UMA Expo

On a day that could almost be considered positively spring-like, I visited the opening day of the newest make-up show in town – the United Make-up Artist Expo (UMAE)…

Held at the very beautiful Business Design Centre in Islington, a building steeped in exhibition history and akin to Alexandra Palace and the original Crystal Palace, it is an apt location for a trade show and was indeed home to another make-up trade show IMATS for a number of years before its move to Alexandra Palace.

First opened in 1862 the building, originally known as The Royal Agricultural Hall, housed many exhibitions and trade shows until the Second World War when it was requisitioned by the Government and until 1971 was home to the Inland and Foreign Parcels Office.

Neglected for a number of years the building sadly fell into disrepair, however following a £12 million restoration the ‘Aggie’ as it was once affectionately known, was reopened in 1986 as The Business Design Centre.

I digress…

The UMA Expo was a two day event showcasing Make-up Artistry at its best. In the main exhibition space professional make-up stores (including one of my favourites for vegan-friendly, cruelty free products; Love Make-up) created pop-up shops to puvey their wares. Industry guild NASMAH and the union BECTU were there alongside multiple demonstrators of body and face painting and special effects make-up. Seminars were held in two staged areas on the lower floor whilst the Keynote speakers; including Oscar winners Lois Burwell (Lincoin, Braveheart, War Horse) and Greg Cannom (Bram Stokers Dracula, Benjamin Button) took to the main stage.

With all the make-up on display and on offer, it is very eay to get carried away when you visit a trade show however I was very conservative with my spending and limited myself to purchasing products I really needed (mostly) rather than grabbing everything I liked.

My first stop was for Brush Cleaner (I know how to live!) from The London Brush Company. This is a goats milk based, chemical free brush cleaner that I’ve had my eye on for a while and wanted to have a look (and a sniff) before purchasing. Available in unscented, lavender and lemon, it looks amazing and needless to say I picked up a large lavender scented jar!

I picked up some much needed eco disposables from Wigs Up North, a great place to pick up wig and make-up supplies (both online or in store if in the north of England). Eco bamboo disposables are my pick when it comes to hygiene essentials but they are generally a pricier choice than their conventional plastic counterparts so I always purchase a few packs at trade shows when they are on offer.

A stop at the Love Make-up stand set me back two synthetic make-up brushes from German company Zoeva and some (not quite so necessary) Face Lace in Rococo. Face Lace for those of you not in the know, are thin, stylised vinyl designs on an adhesive backing that are applied to the skin – perfect for photo shoots, fashion shows or just for when you feel like getting creative!

It was a great show and although I was unable to attend the seminars and demonstrations (I was accompanied by my 11 month old), I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was great to catch up with old friends and have a chance to talk shop. Surfice to say, I will definitely be going on both days next year – work permitting.

Images courtesy of: The Business Design Centre and Laura Jane Sessions
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