Hello fellow nail polish lovers! If you follow along on my Instagram you would have seen that a few weeks ago I hopped a big train and made the journey from Ottawa to Toronto to cover the second annual Indie Expo Canada – the place where someone like me (and you) feels they’ve died and entered polish nirvana. I attended last year (you can read all about it here and here) and yet somehow Pam and her amazing team upped the ante and blew last year’s event out of the water!! Have no fear, if you couldn’t attend read on, because I have all the deets (and the pics!) for you below!
I’m going to take you around as if you were actually there with me, sporting some cute nails and carrying a bag of V.I.P goodies!!!
And if you were on the fence on whether you need the V.I.P bag, allow me to convince you that yes. Yes you do. Not only do you gain early access to the event, you get the cute tote and a bunch of special goodies (many are V.I.P bag exclusives!):
Girly Bits Cosmetics
When you first walk in you are greeted by the lovely Girly Bits Cosmetics team – here is Pam Heil, owner of Girly Bits and the driving force behind this entire event!
So many beauties!!!!
Girly Bits had a new collection launching called the Bridal Bliss Collection (it will be available online soon, stay-tuned for my full swatch and review), and they had three new polishes for their Concert Series (below) which are all inspired by bands that Pam has seen live in concert. As well, if you bought 5 polishes you got to choose either a Girly Bits tumbler or a mystery polish – they were wrapped up in bubble wrap but every one was a OOAK or an overpour of a LE polish.
Beyond the Nail
I turned around and was greeted by the lovely Krysten and Maddy of Beyond the Nail – they are from the Toronto area and brought with them their beautiful Soft Neon Collection and a huge selection of nail vinyls and decals!
Next to them we have Canvas Lacquer – another Toronto-based brand!
Last year I bought the most beautiful cuticle oil that had actual rose buds in it! This year they had a few new products – they had their cuticle oils now available in a roller ball format (while I love the glass nail polish bottle for cuticle oil when I’m at home, the roller balls are great for on-the-go cuticle care), along with a new body-shimmer line that’s good for your skin! Perfect to get that subtle beachy glow this summer.
Oh and they had lots of gorgeous polishes too. 🙂
Bee’s Knees Lacquer
Newcomer Bee’s Knees Lacquer were a joy to talk to! Yes I purposely included Mr.Bee’s Knees in this pic. He was smiling right before I snapped this pic I promise! They were all rocking their awesome holo shirts. I really enjoy how passionate Sarah, an ex-teacher, is about finding environmentally-friendly and sustainable ingredients for her polishes – it sure shows in her innovative use of flakies, magnetic, and holo (sometimes all of the above!).
There may have been some subliminal messaging going on too. 🙂
Returning to Indie Expo this year is Sammy and Mr. Sammy (not pictured – what’s that about!!!!) from the proudly Canadian Cuter Cuticles. I was a long-time follower of Sammy’s nail account and I love how she branched out into the world of nail care and in a way that really hadn’t been done before! I mean don’t we all need bacon-vanilla milkshake cuticle oil? I suddenly feel like I need it right this second!
I’m such a massive fan of her barrier butters and cuticle oils that all of my co-workers got them in their stockings this past Christmas!
She also does a lot of fun body care like mani bombs (something I am vowing right now to start using – I suddenly feel like I’ve been missing out!) and foot soaks. Her Indie Expo Canada exclusive was a cuticle oil, barrier butter, and totally exclusive lip gloss in her most popular Lemon Cupcake scent (pictured above in the yellow organza bags!) I’ve also been hearing great things about her acetone additive.
It was also her Birthday!!! Happy Birthday Sammy!
Clionadh Cosmetics are a Canadian sister duo! Both recent grads (one a Graphic Designer, one a Scientist), they decided to take on a passion project after school, and the rest is history.
Their cosmetics are true works of art and are cruelty-free, vegan, talc and paraben-free. Did I mention they are highly pigmented and GORGEOUS??
Ever After Polish
Ever After Polish is a returning Indie Expo Vendor. They brought a gorgeous assortment of polishes and wax melts this year:
They also had these awesome lip balms and holo stickers that made me say “take my monies please!!!”
And to top it all off, they had a super super LE duo collab with Rogue Lacquer:
I didn’t get one but congrats to those who did!
Alter Ego Body Care Products
I missed everyone at the Alter Ego table but I did snap some pics of all of their gorgeous offerings:
Cynthia has the most unique bottles I’ve ever seen! I’ve never owned any Alter Ego polish and I’m very excited to try the one in my V.I.P bag! They also do a lot of cuticle and body care.
Turtle Tootsie Polishes
Newcomers to Indie Expo, Turtle Tootsie Polishes is a US-based maker that launched on Etsy in 2015. They brought a wide variety of gorgeous polishes and heaps of various body care.
Native War Paints
Native War Paints made it back to Toronto for Indie Expo all the way from Michigan – with their newest addition in tow!
They had an Event Trio available along with some great discounted polishes and their magnetic neons!
My Indie Polish
I was SO excited to see Tanya from My Indie Polish at Indie Expo!! Tanya is someone I’ve crossed paths with many times online, she is very interactive within the nail community and of course she makes gorgeous Canadian polishes! When I finally saw her I got a great big hug and it was like two friends being reunited after years! Such a lovely person. I’m very excited to use her polishes!
I loved hearing her talk about how she has many passion projects, nail polish, wax melts, sewing – I’m sort of the same way (although not as talented!!!)
Fiendish Fancies is a brand that is inspired by horror in film and television. I had a great talk with owner and creator Lara Catherine about Margaret Atwood, one of my favourite authors (from way back in the ’80’s) because she is a fan as well, in fact one of her latest collections is inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale.
I love how cohesive all of her polishes are and really appreciate her aesthetic as a whole. Being a huge Halloween fan, and a massive fan of old horror movies (think Vincent Price in movies based on Edgar Allen Poe short stories), Fiendish Fancies is right up my alley!
Paint it Pretty Polish
This was Paint it Pretty‘s first time to Indie Expo Canada, and I really hope they’ll be back!
They had a massive selection of polishes! Those neons though! They had two Limited Edition event polishes and a V.I.P bag exclusive. I can’t wait to swatch and review some of their beauties for you!
Colors By Llarowe
One of the originals in the indie polish world came back for round two of Indie Expo and they did not disappoint! Colors By Llarowe (or CBL) was there with their beautiful colour-changing display – it really showcases the gorgeous polishes that accompanied it. Leah Ann and Bea were running about as always!
There was a stunning V.I.P exclusive in the bag that I just can not WAIT to use. She also had 3 event Limited Editions. CBL is launching hand and body care July 2018!
I’ve seen LynB Designs around the indie scene for a while now so it was really nice seeing all of those gorgeous polishes in person!
LynB Designs is another Michigan-based company!
Green Glitter is a Canadian company that was started by two Canadian performance artists! One of the concerns with the heavily glittered makeup used by people in the arts industries is the fact that it isn’t environmentally friendly. Green Glitter is made from sustainably-sourced eucalyptus! The glitter itself is made in the UK but ships from Canada. The best part is it is compostable, digestible by micro-organisms, and biodegrades in sea water. It’s also gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Although Rogue Lacquer may be new on the indie polish scene, its creator Rachel is far from new – she was one half of the duo behind Ever After Polish. When life took her across country, it was no longer feasible for her to continue with Ever After and thus Rogue Polish was born!!!
Rachel couldn’t attend in person this year (she was there last year with Ever After) but Trish from Inspired Sense had her back – check out their table below!
There were loads of beauties including the Spring Punk Collection:
And the Rogue / Ever After Duo was available here too! There was a wax melt from Rogue in the V.I.P bag which I’m very excited about. I predict sparkly things from Rogue Lacquer in the future!
Trish Pilon is the creative force behind Inspired Sense – talking to her you can just FEEL the passion coming through. Inspired Sense was born out of a need of Trish’s to find all natural products that would help with repairing and strengthening hand, body, & soul. It was very inspiring to talk to her about her brand so I must say her name is well-chosen.
Check out the Batman wax melt! And the apple-shaped bottle is Trish’s first ever polish (it’s called Poison Apple) and it’s gorgeous!
Such fun products and the thought and effort she puts into everything she does is admirable. I had such happy vibes talking to her – everybody needs a Trish in their lives!
Terrah Essentials is a Missisauga-based company that make beautiful and natural body and hair products.
I was especially interested in their natural dry shampoos which you just shake into your rootline and smell sooo good!
Fair Maiden Polish made it back to Indie Expo this year and they did not disappoint! They couldn’t attend in person but Rebecca showed off the pretties for us!
They had a few new collections showcased including one inspired by Roller Derby!
SoGa Artisan Soaperie
Every time I see SoGa’s set-up I feel as though I’ve wandered into some Parisian bakery. Not only are their soaps, bath bombs, and body care all natural and great-smelling, they are true works of art!
On top of all of these fabulous vendors, amazing people, and wonderful products, Indie Expo had many other incredible things going on; a photo booth, a speaker’s panel, live music (from the super talented Jen Knight and Jeff Fab), and tutorial tables, just to name a few:
It also hosted the Paint It Forward fundraising initiative again – there were silent auctions with items donated by a huge amount of generous people:
100% of the proceeds from the silent auctions will go to the Sinai Health Foundation in Toronto. Last year $1857 was raised and donated to the Mount Sinai Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre! I’m excited to see what we raise this year. The indie nail community as a whole is so generous and I love seeing everyone come together like this.
So that wraps up my long recap of my day at Indie Expo in Toronto. I hope you had a cup of coffee or three! It was such a magical day and writing this post just brought back all of those good feelings. Thank you makers for taking the time to talk to your fans. Thank you fellow-bloggers and indie nail (and other indie products) enthusiasts for being so awesome to talk to. And thank you Pam and team for pulling us all together like this. I hope to be back next year!! Perhaps you will too?