Thursday, 27 February 2014

UMA Expo 2013 a retrospective.....

I haven't been around much for a while now, as well as studying, life took an unexpected turn last summer, and Sparklz and Shine had to take a back seat.

One of many posts that got left unfinished was about my trip to the first UMA Expo in April last year....I haven't managed to make it to IMATS or ProBeauty in between, but with April already on the hozizon, I thought I'd try and get this post back up and out there......if I can even remember how to use Blogger, that is....;p


Being able to check out a range of products in one place, is one huge lure and no matter how many pictures or swatches I see online, nothing quite beats seeing and feeling them in real life. Add to that the opportunity to watch people talk about and demonstrate their art in real life and you have my full attention. So when Sue at Love Make up told me there was a new makeup show on the horizon, designed especially to bring the focus back to makeup artists, I shot straight off to investigate.

My budget is fairly tight right now, so the entry price £21 for a day, £28 for 2 at the December price break seamed a whole lot more appealing than IMATS. The other big thing that appealed, was the support for newer mua's with possibility to book a time slot for a portfolio make and take:

Design and apply a makeup to add to your portfolio, whilst being seen by pro-artists from around the world, which will then be professionally photographed for you to take away.

We understand the difficulties that makeup artists face in building up a portfolio. The costs involved in hiring a model and then a good photographer who understands his/her craft, can be enormous and in some cases much more than most can afford.

UMAe is to offer artists the opportunity to book a 60 minute slot, use one of our models to apply makeup to and then access a professional shoot in a purpose lit, controlled environment.


professional portfolio shot to take away for the cost of only £25.00 By Laurie Jeffery

That had me sold! Great anticipation ensued.....until the week before hand when I was hit by a couple of migraines, followed on Saturday morning with an almighty sinus headache that left me unable to get out of bed for 2 hours whilst the painkillers and Sudafed started to kick in. Eventually I made it there around 12, nearly 6 hours after the alarm went off allowing the opportunity for further painkillers just before I left the tube. Thankfully the Business Design Centre in Islington is just a short walk from Angel tube.It still hurt to move so I mostly wandered round in a haze taking pictures for the first hour.


I fell in love with the building immediately. Victorian Iron work and masses of natural light, reminded me a bit of St Pancras Station, my 'home' station for so long, and attached to an all time favourite, the then deserted, Grand Midland Hotel. London is so full of amazing buildings and yet we walk passed so many of them without the slightest knowledge of there history or even sometimes of there existence above modern facades.  The Business Design Centre turns out to be The Royal Agricultural Hall, a Grade II listed building which opened in 1862 to hold agricultural shows and was rescued from dereliction to become the BDC in 1981.







There were lots more shots taken, which, maybe as a bit of therapy I might try and get into a post in the coming days......though don't hold me to it if it doesn't happen!!

Ticket prices for UMA Expo 2014 can be found on the UME Expo website.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Just a little post...

....to remind Blogger that I'm still here! Lying in bed this morning, thinking about some data security training I had recently, I had cause to think about the Blog who's feeds went quite and then started spewing spam posts. Not sure if Blogger reallocated them or if they were hacks, but given that it's been nearly six months since I posting, though with little to say, was a good idea.

It's been a bit of a hard year, some changes I've expected, others I didn't. I'm not ready to come beck yet, but still have every intention of doing so at some stage...

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Orly Coachella Dweller and Boho Bonnet

It's been that time of year again, planting just doesn't sit well with polished nails, especially when they're as bendy as mine. Orly's Hope and Freedom Fest has me back in love with painting my nails though. Having finally got chance to edit some pics I took of up and coming Orly collections yesterday, I was suddenly bitten by the need to be wearing Coachella Dweller and Boho Bonnet. Which one? Well of course then it had to be both.



These soft muted colours seem just right for the 'not quite summer' kind of weather we appear to be having this year. The lavender grey of Boho Bonnet has slightly better coverage than the delicious mossy green of Coachella Dweller. Both have three coats here, though the Boho Bonnet could have managed with two. Orl's polishes are free from DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde and the formula whilst quite runny was a lot easier to apply than many other crème finish polishes I've tried. They've left me well and truly hooked back onto pastels......




Boho Bonnet and Cochella Dweller are available form Beauty Bay priced £7.50 as well as Grafton's Beauty where they cost £10.25, but currently orders will bring you a free Top 2 Bottom - combining key basecoat and topcoat actives to bind polish to the nail and protect colour.

PR sample

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Still here......honest!

Eeek where does the time go? Over a month since I managed to publish a post. I have a number half written, but life has just been so busy and I can't justify blogging until I'm a little more up to date again. See you soon. x

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Artdeco Makeup at Pro Beauty

When Pro Beauty rolled into the ExCel last month I couldn't resist a day out. I do love a good mooch around, seeing what's new and different. This was my third year and it's interesting to spot which brands are regulars and which aren't....there's always the odd surprise. Looking back two years I titled my write up 'Pro Beauty - Not for the faint hearted' . Is it more or less manic two years on? I don't know. It's definitely bigger. Possibly I just got used to the crowds and does help if you go off to a Warpaint Seminar or two in the middle of the day - always the busiest time. The Warpaint Conference sessions were new for 2013 ahead of the magazine's relaunch as a digital publication later this year. It fits in with the gently growing presence of makeup at Pro Beauty as salons look to extend the services they offer.

Which brings me to the main brand that get's me out of bed on a cold wintry morning to make my way to ExCel. ProBeauty is the one place I know I can see the true abundance on offer from German Pro Makeup brand Artdeco. You can find them online, at Beauty Bay, The Garden Pharmacy and Debenhams but Pro Beauty is definitely the place to be if you want to check out the range in full:


The Dita collection has been on my longed for list since images first peeked onto Facebook last year. I could have spent a fortune, but limited myself to a couple of lippies.


Oh Color Mania! Art Deco wowed me greatly last summer with pictures of Color Mania from the different AD European Facebook accounts....still not entirely sure if it was stocked here by anyone...  


The current collection, Butterfly Dreams most definitely is though:






Tribal Sunset has me cooing all over again....not out yet but I see the lippies are starting to appear on Beauty Bay......that and this summers brights collection, which I'm really hoping to get pictures for as soon as they're available.





Tribal Sunset Blush

Also, on the way from Artdeco is the arrival of their own versions of the much hyped BB Creams. Love them or not they are here to stay, for the time being at least. Artdeco isn't a brand to hot foot it down the path after everyone else, without some careful consideration. So they took a step back and watched to see where exactly this path would go, what the BB Cream obsession would morph into before coming up with there own addition to the market. I've always been a girl of extremes, full on slap or none at all, so BB's aren't something I've really investigated, what I saw of these, the texture and coverage was pretty impressive though. Definitely one to check out if BB's are your thing.


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Warpaint Conference tickets received in a Twitter Giveaway 

 My blogging life has become more fractured than ever recently. I miss the days when I could spend a whole day doing a write up after an event, but hey, that's the way life goes.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Illamasqua Nurture - Rubber Brights

When Illamasqua's Rubber Brights Nail Polishes launched as a Sephora exclusive in August last year, I wanted them all! Of course when they finally arrived here in the UK 2 months ago, I realistically had to pick just one. Even then it had to compete with newly launched (I didn't make it to the shop until February) I'mperfection Speckled Nails.

I love all the speckled nail pics I've seen, but I couldn't envisage them looking as good on my short nails and then I saw Nurture in the flesh and all thoughts of Fragile and Mottle went out of the window. I honestly haven't seen one picture that accurately captures the colour of Nurture. Most give it too much yellow and others flatten it's vibrancy. I did have a go, still don't think I got there.

On an Ikea quilt cover

In the garden


On a book

Then with POP Aquatic Glitz after I chipped them - inevitable with my bendy nails - of course you loose the matte / rubber finish, but this type of combo always makes me think of Saris, brightly coloured, with stunning shiny embroidery, heavy at the hem, graduating to more sporadic detailing in the body.


And finally, this one might just capture the colour best....think matte from the top with this colour.


Sadly showing as discontinued on the Illamasqua website, Nurture is still available from ASOS and Sefridges. Suprisingly, the latter is also stocking Aorta! Part of the original Sephora Rubber Brights line up of 6 polishes, I really thought it hadn't made it to these shores as I hadn't seen it in any of the Illamasqua UK promotional materials.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Superdrug Dry Shampoo


These 2 cans have been sitting here insulting me for quite a while now. Insulting me, because I need to throw them away, yet I felt that I needed to be reminded to blog about them and I hate throwing things away.

I've got a feeling I was shopping for bandages for my finger when I noticed them, should have been a warning really - that buy 1 get 2 free offer - but no, I had a senior moment and got the Superdrug and Wilkinson ones mixed up. The latter selling a fairly impressive own brand dry shampoo, the former, well lets just say it took a while to sink in, that every time I used this stuff my hair got greasier. No clean feeling or refreshment here.

I guess it must work for somebody, as Googling just now, to check if it's still on sale (it is) I discovered poor reviews going back at least a couple of years. Surely it wouldn't be on sale if it was that bad for everyone?!

Needless to say I stocked up on Batiste when I spotted them on offer in Boots recently.

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