Indie Beauty is ‘Adit’ Again: The world’s premier showcase for emerging beauty brands returns to Los Angeles
Beauty trade shows are back and better than ever. The Indie Beauty Expo began small and uber-niche. By early 2020 it had become the most anticipated and possibly influential beauty trade show in the country. As we all know, three months into 2020 everything came to a grinding halt, including events that can make or break emerging brands and entrepreneurs. The beauty industry was hit especially hard and there were few product launches outside of hand sanitizers.
This past November 3rd & 4th saw the dawn of a new beauty era and the emergence of not only new indie beauty brands but the entire show format. Now re-branded as Adit Live, the show returned to downtown Los Angeles (New York and London are also scheduled for 2023) after a three-year hiatus and considerable changes in beauty industry culture, innovation, and yield. While past shows were often very crowded with buyers, press, industry professionals, and consumers browsing a maze of vendors in a large showroom, this year’s event was scaled down to a more intimate and focused level and purpose.
Gone were the designated hours open to the public and beauty industry practitioners. Adit Live is now strictly for brands to meet with buyers, representatives, and invited media to connect to prospective retail outlets and resources to better grow their brand and marketing strategies. This allowed buyers from major outlets, including Ulta, Credo, Detox Market, and Neiman Marcus among others, to spend quality time with vendors to discuss opportunities and partnerships minus the chaos of a large crowd.
While we come with little to no crystal ball of what to expect, each year the trends seem to reveal themselves without fail. What was big news one year, can literally disappear the next. This year was no exception, especially after an extended absence.
Before we catalog what we saw, we should give mention to what we didn’t. The first noticeable omission was CBD-infused products, which is a 360º from the last show in 2019 which was awash with CBD tinctures and skincare. What became of them we’re uncertain, but we know there are a lot of challenges for CBD brands who wish to enter mainstream retail, plus a possible poorer-than-expected resonance with consumers. The other glaring absence was K-Beauty. In past years, the aisles overflowed with Korean brands passing out sheet masks like Halloween candy. We noticed only two brands represented this year, the very successful TIRTIR, which featured their new Rosemary One line, and the clean and vegan entry Manyo. Both brands favor a more mature approach to packaging and image, as we did not see a single product with the words “bouncy,” or “jelly,” nor animated graphics.