Professional Beauty Show at EXCEL London

Shopping at Professional Beauty LondonThere is something about February that makes my jaded old heart sing, and that’s the chance to troll around the Professional Beauty Show at Excel, London.

Valentine’s Day? Pah – I SPIT on Valentine’s Day! Retail beauty products at wholesale prices: that’s what brings a spring to my step and a gleam to my eye, and at Professional Beauty you can indulge your every beauty whim and destroy your credit card balance.

Pictured above are a few of yesterday’s purchases and finds. Every year I buy something from Clarins and Mavala, and I was hoping to treat myself to something from Heaven Skincare this year.

Sothys and Soigné were unexpected, unlooked for delights though, as were Purity Herbs and SKN-RG Organics. That’s the wonderful thing about Professional Beauty: you can be certain of finding bargains from some of your favourite companies, but you also get to discover new brands. The internet is all very well, but at Professional beauty you can sniff, smear, try, and quiz the exhibitors to your heart’s content.

Highlights of the day included:

Sothys Trish treats the Belle to a hand massage– the Belle’s hand treatment by the lovely Trish at Sothys (right). Sothys are the type of brand for whom the tag French Superiority might have been invented: luxurious, effective and very exclusive. Sothys are accessible only through salons. Neither the Belle nor I are tactile enough to be spa-devotees, but we left Trish fully converted to massage treatments and determined to find out more about the Sothys experience!

Soigné: a new nailcare brand whose packaging is simply beautiful (below). Despite having been bewailing my extravagant nature moments before, the generous discounts at their stand meant I didn’t even attempt to resist, and treated myself to three colours that I will review soon. The Soigné bottles remind me of the Balmain nail polishes that I was eyeing up this time last year …Soigné gift sets at Professional Beauty

Purity Herbs: this organic range is from Iceland. Anything Nordic ALWAYS catches my eye, and I’m thrilled to have been given The Rose Wonder cream to test.

-It was lovely to meet the founders of SKN-RG and hear about their line. The Belle and I have the SKN-RG Organics Micro Exfoliant treatment to try, so we will be comparing notes and reporting back.

Clarins always come armed with products at fantastic discounts. I treated myself to an eyebrow kit and a room spray, each at £10. I didn’t know Clarins did home fragrances, so I’m very excited by this. I also – finally – treated myself to Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil, which I’ve wanted for several years now, but never felt quite justified in buying. The fabulous savings on the other two products encouraged me to splurge on the oil, which – based on the name – I anticipate will have me feeling like Marlene Deitrich!Products from Professional Beauty London

Mavala … I love Mavala and I especially love buying 3 of their mini-polishes for a fiver at Pro Beauty! However, this year I went for a top-coat (not the new one: sadly, Mavala had sold out before I reached their stand) and a tube of Revitalising Emulsion for Tired Legs (which is a gift for the Youngest Great Beauty) and her jambes lourdes.

Heaven Skincare: I’ve wanted something from Deborah Mitchell’s Heaven Skincare range ever since trying her Ellajane Organic Face Wipes (courtesy of BeautyMART, back in 2013). Honestly, these cleansing wipes are so thick, soft and moisturising, they feel like a treatment, not a short-cut. I went for the Bee Venom Eyes at £20. A stamp on my hand at purchasing meant that you could return later in the day for a present, which was a nice touch! I was given a bottle of Heaven After Soother, which I will review at a later date.

Professional Beauty is a fantastic day out (or two-day event, if you have the stamina and bank balance to go twice). If you’re super organised, you could kit yourself out with cut-price luxury gifts for your nearest and dearest and have the smug joy of having done all your Christmas shopping before Spring has sprung. I enjoy it on my own, but it’s much better when the Belle comes along too.

Find out more about Professional Beauty here and maybe I’ll see you at Excel next year!