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.

The Trends

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 Ma. Myo. 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.

O Canada’

While this year’s show included brands from every corner of the globe–including Mongolia–Canada made quite an impression as a leader in clean and innovative skincare. 

Ember Wellness – A brand of radical transparency. Low-ingredient formulations, such as their two-ingredient face oils, promote simplicity and efficacy. Their soon-to-be-released Aura Bar is a moisturizer and Gua Sha in one that is sure to be a game-changer and huge success.

Om Organics–Incorporating traditional herbal ingredients into modern and customized formulations. Meticulously crafted from their Vancouver, BC warehouse, the vegan and organic products are elegantly packaged and surprisingly affordable for products of this quality.

United & Free–Leaping Bunny certified and BIPOC-founded, United & Free products are free of water and anything remotely toxic or wasteful. Transparently conscious, their Softening Balm is the superhero product for women or men to repair dry or inflamed skin from head to toe. Works on beards, too!

Luna Nectar – Luna Nectar is a dermatologist-tested and trichologist-approved brand that helps to restore stressed-out hair and skin back to balance using the power of science-backed adaptogens. Formulated with an average of 80% naturally occurring actives to produce quicker, visible results, they offer the first-ever waterless Hair Density Serum and Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum.

Global Influences

From Morocco to India, these brands employ local and ancient formulations that have kept women looking beautiful for centuries if not millennia.

marocMaroc–A luxury Moroccan brand that is taking Europe by storm invites you to bring the Hamman home for an indulgence like no other. Native natural ingredients unapologetically pamper skin with the fabled secrets of a Moroccan bathing ritual. An Allure France award-winner.

Love, Indus–A premium brand that applies cutting-edge technology to revive and revitalize with hyper-local, precious ingredients and practices from the Indian subcontinent; Some lost, some forgotten, and some that are yet to be discovered and harnessed outside their regional bastions.

Shaeri–An award-winning multicultural haircare brand, with clean, vegan formulas developed in Paris, France. Shaeri links French beauty science with ancestral Moroccan beauty secrets, using the power of the Moroccan desert prickly pear oil. An Allure Best of Beauty winner.

Urban Veda -The Urban Veda range (that has won over 134 awards) has been formulated using over 200 natural ingredients and the principles of Ayurveda in a relevant way for 21st-century skin care complaints to ‘pollution-proof’ skin, leaving it less vulnerable to the environment.

Mora Glam–A WOC-owned cosmetics brand made for all beauty lovers, no matter their skin tone. They are not only clean, but halal compliant, vegan, and eco-friendly.

Lhamour–Committed to making a positive social change in Mongolia and around the world every step of the way. From where they source their raw materials to employing the marginalized to giving back to the communities and the environment.

Sun Coast–The brand may be based in Texas, but its line of organic body scrubs will transport you to your favorite exotic destination. Sun Coast blends all-natural Himalayan Pink Salt and organic Golden Jojoba with the highest quality ingredients to create a fresh, clean, never-too-oily feeling infused with intoxicating, travel-inspired essences that will beautify both your body and soul.

Up-cycled and Beyond

It’s not enough to just recycle or package a cream with pleasant ingredients. These brands go above and beyond to upcycle, leave zero waste, and formulate products with revolutionary production techniques.

AllWell Beauty – A leader in the sustainable beauty movement. They make the best use of Mother Nature’s resources for effective skincare. They have developed a patented technology called Plantrose® that uses only water, heat, and pressure to turn undervalued plant materials into powerful active ingredients found exclusively in their clinically proven skincare products. Plantrose® technology has won a Presidential Green Chemistry Award and Edison Award.

Earth Harbor–The only plant-based beauty brand founded by a toxicologist and also the first to be certified carbon-neutral and plastic-negative. Known as the “ethical skincare ecosystem”, the products are consciously crafted in-house and offer line-wide plastic-free packaging and refills

Kusum–The first luxury organic skincare line built on the pillars of nature. Waterless and crafted using a combination of pure ingredients to preserve their natural effects, Kusum products boast up to 100% natural, organic ingredients preserved with bio-based natural preservatives. Green America and Leaping Bunny certified with a low carbon footprint.

Butter & Me–Founded in 2020 with a focus on both clean & green elements. They source high-quality all-natural ingredients and are dedicated to reducing plastic waste in landfill by creating innovative, fun, and solid shape skincare products. 

Plaine Products–Refill, re-use, and rejoice in the freedom of never wasting a plastic shampoo or conditioner bottle again. For the Planet, Leaping Bunny, and B Corporation Certified.

Aremes Fermentis–Known for its unique process of phytofermentation and integrating bio-active ingredients in each product. The combined use of fermented ingredients and a wide range of botanicals create multi-correctional products that tailor especially to skin health and what skin is missing from a nutritional aspect.

The Organic Skin Co. – A New Zealand-based skincare and makeup brand, has products not only made with organic and clean ingredients but CO2 extractions, a technology that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull the desired phytochemicals from plants, resulting in more concentrated, whole, and pure ingredients than conventional extractions. And, all of this in next-generation sustainable packaging.

Modern Legacies

A prominent and satisfying trend was the return of heritage brands at the forefront of natural and/or organic before it as a ‘thing.’ Plus, the heir of a 17th-century French apothecary revives and reinvents a European tradition.

Olivier Midy–An epicurean, multi-correctional face oil created by the oldest pharmaceutical family in the world started in France in 1718. Powered by 18 seed oils and plant extracts, the formula is updated to combine the best of past and present techniques. Genderless, vegan, and plant-based.

evanhealy–A bona fide pioneer in organic beauty. They showed the newcomers how it’s done and paved the way.  Certified Organic, pure, plant-based skincare products sourced from sustainable raw materials directly from small family growers and women’s coops around the world. This fall, evanhealy introduced its first collection of color cosmetics.

Borghese–Remember what it was like to get a skin and color consultation in a department store or the glamour of a vanity table with signature glass jars? The ladies from Borghese brought it back while showcasing the brand’s new formulations and updated packaging. With a legacy of over 60 years rooted in the therapeutic benefits of Roman spa culture and the trailblazing entrepreneurship of Princess Marcella Borghese, each product is specifically formulated to give you the royal treatment.

Rhug Wild Beauty–Rhug Farm in Wales has existed since the 10th century and operated by the same family since 1637. That’s a long time to practice and perfect organic farming. Wild Beauty founder Lord Newborough is the estate’s eighth baron. He has transformed Rhug Estate into a thriving and diverse business and recognized brand embracing farming, green energy, retail, wholesale, and most recently, skincare. Since deciding to create a skincare collection, a dedicated and passionate team has been striving to create products that are as exceptional as they are beneficial, using sustainably sourced ingredients, including organic crops, wild forage, spring water, honey, and beeswax from the Estate. Rhug Wild Beauty is Cosmos Organic, Leaping Bunny, and halal certified.

Olverum–Another British original. Since 1931, Olverum has combined scientific expertise, a commitment to natural well-being, environmental responsibility, and superior knowledge of natural extracts to create sumptuous and effective treatments for the body, mind, and soul. Each bearing a unique fragrance profile, their multiple award-winning range of professional spa-standard products are painstakingly formulated in-house. Every ingredient is meticulously selected to ensure optimal beneficial effects both individually and in synergy and an ultimate sensation of indulgence.

About Adit Live

Adit Live is the premier trade show for retailers and brands who have their sights set on the goal of retail success. This industry-leading event draws together the most groundbreaking players in the beauty industry and provides a surge of opportunity for all. Attending Adit Live means joining a true community that connects with and inspires one another, exploring partnerships with the potential to ignite growth.