You probably already know this since I have not stopped talking about it for the last week or so. Indie Expo Canada was held at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto and was the first of what is hopefully many Indie Expo Canada dates to come. I was lucky enough to be part of the official press team so got to look around and meet the makers before it opened and things got crazy. I was also helping out at the show working alongside Cynthia at her Alter Ego table.
This is going to be long, so go grab a cuppa and get ready to read all about it!
Many of us were excited for the limited edition shades and shopping the non-Canadian brands where shipping often deters us from trying them out for the first time. But it was also amazing just meeting the faces behind the polishes. Many of us are in facebook groups together so “chat” but don’t really know each other. Lots of hugging and squealing and ooohing and ahhhing all day long!
Sadly, I could not make it on Saturday when they held a polish making workshop where you could make your own dream polish and some workshops/talks to help bloggers and makers alike. Next year, I will have to clear my schedule well in advance. And save a lot more money to spend, because I wanted everything.
Girly Bits Cosmetics
Walking into the Expo, you are greeted by a large Girly Bits display. If you are not aware, Girly Bits organized the event and it is the first of its kind in Canada so huge props to Pam and her team because the event was well organized (especially for the first one) and everyone seemed to really enjoy it, from the makers to the volunteers and especially the shoppers.
Girly Bits has one of the biggest assortment of nail products, both in her online store which also stocks other brands but also at Indie Expo Canada. On top of the polishes from other brands, UberChic and various other products she carries, Pam and her team make polishes, stamping polishes (the only ones I am aware of made in Canada), glitters powders and more.
Beyond The Nail
Next up was GTA based Beyond The Nail. Maddy, one of the owners, is a fellow Canadian Beauty Bloggers member so I was excited to meet her. Beyond The Nail released their new collection, Summer Galaxy 2.0 as well as two exclusive shades for the event. They also had a huge display of decals, vinyls and nail guides.
Another Toronto area maker, CANVAS Lacquer. Alana and Lan were lovely and I picked up a gorgeous thermal called Throwing Shade to try out since they are a new to me brand so watch out for swatches soon! Making polish since 2014, CANVAS is even used for services at Toronto’s Pause Beauty Boutique!
They probably answered this a hundred times, something I am well used to, but it is pronounced Clee-oh-nah! Someone asked me to check and I completely forgot who, so hopefully you are reading this. Clionadh has some gorgeous highlighters and eyeshadows including their new Paleo palette. I didn’t pick it up because when I have to choose between polish and makeup, polish usually wins but I am still thinking about it. Trench is a beautiful shade. Need that perfect shade to match an outfit? They will even make you a custom!
It is hard to believe that Lindsey has only been in business a short time as Tonic polishes are highly regarded in the indie world. Sadly, her polish along with the display was held up at Customs and she rushed to make and smuggle in as much as she could in her suitcase so their selection was smaller than they would have liked. The good news about that is that you will be able to buy her Indie Expo Canada Exclusive online!
It is no secret that I love Cuter Cuticles. Sammy brought Mr. Sammy with her as some eye candy to go with her amazing cuticle oils, barrier butters and more. They also had special scents just for Indie Expo Canada. Union which smells like cinnamon buns and Kensington which smells like incense. I picked up both and a Cotton Candy as well as one of her new Squattermelon mani bombs. I already tried them out after a swatchfest so watch for a review soon!
No stranger to the convention scene having sold other horror items, Lara from Fiendish Fancies is celebrating her 2nd anniversary of selling polish. Her horror inspired polishes are some of the ones that always catch my attention, especially her special editions. If you asked me for random polish names off the top of my head, some of Fiendish Fancies would be top of the list, because you can’t unsee a name like F*ck Me Gently With A Chainsaw! Based in Canada, Fiendish Fancies offers free US shipping on all orders and ships worldwide with decent free shipping minimums.
Hit The Bottle
It will be no surprise that I was super excited for the Hit The Bottle table. It turns out that they were right beside the table I was volunteering at too. Hit The Bottle is based in Australia and makes amazing stamping polishes including their Holo The Rainbow collection – yes, holo polishes that stamp well! They were represented by Beautometry.com, their US stockist which has been the easiest place to get them for Canadians. Although I have it on good authority that it will soon be easier to get them in Canada!
Beautometry also brought Creative Shop and Messy Mansion stamping plates, Big Bling stampers, mani savers and I am sure more stuff that I didn’t notice in my excitement over buying stamping polishes!
Australian shipping regulations are quite strict so it is expensive to ship Hit The Bottle directly, so they recommend buying from Beautometry. But you can follow Hit The Bottle on facebook and instagram to watch for that perfect shade.
Alter Ego Body Care & Nail Polish
You have probably seen quite a few posts from me with Alter Ego as I was helping on Cynthia’s table. Located in Wisconsin, USA, Alter Ego, part of the Wisconsin Soap Co has only been available to Canadians as part of collab boxes but she is going to start shipping to Canada (and will now if you send her a message to order).
Another US based brand, Pahlish is made in Nashville by Shannon and her husband, Josh. Pahlish is available from Girly Bits so quite popular in Canada. Sadly, Shannon wasn’t able to make it to Indie Expo Canada herself but it was great being able to see the polishes before buying. I picked up Crying Wolf, a Girly Bits exclusive and now I am thinking I should have got the show exclusive and bought it later!
Fair Maiden Polish
Sarah and Adrienne of Fair Maiden Polish are from Minnesota and could not make it in person but their gorgeous polishes were still available to purchase. I went back so many times tempted by the Rainbow Brights minis. If you missed them at Indie Expo, they have great shipping rates to Canada and a set of 8 polishes was only $7US to ship to Ontario.
Moo Moo’s Signatures
All the way from Singapore, Moo Moo’s Signatures is available more locally to Canadians through Girly Bits. They do ship direct if you prefer to order from them but prices are in Singapore Dollars (which at the current time, is close to a Canadian Dollar). She makes some lovely shimmers and chunky glitter polishes!
Native War Paints
Another US brand, the name Native War Paints comes from when Amanda would wear polish or makeup and her conservative Native American father would tell her to take off that war paint. They made several limited edition shades for Indie Expo Canada. While they do ship to Canada, you can also pick them up without worrying about Customs through Girly Bits. They also have a monthly mystery box that you can get for $25 US including shipping to Canada with two full size polishes and a mini.
Lovacado was one of the non nail related indies at Indie Expo Canada. They make products made with extra virgin avocado oil. Founded in 2013, this Toronto area company is 100% natural, paraben free, and all ingredients are not tested on animals. They are on the pricier end at $20 for a mask ($15 at the Expo) and $30 for a bottle of oil but they make your skin feel amazing.
Jin’s Superficially Colorful came to Indie Expo Canada all the way from Israel. Jin has some of the funniest names for nail polishes. From Twitter Licker to Pickle Farts, usually the name will make us buy it before we even see the colour. Superficially Colorful ships direct from Israel with tracking for reasonable rates.
Colors by Llarowe (CbL)
You can tell that Leah Ann has done shows before because the CbL / Colors by Llarowe display was gorgeous. The lights really show the polishes off and make you all #grabbyhands. Based in the US, CbL is one of the bigger indie companies out there but you would not know it from meeting Leah Ann who took the time to chat to so many of us. CbL offers free shipping on $75+ orders but you can also get her pretty polishes from Harlow & Co.
SoGa Artisan Soaperie
SoGa (The Soap Gallery) is a Canadian bath & body “bakery” with locations in Winnipeg and Vancouver. They make handmade Vegan, certified cruelty-free cosmetics and skincare including soaps and the adorable bubble bath cupcakes shown. They offer flat rate shipping across all of North America if you are not lucky enough to live near one of their stores.
Ever After Polish
Rachel and Miranda of Ever After make gorgeous polishes as well as a line of handmade bath and beauty products. Based in the US, they have some great holo and flakie polishes and their skincare is amazing. They have taken inspiration for new products from everything from celebrities to Lucky Charms cereals!
Great Lakes Lacquer
Last, but definitely not least, Mariah from Great Lakes Lacquer is also the host/coordinator of Polish Con so is no stranger to shows like Indie Expo Canada. Her limited edition Indie-scent Exposure was a huge hit and one that many of us had requests to mule so was selling out fast! A little birdy told me that there will be some extra Jewel of Ontario, their limited edition Indie Expo Canada shade online on June 9th for 2 days. Great Lakes is US based but ship internationally.
It was a great day and I can’t wait until the next one!