Olympia Beauty is a huge convention that’s been held for the past 14yrs. It brings big and small beauty brands together in one space for people to shop, seek beauty treatments and discover new companies. Going in I wanted to find lesser-known indie brands rather than reap the discounts at NYX Cosmetics.
I managed to enter the venue in no time and was immediately taken aback by the size of it. I didn’t know where to start, I’d never been to one of these events before so had no idea what to expect. After temporarily being lost, I began making my way around the space. The first thing I noticed is how many stalls looked the same, selling the usual classic Instagram eyeshadow palettes.
One of the first stands I visited was Crown Brushes which was a direct dupe of Morphe brushes. I have to say I’ve never been a huge fan of unoriginal brands, but then again the eyeshadows swatched nicely on my hands, and I guess if you can provide the same quality product for a cheaper price it’s a good deal.
The next stand I looked at was also very similar admittedly screaming Instagram, however it initially seemed slightly more original then the previous Crown brushes. I was drawn to all the glitter and colour making me excited to play with the makeup. Talking to the owner they had only started this year so were growing rather quickly supplying to shops and salons. I had to pick up their glam palette showing a unique mixture of pressed glitter and matte shadows. I was most annoyed however to walk a couple of feet to see Kandi Cosmetics with the same eyeshadow palette! This took away from the ‘unique‘ qualities I thought this makeup brand had, and was too afraid to look at the price just in case it was cheaper!
After exploring OB for a while, desperately pushing past the masses of people getting their teeth whitened, I came to the very back of the room where I discovered B:UNDENIABLE by Brysocrema. A female-run brand specifically catering to deeper skin tones which I was thrilled to see particularly in the current beauty climate where we are trying to break away from deeper skin tones being overlooked. Nadine Bryan – the brand owner- was enthusiastic to share her story with me. She’d been developing the brand for 3 years mixing pigments in her kitchen blender before bringing it to manufacturers. As a single mum she wanted to create something to leave behind for her sons coming up with B:UNDENIABLE. It was inspiring listening to her talk, and to be honest I was also just happy that someone actually wanted to speak to me. I struggled previously at other stands to get owners to stop trying to sell me stuff and have a conversation about the company itself often leaving feeling defeated.
Olympia Beauty was definitely not an event catering to makeup artists such as myself but more to the everyday consumer. Being more beauty orientated there was a lot of focus on non-surgical procedures you could get then and there, fake nails, lashes etc…which isn’t my thing. If you’re looking for somewhere to get a good discount and buy from cheap social media brands, then this is the place for you. But if you’re a makeup artist looking for somewhere to gain creative inspiration and find interesting products, I would stick to IMATS.
Words By Lily Hollingworth