It's been a week since I attended my first BeautyCon in NYC and it was such a fun experience! BeautyCon is a 2 day beauty expo where you can meet brands, try samples, listen to panel discussions, take all the Insta-worthy photos and shop, shop, shop!

I spent about 2 hours on Saturday and 5 hours on Sunday checking out the event. I did not take full advantage of everything that was available, but I still had a great time. Because of the large venue and amount of vendors, it's best to come up with a game plan of places you absolutely want to check out first. For me, I wanted to check out brands I had never tried/heard of and spots with cute Insta-worthy displays.

Saturday I was on a time constraint so I mostly scanned the expo and checked out some lines that were moving quickly. The first booth I hit up was Aveda. How can you go wrong with a cherry tree display + a swing?! Aveda gave trial samples of their Cherry Almond body wash and lotion (which smell amazing in case you were wondering!)
Next I got an application of these Llui Llui gel nail stickers. They were so easy to apply and there was such a cute collection of colors/prints. BeautyCon was the brand's debut so it was exciting to be one of the first to try them out.
After getting the lay of the land, I was more strategic on Sunday. I really wanted to get my hair done by Sexy Hair, so that was at the top of my list. I loved the cute festival styles they were doing. The line was long and slow but they did a great job. In addition to their cute styling station, they were giving full sized glitter hair sprays, which are a fun festival/summer detail.
I quickly browsed some of the other booths. Target has such a cute display based on astrological signs (I'm a sucker for that) and were giving out clear shoppers. Love Beauty Planet (one of my fav brands) had the coolest display where if you recycled anything, they gave you a free product and tote. I was curious about Sol de Janeiro (I've heard great things about their Bum Bum Cream) and they were giving out little samples.

I was actually surprised by some of the large brands that didn't give anything out. Overall, I thought most brands were going for the Instagrammable moments/photo opps rather than product.

Interested in attending this type of event, but don't know what to expect? While this my first time attending an expo as a guest, a few years ago I volunteered at GenIpsy and I worked both The Well Summit and FounderMade while at a previous job. I've picked up a few tips here and there and wanted to share them with you.
Tips For Navigating Expos

Attend the first day of the expo for the best bang for your buck.
The best deals/giveaways/samples will be available on the first day. I know brands that were giving our product on the first day were not doing so on Sunday. Additionally, I noticed another brand have games to win product on Saturday and Sunday they were strictly selling.

Bring a friend!
This was the first time that I went solo and while I still had a good time, I didn't enjoy everything, especially all of the amazing photo opps, as much as I would've if I went with a friend.

Don't wear heels.
Of course you want to look cute, but heels are not the best option to spend an 8 hour day on concrete floors.

If you're looking for free product, hit up the big brands first.
Brands like Maybelline, CVS, and Sally Beauty were giving out free product whereas smaller brands were not. Be prepared for the long lines though.

But, experiences are worth more.
Samples/product is great, but things that you can't buy elsewhere are worth more in my opinion! I loved getting my hair done by Sexy and I noticed another brand doing the cutest caricatures! Again, the lines were super long, but I would recommend hitting these experiences first.

People are going to sell to you.
I knew that this was going to be true for many of the booths I visited. I had the worst experience with one of the hair tool brands that was at BeautyCon. The man I was speaking with literally had a hissy fit when I didn't immediately buy a $300 straightener that he tried to sell me after after curling 2 pieces of hair, so he stomped off. So unprofessional, and I don't think I'd buy from this brand no matter how good their product is. This was a rare occurrence, but keep in mind that many of booths are only there to sell product.

Be polite.
This is such a simple thing, but I can't tell you how many times I came across a rude attendee. Kindness goes a long way and may even get you more freebies.

Feel free to comment below, email me or DM me on Insta if you have any other questions! If you've attended an expo before, I'd love to know your thoughts!

Thanks to BeautyCon for having me as a guest! All opinions shared above are my own.