Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Indie Expo Canada 2018!!!

Indie Expo Canada 2018 was held on June 9 and 10, 2018 and I had the pleasure of attending both days again the year!  This post is pretty picture heavy so be warned in advance but there was so much happening over the two days that I didn't want to exclude something that might appeal to someone, so please enjoy the post if you weren't there and it's a nice overview of everything if you made the trip to the Hyatt Regency!  

(All polishes used in this mani were purchased at the event; a post will follow!)

I wore a few different hats at the event this year; I attended the polish making seminar on Saturday, June 9th as a great fan of indie polish and seen again the many makers who have way more creativity than I!  (I guess that makes me a polish maker - but don't worry, I won't be opening shop!) I'm not going to share many pictures of the polish making session here as as I will have a separate post that I will link when it is live but just let me say, if you are as much of a polish fanatic as I am, it is a must attend event! A real highlight of the weekend IMHO is making your own polish and another great thing about it is the awesome help from so many talented makers!  So much creativity in the room and they are just offering up their help to make your dream polish a reality!  

Update:  See my post on the polish making session here.

After making custom polishes, I attended a very information session by Caitlin of Streets Ahead Style!  So much information (mainly of what I'm doing wrong blogging and on instagram which might explain why I lose so many followers, especially on IG!) but I honestly learned so many tips on how to better improve my blog and IG for traffic/followers; it was so informative!  I have been trying to implement as much as I can with the limited amount of free time that I've had since the seminar.  Hey, look at the first picture - I have finally added a watermark to my pictures!   I made oodles of notes and the session in general was just so informative; a great resource for any blogger on the many different social medias!

Bright and early Sunday morning, my daughter and I headed downtown Toronto for the event!  Here we are getting close to the venue (daughter took the picture; I don't touch my phone when I drive!)  It was a Sunday morning and I did leave pretty early but because I live local, the drive into downtown wasn't that bad. We are almost there!

We arrived at the Indie Expo Canada venue and even though we got there around 9:30 am, many, many volunteers had been there even earlier setting up the venue!  I cannot imagine what time Pam, Tara and the rest of the IEC crew arrived making sure everything went seamlessly but it was pretty much ready to go when I got there!

A rare picture of me taken by my daughter waiting to check in for volunteering.

Here are the show programs!  If you attended, please remember that there are great discount codes in the brochure just in case there was something you wanted to pick up but didn't at the show!

The VIP bags waiting to be picked up by ticket holders!  I'll be sharing a separate blog post on the VIP bag and will link it when live but there were some gorgeous polishes in the bags and some other great items as well!

I wore a few different hats during the day; as a volunteer; I set up the table for the stamping tutorial later in the afternoon (so if anything was missing, it was my daughter's fault, not mine.  Even thought she didn't help set up! lol)!  

Another awesome feature of the event is the silent auction with proceeds going to The Marvelle Koffler Breast Care Center at Mount Sinai Hospital.   Here are just a few of the items that were graciously donated for bidding!  I was the lucky bidder on a couple of items and again, will be doing a separate blog post on this so not sharing many pictures at this time.  I haven't heard the final 2018 tally of the silent auction yet, but I know last year, it raised over $1800!  Update:  Here's my blog post on the silent auction/Paint It forward!

New this year was the photo booth!  I didn't try it out but I did see quite a few pictures out there on social media of those who were brave enough for everyone to see their silly faces! hahaha!

In addition to volunteering at the event, I was also official press!   Immediately as you enter, you see the Girly Bits display!  I dropped by the booth a couple times to see if I could snag a picture of Pam at the display, but as I'm sure you can appreciate, she was busy overseeing such a large event and unfortunately, I missed her as she was attending to the many things needed with running the show!

Those who attended were able to purchase the New Bridal Bliss Collection in advance of it's official release, it happens to be available for release on July 12, 2018 here.  

Also launching July 12, 2018 is the Concert Series but those who attended were lucky to be able to buy in advance of the official launch!  

Here are the Girly Bits IEC 2018 limited editions:  The FOMO is Real, Zed and North of 42.  With the exception of The FOMO is Real, they will be releasing on July 12, 2018 here. (FOMO may be released at a later date; so check back at the GB media sites for updates!)

While I was photographing this Girly Bits IEC 2018 V.I.P for press, this beauty did make it home with me and will be showcasing in a future blog post; will update this post when the post goes live!  It is also available at the Girly Bits store on July 12th!

Gifly Bits latex barrier and stamping polish.

Girly Bits has a complete line of nail care products; if it goes on your nails, chances are, it's probably available at Girly Bits!  (Hmmmm, I must have have bought 5 or more GB products as one of those tumblers made it home with me!)

Girly Bits merch!

Indie Expo merchandise was also available for sale!

Woooo, the holo!

LynB Designs had a display this year;  Jenna wasn't able to attend the show in person and this was another hat I wore at the show as I manned the booth with another volunteer and my daughter during the event.

Immediately to our right was these two stunning ladies from GreenGlitter who have biodegradable glitter!   They were the sweetest Flowmie's who had a huge assortment of glitters that are stunning not only for body art, but can be applied directly to the nail over polish!

Rogue Lacquer had a display at the event; this is a fairly new brand but the face behind the brand isn't new on the scene by any means! Rachel was part of Ever After Polish duo and she has now branched out on her own with Rogue Lacquer.  Unfortunately, Rachel wasn't able to attend but the competent Trish of Inspired Sense held down both booths!

Links:  Rogue Lacquer, Facebook, Instagram

Update:  See my review of Rogue Lacquer Puns of Steel here!

Immediately to the right of Rogue Lacquer was Inspired Sense which is another relatively new indie brand. Trish was camera shy but as I was manning the LynB display just a couple booths down so I was in fairly close proximity to the IS display and I can tell you, Trish just loves what she is doing!  If there was someone at the show who seemed to be truly enjoying themselves, I have to say it was Trish! So personable and friendly; and knowledgeable, she was just a breathe of fresh air the entire show!

Inspire Sense Hand and Body Butters.  I scanned the list of products in advance of the show opening and one that caught my eye was Unicorn Poo. I just had to know how Unicorn Poo smelled so a jar of this came home with me! I'll be sharing a full review of it and other products in an upcoming post and will be linking it once it goes live.

While it is great to see so many Canadian makers at the event, it was also fantastic to see makers from the US making a repeat trip and Leah Ann Llarowe of Colors by Llarowe attended again from Colorado!  Leah Ann is as sweet as can be too and she was doing last minute set up of her display so I didn't really get a picture this year of her at the booth (other than the one when she was putting final touches on her display). Leah Ann is one of the makers who in addition to having a display at the show on Sunday, also made herself available for the polish making seminar on Saturday and also was part of the Q & A towards the end of the day Sunday.  Another maker who truly loves what she does and it shows!

:CbL has launched a line of skin care products that were available for purchase.

There was a recent announcement that Cbl was again shipping direct; here is the store link, Facebook and Instragram.

See my review of Cbl You Like Eh? VIP Exclusive here!

Terrah Essentials is a local skin care maker from Mississauga, Ontario; this was her first year attending and she is another lady who clearly is passionate about her products!

It was great to see Rebecca again this year; here she is manning the Fair Maiden booth!

This is the Fair Maiden IEC exclusive, Sire-Ade.

This was the first year that Turtle Tootsie Polishes attended IEC and I hope it's just the start of a long run! Another brand who offers a variety of products who traveled from Michigan!

As a GWP, those green haired pens that you see on the right hand side of the picture below came home with me but my daughter has already claimed it, saying she can only use cool, funky pens at work and had to have it!

So many lip balms!

Native War Paints attended the show for the second year, travelling as well from Michigan.  They made it a family affair and for those of you who attended last year may recall that Amanda was pregnant at the show; the little guy made an appearance on Saturday.  (Side note, I felt so bad and tried to stay away from him moreso than anyone at the show as I had a wicked cough at the show and didn't want the little guy to pick it up.  I sure hope he didn't catch it.)

The NWP IEC trio; Road Trip Snacks, Touring Toronto and Border Crossing.

SoGa Artisan Soaperie had a display that just smelled heavenly!  

It was fantastic to see Cynthia from Alter Ego for a second year!  Cynthia is another very knowledgeable maker and she had a full weekend along with others as she attended both the the polish making seminar as well as as overseen her display on Sunday.  Thank you Cynthia for making the trip from Wisconsin!

A few of the Alter Ego nail products.

I'm loving the look of this polish; in hindsight, I don't know why I didn't pick up a bottle as it sure is calling my name right now!

This is Alter Ego Gentle Benevolent.  Again, while I took this pix for press purposes as it was an IEC 2018 exclusive, I did go back and purchase a bottle! I've already wore this polish and will be sharing a blog post and will be updating this post once it goes live.

Update:  I did a mani with Alter Ego Gentle Benevolent here!

Due to a medical emergency just a couple days before last year's event meant that Tanya of My Indie Polish she wasn't unable to attend but thankfully she made it this year!  Another Canadian indie polish maker with a real zest for life, in addition to polish, My Indie Polish also offers nail products and wax melts.  I have to say that I'm just so impressed with all the Canadian indie makers that made it to the show!

(That middle orange one made it home with me! And so did the navy blue!  I also used My Indie Polish The Great Pumpkin in the nails in the first picture.)

So many wax melts; the scents were just tantelizing!

Laura of Fiendish Fancies is another super friendly lady; not only is she as nice as can be but she has a really wonderful sense of humour that was apparent at the polish making session! Another Canadian maker who is passionate about her craft; it was fantastic to see her at the show again!

Look at all the pretties!

Based upon The Handmaid's Tail, this is the Survive Collection.

Update:  See my review of Fiendish Fancies from IEC 2018 here and here.  

Paint it Pretty didn't have to drive too far to attend the show; this Canadian maker is based in Beamsville, Ontario!  I feel that sometimes I live under a (polish) rock as this brand wasn't on my radar but a few of these pretties came home with me and I'll be sharing them in the near future!  In fact, the stunning Paint it Pretty Indigo Rises (purchased by me - I stipulate this specifically as Paint It Pretty also provided press samples) was the first polish I wore after the event.  I've wore it twice since the show (it is also used in my IEC mani's at the top of the page.)

I'm not sure if I was suppose to share this, but I took it as fair game as it was sitting out on the table, but if you look closely, here's a discount code in this picture!

Update:  See my post on Paint It Pretty Polish here, here and here!

Alana and Lan, two good friends form CANVAS lacquer!  A Toronto, based Canadian indie maker, we were glad to see them return again this year!

Links:  CANVAS Lacquer, Facebook, Instagram

Ever After Polish attended for a second year in a row and was another maker that travelled from the US and we are glad they did! As noted above, Miranda and Rachel were the duo behind Ever After Polish; while Rachel has branched to Rogue Lacquer, Miranda is the sole face behind Ever After Polish.

All the pretties lined up so neatly!

The nail art stamper in me was super excited to see these stamping polishes!  

I particuarly liked the display sample so you could see how well they stamped over black and white as well as used on their own as a base polish.  The matchy-matchy stamper in me approved this!

They also had pastel stampers; these colours really spoke to me too!

In addition to nail polish and nail care items, Ever After also offers skin and body products.

Stickers!  And they are holo!  Yes, please, I'll take one of each!  So pretty!

Links:  Ever After Polish, Facebook, Instagram

The lovely Sammy from Cuter Cuticles attended for a second year!  Sammy was celebrating her birthday at the event and lucky for her, she received a Cbl custom UP birthday polish that Leah Ann (Cbl) offers as a special bday gift at every show if your birthday falls around the time of  the event.  (I told Leah Ann my Birthday was Jun-gust but she didn't fall for it!  Darn it!)

The Cuter Cuticles sniff station.  If you aren't adventurous enough to buy bacon vanilla milkshake without sniffing it first, this is the place for you (and interesting enough, it smells delicious!)  

These precious yellow bags held show exclusive Lemon lip balm as well as the lemon cuticle oil and butter barrier.  I'll be doing a separate blog post on the trio that was received as a press sample; I also purchased a second one at the show and good thing I did as my daughter 'borrowed' the one set and it hasn't found it's way back to me.  I have a feeling that was the last I seen of it!)

Cuter Cuticles brought the acetone additive this year.  While the display was full here at press time, when I went back to buy it, there were only two lonely bottles of lemon additive left which I snagged, making the product a sell out at the show!  Thankfully, you can buy it online if you missed it at the show!

Here is a sampling of the butter barriers!  While there was a great sampling her, Cuter Cuticles also offers a no scent as well as custom scents at their online store for no extra cost.

Update:  See my post using Cuter Cuticle show products here!

Beyond the Nail is another Canadian indie maker who was able to make it for a second year in a row.

Here are the Soft Neons; I picked up half of them at the show and had instant polish regret after wards that I didn't pick up the rest.  I hope to remedy that soon and hopefully will remember the discount code coupon that was given at the show!

Beyond The Polish also carries a wide assortment of nail vinyls.

Links:  Beyond The Nail, Facebook, Instagram

Clionadh Cosmetics attended again this year!  Their unique, hand made pans are vegan and cruelty-free and they are based out of Toronto, Ontario.

I was enamored over this pretty palatte which is absolutely stunning!  I seem to recall reading that every palette is individually hand painted, but stand to be corrected.

Bees Knees was at the show; it was their first year attending and hopefully not the last!  I have to say, although Girly Bits carries their polishes online, I haven't bought any (again, living under the polish rock, I know!)  However, this was remedied at the show and I'm going to bee very happy sharing some mani's in the near future as I have already wore a couple of their polishes since the show.  (A Bees Knees polish was also used in the first picture at the top of the post.)

(Do not ask me why I took the picture of the candy bowl at the Bees Knee's display but it was one of the few pictures I took at the display, sorry!)

Bees Knees Lacquer did a prelaunch of their most recent collection at the show, A Court of Thorns & Roses, which has now been released here.  I have no idea why I only have this one picture of the display to share; I think I got distracted with all the pretties and forgot I was press as I was acting like a customer! Which was the final hat I wore; I tried to buy something from every vendor, even if it was one item,  in a show of support and to thank them for making the trip to Indie Expo Canada 2018! We are just so lucky to have an event like this in Canada, that is literally at our doorstep, versus having to travel to Chicago or New York so I wanted to do my little part by buying indie to support these wonderful vendors in the hopes that they will be able to attend for many years to come!

Links:  Bees Knees Lacquer, Facebook, Instagram

Update:  See my Bee's Knees review post here!

Throughout the afternoon, we were treated to have the fabulous vocals of Jen Knight, Pam's daughter!

After press finished, I went to the LynB booth but had a bird's eye view of those coming into the show who had purchased the VIP early entry ticket.  As a side note, it was nice to stand at the booth and chat with so many nail  fanatics!  It was fantastic to see many faces from last year as well as put a face to the nails of so many bloggers/IGers that I follow; I had a couple fan girl moments, that's for sure!  It's always great to talk polish with so many others who share your interest!

It was a great turnout!

There were tables set up so nail fanatics could connect and the ever so important task of checking out the contents of the VIP bag!  This was also the spot to be in after a few hours of shopping to rest your feet and check out all your purchases!  Quite a few impromptu mani's were done at this table!  Check out the VIP bag here!

There were tutorials held later in the afternoon; this is the stamping tutorial hosted by Intense Polish Therapy. I unfortunately didn't get a picture of any other table as I was in manning the LynB booth all afternoon and was trying not to leave that often (even though my daughter was good enough to tag along with me to help man the booth, which made it possible for me to buy some polishes there!)

There was also a Q & A moderated by Caitlin of Streets Ahead Style, that saw a few indie makers as well as a blogger on the podium.

This picture was taken pretty late in the day on Sunday; everyone was checking the items that they had bid on and rebidding in the event that someone has bested them!  At 5 pm, the bids for the silent auction items ended and the bids collected; proceeds went to a good cause and thank you again for all the gracious donations!

That's a wrap for the Indie Expo Canada 2018!  I hope you were able to live vicariously through me if you weren't able to attend and it brought back some good memories from a month ago if you did!  I will be sharing mani's and press reviews in the near future of items from the show so please check back soon! (I'm sorry for being later than other bloggers but I was sick at the show and then still sick for a couple weeks after, then I had a couple nail issues and have been waiting for them to recover so I can share decent mani's!)

Thank you to Pam, Tara and the rest of the Girly Bits team for a fantastic show and again, if I didn't make it obviously clear, thank you to all the vendors who attended so that us polish fanatics could ohh, awwe and see in person all that you had to offer!  No matter if you drove local or traveled from far, we thank you for attending and making this a wonderful event!

Thanks for looking!


  1. Thank you for your thorough and detailed review! Love all your photos, they really help those who did not attend to see what happens!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read...and it was good to see you at the event!

  2. Excellent coverage of the Indie Expo, Lady! An enjoyable read, has handy-dandy links, and fantastic pictures! Job Well Done :-) (Especially since you had a ton of *hats to wear* during the event!) Serious kudos, and Thank You :-)

    1. Cath: Thanks so much for your feedback and thanks for taking the time to read this lengthy post!


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog! I do appreciate it and read every one. Please note that comments that contain any links or spam that I deem inappropriate to the post will be deleted. My email is mrsrexy at gmail dot com if you need to reach me. Thanks!