Welcome readers to my third Indie Expo event coverage post! Indie Expo Canada 2019 took place in Toronto August 17th and 18th and I was blessed to be asked back to cover the event. Not only that, I had the honour of hosting a fluid nail art tutorial table! More on that later!
Stay tuned for A LOT of photos!
This year there were many returning indie brands but also a LOT of new faces! One of the most amazing things about this event is the way we can connect with each other. I love talking to makers (aka creators), especially as I’ve often been using their brands for years. On the flip side, an event like this gives us access to many brands we maybe wouldn’t have tried (hello Canadian dollar and shipping costs? Ouch!). Let’s look at the vendors who attended this year.
Alter Ego came with loads of gorgeous nail polishes, body care, and even pet care products! I couldn’t catch everyone in one go:
I eventually caught Cynthia Decker, owner of Alter Ego – she was jetting all over the place! I asked Cynthia what keeps her coming back to Indie Expo all the way from Wisconsin. Her answer? “The Experience.” LOVE!
Bee’s Knees Lacquer was back for Indie Expo with a brand new bottle and logo. I asked Sarah about their rebrand and she said that the original bottle and logo were never her true vision. They also had some shipping challenges with the bottles, experiencing occasional breakage. So her hubby re-designed the logo (and it’s awesome!) and they launched with a new round bottle. I’m a fan! I was before but the new look is pretty eye-catching! Another reason I’m a huge fan of BKL is their enviro-conscious approach to their polishes – they even use non-polluting glitters made of sediment.
They had nail care too!
And some sweet merch:
I wish I’d bought that orange shirt!!!! I blame all the pretties for distracting me.
Clionadh Cosmetics is back for their third year at Indie Expo and they brought so many beauties with them! They are known for crazy gorgeous pigmented dimensional palettes. Their 55-piece Stained Glass has become a hot item and to see it in person was something. They also sell gorgeous brushes and jewellery, and OG YouTuber Shane Dawson recently featured their brush set on his Instagram story!
Crystal Knockout is new on the Indie polish scene and this was their first year attending Indie Expo! We hope they’ll come back next year with these pretties!
Cuter Cuticles was back for the third time with their iconic nail care products – and they debuted their brand new Cuticle Care Cream which is a lighter, faster-absorbing formula! Sammy was on the run so the ever helpful Mr. Sammy answered my questions – Cuter Cuticles was born when Sammy wanted some extra polish spending money for herself – and the rest is history!
And while she has become a recognizable figure in the indie polish world, so has her husband! People are as excited to see him as her – he even has his own custom Mr. Sammy shirt.
Dream of Glitter is another relatively new indie brand and this was their first year attending!!! Chelsea is from Ontario and brought some real beauties (including skin and body care, and wax melts!)
Easter Mia was born when nail esthetician Mia wanted a safe, cruelty-free, vegan brand to use on her clients. They shared a booth with Flirtin’ at their first Indie Expo!
It was Ethereal Lacquer’s first Indie Expo attendance and sadly, the Canadian Border decided it needed to keep all those pretties safe over the event weekend!!! Ethereal and Indie Expo acted on the fly and were able to ensure everyone attending had a way to get the polishes on their wishlists. There were still lots of pretties to admire and I hope to see them back!
This was Flirtn’s first year at Indie Expo and I was pretty wowed by their polishes! Flirtn’ is a Virginia-based brand.
Pam of Girly Bits Cosmetics is the organizer of Indie Expo and she had a LOT to see (and buy!) at the Girly Bits table!! She also premiered the Misheard Lyrics collection, check out my swatches of them HERE!
Thank you Pam for everything you do!
Great Lakes Lacquer is back! They attended the first Indie Expo and we are so happy to have them here for the third. I love her logo – in fact my eldest’s computer sports the GLL sticker I got from the first Indie Expo!
There was even a Great Lakes Lacquer / Rogue Lacquer duo!
Katie of Harlow & Co. (and her hubby) came this year representing indie brand KBShimmer! I’ve been shopping at Harlow & Co. for years and KBShimmer was my first indie polish order (along with Girly Bits, how funny!) from Katie. It’s always great seeing her and the beauties she brought were something else!!!!
And if you’re ever shopping KBShimmer from Harlow & Co., Katie has so kindly given me a discount code so that you, my readers, can save 10%!!! Just enter code JENNY10 at checkout – it applies to all KBShimmer products.
Hit the Bottle, an Australian 5-free indie stamping polish brand, was at Indie Expo again being represented by US-based stockist Beautometry! There were not only polishes but beautiful stampers and nail art tools!
Lollipop Posse Lacquer attended their first Indie Expo this year. They came with loads of beautiful polishes!
LynBDesigns was represented last year, but this year Jennalyn attended in person! She had a wide variety of polishes, jewellery, and wax melts!
Paint it Pretty polish was back and better than ever! Sherri brought with her loads of gorgeous polishes, including a charity polish (which I promptly purchased – $4.00 of every bottle sold of Go For It will be donated to the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation).
Rogue Lacquer came and brought the rainbow with them! Happy Rainbows Collection that is!!! Along with heaps of other beautiful polishes and amazing-smelling goodies!
SoGa Artisan Soaperie was back with their amazing-smelling and enviro-conscious bath and body products!!!! They truly are works of art!
The Nail Bazaar made their first visit and brought with it the cutest nail polish! Something about their branding I just find so darling. I’ve been hearing really good things about them too! They launched their summer collection at Indie Expo.
UberChic Beauty was there with plates and plate accessories galore! I may have bought a few. Some of them may have been Halloween-themed. Most of them were Halloween-themed. I’m sure we aren’t shocked 🙂
Zombie Claw attended for the first time and their brand is right up my alley – I can’t wait to try them!
As you can see there were loads of amazing brands at this year’s event, with an amazing range of indie wares. There is always so much more to the event though! On the Saturday there was a polish-making event led by many of the indie polish makers, where participants got to make their own custom Indie Expo polishes. There was a social event Saturday night as well! Sadly I could only attend Sunday. Aside from the shopping portion, there was a speaker’s panel and three tutorial tables set up!
Here is a shot of my table, pre-tutorial:
The tutorial events were sponsored by Girly Bits Cosmetics and NailStuff.ca and I did tutorials on fluid art all afternoon long! There were also tutorials on stamping, water marbeling, and free hand nail art. As a result I didn’t really get to take pictures once the doors opened to the public – check out the VIP early admission line!
The amazingly talented Jen Knight performed, setting the mood for the shoppers:
And there was Paint it Forward – thanks to the kind hearts (and donations) of makers and the attendees who bid, there are silent auctions to raise money for the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre.
That Helmer is filled with goodies!
Well I hope you enjoyed this year’s event coverage as much as I did attending it!! It really is an experience and I would recommend you put it on your radar for next year – you won’t be disappointed! Thank you to Pam and ALL of the organizers for all of their extremely hard work, and for the makers and attendees who come far and wide.
Visit Indie Expo Canada on their socials:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/IndieExpoCanada/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IndieExpoCanada/
Until next year, happy painting!