This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Generation Beauty by Ipsy in Toronto, Ontario. I went last year as well and you can read my full recaps of day one and two here and here! If you are looking for a detailed recount of one individual’s experience at the event, you are in the right spot! Will it be long? Absolutely! You have been warned! 😛
What is Generation Beauty? It’s an incredible event held by Ipsy where you receive a ton of free swag, get your makeup done, try new products, meet your favourite beauty gurus and buy discounted items! The event is also very big on Instagram. Many booths ask you to share a photo with specific hashtags to receive your free gift. Pre-sale tickets came to $93.87 this year versus $63.15 for 2016.
This year, my best friend and I drove to Toronto on the Friday night and stayed in a hotel so that we wouldn’t have to leave our city at 6 am on the Saturday! On Saturday morning, the first day of the convention, we didn’t get off to a great start. We were staying in Scarborough so we had to take the GO Train from Eglinton to Union Station, and we missed the train by about 10 seconds (our GPS took us a different way than the night before and we kept having to turn around). That was frustrating because we knew the next train would get us there a bit late and we hadn’t registered yet.
The event was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the North building (last year they held it in the South). Early access started at 10 am (you had to pay an extra $40 for this) but for the rest of us, it started at 11 am. We got there late and then had to stand in a huge line to register that went all the way outside. Once you actually get to the counter, registering is quick – you just have to show your ticket and ID and they give you your badge and free product card.
They attempted to control the lines this year by using an app called QLess. The idea was that you could virtually join one brand line and one meet up line so that you didn’t have to physically stand in the line. You could go visit other brand’s booths while you waited for them to contact you via your phone that it was your turn. Well, there were technical difficulties and it just wasn’t working so they gave up on that idea. It was great in theory! I just wish it panned out because it would have cut down on a lot of waiting time.
This year, there was a total of 28 brands! There were 3 tiers of sponsors – Diamond, Gold, and Silver. I didn’t find this really made a difference as far as getting better gifts at the Diamond booths or better activities going on at the booths. It really only had to do with the size of the booth as far as I could tell.
While we were waiting for my other best friend and her friend to meet up with us, we headed to our first booth – Luxie Beauty! We got to this line around 11:30 and we had a half hour wait. The item we received was the Luxie Eye Liner 219 Brush. They were giving out different brushes depending on the time you attended the booth. They were also selling their brushes including a gorgeous set of Wonder Woman brushes that I wish I bought!
Retail Value: $13.08 CAD (full size)
I got out of the Luxie line up just in time to line right back up at the same booth for a meet up with the one and only Michelle Phan! She has been a makeup idol for me since I first stumbled across her videos ten years ago! Her and Christen Dominique had a meet up going on at the same time which was a little sad for me because Christen was the other person I really wanted to meet. I got to meet Michelle around 12:30 pm. I didn’t say much to her because I am just the shyest person ever and I was really starstruck! I basically just told her I love her and am happy to meet her! She gave me a hug and took a few selfies with me. They all turned out slightly blurry but oh well! It was just a pleasure to meet her!
My other friends had arrived at this point so we all headed over to the Smashbox booth next. It was about a 25 minute wait and we received a deluxe sized sample of the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. If you remember last year, we got a full size primer from Smashbox (and a mascara) so this was disappointing to not only get the same product but a small sample. At this booth, you could get your makeup done or purchase discounted products.
Retail Value: $10.41 CAD for 7.1 ml (full size is $44 for 30 ml)
While we were at the Smashbox booth, a meet up was also going on with Jaleesa Moses, an Ipsy creator. She was someone who I wanted to meet when I saw the announced beauty guru meet up schedule but I figured I wouldn’t have time – plus I didn’t want to make the other 3 girls I was with constantly waste their time for meet ups when they don’t know who any of these girls are! But, Jaleesa was just standing there alone. Her meet up started at 12:30 so I guess she already got through all the people who wanted to meet her. Since my friends were still browsing the booth, I was able to get a picture with her! She’s literally one of the most stunning girls I’ve ever seen! She was very sweet also and we had a small chat. I could have kept talking to her but I’m so shy so I had to stop before my anxiety took over!
At around 1 pm, we headed over to CoverGirl where we waited around 30 minutes in line. There was a beautiful flower wall where I insisted my two best friends and I get a picture together. It was their first time meeting even though I’ve known one for 19 years and the other for 13 years! And I have to say, they are amazing friends for braving this event with me, considering they aren’t makeup-obsessed!
At the CoverGirl booth, we had to digitally spin a wheel and whatever product it landed on was the product they gave us. I think there were 3 options – an eyeliner, a lip product and their new Total Tease mascara! I wanted the mascara so badly but it landed on the CoverGirl Melting Pout Gel Liquid Lipstick which I got in the shade Gell Yes 125. There were only two choices of lip colour and the other was a dark purple. After getting your free gift, they wanted you to get colour matched for their new Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation but I skipped that option.
Retail Value: $10.95 CAD (full size)
Next up was the seemingly biggest draw of the day, the MAC booth. Laura Lee was actually supposed to be at this booth for a meet up but for whatever reason, she cancelled. She was another YouTuber I really wanted to meet and my one friend actually knew her too! Anyway, the line was closed when we rolled by but I ran into someone I know who works for Mac and she told us to just get in line anyway. We saw Michelle Phan and Karen Yeung stop by the booth while we waited. I also caught a glimpse of Lynette Cenée at the CoverGirl booth beside us.
This was our longest wait by far. We waited an hour and 20 minutes. Was it worth it? For me, no. XD Our gift ended up being something I wasn’t crazy about – the Mac Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in only three shades: High Drama, Feels So Grand, and Tailored to Tease. None of these colours appealed to me whatsoever so in the end I simply chose the red shade “Feels So Grand.” We were asked to follow them and share a picture on Instagram to receive a matching lip liner. They gave us the Mac Lip Pencil and I got the shade “Cherry.” We were also given a gigantic black bag that said MAC.
Retail Value: Liquid Lip – $25 CAD (full size) / Lip Pencil – $21 CAD (full size)
Everything was 25% off and I decided to pick up the Mac Prep + Prime Fix +. I paid $21 CAD instead of $28! This seemed to be the booth a couple of my friends were most interested in shopping at so while we waited, my other friend and I went over to the hot dog stand for a bite to eat and to rest our feet. We completely finished our food by the time they finished shopping. XD
It was also bathroom break time so one friend and I headed that way while our other friends headed over to the Benefit booth. On the way back from the bathroom, we noticed the GlamGlow line was small so we stopped there real quick to pick up the GlamGlow SuperCleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser. This booth had different samples depending on the time of day you went. They were also selling their full size products at a discount but still way too expensive for my liking.
Retail Value: $16 (travel size)
When we met up with our friends at the Benefit booth, we only had to wait about 5 minutes in line to receive the Benefit Browvo! Conditioning Primer. This was a popular booth to get eyebrows done!
Retail Value: $12.67 CAD for 1 ml (full size is $38 for 3 ml)
Next, we hit up the Goomee booth, which probably took less than 5 minutes. I’ve never heard of this brand but they were giving out little hair rings that are just like Invisibobbles! There was a bowl of many different colours but I went straight for the clear one because I have said to myself many times how I wanted a clear Invisibobble. Hopefully this brand is just as good!
Retail Value: $2.28 CAD for 1 (full size is $9.11 for box of 4)
The day was almost over at this point and there was only an hour left of day one. The event only went until 5 pm. So we got in line at Ciaté London which took about 15 minutes to get through. They wanted to do everyone’s makeup but I passed on that because of time constraints. At this booth, we were able to choose between a bronzer, a liquid lip and a liquid eyeliner. Since I have both of the latter options, I went with the Ciaté Bamboo Bronzer in the shade “Star Island.” It’s such a light shade that it will be perfect for winter time bronzing! Funnily enough, this was the only bronzer I received this year whereas last year, I got at least 3!
Retail Value: $7.54 CAD for 2.2 g (full size is $34 for 9.92 g)
Next up was the Nyx booth! I really appreciated this booth because they had staff standing outside of the booth handing out the free gift so that we didn’t have to wait in a huge line! They just asked us to follow them and take a picture for Instagram to receive our Nyx Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette. This was one of my favourite gifts! It’s just so pretty to look at and I can’t wait to try that gorgeous lilac highlighter!
Retail Value: $27 CAD (full size)
Our next booth was Nudestix. They were handing out the Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Colours. We got to choose from quite a few shades. Of course, the nude-y pink colour “Rose” was out of stock so I had to step outside of my comfort zone and I ended up choosing a coral-y pink called “Capri.” I didn’t know this at the time but I guess we were supposed to get a tin and sharpener with our lip crayon. I’m assuming because it was so close to the end of the day, the staff were probably rushing people through the line but it is a little disappointing.
Retail Value: $28 CAD (full size)
Just like last year, the OGX booth were giving out tiny foil packets! And just like last year, I got the OGX O2 Shampoo + Conditioner. XD Needless to say, this was a pretty quick stop for us but I think this booth was doing hair braiding, also!
Retail Value: 0.34 cents (lol)
With half an hour to go, I felt like we were powering through a lot of these booths, especially considering we only made it to 4 booths in the first 4 hours! It’s why I wish the event went until 5 pm on day two (it only goes until 3). I feel like you miss out on a lot of the extra things each booth has to offer if you want to be able to make it to every booth.
Our second last stop on day one was the PÜR booth. We waited less than ten minutes in line and we were given the PÜR Fully Charged Mascara which I think I got in my most recent Ipsy bag. But hey, I can always use more mascara! I had one item in mind that I really wanted to buy from this booth – the HydraGel Lift Eye Perfecting Primer – but they didn’t bring any to sell plus they said they don’t even sell it in Canada. 😦
Retail Value: $9.53 for 4 ml (full size is $30.98 for 13 ml)
And finally, our last booth of the day was Absolute New York. This booth was definitely one of the cutest at the event. It had gorgeous balloons everywhere and they were giving out cotton candy, too! If we followed them on Instagram and Snapchat, we were able to roll two large die to determine which free products we would receive. If I remember correctly, I think all the options were lip products. I ended up with the Absolute NY Lip Mousse Full Coverage Lip Cream in “Dolly” and the Glossy Stain Long Lasting & Natural Tint in “Infamous.”
Retail Value: Lip Mousse – $9.11 CAD (full size) / Glossy Stain – $9.11 CAD (full size)
Before I knew it, 5 pm had arrived and day one was a wrap! We were able to get through 13 booths! Which meant we had 15 to hopefully get to on day two in less time! Eek! The great news was that we had gotten through the biggest booths which had the longest wait times.
Day One Grand Total (free items): $202.02 CAD
Also, on day one, we received our Swag Bags. This year, all the swag was included in a Generation Beauty themed zippered tote! The bag itself is really cool but what was on the inside, was even cooler! Let’s take a look at what we got (items or shades may vary from bag to bag)!
- Dirty Little Secrets Lip Gloss in Bare – $18.25 CAD (full size)
- Nyx Butter Gloss in Créme Brulee – $8 CAD (full size)
- Mac Lustre Lipstick in Bi-Ceptual – $21 CAD (full size)
- Ciaté Liquid Velvet Moisturizing Matte Liquid Lipstick in Pin-Up – $7.08 CAD for 2 ml (full size is $23 for 6.5 ml)
- Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip in Crimson Chrome – $17.50 CAD for 5 ml (full size is $28 for 8 ml)
- CoverGirl Melting Pout Gel Liquid Lipstick in Gell Yes – $10.95 (full size)
- Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Cushion Corrector + Primer Duo SPF 20 in Peach/Lavender – $22.10 CAD (full size)
- Pur-Lisse BB Tinted Moist Cream SPF 30 in Medium – $13.04 CAD (travel size)
- Essence Get Big! Lashes Volume Boost Mascara – $5.20 CAD (full size)
- Pop Beauty Kajal Pen in Inky Purple – $13.04 CAD (full size)
- Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen in BronzeBeam – $15.64 CAD (full size)
- Absolute New York Cotton Candy Liner in Sugar Plum – $13.02 CAD (full size)
- Benefit They’re Real Tinted Primer – $10.94 CAD for 3 g (full size is $31 for 8.5 g)
- Royal and Langnickel MODA Pro Makeup Complexion Brush – $10.42 CAD (full size)
- Luxie Beauty Blending Brush 237 – $15.63 CAD (full size)
- PÜR Contour Blending Sponge – $15.64 CAD (full size)
- Eva-NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer – $2.61 CAD for 1 oz (full size is $15.63 for 6 oz)
- IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel – $3.31 CAD for 15 ml (full size is $32 for 145 ml)
- Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray – $3.89 CAD for 22 ml (full size is $26 for 147 ml)
- Goomee The Markless Hair Loop (Box of 4) – $9.11 CAD (full size)
- Marc Anthony Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Volume Hairspray – $1.72 CAD for 53 ml (full size is $9.72 for 300 ml)
- OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo – $2.07 CAD for 88.7 ml (full size is $8.97 for 385 ml)
Skin Care Products
- Derma-E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum – $3.97 CAD for 7 ml (full size is $33.99 for 60 ml)
- The Face Shop Dr. Belmeur Soothing Gauze Sheet Mask – $6 CAD (full size)
- Soo Ae New York Purifying Black Charcoal Mask – $3.26 CAD (full size)
- Skinfix Daily Lotion – $5.59 CAD for 90 ml (full size is $22.99 for 370 ml)
- GlamGlow Volcasmic Matte Glow Moisturizer – .64 cents CAD for 0.5 ml (full size is $64 for 50 ml)
Swag Bag Grand Total: $259.62 CAD
They really came through with the Swag Bag total this year. Last year’s bag wasn’t worth as much plus I don’t think the products included were as good as this year’s bag.
This is unrelated to Generation Beauty, so skip if you like, but I wanted to mention something about my Toronto trip. Afterwards, my 2 besties and I wanted to go check out the Drag Queen Show at the Yonge-Dundas stage (it was Toronto Pride that weekend!). My one friend who is actually from Toronto suggested we eat at Jack Astor’s on the patio so we could get some food and rest our feet while also watching the show from above! It turned out to be such a great idea because little did we know that Jon Pardy, the winner of Big Brother Canada 2, works there! My one friend and I are such huge fans of him and Neda so we got to meet him and take a photo with him. That was such a cherry on top of my already awesome weekend!
Stay tuned for my day two blog post (which I’ll edit into here when it’s ready)!
EDIT: Day Two is available to read HERE!!!