BeautyCon NYC, the annual celebrity-led beauty convention, is back for its fifth year at Javtis Centre. Expect beauty freebies from your favorite brands, influencer meet and greets, thought-provoking panel discussions, and, most importantly, Cardi B.

The glamorous two-day event has always attracted top influencers. Last year, guests included Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and Zendaya, and the event raked in more than $10 million dollars from approximately 15,000 guests. So it can get a little intense.

PAPER Editor-in-Chief Drew Elliott will be this year's host, moderating talks that range from beauty bias in media to Insta-activism.

The biggest attraction, however, seems to be Cardi B, who is slated for a special 45-minute panel discussion. There's also going to be some other major appearances by the likes of Regina Hall, Issa Rae, and Amanda Steele.

If you're trying to get in on the first day, however, expect chaos. We recommend coming in early to beat the queues and so you have the time to do a quick skim of all the brands. Naturally, you may not be able to see it all, especially if you're only making the trip for a single day or a few hours.

Here are PAPER's picks of what not to miss:

​BeautyCon OGs

This first panel is moderated by YouTuber/socialite Gigi Gorgeous, including guests Amanda Steele, Angel Merino, and Raye Boyce. Together the three will discuss how social media has transformed since its initial boom, and how influencers and businesses need to re-brand themselves to stay relevant.

When: Saturday, 12:10 pm to 12:40 pm

I Deserve to be Seen: Beauty Bias & Representation

Despite some definite progress, beauty has historically not been the most inclusive or diverse industry. In fact, studies suggest that 70 percent of women don't see themselves represented in the media. Watch Former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth lead a powerful panel consisting of Nabela Noor, Julee Wilson, and Amanda Cadenet as they take on issues like diversity in beauty, and breaking stereotypes.

When: Saturday, 1:40 pm to 2:10 pm

Black Girl Magic on the Big Screen by presented by Universal's Little

This has to be one of the biggest celebrity moment of the event this year. With Issa Rae, Regina Hall, and Marsai Martin in attendance, the discussion will focus on the three stars and their highly anticipated film Little.

When: Saturday, 3:15 pm to 3:45 pm

Fighting the Fear of Being Yourself

This no moderator discussion will feature Yara Shahidi and Noor Tagouri in a candid discussion on everything from misrepresentation in media to expression of cultures and self through beauty and style.

When: Saturday, 4:15 pm to 4:45 pm

Insta-Activism

What used to be a resource to share images, has now morphed into a platform for raising awareness about social and political issues. Catch activists Adam Eli, Blair Imani, and DeRay McKesson in conversation to document this slow shift within social media and how it has impacted the world.

When: Sunday, 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Fireside Chat: Making Money Moves

Kind of an obvious one here, and this is probably what you really came for. The incredible rapper will be on live chatting about everything from beauty, body image, to finances.

When: Sunday, 3:30 pm to 4:15 pm

BeautyCon NYC returns on April 6th and 7th 2019 at Javits Centre in New York. Request tickets here.

Photo via Sansho Scott/BFA

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