I recently attended Olympia Beauty, one of the biggest beauty trade events of the year.
Though it was quite different to my usual foodie or travel exhibitions, it became an unexpected highlight of 2017.
Open to industry professionals from salon and spa owners, to make-up, hair and nail artists, beauty therapists, and of course us bloggers, this was a huge event.
I started my day at the Olympia Stage for the Beauty Influencer panel How to Get Noticed.
The panelists were YouTuber and Blogger Simone Partner from Eltoria, media consultant and spa and grooming writer Mark Smith from The Spa Man, Fashion PR Marie Louise Pumfrey from The F Club, and PR & Influencer Programme Manager Davina Kumal from the International Institute for Anti-Ageing.
It was such a diverse panel and it was great to hear different perspectives on all things blog (and vlog) related. They discussed finding your niche and developing your own style, content creation, audience engagement, social media, and working with brands.
As a blogger with a relatively small following both here and on social media, it was encouraging to hear them talk about the emergence of “micro-influencers”. That sounds like my kind of thing!
One major point I took away from the panel is that I really need to be braver and start approaching brands myself, rather than waiting for the occasional email to ping into my inbox. Scary but necessary if I want to take this little blog further.
The panel had loads of other great advice, which I scribbled down in a notebook and plan to incorporate into my blog and social media strategy.
After the panel, a friend and I checked out the main show. There was a huge range of stalls with demos, treatments, product launches and sales, as well as a few more live stages with various speakers and events.
It was a great opportunity to not only score some deals on products I know and love but also to discover brands I’d not heard of before; there were loads of specialist trade suppliers not available on the high street.
Of course, for those working in the industry, this maybe wasn’t such a big deal but for me, it was make-up and skincare heaven!
I asked every supplier I spoke to if their products were cruelty-free and/or vegan and happily, a surprising amount of them were. There were a few reps stumped by my questions but overall, I think these ideals are becoming more commonplace throughout the industry, which is such a positive change.
In the treatments section we were intrigued by all the futuristic teeth whitening booths but given the prices, we chose to stick with massages and make-up.
The Beauty Influencer team was lovely enough to hand out goodie bags with a whole swag of beauty treats. (Don’t worry, anything not cruelty-free or vegan is being donated to friends!)
Along with the goody bag, I managed to score a few freebies from other vendors.
Here’s my full haul:
I did actually purchase a few of these items myself, some of which will feature in upcoming posts. I nabbed the following:
I’d not heard of Cuccio before, as they are one of the trade sellers. They had a huge stall, which was absolutely packed and I was a tad overwhelmed by their insanely large range of nail polish shades! I managed to narrow down my choices to It’s No Istanbul, Beijing Night Glow and Nights in Napoli.
I also picked up a couple of goodies from the Cuccio Naturale body care range. I went for the White Limetta & Aloe Vera Butter and the Vanilla Bean & Sugar Butter & Scrub based mainly on the delicious scents but also because I’m always on the lookout for new cruelty-free moisturisers and body scrubs.
I was immediately drawn to the nature-inspired Faby display, though it was another brand I’d not heard of before. Their new Nature collection features polishes with earthy shades, made from 87% plant-based ingredients. I bought Black Pepper and Mother Nature, along with a top coat.
My eyebrows are not my favourite feature (they are permanently uneven due to the way they sit on the brow bone) but I try to make the most of what I’ve got. So I’m not gonna lie, I definitely got sold by the demo on this one.
Basically, one swipe of the brow powder by the Beautiful Brows rep and I practically threw my money at her. My brows were more defined, more even and, as the kids say… on fleek.
At £30 for two brow powders (said to last 24 hours), a highlighter and kit containing tweezers, brushes and a bunch of stencils, all in a cute little compact I didn’t think it was too bad.
London Pride Cosmetics
This foundation brush from London Pride Cosmetics has got to be the softest foundation brush in the world. It’s supposed to work with all foundation types and can also be used for setting powders. I don’t remember how much I paid but it was less than £10. Worth it just to feel the amazing floofiness of the brush.
Drawn in by signs saying their pillows help asthma, allergies, migraines and neck pain (all things I’m lucky enough to suffer from), I bought a pillow! At a beauty show. Not something I expected to buy.
However, I’ve been meaning to replace my main pillow for ages and this one looked pretty good and was reasonably priced (given that pillows are darn expensive) at £25.
I’m not entirely convinced it does everything it says on the tin but it’s pretty comfy so far and I have to say that I’m definitely waking up less stiff and headachey.
Finally, the reason Olympia Beauty became a 2017 highlight is… I won an award!
An actual flippin’ blogger award!
I think I’m still in shock.
A few months ago, I was contacted to say I’d been nominated in two categories of the New Generation Beauty Influencer Awards. I still have no idea who nominated me and my blog but I am forever grateful to them!
When I was contacted again to say I’d been shortlisted for the Nutrition & Wellbeing category, I was absolutely thrilled but couldn’t quite believe it. I mean, I’m hardly your “typical” nutrition and wellbeing blogger; I’m not slim, I’m not a health nut, and I certainly don’t feel like any kind of expert in the field. I just blog about what I like and hope other people like it too!
It seems that maybe they do.
The awards were part public voting and part industry judging. Up against two excellent bloggers with much, much larger blog and social media followings, I wasn’t holding my breath. I was excited to be shortlisted amongst such great company and I’m not just trying to be humble, I really did think the shortlist was as far as my nomination was going.
But then they announced my name…
It took a second for me to register what they said before I forced myself up on stage to accept my award with visibly shaking hands. (Cringe.)
Without sounding too corny and cliché, I just want to throw out a massive thank you to my mystery nominator, absolutely everyone who voted for me, and of course the award judges for considering my little blog against such amazing competition.
Also, a huge congrats to all other award winners and shortlisted influencers.
Award or not, I’m super-keen to head back to Olympia Beauty next year.