Friday, 5 October 2012

Olympia Beauty 2012: Reporting back!

Apparently 23,479 people visited over the course of the two days the Olympia Beauty exhibition was on to check out the latest products, treatments and services in beauty, make up and nails. I attend every year and have seen it go from more of a niche professional show to more of a populist free for all... OK I will admit I miss the days when the Olympia Beauty and Professional Beauty exhibitions were more a hidden thing only beauty insiders knew about... especially before Professional Beauty was run by a magazine... in the old days I recall Make Up Forever exhibiting there with foundations £6 a pop and lipglosses £4. [mournful sigh]

Anyway, all this is not to say it wasn't worthwhile. I bought a load of wax and waxing accoutrements; some false eyelashes (the famous Ardell 'wispies'), some Duo eyelash glue (around £4 at the exhibition), some Royal & Langnickel brushes, some backups of my fave Clynol Look at Me smoothing serum (2 for £5!!) some nail polishes by OPI (around a fiver each) and some Seche Vite of course, and a base coat... etc... All just rather dreary basic stuff. There was not the buzz that earlier years' exhibitions have had, and I was rather disappointed by the supposed discounts - e.g New CID cosmetics were showing there, with a 5% discount - please!

Probably the most interesting aspect of the show was the talk I attended by Dr Jain (you might have seen my interview video with him afterwords, here.) The talk highlighted the crossover between the beauty industry and the medical one. Dr Jain very much sees cosmetic surgery as treating real problems: wrinkles, discolourations and sagging: all are as tangible as any other flawed organ of the body. The most interesting picture he showed was of a patient who had been given Botox to treat excessive teeth grinding. The constant clenching literally enlarged her jaw muscles and created a rather masculine square jaw - but post treatment her whole face shape had changed. He also revealed that if a patient's eyelids are drooping to the point where frowning occurs in order to actively open the eyes to see properly, then Botox can be prescribed on the NHS. He mentioned a treatment I'd not heard much about, Sculptra, which lasts around 3 years. He also spoke about his speciality, body contouring. Intriguingly, Dr Jain suggests that the more costly and invasive a treatment, the more seriously a patient will take it, and the more lifestyle changes they will make to maintain it. He seemed very wary of today's disposable pop fame society where cosmetic treatments are trivialised too far. However, he is not denying that modern technology and the prevalence of cosmetic treatments has helped business - he revealed that through Twitter alone he has generated an extra £50,000! As far as celebrity poster girls he chose the notorious Nicole Kidman. I spoke to another cosmetic surgeon recently who opined that Nicole Kidman is now more famous for being the cosmetic surgery warning than anything else! How sad. By contrast, a photo of Brigitte Bardot was shown. As mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, she is one of the very few celebrities who has said adieu to her youth and not fought tooth and claw to resurrect it. I think she should be applauded for that but Dr Jain did suggest several treatments she could have; it would admittedly be tempting to imagine her able to recapture her intense beauty to the fullest that she could... But, as my interview with Dr Jain revealed, he understands that primarily, these 'unnecessary' treatments are in the first place, for psychological reasons.

As in my previous post, I had this old version of the 'intelligent' camera on and it snapped indiscriminately. It's funny as no one has a clue you are taking pictures so I could have included a few with sales peoples' intense and nauseatingly sycophantic 'sales pitch face' but I won't. Instead, here's a brief idea of the show itself:

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