Salon Melbourne: A sneak peek at trade secrets

| 12 May , 2010 | Reply

Kimberley Santos, Pop Couture

My first beauty/hair trade show in the form of Salon Melbourne a couple of weekends ago, I was a kid in a candy store, I tell you. There were so many exhibitors displaying their wares. Not to mention nearly nekkid men and women bevelling to endorse tanning, IPL or waxing products. More often than not, I\’d do a double take as I stopped to look but then looked away as I didn\’t want to be rude. But I did enjoy a glance or three.

I wandered around thinking I\’d be organised, and go in a complete circle, but it was impossible, depending on how big the swarm of salon owners, employees, beauty therapists etc would be outside a particular exhibitor. It was so overwhelming, I never knew how many types of fake tan or spray tan one could access!

The real highlight of the show was seeing Rae Morris and Brad Ngata in action. Rae Morris, is a superstar in makeup artistry, and her most recent feat was being on tour with Pink, ensuring the rock star was flawless at all times. Brad Ngata has been an icon in the Australian hair industry for over 2 decades and has worked with superstars in the fashion world in order to be able to create the most fabulous, unique and breathtaking hair designs.

On the Sunday, Rae and Brad tag teamed to put together two looks on model volunteers; and then they\’d switch to do the makeup/hair once complete. The banter between Rae and Brad on stage was great, as they described working together and how it is never a good idea to use hairspray when you have models in a line ready to go out – because that sheen of hairspray will fall on the next model\’s face; doesn\’t really work with a freshly made up face!

Rae put a rockin\’ glittery cat eye look on her model, whilst Brad at first started crimping his model\’s hair, but by the end of the process, with it uptied as well as teased out, my friends and I were just amazed at how it started out like an 80s\’ inspiration, then BAM! A modern, catwalk look right in front of our eyes. I was just amazed at how easy Rae and Brad made what they do look. It takes a LOT of experience to get where they are now, and the fact that they are both so warm, friendly and glam is just icing on the cake.

To give you the proper snapshot of the event, and just how all encompassing it can be (read: how much work one undergoes to feel beautiful!) here are some standout brands that I met with, and am also sampling.

Youngblood Cosmetics – this mineral cosmetics company is getting quite a good rap at the product line up, winning best mineral foundation. Lisa, one of the makeup artists at the show was so lovely, genuine and I could see how passionate she was about wearing the product and endorsing it personally, let alone as a product she was selling. I walked away with the Minerals in the Mist ‘Refresh\’ spray – a blend of tangerine and grapefruit for a mid arvo refreshing mist, or for a light mist to set your makeup.

XTreme Lashes – Sadly, I cannot claim giraffe lashes as much as I have tried with the tube, and fibre lash products that cosmetic brands have brought out. But this company, hailing from the U.S, and now run by three sisters in Australia has the most stringent health standards, which is comforting as you don’t want someone mucking about as close to your eyeballs as your lashes are! You can get basic extensions, which can make you look like Audrey Hepburn, or you can go Gaga-Crazy and inspired for a party night. I’m so tempted..

Unico Hair – A brand that I\’ve already sampled via Adore Beauty, and their shampoo is already a staple but now I have the treatment to sample, with thanks to Unico owner/director Sofia, who I honestly just could have hugged. Someone so obviously passionate about their product, and believing in its effectiveness for the Australian climate, how could I say no?

Zoya Nail Polish – There is so much buzz for this brand, and of course in Australia when there\’s buzz, and its scarce – the demand is high. The colour range is just as sublime, and so I picked up a couple of colours – for me personally, in order to stop the habitual biting!

Now for a big lie down!


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