INDIE EXPO CANADA 2018: VIP BAG, PRESS SAMPLES AND MY FIRST EXPERIENCE!



Hi there, my darlings! Boy, oh boy, is this post late! But! I have a good excuse! Since moving bag and baggage to Toronto, I have spent the last 5 months frantically...and I mean, frantically, searching for the right fit when it came to employment opportunities. I didn't want to commit to just anything but with no income stream, it became harder and harder to hold out. As luck and the blessings of a benevolent Higher Power would have it , though, just when things seemed to be on the brink of disaster, VOILA! I am so happy to announce that I have accepted a full-time position in Toronto and I could not be happier--this position feels like the real deal! But, other things have had to take a backseat while I interviewed and negotiated contracts and answered endless emails. One of those things is this very post, which I knew I wanted to take my time with. After all, a girl's very first Indie Expo doesn't come every day!

Now, I should mention that this was my very first indie convention, period. I have heard all the stories and lived vicariously through fellow bloggers, indie enthusiasts and polish addicts. But the timing was never right for me to attend myself. Until this year! Job searching meant that my weekends and sure, various times during the day was free for me...but job searching also meant a strict, self-imposed "no-buy", or at the very least, a "very, very, VERY low-buy". Keeping this constraint in mind, I was still very excited to attend. After all, I was finally going to meet A LOT of the makers I had become close to but had never had the chance to meet in person. As an example, take Miranda of Ever After Polish. I adore her! Our interactions have always gone beyond just business and when I offered to come assist her at her table at Indie Expo, she welcomed me with open arms. Way more excitement unfolded!

As the day approached, I asked Pam if I could be added to the press list on the site, not knowing that that list was reserved for official IEC bloggers. But my faux pas was a blessing in disguise as Pam graciously offered to include me in the roster of official press. That too, a mere week and a half before the event, when my stressed brain had completely forgotten to apply to press in the first place. The woman is an angel and I'm truly touched by her generosity!

Now that I have told you all that happened leading to the event, let's get down to the event itself. If you didn't attend the event yourself, I'm sure you're curious about lots of things (I know I would be!) and I hope to answer some of those questions as well as share my experience.

First up! VIP Bag time! The pics shows every single item that was available in my VIP Bag and are a pretty good representation of the makers that attended the event. I do have pics of the individual tables for each maker further down but for now, let's dissect the VIP Bag!

Exclusive VIP Bag polishes from:





Bath, Body and Lifestyle products:






Miscellaneous Goodies:






INDIE POLISH MAKERS AT THEIR TABLES:

Let's start off with the organizer extraordinaire herself, Pam of Girly Bits. She was a difficult one to pin down because she was so busy running around making sure everyone was taken care of. But I did manage to snag this cute pic! I also want to give Pam a quick shout out for having refreshments (think: muffins!) for press and makers--it was a long day downtown, starting at 11 am for bloggers and earlier for makers, and this was a much appreciated bonus!




I have known and worked with Cynthia of Alter Ego Bath and Body for years now but meeting her face to face was an incomparable treat! She is such a sweetheart and gave me the warmest hug!




Here are the lovely ladies of Canvas Lacquer! Now, I must admit that I was very new to this brand and I have yet to add one of their polishes to my collection. But from what I see on their site, this is going to change soon!




Way back in the day, when I would host my humongous giveaways, Lara of Fiendish Fancies was one of my generous collaborators. It was such a pleasure to indulge in a bit of nostalgia while saying hello!




Here's the gorgeous purple Lara presented to us lucky bloggers. So pretty!




Here is Native War Paints table, the maker is shown here with her husband.




Ah, I was so excited when I popped over to this table because I got to meet Rebecca who was manning the Fair Maiden Polish table. The ladies of Fair Maiden were unable to attend but Rebecca did a stellar job of handling their business!




The ladies over at the Paint It Pretty table were all smiles and bright colors! There were a couple of things I didn't look at too closely for fear of breaking my "no-buy", that's for sure!




...but I got a little fix with their pretty, press duo. Oh, this Raspberry shade!




Tanya of My Indie Polish! Tanya and I go way, way back! Almost as long as I have been blogging...and yet, here was the first time I got to meet her. Her squishy hug and warm welcome to Canada totally made up for it!




Chrissy of Turtle Tootsie Polishes! I tell you, these grand reunions...or face-to-face intros...or I don't even know what I can call them...but whatever name you wanna give them, it was so good for my heart!




Another brand that IEC introduced me to! A really lovely group of people!




Shown below is Bee's Knees's generous press package. Isn't that lavender shimmer to DIE FOR?! Even prettier in person!




Lynn of Lynn B Designs was unable to attend but her representative was such a lovely lady, all sunshine and smiles!




Ah, the CBL table! My Achilles' heel! Thankfully, Leah Ann was always super busy and super swamped so I couldn't spend too much time looking at all her holos. Because I have a definite weakness for Colors by Llarowe's holos. I saved my "no-buy" by the skin of my teeth, I tell ya!




I have really been wanting to try Beyond the Nail...and I can't recall if I have anything from them in my huge stash back in India. International moves will do that to you, I guess! But, now that I've meet these super sweet ladies, I'm definitely going to pick up a couple of things to add to my collection!




...starting right here, with this pretty pastel blurple that was gifted to press!




Looking for beautiful, loose glitters in Canada? Look no further than the many offerings over at Green Glitter!




Now, I can't recall for the life of me if I missed taking a pic of Rogue Lacquer's table or what just happened here but I did come away with their exclusive duo that will be available on Girly Bits' site! Flakies galore!




Last but not least, here's where I spent most of my time at the event...with my beloved Miranda of Ever After Polish! Her table was chock-full of some of my favorite things, including my own custom polish-crelly duo for the event!




Here's what broke my "no-buy"! I couldn't resist picking up a couple of these adorable decals from Miranda to adore my holographic purse! NO REGRETS WHATSOEVER!






INDIE BATH, BODY AND COSMETICS AT THEIR TABLES:

I have a thing for scented bath and body products and SoGa Artisan Soaperie had the most beautiful soaps available for purchase. I nearly broke my "no-buy" to treat myself to one of her creations but restrained myself since she didn't have the floral scents I'm partial to. Online it is!




I have heard such good things about Cuter Cuticles and the maker is just such a warm, friendly human being! I'm definitely going to be visiting her store to check out her products!




I do have a few things to get a taste, though! Her press package included some of her bestsellers like her Barrier Butter in a signature Lemon Cupcake scent!




This shop...oh, this shop just smelled SO GOOD! Terrah Essentials has some of most lusciously scented products I have ever encountered!




She was kind enough to gift us bloggers with her Green Tea Facial Scrub and Grapefruit soap, both of which I'll be reaching for this weekend! Stay tuned for updates on my IG Stories!




Oh, Trish is so wonderful! And her brand-new brand, Inspired Sense is ...inspiring! Such a huge variety of products in such a short time! I'm so impressed!




Her press kit was SUPER generous! Basically, she gifted me just about everything she had on hand! And she made sure to ask me exactly what kind of scents I enjoyed most--such a nice touch!




The only makeup brand at the show, the sisters behind Clionadh Cosmetics blew me away! Their makeup is ...simply stunning! I pretty much want it all and now that I can break my "no-buy", I fully intend to amass quite the collection!




I did get to pick up one of their highlighters, thanks to the generous gifting of one of the ladies I was a polish fairy for! How gorgeous is both my pick AND Clionadh's press sample? Don't let the small size fool you--a little goes a long way with this pigmented beauty!




So there you have it, my darlings! My very first IEC experience!


For more information about this year's event AND to start building the hype for next year, you can check out the official Indie Expo Canada website HERE.


You can find them on social media below:


Did you attend this year? If not, any plans for 2019? Tell me in the comments section below!












***Products were gifted to me for an honest, unbiased review. Attendance at the event was complimentary for official press and was not compensated. All opinions are my own.***

7 comments

  1. Congratulations on your new job! What a fun event!

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  2. Thank you for your thorough review! It was thrilling to meet you in person, we have been FB friends for so long <3 All your photos are fabulous!

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  3. What a fun post even though I'm so jealous. I'd have spent a fortune seeing all these favorite brands in person. Your press pack is amazing and should keep you busy for quite a while. Congrats on your new job.

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  4. Sounds like a fun event! Congrats on the new job, I hope it's everything you want it to be.

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  5. First, congratulations on your new job πŸŽ‰πŸ‘πŸ» Second I am drooling over so many shades in your gift bag! I’ve never gone to one of these shows but I would love to

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  6. Congrats! Looks like so much fun. Those polishes are gorgeous!

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  7. Looks like a fun event! For some reason I thought it would be polish only and not polish AND bath and body stuff. I don't know if I could save up enough for passport, flight, hotel, and still have money to shop for next year but your post makes me want to try!

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