Over 400 exhibitors. 23,500 visitors. 2 Days. 1 (massive) venue.

The Olympia Beauty Show 2012, 23-24 September 2012, Kensington Olympia.

The exhibition was 2 days of makeup, nails and beauty, with presentations, tutorials, competitions, and a whole range of products and services for those in the beauty industry.


Entry is free to trade and industry professionals/ students (advanced registration required) or £15 for the public.

Makeup demos from top makeup artists, like Mariam Jensen from Jemma Kidd Make Up School and Nicci Jackson from London MUSE School of Makeup were taking place upstairs on the gallery level.

Makeup brushes, lashes and lash treatments were also well represented amongst exhibitors. I stocked up on some bargain lashes and tools, including my favourite lash glue Duo and awesome ball-shaped disposable mascara wands, just like L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion mascara.


Nail bars and nail art were a strong feature of the show with big names like OPI and Essie selling their wares at trade prices and exhibiting new products.

Honestly speaking, I don’t get excited about nail art. It’s not practical or suitable for everyday wear. But that’s not the point, it’s art. It’s aim is to please the senses and is an expression of the artists creativity. So my dislike of acrylic nails doesn’t preclude me from enjoying a good piece of nail art. Real nail art is more than just a French mani, or TOWIE nails, it’s painting on a canvas, albeit an unusually shaped one.

The big competition was the 8th Annual Nailympics. Sadly I missed the Nailympics where over 450 nail technicians from 24 countries competed in a high pressure timed nail art challenge to create the most unique looks in their chosen categories including nail embellishment, stiletto nails and soak-off gel manicures. 

I did see some of the shortlisted finalists for the competition sponsored by Scratch Magazine. These were my favourite wearable nail art pieces.


FaceON Magazine had everyone mesmerised at their stand with live body painting. Such depth of colour and detail is something I am used to seeing on a canvas or graffiti wall.

Spa goodies were available from the Elemis Spa Bus.

Other exhibitors to note:

Supercover Cosmetics come highly recommend for Asian brides. They’re not widely available in stores and so I was keen to try their foundation range with a view to buying some for my kit. Unfortunately they were so busy that I had to leave before trying them out. No matter, they do sell small tester samples on their website http://www.supercovermakeup.co.uk/.

Paperself lashes – I love love love these. A bit expensive for single use but they’re so pretty I don’t care. I bought another 2 pairs at 20% discount.

NYX Cosmetics were there with their Pro range (not available in stores, online only) as well as their high street range.

All items discounted so all this was less than £35.

I’m loving their lip cream in Addis Ababa, a rich creamy fuchsia lip cream that glides onto lips with a lovely matte finish.

All in all it was a great day of makeup fun, bargains and networking.

Put next years’ date in your diary now- 22nd and 23rd September 2013 – Olympia Beauty 2013.