|Clockwise: Kopika sweets, Sanctuary serum, Sanctuary mask, Olay serums, Orab B toothpastes, Astralift serum, show guide|
Well, we've been to the show, sampled some lotions, potions and health drinks, and chatted with a few beauty professionals and overall I think it's fair to say Richard and I both had a lovely time! (Richard's already posted his thoughts if you scroll down the page.) It was, I admit, a bit smaller than I was expecting having sampled the enormity of The Ideal Home Show Exhibition, but The Anti-Ageing Health and Beauty show was arguably more interesting and accessible.
Despite the more compact size of Olympia, not all of the stands were taken, and there were a few empty spaces, but this show is in its infancy, so we can forgive the odd empty stall. There were still a lot of things to see and do (and taste! I wasn't expecting snack stalls, but they mostly offered health food such as nuts, dried fruit and superfoods.)
Saying that, I wasn't thrilled with the venue's sit-down eating options. There was an understaffed Pizza Express and a relatively small venue called Little Orchard – which appeared to only serve salads, sandwiches and smoothies. There was a rather empty-looking Champagne bar, too, but by 1:30 all we really wanted was somewhere to eat. We went with Pizza Express, which had lovely food but ironically we did have to wait quite a bit.
|My personalised copy of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible|
Generally the people on hand were helpful, but I wasn't very impressed by a salesperson on the Green People counter. After much waiting around for one of them to finish their telephone conversation I enquired about a natural eye cream with sunscreen in, like the Korres one I'm currently running out of, and she exclaimed: “an eye cream with SPF? I've never heard of anything like that.” Oh dear. When I advised her that there are many eye creams with SPF she looked at me suspiciously like I was trying to trick her.
But that's not so important, what products did we try?! After a bottle each of Yakult we ventured to Rhodes To Heaven, which was an interesting stall – it was filled with multi-tasking natural products that promise to cut down on waste and excess. We tried the serum (fantastic!) and the cleanser (strong but effective), and Richard decided to plump for the cleanser. I was worried it might be drying, but we'll see Richard's review soon.
We went to the Vita Bella stall next and received the full attention of the staff there. They explained about the ingredients they use, how everything is made and why each product works. The range consisted of face cleansers, moisturisers, treatments and body lotions and they all looked tempting. Richard opted for the Repair & Protect Gel and I went for their Spa Treatment In A Box – which includes an Anti-Ageing Face Mask and Face Cream for £25. As part of a special offer they threw in £17-worth of Moisturising Hand Cream, too, which was nice!
Generally the sales tactics weren't too overt, but we were accosted by a man wondering around aimlessly trying to sell monthly contact lenses, despite me making it clear I prefer daily disposables. The teeth-whitening stall was selling treatments for £69, reduced from £250, but the exposed customers looked pretty silly with their red goggles, plastic mouth openers and bibs, sitting with blue light-emitting 'hairdryers' in their mouths; I couldn't face it!
The goodie bags were... OK. The cappuccino sweets seemed out of place, but the tubes of whitening toothpaste went well with the numerous dental treatments offered that day, as did the mini tubes and sachets of anti-ageing serum, face masks and anti-wrinkle treatments. Offers were generally restricted to people who bought products, such as Beauty Bible's competition to win a £1,000 hamper (wish me luck!), £5.00 off Health Arena's powder drinks, 15% off AD Skin Synergy face oil – on their website only – or Ioma's free clay mask with the purchase of any two Ioma products as well as Vita Bella's 20% off an on-line purchase with every show purchase – something I'll probably look into later.
The price of tickets varied massively, depending on where you bought them. Richard and I paid £15 for two (reduced from £31.75) via Amazon Local Deals, but I read somewhere that they were £15 each on the door. Bearing in mind what you got for your money, and how the crowds were completely manageable I'd say it was a great value event. What particularly impressed me was the sheer number of natural skin and hair care exhibitors there were! I'd never head of Vita Bella or Rhodes To Heaven before the show, but have since saved both to my 'Beauty' favourites. For getting to know new brands (and the very latest in beauty techniques) you really can't beat a beauty show and I'd recommend you give one a go!