DAYSPA consulting editor Lisa Starr (4th from left) reports on Cosmoprof Hong Kong. Starr, also senior consultant for Wynne Business, was one of the conference speakers.

The beauty industry converged last month on Hong Kong for the 18th edition of Cosmoprof Asia. The Asian version of the trade fair is smaller than the original Cosmoprof, held in April in Bologna, Italy, but larger than the North American edition, held in Las Vegas in July. The three-day show featured 60,000 attendees and 2,100 exhibitors from 43 countries spread over four levels in the enormous Hong Kong Convention Center, situated right on busy Victoria Harbour.

For the first time this year, “Nails and Accessories” was given its own section, highlighted by seminars, a media event and the prestigious “Hong Kong Nailist Union Competition.” There were also sectors for Perfumery, Cosmetics & Toiletries; Natural Health; Hair Equipment & Furnishings; Salon & Spa Products & Equipment; and Packaging, Raw Materials, Private Label & Contract Manufacturing. The hair division featured two hair shows, and there were numerous educational tracks across all segments.

The show also included a one-day spa conference in which 70+ attendees gathered to hear keynote addresses by Susie Ellis of Global Spa & Wellness Summit and myself, and four panel presentations incorporating 13 speakers.

Walking the show floor is a very different experience from that of many other shows—here, it is clearly geared to major players. The selection and variety of equipment, especially in the skincare area, was staggering. The large-product global product houses are represented, including Thalgo, Babor and Comfort Zone, among others, but there are numerous smaller companies, many of which specialize in one product, such as false eyelashes or mascara wands. The prices are terrific, but the minimums are daunting: three companies from whom I inquired about minimum orders gave numbers ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 units of an item.

On the second night of the show, 350 spa folks headed over to the W Kowloon for the 9th annual Asia Spa Awards, sponsored by AsiaSpa Magazine. Recognizing the spa industry’s finest in 21 categories, the awards were selected by a panel of 18 expert judges and were presented to spas, hotels and resorts, retreats, academies, personalities and products that have exhibited outstanding achievements, not only in setting luxury standards, but also in innovation and ecological awareness in the wellness fields.

“2013 has been an exceptionally interesting year, with many new spas and products entering the ninth AsiaSpa Awards,” said Vivienne Tang, editor-in-chief of AsiaSpa magazine. “It was extremely refreshing to see that some of these newcomers walked away with an award.” Trophies were provided by Baccarat, and the crowd was treated to a fashion show by Kaprice, but the crowd itself was the best fashion show, with everyone sporting their Indian finery reflecting the party theme, “Maharajas & Maharanis.”

For a complete list of the AsiaSpa Awards winners, visit AsiaSpa Awards.

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