By Paola Bassanese
Professional Beauty 2012 at London Excel Docklands attracted more than 34,000 visitors this year (this 2 day event recorded on its first day alone 20,000 delegates).
As young beauty therapists fussed around reality TV star Amy Childs from The Only Way is Essex (vajazzle anyone?), towering over everybody in impossibly high heels and gravity-defying beehive, my personal strategy was to see a selected handful of stands I wanted to see and get as much information as possible.
My hot picks from Professional Beauty are of course completely personal and they reflect the needs of my business, Energya Ltd. In a nutshell, I focused on organic product suppliers and some key partners I have developed good working relationships with.
1. Niki’s Balms. After months of talking on twitter, I finally met Niki McGlynn from Niki’s Balms (see my blog on Wahanda on her wonderful organic balms). Talking about organic balms at the stand created a bit of a buzz and many therapists flocked to smell and try the balms themselves. I bought a pot of the organic rose balm which is great for rejuvenating face and neck.
Here’s yours truly with Niki at her stand.
2. Pai Skincare. Today I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Brown (no, not the former Prime Minister’s wife) the founder of organic skincare range Pai Skincare. Remember my video blog reviewing Pai’s rosehip oil? You don’t? Ok, here’s a reminder.
I have been using Pai’s rosehip oil and the rosehip and chamomile moisturiser for a few weeks now and my skin looks dewy and more youthful. I have also noticed that the scarring on my face is fading which is a great achievement.
I do recommend using rosehip oil if you have mature skin or if you need a boost during a stressful time.
At Professional Beauty you could also see a demonstration of a facial using Pai products with step by step instructions.
3. Thalgo. Together with Decleor Thalgo had great professional talks at their stand. I enjoyed the Thalgo spa experience demonstration guiding you through the aromas, massage and sensory experience a client has during a Thalgo spa treatment.
The key element of the Polynesia Thalgo spa treatments is smelling pleasant aromas and taking the client on an exotic journey. The key scent of coconut and vanilla conjured up images of tropical beaches and relaxing holidays. Each client get to experience the moisturising effects of Monoi oil which has been especially blend with light-reflecting particles for a shimmering effect.
Watching the two therapists perform a synchronised Lomi Lomi massage was relaxing in itself although I would have preferred to swap places with the massage models for obvious reasons.
4. Kae Argatherapie. Kae is a French supplier of organic argan oil. At their stand I was given a comprehensive explanation of their range including their black soap which is ideal for deep cleansing and their clay mask. Blended oils with different aromatherapy essenses are also available but my clients prefer pure, unmixed and organic argan oil.
5. The Aromatherapy Company. An extremely busy stand at Professional Beauty, I went to The Aromatherapy Company to stock up on almond oil for massage. They offer both mixed and unmixed massage oils plus candles, oil diffusers, bathing and spa products and gift sets.
6. Voya. The Irish organic beauty products company specialising in Atlantic seaweed is launching a seaweed-infused anti cellulite/slimming massage oil in its retail range in 2012 due to popular demand. I’m already on the waiting list! Having experienced the amazing herbal bag massage and seaweed body scrub at the Landmark Hotel Spa I vouch for its effectiveness to improve the appearance of dimpled skin.
7. Decleor. Fiona Brackenbury, therapist and face of Decleor on QVC, gave a professional talk at the Decleor stand.
Leading by example and demonstrating that once a therapist, always a therapist, Fiona happily got stuck in and set the massage table herself: no airs and graces for this TV personality.
The Decleor stand organised a series of professional talks demonstrating facial massage techniques using their products. Some lucky Professional Beauty visitors received a facial and emerged completely blissed out from the experience (I will request a slot for next year!).
Key products from the range I was impressed with were the clay mask, the intense brightening mask, the dark spot corrector, the neck and decollete concentrate and the cleansing mousse (similar to Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish both in texture and muslin cloth cleansing routine).