Bullshit Bedtime Story: L'Ucifer Beheads the Bounty Hunter

There was a time, not so long ago, in a world that had not yet known the internet- when there existed faraway lands untouched by L'Ucifer.
For at that time, these lands were yet too small and unimportant in L'Ucifer's grand scheme of things who was then perfectly happy with the riches of the western hemisphere.
However that is, there were a number of entrepreneurs who saw the opportunity in bringing L'Ucifer's beauty bounties to these faraway lands.
These entrepreneurs shared their vision with L'Ucifer who in turn accepted their pioneering wisdom. 
In an act of benevolence, L'Ucifer granted a number of these entrepreneurs the right to represent, distribute and grow L'Ucifer in these faraway lands.
Each of the entrepreneurs applied themselves fully in their endeavor.
They all toiled for years - built offices, imparted knowledge amongst the locals, marketed, promoted, advertised, registered products - did all that it took- with the certainty that there will come a day when all their investments, their hard work, their strife will be rewarded. 
And that they will soon be bountiful. 
And so, as expected, after years of hard toil- the day did come when L'Ucifer's products have become well known and well distributed that they can already harness the profit from their labor.

But for each of these pioneers, without exception, soon as that day came-
 L'Ucifer appeared to take back the distribution agreement that they had.
The entrepreneurs were only given the opportunity to develop the market for L'Ucifer.

And once profit comes in, L'Ucifer took over.
For L'Ucifer never shares its bounties. 
It beheads the bounty hunters soon as they bring the prize.
So, the same question goes to my head, 
"Can a company who does this, really be worth it?"

Bullshit Police Arrest's L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes

After our bullshit bedtime story, it gives me great pleasure to make the next bullshit arrest.

Bullshit police hereby arrests L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes!

So, what is so bullshit about this ad- you ask me?

I have 3 BIG issues with it.

First, the name - Volume Million lashes.  

What the fuck is that?  

And gawd, when will these ridiculous names and claims stop?  

Well, if I may borrow a quote from The Social Network-
"Million Lashes is Not Cool, Billion Lashes is Cool!"

And the beauty of this is, with this name, they do not have to prove anything- 
because Volume Million Lashes is a product name, not a claim so they do not even have to support this with fake tests.

Second, are those testimonials that appear in their website.

L'Oreal, testimonials that are conducted by yourself, however genuine they seem or they are- 


Testimonials should be from neutral parties.  Leave the testimonials to the beauty bloggers.  

You have no business publishing testimonials which you yourself have conducted.  
That is unethical.

The third and the BIGGEST issue I have is the word "NEW".  

With L'Oreal, everything is NEW.  Well it is NOT 

 Gawd, a mascara cannot be as basic as this one- so they had to compensate by this ridiculous name.

Tell you what dear readers, I will teach you how to create a NEW Innovative L'Oreal product.  

Just follow the instructions below:

And as a subnote, if you go to L'Oreal website- you will be impressed by the really high tech animation of opening the brush.  

I look forward for the next launch when they will make it into a digital 3D animation.  
Though I do not expect much of a new product.

So, the bullshit verdict is 10/10.  They have made a totally ordinary, really old product totally NEW.  

But, L'Oreal bullshit is getting so old and predictable.  
Time to inject new blood in your organization guys!

Top9 Tactic to Make You Buy More Makeup

In cosmetics, I would like to start the year right by making you buy BIG right away!

That keeps the council of the clueless at a comfortable distance from my ass for the first half of the year until September when I will stir you up again with another BIG innovation.

So, just in case you wonder - whether there is real innovation or not, you will surely hear one from me 
  • real or make-believe 
  • pre-programmed like clockwork by mid January.   
This will either be in the form of a lipstick or a mascara (the two biggest sellers in make up- or whatever format is surging growth for the moment).  Normally, if i gave you mascara in January, I will give you lipstick in September, and vice versa.

Anyway, this big "innovation" will come with a cool, much researched and flashy new packaging, a new celebrity endorser and....


Oh shit- I have spent all my money on the new packaging and will not have enough money to improve on the formula.  

WTF do I do now?

 Have no fear - closely watch how I, the priestess of bullshit will now trade my cape and scepter with bling and fur coat and unleash my dirty tactic N°9:

I pimp my claim!  Yeah baby!

Consider this real story:
Rich Colour Lipstick. Creamy color that shapes and defines lips. Wider coverage for easier application. Nonfeathering. SPF 15, with Vitamins A, E.  
Vivid lipstick. With 3D pigments for vivid lips and vivid life! Marigold extract has moisturizing properties for 96%* more sensuous lips. SPF 15. 
*Bullshit research, details of which you do not need to see conducted on 26 women or so. 

What is the difference between the old and the new?  

Nothing, nada, niet, zilch, niente.

But of course, I will tweak the line up a little so it will not be too obvious to you.  This is how I will further cloud your perception.  I will also:
  • discontinue some less selling shades (which are bound to be someone's favorite shade - but I don't care)  
  • put in some wilder colors to give you the impression that our lineup is exciting.  They most probably won't sell as individual shades but it will lift the sales of the whole line. Unquantifiable but true. 
  • sex up the shade names (tactic N°10)
  • I will throw in some research where i will be claiming high percentage of women who noticed a more moisturized lips (more on these on a later blog)
  • Price the lipstick just a tad higher for credibility

And the result:
Long term consumers liked the "new" vivid lipstick better and swore that it had better properties than the old one. Sales were up by 35%. True story.  
You see, of course, we are all prone to the power of suggestion.  If we are hyped that something is better, we will believe and perceive that it is.

Such is how we operate in the biz.

But, are you really better off knowing?
Or would you rather continue believing and perceiving a self-fulfilling innovation?

Only you can decide for yourself.

As for me- I am out of the biz and am here to at least present you the option to decide for yourself.

To answer Yvonne's question on whether products get recycled- this is just one part of the answer.  
You will learn much more (yes, it gets worse!) in the next posts!

Bullshit Bedtime Story : The Brush Brush-Off with L'Ucifer

Before I make the next bullshit police arrest,  I would like to tell you a bullshit short story.  

For this short story and the next to come (if i manage to evade prison) , i would like to use my disclaimer/skip jail card.

Bullshit Short Story 1: The Brush Brush-Off With L'Ucifer

Once upon a time, in a little town somewhere in Germany, there was a small company who was little known to most of the world.  

But, to the people who work in mascaras, in spite of its size, its reputation of having the best mascara brushes in the whole industry was unparalleled - for it had the passion for innovating on brushes that had been passed from one generation to the next.  

One day,  they had the most fortunate news of having one of the world's top brand, who, (for the purpose of the story teller's preference for  a life outside of prison), we will hide under the name of  L'Ucifer - interested in their brushes.  This will mean an assured income not only for the current employees but for the children of their children beyond.  

Such was great news for this small german company in this small german town!

To finalize the partnership though, they were required to train a representative of L'Ucifer on their mascara brush know-how.

The small german company did as they were asked and gave L'Ucifer's rep the best training  and the most charming hospitality that this small village can muster - they regaled him with german beer and sausages as the little village knew how.  

After the training, all of them were so happy  - for this, was the start of a future brighter than they had ever known.

Days have passed but the finalization of the partnership, in one way or another got delayed.  Days went on, and it was becoming a blur.

One day- they did hear from L'Ucifer but it was not from the managers they spoke to nor the representative they had cradled in training.  It was but rather  from L'Ucifer's stable of lawyers.

L'Ucifer had patented all the technologies that they have been taught by our small german company. 

And the army of lawyers have dropped by to kindly inform our small german brush company that as they have become property of L'Ucifer, that the German company may never use their brush technology ever again.

What ensued after that, little more did I know of.  

But the question that came to my mind is - 

"Can any company who can do this really be worth it?"

Call me paranoid.  But it might interest you to print-screen this post just in case I will be forced to take this post out.  

Top10 Tactic To Make You Buy More MakeUp

Photo credit: Jane Russell
At N° 10: Sex Up The Shade Name

I am sure, if you are reading this - that you well have known orgasm.
I mean that rush of warm gold against the folds of frosted pink that have been the subject of many a woman's flight of fancy.   It had been the stuff of legend so much so that we were given second, third, multiple and super servings of it.
Some say it is overrated but everyone admits that you have to poke and fulfill your curiosity before you can turn it down.
I am of course talking about the most successful shade name in the history of makeup- NARS orgasm- why it has been quoted in many a film and tv series (my favorite of which is in the TV series United States of Tara- which i highly recommend or am I so late in the program already?)

Now, had its name not been such, say for example peach rush - it would not have sold nor been talked about as much.   I, for one wouldn't have bought one because this is so not a shade that works for me.

But, being able to say that I paid for an orgasm is already worth the money. And it got reviewed a lot because it just is so much fun talking about it- ah the double entendre of it!
Whether to say you are disappointed of the orgasm, you are buying an orgasm, you would like a second orgasm, you have run out of orgasm- it is a great story!

And honestly, this is the kind of bullshit i wouldn't mind.   Do not just give me a cheek blush, give me a good story- give me a conversation piece, make me feel naughty, reckless, alive - heck- liven up my life- give me orgasm.   Not unlike the bullshit like the "growth mascara" that has the malicious intent to deceive- but this one, i prefer not to live without.

So I think it is such a waste to name shades by the number *cough body shop cough* - as they do not know the power and the gift to joy that they could have been unleashing.

Back where I was in the biz, we would submit our product proposal with our shade name to this wonderful Russian woman who would predict how much the shade would sell.

Can you imagine what kind of talent that is? Back then, I just shrug it off but on hindsight now- it would take a fantastic female brain to do this.

Anyway, the racier my shade name gets, the more sales she would give it to and she has a very good batting average. Yup, in girls as in shade names, horny beats pretty anytime.

So to all the orgasms in the world-  hit me!

Ok, your turn to confess gurlz-  which products have you bought because of the pull of its shade name?

Bullshit Police Arrests The Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara

This is a new series of posts I am introducing as most of you (67%) seem not to mind having bullshit posts every day (I mean really guys?  I am touched!  Thank you!)

The thing is - everyday is a lot of posts - but since I would like very much to accommodate you (even halfway is good), I am introducing these bullshit police posts with a chance of guest blogging- which i will give proper credit to - of course (perhaps i will make some guidelines laters but let us play it by ear and make it up as we go along).

It basically goes this way, you find a real product out there and you try to detect the bullshit that said product gives you.  It is a good exercise for you to hone your bullshit radar.

I will start with this product here, next time I will be happy to have your submission/guest postings in which we can all chirp in to comment.

So without further ado, here is the first arrest made by the Bullshit Police.

I want you to put your guard down and look at the picture below as if you were just flipping through it in a magazine.   
Do not read so much the details just a sweeping glance really.  So just 1-3 seconds should be just right. 

Then cover the picture and tell me 3 adjectives that you can say about this ad.  

There is no wrong or right answer.  So just answer without thinking really.

Don't overthink- just say what comes instantly to mind.   

Done yet?  
If not do not read on until you have done so.  

Okay, now I want you to look at the image below for just 2-3 seconds.

Same thing, tell me your first impression.

Okay so, we will leave that part for now and will get back to that later.


Now, this is what I will do- I will look into the fine lines and dissect what you just saw.

Woh-oh! Whoever did this didn't hold back on the bullshit ammunition!


This name is the master work of art of a true bullshit weasel.  
When you see it- you will think that the mascara will make your lashes grow.  I mean just look at the lashes sprouting out of the word GROW there!  
But then again, she added luscious which means- it will turn it luscious and not make it longer and luscious at the same time.
BUT, then notice how she made the  fonts used for GROW and luscious  different so that you are mislead that GROW is not a verb used for luscious but a different quality that you can expect from the mascara itself.
Wow! Pure bullshit gold!  I am peeing in my pants with bullshit envy.


96% saw instant longer, lusher lashes 

  • Ok, key word is "saw instantly". Whether the difference is big or not, so long as there is a difference, even if they are not satisfied, then that is counted as positive and will belong to the 96% . It suffices that you see a difference.  And of course you will see it instantly- you just applied the freaking mascara eh?!
  • And let me see, only 4% didn't see a difference. If I may guess, that 4% is one person, meaning they have a batch size of 25 women (50 tops). And they chose at least one with bad lashes so that it will not appear too rigged.
  • As well, use of instant longer on the study and with the word grow on the product name makes you believe that it is proven to make your lashes grow. If you dissect the phrase, they have a good defense that they do not claim lash growth- you just understood it that way- so, do not think you will make money on suing them for false claims- they will just argue that you are stupid.
  • they did not mention that the study is independent. So that could mean it was tested by their own paid people 
  • and can somebody tell me, why the f*ck, in this internet age- do we not have a link on the study and that it is on file?  
Now, let us analyze THE CLAIMS:

  1. Lash enhancing formula complements the natural growth cycle of your lashes, improving their overall appearance with each use
  • It complements natural growth rate.  What the fuck is that? It doesn't promote growth, it just complements it- like how- like if you would wash your lashes with water or expose it to air- tell me what would not complement thelash's natural growth cycle?   
  • What it has is perhaps some ingredient that conditions lashes (which could be same ingredient used in shampoos as lashes are hair as well)
    2.   Get lashes that look instantly longer and lusher and will also grow stronger day after day
  • it looks instantly longer and makes it grow stronger.  It doesn't make your lashes grow.  It perhaps has just some extending resin that washes off, wears off in time 
  •  Note the use of these two claims one after another- on purpose (these should have been two separate bullet points if you do not want confusion!)  It is easy to confuse it to make lashes grow longer day after day.
     3.  Oversized lash-extending brush
Ho hum! Nothing new. 
Ok, here, the bullshit weasel got lazy!  Come on!  You can do better than this!   
Heck!  The trainee of my trainee can do better than this!
     4.  Ophthalmologist tested
Tested on what?  
This could just mean that an opthalmologist tried the mascara and it didn't say on what she is testing on.  This ophthalmologist tested doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the study above.   
The opthalmologist could have just put the wand under her armpit to see if she has a fever- and that is ophthalmological testing- hah!
You know all these independent organizations that are verifying the authenticity of the organic origin, fair market source of your products?  

I think they can have good business doing the same verifying validity of these tests.  This could be a good business model that I can branch through really.  Anyone interested to join me, send me your CV - haha!

So, bullshit rate is on a high of 9/10 (-1 for sloppy brush description)

So there you have it- the mascara might/might not be great but these devious little bullshit weasels just need to stoop so low to mislead you that it will make your lashes grow.

Now, for the subliminal part.   Would you please write down your honest answers first time around (no changing!) on the comments.  I will give you more explanations on the next few posts!

Well, was that fun?  Who wants to be  bullshit police next? 

Shall you try it with  the Volume Million Lashes Mascara?  
That is another Bullshit Goldmine!

Two Sure Fire Ways to Make You Buy More MakeUp

Photo Credit: Joan Crawford

You might say I am one lucky biatch for having a dream job in cosmetics.

Well it might have been fun and glam, but when you think about it, after all the jetsetting, the company credit card, the free make up, the glamorous photoshoots, the picking on models- the very essence of what i do is this-
I make sure you will spend more on make up year after year after year.
Let us say you spent 500$ last year and this year you spent only 490$.

One thing is absolutely certain. However well i wiggle my perfect peach shaped arse before the council of the clueless- the only way it is heading is to the unemployment office.

If you spent 515$, that is just 3% increase on a 6% growth rate industry, that is not good enough- I will still be fired but they will give me a slow, painful death- making sure that I suffer during council presentations by quizzing me the growth rate history of the discontinued lipstick used by David Bowie when he was Ziggy Stardust in the 80s.

My personal record (if I may brag) is a 13% increase in your spending.   Yes, I am your mommy.

Yet- I am not proud of myself.

You see, If I do not apply any manipulation, the only one real reason that you will buy make up is when you run out of what you are currently using.

Well, we do know that:
  • a good quality nail polish can perhaps be included in your will and testament (Take note- Caitylyn, you are sitting on a treasure chest of 400 nail polishes there- heehee!) 
  • and you will perhaps grow your pinky nail long so you can dig out the last remaining vestige of your favorite lipstick 
  • and gawd knows these freaking powders never expire!

So, if I leave you alone- I will be better off contemplating a career as a civil servant.

But since shuffling documents is not my bag, I since have developed sure fire strategy that will make you buy more than you need.  In essence there are two ways I can increase your spending.  That is by-

1)  Discontinuing the product that you lurv
Have you ever gone out to shop for just one particular product and then found out that it is gone- never to return again, so you have to compensate for its loss by buying not one but 4 replacements and yet, remain feeling empty?
Why, discontinuing your favorite lipstick can be beneficial to me in so many ways, because you will be open to my next step...
 2)  Giving you something exciting and "NEW".  And if i had my way, the following types of new would propel my career to instant councilhood -
  • a scientific breakthrough which will make your lashes give birth to more lashes like gremlins 
  • a  new packaging that vibrates like the romping rabbit  
But what if I do not really have anything new to offer?   What then?

Well- in the next post, I will tell you my Top Ten (or so) Tactics in Faking Newness to make you buy  more makeup.

The Real Nail Hardening Bitch

At one point or another, some brand will claim that it can harden nails.  And that is darn nice.

Except for one thing - 

it's bullshit.

Do you remember what they say- 
contains calcium, algae, carbon, tough as diamonds (as if they contain diamonds- bah!), bamboo, mineral....
Tell you what - 

they don't work.

There is only one ingredient clinically proven to really strengthen nails.

And that is Formaldehyde.  Yup, same one used to embalm corpses.
But then it was banned together with toluene when there was a move to have all the nail products hypoallergenic. (Hypoallergenicity is so overrated really!)

So, if a product claims to harden your nails and boasts of some wimpy herbs to do the job, save yourself the money and the trouble of disappointment, just stick out your tongue and say-


How To Get a Job in The Beauty Industry

This is a special post to answer an email of one of my readers , she says-
My name is Lily, and I'm a high school student. I will be going to college in the next year or two, and I love makeup, and everything beauty related! So I figured I would either be doing something in the beauty industry or be an interior designer.
However, I don't want to be a makeup artist and I have no idea what careers there are in the corporate beauty industry, so I decided to do a little research. I did some research, and stumble upon your blog.
Now I think your blog is actually really wonderful, but I don't completly understand why you hate it so much. Can you please tell me why I should or shouldn't go towards a career in the beauty industry? Thanks!- Lily

As I can only speak for myself- on how i got my job, this post is going to talk more of my experience.

But first- gaaaah! I didn't realize I seem to HATE the beauty industry.
Well, for the record, I don't -
at least not in all caps, and i would replace "a" with "<3".

But seriously-  I do love the fact that the beauty industry gives us not only cosmetics, but dreams and the desire to be better.

BUT, what I hate is that most brands do not have the balls to stand for what they really believe in but would research what you want to hear and then contort themselves (read: lie) to be that so that you buy them.

I want beauty with balls, gadammit! 

Let me see, perhaps, it helps to point out the upside and downside of this job- then you decide if you want in-
PRO: Free makeup and you even get paid to try it.
CON : Allergies and irritations can be a frequent occupational hazard.  
A colleague of mine started to get too many allergies from the makeup she was trying. As the allergies are too much that it affected her work- she had to be fired.

PRO: You get to be in a glamorous industry.
CON: You go to work without make-up. 
If not, you have to remove it to try more makeup at work. And you wear different eyeshadows per eye and fifty shades of lipstick per arm. Ironic innit?

What is worst is when you have to try long lasting lipstick and waterproof mascara. Go figure. At least you know they are not tested on rabbits. Though in the depths of despair over your falling lashes, you get to question the wisdom of  "No Animal Testing"

PRO: You accumulate loads of frequent flyer miles that can get you free vacations.
CON: You have no time for vacation. 
You travel while normal people would still be sleeping, you go to meetings when others would be working. You work when others would already be relaxing. Basically, you give up life for miles.

PRO: You get to buy Hello on company budget.
CON: You will look incompetent if you do not know who was the worst dressed in the Academy red carpet.  But then, in real life, you would like to know who was worst dressed.
I miss my free "Hello"!

PRO: You get to see makeup innovations two years ahead of everyone.
CON: A trip to the cosmetic counter which used to be exciting- becomes dead boring- like- "oh, that is so 2 years ago!"
PRO : You get to attend photoshoots and criticise models and stuff.
CON: If you screw up the shoot- your ass is fired.
A minor average photoshoot costs at least 10k€ a day. If you want named models and photographers - that's easily 30k€ upwards.

You see- photographers, models and make up artists are more expensive in this industry and for a reason. As far as photographers go, beauty photographers tend to be more expensive than fashion ones- the lighting is more demanding (light is controlled)- at least that's the BS that my photographers tell me. Models also charge higher for beauty brands and make up artists have to be top.

Beauty shoots are an art and a science. You cannot just go with the flow and be impromptu as you perhaps would in a fashion shoot. Too darn expensive!
PRO: You get to create fabulous concepts, products and images.
CON: The make-up artist gets all the public credit. And they will be paid more than you.
I do not mind them taking the credit- it is the paid more than me I have trouble dealing with.

PRO: Other women will envy you for your job.
CON: And so will your ambitious backstabbing female colleagues. Office life is hell.
Put several ambitious women in one room and you will wish to slash your wrist with a stabilo boss. For me, this was the biggest turn off.

But it can also depend on the situation. My position was extra sensitive as I replaced someone who had been fired because the lipstick she launched didn't have a good "clicking" sound. No kidding. In fact, the whole team was fired before me. And before you pooh-pooh this- realize that a mold for a lipstick case can cost easily 1.5million euros. Not to mention the loss of gajillion of sales you will have from a bad launch.

Seriously, I think "The Devil Wears Prada" is work bliss compared to the Beauty Biz.
PRO: It is the only place where it is considered professional to apply nail polish while working.
CON:You have to apply a different color per fingernail.  Haha!
PRO: You get to save money.
CON: Because you do not have a life to spend it on.  
So, if after reading the PROs and CONs, you are still up for it- then read on for more tips.  Otherwise, you may stop right here else you will end up a bitter blogging biatch like me.


I started my marketing career with Unilever.  And, back then - they preferred people with interesting backgrounds.  And interesting could be anything  - except marketing.  (Mine is mechanical engineering).

The reason could be something best explained by a blog of Seth Godin here.

So study arts, styling, architecture, fashion design, fisheries, psychology, mathematics, languages, tourism, engineering, medicine, rocket science, accounting - but not marketing.

Unilever, for example, trains you what you need to know about their way of marketing.

If you want to be in the creation process, it will be an advantage to have a background in fashion, arts or design but as well be knowledgeable of your excel worksheet.

And if you want to be promoted to the highest level- study finance.
Because that is really the heart of cosmetics- money.  (But then again, if you cannot grow an adam's apple, do not count so much on reaching the top).


The toughest barrier that I had in entering the biz was not competition, not education - but visa.

You see, if you want to work in the global central, most of these are located in France, US, Japan, UK.  Some are in Germany, Italy, South Korea, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden.

I sent about 70+ CVs in Paris when I arrived there but soon as they learned I was not European, they told me to talk to the hand.

And French companies are reputed to favor applicants that come from their own business school.  No wonder French brands are galactically boring - they do not cross-pollinate.

Language is another barrier.  Just speaking French is not enough.  You have to be damn fluent.  Though now, the French realize how less and less important their language is in the global scale of things, they still could afford to be arrogant in the beauty biz.

But as a tourist, you can basically get by with "Un verre de vin rouge s'il vous plait".  (A glass of red wine please.)   Alas, the french have to learn english if they want to do business with the rest of the world now.

Haha!  C'est la vie!


If you are eyeing to work for certain brands (in Lily's case Bobbi Brown), it will be good to research which gargantuan company is behind the brand.  You can start your research here.

If you follow the link, you will realize why the top 6 companies account for 50% of all the make up sold ever.

You see, each company will have a portfolio of brands- from the most environmentally correct to the high tech to glamorous to luxury to mass.  So whatever you believe in or whatever you want your company to stand for- they have no problem being it.  Your cash does not have to go another way.

Heck -  Body Shop is under L'Oreal for the endangered komodo dragon's sake!


When I interview applicants for a brand manager's job, I try to see how she lives her life.  What her influences are, what books and magazines she reads, what her hobbies are.

The more interesting her life, the more well-rounded she is - the better a marketeer she will be- as the thinking goes, marketing is all about life. (Whatever).

She will need to analyze sales data and do graphs (endless reporting to the Council) and assemble moodboards from trends (this can be learned if you are artistically inclined).  

Eventually, she will have to do presentations of her concepts, analysis of research.


Want to research more?

Try attending professional cosmetic trade shows and get to know the suppliers as well as the brands.

In the US, you have HBA in New York in September
or Cosmoprof in Las Vegas in July
In Europe, you have Cosmeeting in Paris in September
and the biggest one, Cosmoprof in Bologna Italy in April
In Asia, you have Cosmoprof in Hong Kong in November

HBA will be more about the brands, Cosmoprof will be a mix of brands and suppliers while Cosmeeting is more of suppliers and trends.

Cosmoprof is normally open to the public on the last day.  That is also when you can buy samples.

Well, that is all the tip I can think of for now.  If you have more questions, shoot and I will try my best to answer.