This weekend I went off to my first beauty show in over a decade!
I’ve been so excited about PBNorth since I booked my tickets way back in July! The other not so minor event on the day of the show was it was also my birthday!! So two great reasons why I couldn’t wait for September 20th 2015!
Living all the way down in Poole, Dorset, I decided I was going to travel up the day before, not all a bad thing, my sister in law lives a little under 45mins from Manchester Central, and 45mins sounds much better then 4 1/2 hours! It also meant I got to catch up with my adorable niece & nephews, and as it happened to be a stunning Saturday weather wise, my boys & her kids got in a lot of playtime at the stunning Tatton Park!
The next morning I woke up not only excited about it being the day of the beauty show but it also being my birthday. I never worry about getting older there are a million ways to stay & look younger. A healthy diet & regular exercise being the main one!! I worry more about not being spoilt – no I’m not an only child, it’s just the other 360 odd days of the year if I want something I get it myself, it’s nice to take a back seat & see the kind of gifts other people have taken the time to source just for me.
I’m a big Disney Beauty & the Beast film fan & my sister got me the most lovely Belle painted inspired tea cup!! – See, she knows how much I love drinking tea too!! Lol. It’s just too lovely to drink from though, so I haven’t yet, but I’m dying to show it off… My parents got me the new live Disney Cinderella film, which I can’t wait to watch, but being in a house full of boys I’m not sure when that time will be… My husband & parents in law gifted me cash, which I was thrilled about considering where I was heading too & unexpectedly got a tub of chocolates from my sister in law, and who doesn’t love chocolates!!
Being a Tourist!
After breakfast we headed off to Manchester central, a parking App found us a secluded parking area which I was abit nervous about at first. It was created out of the arches of the train tracks above & an old cobbled road but it ended up being manned all day & only cost £5! The biggest bonus of all was it was only an 11min walk from the exhibition centre!
Well I say that was the biggest bonus, it was the second after the surprise I got walking out of the car park… We were parked at what was the beginnings of Manchester, a Roman settlement! There were even castle remains!
Being a lover of history & architecture I was in my element, the whole area is deep with facts of a time gone by & if it wasn’t for the fact I’m going back to Manchester in a few weeks time, I’d definitely have explored more.
And then the time came… PB North 2015! I had a wish list of things I wanted to get & had highlighted specific stands I wanted to visit but I never realised how busy it would be or how hot I’d get. My first destination was OPI. I was really wanting to get some Gel Colours & they were doing an offer on the base & top coat, unfortunately they had sold out of the duo pack by the time I got there 😔 I wasn’t too disappointed though as I knew I’d be going to Olympia in a couple weeks.
While browsing a lovely OPI lady offered to help me, I really wished I’d paid more attention to her name because she was fabulous & everything I could ever want from a representative of a company, especially one I adore so much!! She had such a passion for the brand that I was basically sold just through her love of how she talked about the products. Having worked in the ‘sales’ industry I can spot a salesperson a mile off & will purposely avoid them. I will not buy from people being paid to sell me something, they always have an agenda… Usually hitting their targets being top of that list. I am a person, not a walking cash tree!
Sorry, little rant over, back to the show 😀
I was really eyeing up the infinite shine starter pack.
It contains base & top coat plus a lovely range of colours. I had more then enough to buy it straight away & still get the few other things I was looking out for. But it’s funny when you have cold hard cash to hand over, why is doing that so much harder then handing over a bank card?? The lovely lady I was with was fab, she knew I was going to Olympia so basically said don’t worry about it now, go away and think about it & I’ll see you when you come back at Olympia! At that moment I didn’t want to go visit any other stands I’d have spent all my money exclusively with OPI. Just her consideration for my hesitation had me bowled over!
I mentioned I’d just qualified & had a huge interest in natural nail care & Promoting nail health & manicures for male clients. We talked about the OPI manicure & pedicure ranges as I said I’d yet to find a range that wasn’t ‘girly’ smelling. I’m desperate to discover a more masculine line. She suggested I sample their range & has they have sample kits I wouldn’t have to spend a fourtune to try their range. Looks like my husband is about to become guinea pig for a while, not that he’d complain! We then discussed the new starlight collection coming out, I was slightly disappointed I didn’t get flagged at the bar to try the colours, but I’m saving that for when I meet Mr Danny Phung at Olympia 😁 (hopefully) Lastly we talked about the Gel Colour range. I’m desperate to get on an OPI Gel Colour course but everytime I have just enough funds the course closest to me gets booked up 😡 Well it turns out if I buy the complete starter set that includes the lamp I get free training!! How amazing is that, again all I was given was advice and knowledge and absolutely no pressure to purchase. It was at this point I gushed abit & admitted my love for the company, my lovely lady then told me to sit still for a moment while she went and got me some info, she came back with not only product info, but professional account information & a fabulous brochure on becoming an OPI Salon Pro! The dream! She put it all in a fabulous OPI bag then handed me a gorgeous pen too – complete coincidence she did that after I mentioned it was my birthday…
I can’t wait to visit for Olympia & without hesitation I’ll be getting that Infinite Shine starter kit, along with a few other bits no doubt…
Next was Gel II – I’m a firm believer no one size fits all so I want to offer a few brands when it comes to Gel Colour. OPI because I love them & they have the perfect selection of classic colours but I also want to offer Gel II for its supposed benefits. The stand was quite busy so I wondered around abit & returned. I wouldn’t have said it was that busy but I wasn’t approached to discuss prices or offers, unlike the OPI counter nothing was obvious in terms of pricing & although I had money, I’d set a budget for each stand so if left me funds to ‘play’ with. It ended up with me listening in to a rep while she was talking to another customer. I’m usually quite a positive person but I’m almost certain this customer was not a nail technician, among not understanding a lamp was a must with the range, the rep was talking her through the design on her own nails which included the new reactions range and this customer just could not grasp how the reactions polish worked, it ended up being she took her away to sample the polishes! It felt like she was more interested in showing off her nails – which were stunning I have to say – then discuss the brand as a whole. I really hate to be negative but after OPI, Gell II was the second thing to discover & discuss & I never got the opportunity 😔 I also noticed they walked straight up to people they obviously knew & twice they walked straight past me to do this. I guess I should have approached them, but I wanted to know more about the product especially as I’d seen a gorgeous shimmery pink. The average Gel Price is around £15-18 so I knew it’d be in that region but knowing the actual would have made the difference between adding a magpie glitter to the basket too… As it was I left empty handed & on returning home & reading the Dedicated FB page did I found out that Gel II was £15 each with a buy 2 get a third free top coat offer going on too, most disappointed 😔
Next was magazine subscriptions, without hesitation I went directly to Scratch magazine! They had a fabulous gift pack when signing up which included some CND products & Minx wraps.
I’m loving the red heart ones & now I have another Vinylux top coat I can use one for dark colours & one for light! As I was filling out the form I forgot the date, of all the days!! It wasn’t until the lovely sales girl prompted me that I said I should know that 🎂 I paid for my yearly subscription with cash so she wasn’t able to give me change, in return she offered to give me the last 2 months as back copies! Yep that’s definitely a better return then £1 change!
I then headed round to the Guild News stand. They publish Nail File Magazine which online I can do as a stand alone product, however the stand was currently only offering subscription on Guild News as there was a gift pack on offer, so after a brief chat with the lady at the stand I decided to sign up online to Nail File exclusively 💅
Next was HABIA. I wanted to sign up for their membership & for the Register of Nail Technicians but both weren’t available to do on the day, which I’m guessing is because you need proof of qualifications. It was nice to hear directly the benefits of what signing up can do, including with HABIA getting a regular magazine & yearly tutorials in your specific industry. Being part of the register of Nail Technicians is to show your commitment to the industry as you are required to maintain CPD points on a yearly basis. I love this industry & learning something new, so for me that’s easy!
Lastly I was on the look out for a new Liquid & Powder System to use. I currently use EZ-Flow, which I do love but I can only get it online, which means a minimum order amount. I’ve heard lots of great things about NSI Attraction, & as they sell it in my local Capital Wholesalers I picked up an amazing little set! Well in the first instance I didn’t. I first spotted a trial kit for £9.50, it contained primer, monomer then a clear, a pink & a white powder. A very good deal I thought until I walked to where the queue was & spied an introductory pack for £10.90! This contained a sample of all the powders they offer (in the sizes of the trial pack) primer & 2 bottles of monomer, an absolute gem of a find!
Finally was just a bit of a wonder around the whole venue. I was really hoping to sample the various manicure & pedicure ranges different brands offered, but the stands just seemed so busy. I stopped by Glitter Express & was really tempted by a bag of irredescent glitter, it was gorgeous and only around the £5 mark. I was hoping to find the smaller pot to sample, but it didn’t have a name and along with starting to get really hot & hungry, my load of magazines that I’d pick up on my way round was really starting to hurt my shoulder.
In hindsight I needed a proper plan for what I was specifically looking for and where to find it. Returning home I realised just how valuable my Scratch magazines are. The advertising for available products out there has been an eye opener. Cuccio have a coconut range out! I love coconut. There is also a waterless manicure kit out which I didn’t realise. The only manicure I offer aside from a Spa one is a wet one as it drastically improves the condition of the cuticles over a dry/express manicure, but this product will be great as it provides the results I want but without the need for water. What it has meant however is my list for Olympia has drastically increased!! 😁
So that was my trip, I didn’t get as much as I expected but it was a great window shopping experience. I can’t wait now for Olympia!! 💅💳