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Call it a sign of the times and perhaps a glimpse into the future of how people shop for beauty, or most things for that matter. Beautycon, the 5-year-old beauty-fueled festival that brands, influencers and fans flock to once a year in Los Angeles, New York and London, has popped up as the first Beautycon POP in the former Loehmann’s space nestled at the bustling corner of La Cienega and San Vicente boulevards.
Opening Friday, the location has received a serious update from dusty department store to a sprawling 25,000-square-foot, eight-room landscape of experiential scenarios ranging from a prism powder room to a Confidence Runway, plus a community hall, salon and retail store. No doubt everything is Instagram eye candy, with the option to play with and purchase practically every beauty product in sight.
“The evolution of retail has become about community centers and experiences,” says Moj Mahdara, founder and CEO of Beautycon, which is based in Hollywood.
“The brands that we chose for the shop were really about who is making a big impact in the indie beauty space. We went after strong, interesting female founders who have used social media and content to create a brand and marketplace for themselves,” says Mahdara. “Previously there was a lack of women and women of color in the industry. We continue to keep having conversations about the reinvention of beauty standards and a celebration of diversity.”
The array of indie brands represented — including L.A.-based companies DedCool, KNC Beauty and Anese, and Mented from New York — are not your mother’s Maybelline. And that’s a good thing.
From Anese, a line famous for its boob and butt scrubs with names taken from the creator’s text messages, to Mented, a highly pigmented line of nude lipsticks made in shades to suit women of color, the brands and experiences at Beautycon POP are the new face of the industry, which now demands transparency, inclusivity and diversity.
Judging by the overwhelming crowd that gathered at the event’s preview to hear a panel of beauty company founders speak and, of course, create hours of social media content for their feeds, Beautycon POP has captured the essence of how people expect to experience beauty right now.
“The rooms are meant to be fun and playful,” says Mahdara, “From the Confidence Runway, which is like our homage to Beyonce and puts you on a runway with fans blowing your hair, to the Big Mood Room, which is an homage to James Turrell and Drake, and everything that’s great about “Hotline Bling” and playing with light and energy. Every room is really driven around a mood. Culturally where we’re at, everyone’s looking to have some fun.”
Beautycon POP is located at 333 S. La Cienega Blvd. and is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 12 to 8 p.m. at $35 a ticket, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at $45 a ticket. The Beautycon SHOP is open during operating hours.
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