Olympia Beauty 2016

The last beauty show of the year was held a few weeks back and for the first time in over a decade I finally managed to attend.

Olympia Beauty in London is regarded as THE beauty show to attend for those in the industry, so I was thrilled to actually be attending after all these years.


My day started at 5.50am (ok it actually started earlier, like at 4.30am when my alarm went off, but my coach was leaving at this time so I’ll start there 😀) I booked a return ticket with National Express only a week before for £15!! Fuel in my car would cost way more then that not to mention the stress of then finding parking, even the cheapest train fare was well over double that price! On top of having someone else drive the other reason I wanted to travel by coach was they now come equipped with plug sockets & wifi!! Hello travel in the 21st century! 

My coach arrived at Hammersmith at 9, unfortunately I am not a seasoned London visitor & what I should have done was get off then. My venue was an 8 minute walk from there. Instead I stayed on for the extra hour it took to get to Victoria Coach Station 😩 

I then made it over to the tube station, the one thing I was most nervous about doing… my memories of traveling on the tube include everyone rushing around & having little patience for us tourists amongst them… well turns out I had nothing to worry about, 5 mins in & it was like I’d taken tubes my whole life. The best thing is now you can use your contactless card to whiz in and out of the gates 💳 I’ve always found the maps pretty easy to read so I was never worried about that. The only downside was the tube wasn’t working direct to Olympia but a bus had been put on instead. So finally after an hour of arriving in London I made it too Olympia Beauty Show 💅

The Show

My first stop was the Nailympics. Nail competitions is something I really want to get into so was hoping to get a feel of what it’s like, annoyingly due to my navigation issues I arrived just as the very last competition was starting, the fantasy category. I spied Hazel Dixon competing and for a moment I was in awe, then I thought how amazing it was that here was a Nail Tech who has already won numerous competitions & had front cover exposure & yet still feels the need to compete & push herself. That is someone I aspire to be like, never stopping because of what you’ve already accomplished but to keep pushing because of it! 

While they were setting up I took a stroll to view the Box Art entries. I’m not exactly sure what the theme was but I’m guessing it had something to do with the life of a female, here are some of the extraordinary entries that were entered for this year. The artistic talent is off the chart for some people and I only wish I had even an ounce of their talent 🎨

A familiar face was spotted on my route back to the main floor and that was Jennifer Young of Beauty Despite Cancer. If you are anyone you know is suffering with cancer I highly recommend visiting the website. After attending 2 of Jennifer’s seminars early in the year we were given free samples of her products. I kept mine over for a friend who was battling cancer at the time & she had nothing but good things to say about the products especially the lip balm! They also do courses specifically for the treating of cancer patients, something I can’t wait to do.

My first shopping stop was to Nail Paradise to see about the One Stroke Nail Work Book. I’d seen & heard great things about it & the lady at the stand was really great at showing me the book in detail, unfortunately it was a little out of my budget at £45, but hopefully something I can get in the future as it’s something I really want to learn.

I then tried to attempt the Magpie Beauty stand but gave up pretty quickly when I seen how busy it was. I didn’t have money to take up on the 10 for £30 vat free offer but I still love their products so may put a list into Father Christmas 🎅

My next stop was OPI. I was most disappointed to not see them at Pro Beauty North & they were really my main reason for attending Olympia. The gorgeous Breakfast at Tiffanys range has just launched and there were a few items I wanted to buy. I was a little upset to find out the Avoplex Christmas mini’s had sold out the day before but I couldn’t resist buying the triple collection of the signature colour ‘I Believe In Manicures’ 

I loved seeing the vast range of Infinite Shine that’s now on offer but again as I went with a limited budget I held off. 

I couldn’t help but have a demonstration of the new Gel Paints by Sophie Harris-Greenslade. I’ve completely fallen in love with them & cant wait to purchase a few 😍 Sophie’s design was lovely and the intricacy of the design showed just what could be achieved using them.

I then took a wonder round to see what else was new & came across the most amazing nail art brand! E.MI I had never known of them before now but what they do is exactly what I’ve spent months looking for. 3D gels, embossing, texture paints. 

Their nail appliqués are gorgeous too & everything was so reasonably priced. It was then I wished I’d set myself a better budget! The side of the stand was a seated demo area which I stood for about an hour watching. 

The great thing was everything that was being demonstrated was pointed out in the catalog so we could mark it and then buy it when each demo was over. The work is gorgeous & exactly the kind of thing I love.

Watching how she used nail appliqués had me thinking about the original… Minx! So I popped over to the Sweet Squared stand to enquire. The lady there was so helpful & put me in the direction of their education advisors but only after gifting me with some fabulous Halloween minx samples! 

The course is being completely revamped as underside nail art is making another resurgence so I’m hoping someone calls me soon so I can offer this fabulous service. There is more then just Gel Polish out there peeps 😉

My next stop was The Creative Beauty Group to check out the new Dip & Buff system. 

My visions were of the Argos/Boots retail systems that were around a few years ago, they probably still are but being a pro it’s not something I’d look at… Well after a watching a few demos I was up to try the glitter selection. The great thing about the system is you can mix colours so for my first layer I had a lovely fine glistening white/silver glitter & for my second layer a gold flakes glitter. The two together made for a gorgeous combination and on the whole the system is great especially for clients who don’t want something as heavy as acrylics but need something stronger then Gel Polish. 

It’s gorgeous and lightweight but I’ve seen Cuccio are releasing their version in November so I’d be interested in the comparisons before committing to a brand.

Another wonder around bought me to the Nail Artists stand. I follow them on Facebook and had seen the acrylic powders they do so I was interested in getting a closer look. I’m a massive fan of the EZ-Flow acrylic system and the colours and glitter acrylics they do are so gorgeous, but it is costly and the full range isn’t widely available here as it is in the US. I noticed at the recent Pro Beauty show NSI were releasing a range of colour acrylics so I’m after a company that do a nice range but is affordable. 

What they had was gorgeous but it was still nearly £30 for a box of 4 colours, although in fairness the pots are quite large… but Ez-Flow works out at the same price and I love their product… umm #decisions

My last stop of the day was the Cuccio stand. I’ve been eyeing up their Coconut pedicure range for over a year now & really wish I bought the sample kit when it was released last year as they no longer do it 🙁 but as I had a 20% off voucher I settled for the few products they did have in the range 👣

Lastly was the Nail Awards. I didn’t have time to stay for the whole of the ceremony but I did manage to catch the Scratch Magazine Shoot Out awards. I was most shocked to discover that when the 3rd place winner was being announced the girl next to me asked if I could look after her bag, it took me a few seconds to actually register it was her name that had been announced & she was going up to receive her award! Her entry was fabulous and a well deserved winner! You can check out her twitter account here 

As it was a massive international event there were some major names from the Nail world in attendance, Leah Light & Max Estrada who were there as judges were 2 I managed to get pictures of and it would have been amazing to have met them, unfortunately I was short on time & had to get back to my coach. 

I’ve learnt it’s best to spend 2 days at the beauty shows to get the full experience from them, plus being in London you have to give yourself time to explore. 

I took a ton of pictures on my way out, including a Ferrari Showroom 😍

And of course Harrods, sorry for the blurry pic 😬 typical! The one store I wanted to stop at was the one place the coach whizzed past!!

Yes, if you didn’t notice both are pictures of cars, having spend 10 years in the prestige sector of the motor industry I do still have a soft spot for good workmanship.

As you know if you’ve read my other posts I’m a massive history fan & lover of architecture, those Oliver style houses are my favourite, just imagining what went on in those houses 100’s of years ago has me fascinated! 

I couldn’t resist getting a picture of a gorgeous Art Deco building either

I was most impressed to see that my coach passed the house of Alfred Hitchcock! I wish I got my phone out quick enough to have taken a picture but by the time I’d read the plaque out the front of the house we were on the move again… to be honest it only caught my attention as I wondered why in a street of gorgeously upkept houses it was a little delapitated?… that would be why…

So that was the last beauty show of the year. Next up is Professional Beauty London Excel, my tickets are booked & my hotel reserved. I’m taking no chances as I can guarantee I’ll be booked in for seminars and there’s no chance I’ll get a hotel opposite the venue for less then £60 if I waited any longer!! Preparation is key!! Plus a little sight seeing is in order too. It’s London after all! xx


2 thoughts on “Olympia Beauty 2016

  1. Samantha Sweet says:

    Dear Elbie – Thanks so much for visiting Sweet Squared and what a great write up. I judged too and I can tell you Max is a hoot lol. Do feel free to email me with any questions or if I can help with anything at all. So glad you enjoyed Olympia. See you in February for the HUGE Pro Beauty Excel!!! Love & Respect
    Samantha Sweet

    Liked by 1 person

    • elbienails says:

      Oh my Gosh!! Hi Samantha! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, you have no idea how thrilled I am about that. Moments like this make me so glad I’m a part of this industry. Thank you for the help offer too that is very kind of you. I loved the Minx samples & cant wait to attend the course. Your team were fab!! I’m so glad I stopped by your stand, I look forward to Pro Beauty Excel 💅x


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