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Do you know that Poland is the 6th largest cosmetics producer in Europe? Well, if your answer is “no”, this begins to explain the rationale behind my recent trip to Warsaw for Polska Cosmetics’ International Cosmetics Industry Promotion Programme and Conference.

In an effort to increase awareness of Polish beauty and promote international opportunities, I was invited to take part in the  discussion panel: The Polish Cosmetics Industry From The Global Perspective. Along with Moderator Andrew McDougall (Reporter: Cosmetic Design, France), Auani Cusma de Paula (Cosmetica News: Brazylia, Rachel Liverman (Brand Relationship Manager: Birchbox, USA), and Emanuela Treneva (United Business Media: HBA Global, USA), I was invited share my thoughts on opportunities for the expansion of Polish cosmetics internationally. During the panel we explored the strengths, perceived weaknesses, and shared insight on opportunities for growth.

That’s me. . .in the top knot & DVF dress!
Imagine I’m saying something brilliant. . .you’re likely right 😉

The highlight of my contributions included:

Perception of Polish Beauty — Highly focused on aesthetics and skin care…this seems to be the core of Eastern European beauty. I currently know of only one “color” focused Polish beauty brand, INGLOT. Given the success of INGLOT as a color brand, I think this lays the groundwork for other Polish brands, interested in an international audience, to make strides beyond purely skin care.

Expansion Opportunities: I always say that “beauty is very personal“. It’s the kind of thing that connects with you on a personal level. Once that connection is made, you’ll pretty much try anything. For many women, that “connection” is about a feeling, a story, a setting. This presents a major opportunity for Polish beauty from a “heritage” point of view. I think that by sharing more heritage behind the brands, you create a bond with the customer. For example, Helena Rubinstein, the very first manufacturer to offer UV protection cream, was born and opened her first cosmetics company in Cracow, Poland? Also, Max Factor — yes, THE Max Factor of PAN-CAKE makeup fame — was born in Łódź in Poland as Maksymilian Faktorowicz. He created the first ever daily foundation. Clearly, the world should know more about this kind of Polish beauty! [What’s your story Poland?…Why should we love you? Pull us in!]

While in Poland I attended the Beauty Forum & Spa Expo (find video footage here on Viddy). As I walked the aisles I was in complete awe of the amazing niche beauty brands: like Organique, a paraben free skincare line that incorporates a holistic approach to caring for skin. Clarena, a line of caviar infused creams and serums. Synesis, a wonderfully chic fragrance brand…I had the pleasure of spending time with CEO Anna Garbaczewska, CEO — what an incredible woman!

With Anna – CEO of Synesis

Since all work and no play makes Felicia a very dull girl. . . I was delighted when Anna offered to show us (Lara of PrettyConnected.com, Rachel from Birchbox, Alice of Candifiend on Youtube, Heather of BeautyUnbiased.com, Danielle of Style And Beauty Doctor) around Warsaw. We had a ball. . . a few pictures —

Team Poland: Dinner with Danielle, Rachel, and Lara
Me: Taking in the Streets of Warsaw
When in Warsaw…Vodka with your hosts (I actually chickened out)
Always stop to smell the roses, err…scents: A yummy collection in Warsaw

While in Warsaw, I shot LOTS of Viddy footage of my beauty finds. For more, visit my Viddy account. You’ll find videos from the Beauty Forum & Spa Expo, product demos, and even my wild partying in Warsaw — Spoiler alert: I guest DJ’d one night!

Click my Viddy account to see my beauty videos from Warsaw — SIX in total !!!

I am incredibly grateful to Polska Cosmetics and the entire Poland Beauty Industry for inviting me to take part in such and important inaugural event for their beauty community. It was my honor to represent the US. The Promotion Programme (which is partly responsible for my participation), will run for about three more years. The unique initiative is deigned to promote the Polish beauty industry and enable the Polish national pavilion to take part in important beauty trade shows throughout the world — clearly an important step in boosting Polish beauty awareness. I encourage you to learn more about the Polish cosmetics industry and The Promotion Programme: www.polishcosmetics.pl

Do widzenia [that’s ‘good-bye’ in Polish]


For the second consecutive year, Felicia will be a panelist at HBA Global Expo. The Panel, entitled  Social Influence in Skin Care & Beauty, will feature Felicia, Stuart Schultz of DermTV.com and Rahul Mehendale of mySkin. The Panel discussion, a part of the Skin Care section of the expo, will be moderated by Katie Welch, VP of Communications at Bliss Spa.

Panel Info:

Wednesday 20th June
1:00pm – 2:15pm

Social Influence in Skin Care & Beauty

New media innovations have transformed how we purchase beauty and skincare products. Through the new digital and social media landscapes beauty experts are at now the tip of our fingers (or click of our mouse) and our peers are our main sources of recommendations. This dynamic panel brings together a few of the new social influencers in skincare and beauty.

 About HBA Global Expo

HBA Global Expo provides the top personal care and beauty manufacturers with the entire spectrum of new ingredients, solutions, supplier resources as well as world-class education to help bring new products and innovate concepts to market. Click here for more information and find out why YOU should attend.


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HBA Global Expo is the largest Product Development Event & Educational Conference for the Personal Care, Fragrance, and Wellness..it’s all about the business of beauty.  While the expo is clearly primarily focused on beauty, there is a humanitarian and educational component.

Two years ago, HBA established the Positively Beautiful award to “recognize a person who has had a positive and inspiring influence on the lives of the very people who are customers of HBA’s many attendees and exhibitors.”  This year Kristie Brinkley was the recipient of the Positively Beautiful award, for her work done through Smile Train, a charity dedicated to fixing cleft lip and palate for children in developing countries. Last year’s recipient was singer/songwriter Mary J. Blige.

This year’s expo was kicked off with a powerful keynote from Pamela Baxter, President and CEO of LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics North America. She spoke about what it takes to build a successful career in a highly competitive business, the benefits of proper networking and the importance of having a mentor.

The companies exhibiting at the expo can take a brand from the first steps of product formulation, to packaging, branding, distribution and all steps in between.

Each year, more than 50 conferences are offered. “Creating a Successful Beauty Brand,” “Reaching Every Woman: The Multi Ethnic Market,” “Green Chemistry: Application in Personal Care and Cosmetic Industry” and “New Packaging Technology for Cosmetics and Personal Care Products” were my personal favorites.

For  2011, the HBA Global Expo will take place in June. I encourage all beauty gurus and geeks (I say that lovingly) to work this conference into you 2011 calendar. Click here for a full list of 2011 conferences.

This post is written by ThisThatBeauty Contributor, Christene Carr. For more: @ChristeneCarr or  www.christenecarr.com.

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