhat adjusting to the Pacific Coast time change, we did some exploring around downtown LA, which quickly turned into a massive shopping expedition, to kill time before the Generation Beauty by ipsy cocktail reception at ipsy Open Studios in Santa Monica.
When we finally arrived at the Generation Beauty by ipsy cocktail party, we were all confused about the very long line that nearly wrapped around the entire not-so-nice office building. We actually did a few drive by laps to try to get our bearings on whether or not we were at the right party and/or why the heck the place was so crowded. The answer? The swag bags. The event was invite-only, in contrast to the actual two-day conference being open to the public, and only the first 400 attendees received the highly coveted ipsy goody bag. We jumped in line with adorable Teresa of Money Can Buy Lipstick and somehow managed to fight off enough girls to each get a “raffle ticket,” which obviously represented a swag bag. We also succeeded in snapping a few super cute photos.
This may sound like a joke, but the rest of the cocktail party is a bit of a blur. A fire marshal would’ve lost his mind had he seen how many bodies were squeezed into such a tiny, loud, and strobe light-lit human shoebox. As with every situation, the ever-so-optimistic Ashley and Mash convinced me and my pessimism to make the best of it, so we ended up scarfing down some hors d’oeuvres, having one cocktail each, and tactfully maneuvering our way out of the mob. We were all very much looking forward to networking with brands and (more importantly) fellow bloggers, but there was literally no way anyone could’ve held a legitimate conversation in the provided atmosphere, which was kind of a huge bummer.
So… the swag bags. Were they worth the sacrifice of a perfectly good Friday night and acceptable amount of personal space? As much as it pains me to say, yes they were– or at least according to Ashley and Michelle they were. I really can’t tell you what a fancy, extra strength tube of mascara is worth. I’m much more in tune with hair products, and I’m actually looking forward to trying and/or utilizing quite a few of the full-sized products gifted in the swag bags.
The actual Generation Beauty by ipsy conference took place across from the LA convention center on Saturday and Sunday, and similarly to the cocktail party, you were not allotted a whole heck of a lot of personal space. Due to my propensity for fainting in warm crowded spaces (more unpleasant memories at Ronald Reagan Airport), we fueled accordingly with a scrumptious brunch at Ford’s Filling Station.
And then it was time to conference it up. If the below photograph is any indication, the place was nuts. There was so many wonderful brands (brand I actually know) in attendance, yet even the majority of the LINES to chat with brand representatives were closed– as in there was so many people in line that they had to limit who could actually wait in a given space. Disney doesn’t even do that, and it was heartbreaking. We were lucky enough to chat for a while with the lovely ladies of Pixie, but other than that, I really can’t recall speaking in detail with anyone else. I desperately wanted to chat with Make Up For Ever, NYX, and Ardell– yet our attempts to even get in line were futile. Such a disappointment. For next year, I highly recommend that ispy either limits the number of potential attendees or dramatically increases the intensity of every participating brand’s presence.
Since we were pretty much bummed across the board, we made sure to leave on the happiest note possible– with lunch and (emphasis on) dessert at Bottega Louie in downtown LA.
Would I go back to LA with Ashley and Michelle? I can, and I have. Would I go back to Bottega Louie multiple times in the aforementioned trip? Absolutely. Would we go back to Generation Beauty by ipsy? Probably not. Did anyone else go to the conference this year? What were your thoughts? Maybe the Southern Blog Society, which hosted a baller SBSCon in Charleston, made us conference snobs or something. I’m curious!
PS- My flight is allegedly departing in 45 minutes. Crossing my fingers and saying a prayer simultaneously like a weirdo! Feel free to do the same.