Every year around March, Glamour Magazine UK hosts a huge beauty festival in London, with all the hottest brands, loads of giveaways, samples, brow and lash bars, facials, talks and an impressive goodie bag. Sounds awesome, right? Well, almost. Read on to why I probably won’t go again.
Held in the beautiful Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square, London, the festival takes up three floors. There’s everything from hair care, with free braiding, to nails, make up and skincare, two coffee bars and a cute little section where you can rest and get a glass of prosecco. The tickets aren’t exactly cheap, but if you buy them early, you can save a little. The tickets are sold in sessions: you can go in the morning, in the afternoon, or all day. But here’s the thing they don’t tell you: they kick everyone out of the venue for an hour. I don’t mind that the queues for the different stands are about 30 – 40 mins long, but there’s a lot to see. I think you need the day long session pass, so that you can see everything, get service and attend the talks. However, when you’re kicked out, you’re not only at the end of the queue again, but you’re left to queue outside, without shelter, in London, to get back in, even though you have paid a lot for a pass. It’s a complete mess. And Sloane Square does not have enough shops, amenities and space to hold everyone, so there’s nowhere you can go to eat or get any kind of shelter for that hour. You’re out there with the staff, the morning session, the afternoon session and the full day pass holders, and everyone else who just happens to be in Sloane Square on a weekend.
In the end, we missed the morning talk with Pixiwoo, because of queues at the stand, but we didn’t mind that much, because her fans that had got up at 5.30 to be there to see her had said the talk was disappointing. The stands themselves were great, they had excellent service, loads of complimentary trials, facials and samples, and I really loved how knowledgeable and passionate the staff were at each concession. It made it really fun and friendly, not at all intimidating. Everyone was very happy, and the whole vibe was wonderful.
You might notice that I don’t have a lot of pictures in this post? Normally I love to put up loads of pictures, but I actually didn’t get to take many. At events, I like to look around, get a lay of the whole place, and take pictures as I get to see things. But because I thought I had til 6pm, I was relaxed. After we were asked to leave, we had to go so far down the street to find a place to eat that had seating (they were all full of people with Glamour Festival bags and staff t-shirts) that we were really far from the venue. Seeing how big the queue was to get back in, we ended up choosing to just go home. We missed out entirely on several sections of the festival, including hair care. Which is a bit of a shame, I wanted to check out Redken and the Estee Lauder section, as well as get a decent picture or two with my friend.
OK, so you heard the worst bits, what are the good bits? Well, the goodie bag is pretty impressive. It’s full of cool freebies, most of them full sized, and worth about £190, but you get it free with your entry. I also got a load of free samples with everything I bought, which was really cool. At each brand, you get to ask loads of questions and try out everything, which is really helpful. I Nars, where I bought a limited edition lipstick. And trying out the new Caudalie Vinosource range, which they’re just launching.
Below you can see my huge haul, most of which was the freebies and giveaways, including the goodie bag. I also bought a few things, so I’ll be reviewing loads of cool, beautiful products for you in future posts, which I can’t wait to do. My favourite place of all though, was a brand I haven’t heard of before that you might want to check out. Fresh has been around for about 25 years, and has come to the UK more recently, their site is HERE. Their products were incredible, and the people who work for them are incredibly passionate about the products. They were offering free facials, but I also tried out their lip scrub, tinted lip treatment, toner, face masks, moisturiser… and all of it was really beautiful! I loved how it made my skin feel. I’m going to do a full post on them and their brand, so look out for that if you love skincare.