This was my first ever visit to a trade show and although I'd researched as much as I could, I was still not really sure what to expect on arrival.
I took my big sister (aka Fleab) along; It had been years since I'd been to London and I was unnerved at the prospect of negotiating the trains and tubes solo, and we'd also planned to take in an immersive theatre performance later in the day (but that's a whole different story in itself!).
Having a wing woman was a fantastic advantage for me, my sister isn't a nail polish fanatic but she's partial to a spot of Gelish here and there. Not only did she study the show plan and usher me towards the 'must see' stands that I'd identified on my list (as I wandered aimlessly and agog amid the bright lights and beautiful people) but she carried my shopping for me (!) and ensured I didn't get too engrossed in polish heaven and forget to eat.
It was also helpful to have a second opinion on shade selection - I'd have come home with all green, blue and purple polishes and made a beeline for these on each stand, yet whilst I was perusing she was looking at colours that I would normally have ignored and picked some pretties that I would have usually overlooked.
Now, if she just could have grabbed me before I tripped over the step up onto the OPI Outlet stand and landed face first in a bowlful of bargain OPI.....(but what a way to land!)
Thanks for coming with me Fleab x
Right, onto the goodies. As the exhibitors were showing their latest collections which are already available rather than up and coming ranges, I tried to limit myself to taking the opportunity to try either new brands or ones which aren't easy to obtain.
I got off to a cracking start with All That Jazz. This brand is the new 'sister' line of regular polish from Nail Harmony UK's Gelish and launched at the show. You can read more about it here:
I'll have a full blog post on these polishes to follow so for now I'll just show you the shopping.....
Left to right:
Fleur's - Sea of Love, Jennifer's - The Beauty Bleu - Print, Paige's - Ready, Set, Jet; Georgie's - Amazon Queen and Jessica's - Suit 'N Tie.
I'd also been wanting to try Morgan Taylor after seeing their polishes in 'Nail It' magazine...
Left to right:
Who's That Girl?, Under the Stars and Make a Statement.
I'm a big Inglot fan but the postage charge tends to put me off buying so I picked up this one as the opportunity presented itself.....
Inglot had run out of stock of this polish so they gave me the display polish to take home. Thank you Inglot!
I also picked up a couple of Color Club polish is 'Polish for All' an uber bright neon orange that my camera refused point blank to photograph and a Ruby Wing Colour changer in Doux. The latter went home with my sister for her to try.
I bought a couple of bargain OPIs, but nothing ground breaking or new, just a Nail Envy maintenance and a rather shimmery purple/gold mini.
Overall Olympia Beauty was a worthwhile experience.
I appreciated the way that the stand staff chatted away to me happily even though I was clearly labelled by my entry badge as a blogger (and not the head of a large salon chain or similar), and the other attendees were friendly (as they cast a sideways glance at my badge, as I did to theirs!).
I'm hoping to go again next year - maybe see you there?!