07 Aug Arianna Huffington Joins Beautycon To Inspire Next-Gen Entrepreneurs
Beautycon has been described as a festival, an event, an Instagram feed come to life and even the “Super Bowl of the beauty industry” according to the New York Times. More than anything, it’s a celebration of diversity and inclusion. Beauty enthusiasts and influencers travel from far and wide to attend these jam-packed two-day events with the next festival taking place on August 10 and 11 in Los Angeles. The event promises to feature big-name beauty behemoths such as L’Oréal and Revlon as well as upstart indie brands like Y Cosmetics. Since taking the helm in 2015, Beautycon CEO Moj Mahdara has transformed Beautycon from a makeup-only platform to an event focused more on issues that their audience (primarily Gen-Z) cares about. This year, the overarching theme is financial literacy with a new “I ALSO” track presented by Shopify that will empower festivalgoers with the tools needed to succeed in business. One of the highlights of Beautycon LA will include a fireside chat between Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and Grammy-award winning singer and entrepreneur Ciara. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to both Arianna Huffington and Moj Mahdara about how Beautycon is doubling down on its commitment to support next-generation entrepreneurs.
Caroline Castrillon: How would you say Beautycon has evolved over the years?
Moj Mahdara: About three years ago we made a hard pivot to move away from just being a makeup-only platform to be more focused on the topics that are hot on the minds of our younger audience—both male and female—to take on the issues around inclusivity and gender, ethnicity, want, desire and ambition. We started to change the programming both from a brand and from an entertainment perspective to be more driven around culture and pop culture. We’re now a very large retail pop-up, and as we move into becoming an e-commerce and retail brand, nothing is more important than community. The number one primary concern for our business every day is our community. So that’s really how we’ve changed.
Castrillon: What is the overall mission of Beautycon?
Mahdara: I would say that we think about inclusivity, but we think about inclusivity through the lens of having difficult and progressive conversations. Representation of body types, shapes, sizes, genders, ethnicities, spiritual practices and mental states. We’ve always wanted to reshape beauty through the conversation of getting beyond a concealer culture to thinking about beauty as an expression of power and creativity. This year we’re very passionate about education and discovery. We have a lot of people that are interested in what’s in their eyeliner or what’s in their skincare. We want to use that same passion and interest to get people passionate about their credit score or their financial literacy. We think that knowing yourself better, let’s you express yourself better. Nothing is more beautiful than yourself, fully expressed.
Castrillon: Arianna, what inspired you to get involved in Beautycon?
Arianna Huffington: The first thing that inspired me is Moj [Mahdara]. I love the big ambition that she has for Beautycon—to bring young women from all around the world to learn about beauty but then, to actually teach them about so much more. Where I come in is in the recognition that you need all the financial tools and the financial literacy, but you also need to strengthen your own inner resilience to deal with failures and obstacles which are inevitable. We need to silence that voice of self-doubt that I call the obnoxious roommate and allow ourselves to be inspired by role models. For example, I’m doing a fireside chat with Ciara. She’s there as an example of an entrepreneur who launched her own business and is taking much more control over her own destiny and her own future.