Different Shadows of Beauty: How Beautycon Became a Million Dollar Convention

Beautycon, a convention originally for small scale beauty Youtubers, started opening its doors to novice beauty gurus and fans alike, in 2015. The convention has hosted over 15,000 people in major cities like New York and Los Angeles. 

In fact, last year, the convention made over $16 million in revenue, up from $9 million in 2017. So why the spike in sales? The answer is clear: consumers and sponsors. 

Beautycon offers booths to mega makeup brands like Revlon, Covergirl, and MAC, to name a few. But fairly new CEO, Moj Mahdara, has also begun to invite smaller scale beauty companies, and even our favorite big box stores like CVS Pharmacy and Target. The wide range of companies allows newbies to grow their companies, and advanced corporations to promote new products and entice consumers with discounted prices on products. 

The plans to make Beautycon even bigger and better is also in the works. The convention plans to make over $25 million within the next few years with more sponsors and ticket spaces available. 

Image via Wired.com

However, CEO Mahdara hadn’t always been part of the beauty industry. She originally designed web IP addresses for clients like Blackberry, Apple, and Microsoft, earning several companies over $30 million in annual revenue. So why the shift from tech companies to Beautycon? The invention of FOMO. 

FOMO, (fear of missing out), is Beautycon’s new data- research arm that will track the female Millennial and Generation Z market. These analytics will be offered to mass beauty companies, Beautycon’s premier sponsors, as an incentive. It is also projected to help increase the number of ticket sales. 

However, there’s another reason why Mahdara took on Beautycon, and the answer isn’t so tech. She saw it as an opportunity to stimulate a conversation. 

She told Forbes, “I grew up ‘other,” and by that, I mean a first- generation Iranian- American, gay, college dropout who had no desire to be a doctor or lawyer.” 

Image via General Assembly : Moj Mahdara, CEO of Beautycon. 

Truly, Beautycon is promoting and taking part in the beginning shift in cultural attitude on stereotyping women within the beauty industry. Their celebrity panelists have also started the conversation in the shift in trends reminding convention go-ers that beauty is unique and an integral part in understanding oneself. No longer do women and yes, even men, have to fit a certain role or look. That has become the basis of the steadily changing beauty industry. 

Mahdara is also sporting the natural, no makeup look, promoting to fans that one doesn’t have to be a beauty guru to attend. Their saying, “We welcome: all races, all genders, all ages, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all religions, all glamazons, all natural beauties, all unicorns,” has become a comfort to those who often feel neglected by the industries lack of diversity despite the gradual change. 

On July 14 and 15, Beautycon saw its largest convention yet in Los Angeles, Calif., hosting over 22,000 people with celebrity key note speakers such as Kim Kardashian West, Snoop Dogg, Drew Barrymore, and Jessica Simpson. The convention of inclusiveness, awareness, and diversity, once again, promoted that being beautiful is within the eyes of the beholder. 

Stay tuned for more coverage only at Her Campus ASU.