25 April 2024

America’s Beauty Show 2019: Beauty, Inspiration & Education at their Best!

More than 90,000 admissions including salon pros & owners, aspiring students and teachers, headliners and educators, leading product manufacturers and distributor personnel showing their latest products and distributors, America’s Beauty Show was a great destination for serious beauty pros!

360+ exhibitors from around the globe gathered in Chicago, March 30-April 1, to celebrate beauty, inspiration and education at America’s Beauty Show 2019 (ABS).

This year’s show was the most exciting yet, full of new color and styling trends, interactive technology displays, product launches and tools from top beauty brands, LIVE competitions and more.

Attendees were able to visit several high fashion Runways @ ABS with the very top-of-the-crop of creative artists. Advanced education was everywhere, with lively business panels, and hands-on design classes in color, cutting, nails and makeup.

DAY 1 | Saturday Highlights

Before making a grand entrance onto the show floor, attendees experienced The Beauty Tech Playground @ABS, an exciting, DJ-driven, curated area to gear up for all the high-tech, high-touch beauty innovation and inspiration awaiting from ABS brands and educators. On the Beauty Tech Playground, salon professionals could sample virtual reality education and preview the cutting edge of distance learning, webinars and more.

They were introduced to new ABS tools they can tap from their own smart phone – real-time text info and directions on-demand, scannable digital tickets and more. They could connect and pose with fellow stylists, favorite artists or models in front of “Instagrammable” backdrops for their social media accounts—and even imagine, capture and share the dream of appearing onstage at ABS themselves one day. Opening day at ABS was brimming with runway shows, education and inspiration for all!

This year featured two The Runways @ ABS highlighting the vendor headliners of Premier Beauty Supply and SalonCentric, which offered non-stop education during all three days of ABS. The show kicked off with presentations by Aloxxi, Amika, Aquage, Keune, L’Oréal Professionnel, Matrix, Moroccanoil, Pravana, Redken, Pulp Riot, Sexy Hair and MORE.

Backstage with Beth: Queen of Color Beth Minardi kicked off the show with foils, formulas and crowds of fans! In this exclusive session, Minardi demonstrated how she prepares her models for on-stage. She explained her color-vision for each model and got down to the details on how to execute each look. It was technical education at its best!

The exhibit floor was booming!  New suppliers to ABS and Chicago’s beauty marketplace donned special exhibit looks and the Beauty Unearthed Logo. These exhibitors featured products that were developed by dynamic, independent, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, many former and current salon pros!

DAY 2 | Sunday Highlights

The show’s most popular day, crowds of salon professionals were ready to take advantage of everything the show had to offer. Seating at the Runways @ ABS shows was at full capacity, and shopping opportunities were limitless.

Technical education reigned at the all-new TEKNIK Center this year. These free sessions offered visually stimulating step-by-steps on how to execute 2019’s most predicted color, cutting and styling trends. From formulas to updos, this was THE place to learn techniques from the industry’s top educators. Presentations included: Electric Hairdressing London; Redken educators: Sam Villa, Lori Zabel and Jamie Digrazia & Mikey; CHI’s Amber Marie; Takara Belmont; The Unicorn Tribe and more!

If you didn’t catch Beth Minardi’s exclusive “Backstage with Beth” technical color session on Saturday, Minardi revealed her finished color results in a two-hour spectacle at the TEKNIK Center. Minardi offered tips and technical education about blondes, brunettes and redheads. In her “Afterglow” session, attendees were able to get up-close-and-personal photo opportunities and interact with Minardi, her team and models.

Founded by Instagram influencer Alix Maya (@alix_maya), the Unicorn Tribe took the show by storm, with The Age of the Artist Movement (TAOTAM) Awards, combining a LIVE hair battle and VIP access class in-one. The event featured stage performances and crowned the winners of the TAOTAM Awards.

As the signature fundraiser by Beauty Changes Lives during ABS, the 7th annual Beauty Changes Lives Experience and Legacy Dinner honored the late Paul Mitchell. Designed to support the next generation of beauty and wellness professionals, this high-fashion, high-energy event held at the renowned Geraghty in downtown Chicago, was an evening to remember. It featured a NextGen Runway presentation and party and the official announcement of the ABS Global Image Awards winners. In addition, the Fred A. Piattoni Award for Industry Service award was presented to Dr. Farouk Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems Inc. (CHI, BioSilk, Esquire Grooming) during the BCL Experience.

Day 3 | Monday Highlights

Chicago Says No More Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Training Classes taught more than 5,000 professionals to listen, support and connect on this important topic. Returning for its third year, classes offered innovative ways to help clients experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault. This one-hour Cosmetology Renewal License Domestic Violence Course fulfilled the requirement for Illinois cosmetologists and estheticians renewing their licenses in September 2019. This class was offered for FREE during all three days at ABS.

Future professionals were invited to hear inspirational messages from industry leaders who shared their keys to success at the Grand Student Event. It also honored the winners of the ABS Global Image Awards Student Avant-Garde Team and Student Champion and was a motivating opening day pep rally with giveaways and prizes.

More Highlights

Top-performing continuing education classes included “How to Turn Them Platinum” by Unicorn Tribe’s Daniel Tetreault; “Painting Balayage 2.0!” by Candy Shaw; “Becoming an Influencer: Content Development and Reporting on Social Media” by Monica Hickey; “Booked Solid, The Ultimate Guide to Getting and Keeping Clients” by Paul DiGrigoli; “Foilayage, Business, Branding and Empowerment” by Mireya Villarreal & Ryan Weeden; and “Boho Braids and Updos for Beginners” by Jenny Strebe. Also, a popular event, was Intercoiffure’s Salon Owner Panel and Salon Owner Forum: Turning Today’s Challenges into Opportunities. 

At the ABS National Job Fair, themed “Your Best First Job,” students and professionals had the opportunity to visit with local and national employment brands looking to hire in the beauty industry, like Beauty Cast Network, Hair Cuttery, Great Clips, Sport Clips and Supercuts.

The Jerry Gordon Salon Business Award was awarded to Frank Gambuzza, past president of Intercoiffure America/Canada and co-owner of The Visage Group in Knoxville, Tenn. Dr. Farouk Shami, Founder and Chairman of Farouk Systems, Inc., was awarded the Fred A. Piattoni Award for Industry Service. Dr. Shami was the third recipient of this rather new annual award, following Pat Parenty in 2017, the recently retired President and Chairman of the L’Oréal Professional Products Division in the USA; and Hidetaka Yoshikawa, in 2018, President and CEO of Takara Belmont LTD. The CC Presidents Scholarship Awards were also presented.

Barbering was trending this year! The Crazy Hands Barber Competition by Major League Barbers offered a battleground of head-to-head barbering in an impressive competition.

For the best in skincare and wellness, IECSC-Chicago co-located with ABS, offering CIDESCO USA education tracks for serious estheticians ready to meet the CIDESCO international standard for skincare. 

Save the dates for 2020!

America’s Beauty Show (ABS) returns to Chicago on yet another warm spring weekend, April 18-20, 2020, at McCormick Place West. The three-day event owned and produced by Cosmetologists Chicago, will host salon owners, cosmetologists, students, colorists, nail techs, barbers and estheticians and offer best-in-class advanced education by leaders in the industry, plus hundreds of exhibits by top hair care and color manufacturers, nail and skin care brands, tools, and salon furnishings. Once more in 2020, IECSC-Chicago will co-locate with ABS, offering estheticians and spa pros from around the world access to CIDESCO USA education at the highest level.


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