Yes that time of year has been and gone already, I for one do not know where the year is disappearing off too. So last weekend (17th, 18th, 19th May) I took a trip to Olympia exhibition center in London for the international make up artist trade show.
I have been to this show a fair few times now and have always love the mix of education, demos and pro brands and I always seem to meet some really amazing people so its a great opportunity to network and spend a fortune of course.
So Friday is PRO day and I always use that day as my shopping day but don’t panic I wont list everything I brought or you will be here until next year. (give me a comment if you want to know what I brought and I can put that in another post).
Saturday and Sunday I usually reserve for education and catching up with friends as well as meeting different artists on each stand and a little bit of shopping that I may have forgotten or been convinced to buy from when seeing the demo. All in all its usually a really exhausting weekend but also really inspiring and motivating. Sadly as you can guess from my style of writing this year was a bit different to previous years.
The first disappointment for me was the lack of pro brands …..actually the lack of brands in general. The big brands such as MAC, Bobbi brown,make up forever and urban decay were not there and a lot of special FX brands did not return this year. I am not sure of the reason but last year I can imagine it was expensive for brands to book hotels for their staff due to the royal wedding and everyone descending on London and with the uncertainty created by Brexit I just wonder if a lot of brands not based in the UK were slightly put off.
My next disappointment was probably a minor point for some but there was a lack of carpet. Now don’t get me wrong I am not a princess that needs a red carpet where ever I travel but if I am paying £80 or more for a weekend ticket I expect the area to look finished, so the floor had areas that look like they had paint cans dropped on them, stands were empty and it just did not give that professional vibe.
My last moan is about the lack of demos, in previous years the were rooms upstairs providing demos and talks all day and this year there was a distinct lack of these. I only manage to watch 3 demos the whole weekend whereas previous years I may have watched 8 or more. A lot of stalls had demos ongoing but these are a challenge to watch when people are shopping and also take a long time (as special effects and body paint rightfully will do) and after an hour of standing watching a demo I tend to get distracted by other things.
The great points were there was a number of smaller independent stands in attendance this year which I love as it gives me variety in my kit and the chance to see the up and coming trends. I especially spent a lot of time at peaches and cream, my kit co and MUD make up and met some absolutely lovely people on these stands as well as watching some fantastic demos by James Malloy (who I could watch applying make up for hours and hours).
So as you can see I was feeling a bit meh about it and after talking to a lot of exhibitors I could see they were feeling the same and there was also a lot less people visiting this year, so I hope next year things pick up again because there may be even less exhibitors and I and many others may only go for the one day.
Sorry for the slightly negative review, please remember this blog is my thoughts alone.
Below are some of the pics of the great bits of the show, Please note none of this is my make up work.