It’s summer in Los Angeles. So obviously, it’s the time for beauty fanatics to gather, and shop, and compare new skin products and eye makeup looks. A lot of people attend Beautycon LA for just that reason. And indeed Beautycon is pretty great. We wanted to broaden our beauty horizons, though. So we attended the Project Beauty Expo 2019. Yes, you can buy trending makeup items and new skincare from the event Brittany Brown founded in 2016. But this expo is so much more than just buying lashes and looking at popular influencers like James Charles.


In fact, when Brittany Brown first created the Project Beauty Expo (PBE) in 2016, she knew it absolutely had to break the status quo. In fact, the Baltimore, MD, native realized that women entrepreneurs and innovators, especially ones of color, needed more than just another venue at which to sell and buy products. They needed a community. They needed a space where they could market creations that appealed to them and catered specifically to their needs. So Brown went to work.

The initial beauty expo grew from the young woman’s desire to promote her own skincare line.

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But after a few years working with smaller brands, Brown noticed that some companies couldn’t return to her expos. Their products weren’t bad, not at all. But the market wasn’t structured for them to flourish. Moreover, they needed guidance. And Brown endeavored to encourage her fellow POCs and women business owners.

She asked herself, “How can I provide more than just a [beauty] expo so these women-owned brands can succeed?”

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That’s how the Project Beauty Expo transformed and grew. The first event, which took place in Washington, DC, featured four small companies. About 80 people attended. Now, mere years later, PBE welcomes over 30 specialized brands to debut products. Over 300 beauty fans bought tickets to the event.

And how did Brown get to work with such amazing companies as Beauty Blender and Target (yes, that Target – the place where dreams come true and wallets are emptied)?

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She hustled. With a bit of #blackgirlmagic and a lot of initiative, the expo founder dreamt up an event that could do two things – teach women and people of color to grow their businesses and create a space for those same demographics to shop products made for them and by them (almost like a FUBU moment).

The Project Beauty Expo 2019 ran in Los Angeles, CA, from September 14, 2019 – September 15, 2019.

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We’re not saying you missed out if you didn’t cop tickets before they sold out. But we attended both days and honestly felt shook. In fact, we sat in on a handful of the workshops and panels and heard from a select few of the girl boss panelists. Shontay Lundy (the founder of Black Girl Sunscreen), KayCola (the founder of Organi Hair + Skin Co), Stacy Ike (TV host and founder of Fight Your Fairytale), and Laticia Lee (founder of Tress) all joined Brown during the final panel of the event.

And the stage was on fire (in a good way).

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In addition to being complete style goals, the women shared more than a few gems with the audience. We compiled some of the best knowledge they dropped:

It’s cool when women respect other women. It’s magic… [And] when something scares you, that means go… That fear is something good.

– Laticia Lee

I understand that [even if no one else does] I have to trust my own vision… [but] one of my first mistakes was ignoring the things I wasn’t good at.

–  Brittany Brown

I grew into me as a woman when I let toxic things out of my life, toxic friends, toxic men… And sometimes if you’re too happy and comfortable [in those situations], you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough.

– Laticia Lee

[The phrase] Black girl can be a term of endearment [don’t let other people tell you opposite of that if you believe or anything else. Don’t] care if everybody else gets it.”

– Shontay Lundy

If you missed on the summer 2019 event, look out here for updates about all of PBE’s future events,