Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Event 4.0

Finally the day has arrived for me to sit down and tell you the lowdown on The Event 4.0 held at the ICC in Birmingham.  For those of you who are not already aware, "The Event" is an extravaganza hosted by Sweet Squared every few years to connect, ignite and celebrate.  

Having not attended the previous one, I must admit I was extremely excited to be invited by Samantha Sweet to attend and spent my time frantically scribbling down notes for those of you who missed it!

After our registration we were given a lanyard to wear and a registration pack filled with competitions such as to have a Lecente glitter named after you.  The Event commenced in such a spectacular way, the doors open to adrenaline pumping music and all of the CND Education Ambassadors were in a line in the entrance dancing to it.  Each table had an allocated CND Education Ambassador so naturally I made a beeline to my friend Susan McGirl's table.       I could feel the buzz in the room as we settled into our seats, it was probably the nail tech equivalent of being a child walking into Disney World.

First to the stage was Samantha and Samuel Sweet to welcome us.  I have to say that having never been in their presence before, I could really see their passion for the industry.  Behind them was a large screen on either side of the room was two other large screens so no matter where you were, you still had a good view.

After the introduction, the fantastic Jan Arnold took to the stage and spoke about how much CND Shellac has evolved in the five years since it was originally launched with the limited shades back in 2010.  

Jan was then joined by the fantastic Kelly Melanitou who is the CND International Education Ambassador from Athens.  They did various demonstrations that really intrigued me.  Kelly used the analogue of a damaged nail by showing us a large piece of bread cut in half.  The holes in the bread were to symbolise the damage itself which she then took butter and spread it over it which of course, filled in the dips.  This is basically what the newly launched product, CND Rescue Rxx does and is proven to help many nail issues.  I thought that this was a fantastic demonstration and a good way to explain it to your clients as well.

At some point also during the morning (it's all a hazy blur - just like a dream!) we were given an amazing CND branded tool set with literally everything you'd ever need, nippers, scissors, tip cutters, the lot in a super sleek zip around case.

Not too long after that we were also given a beautiful CND bracelet with 'I love CND' on.  The idea behind it is that there is a charm for each collection which you attach onto it.

After lunch which was provided (and can I say was actually fantastic quality which we all commented on) we then returned back to the hall for our afternoon session.  Jan announced that we would all be one of the first to own the new CND LED Lamp before the global launch on the 1st of May.  Fireworks were displayed on the large screens and then I swear to you that the whole hall erupted with excitement.  One by one in quick succession, CND Education Ambassadors came flooding out of the double doors with cages and cages of lamps in their boxes, all finished with red CND ribbons.  If you were there you'll know exactly what that moment felt like.  

We were also given a bottle of the new Shellac Express 5 Top Coat each and a cotton tote bag with 13x CND Shellac bottles in, 9x CND Vinylux, a bottle of Rescue Rxx and CND Shellac Offly Fast Kit and a CND branded egg timer to use with removals. 

I am going to quickly talk about the lamp, I will go into more depth very soon so I'll just talk briefly.  The lamp itself is literally ready to plug-in, switch on and go.  I think once you see it for yourself you will be shocked at how small, compact and lightweight that it is.  It's acetone resistant which is fantastic because I do know some people that unfortunately accidentally damaged the finish of the old UV version.  As I say, look out for a more depth review shortly on my facebook page.

We were then shown the new CND Five Point Polish Method" by CND Education Ambassador  Nataliya Al-Ta'ai who has been part of the team working on it.  I've made a note of them for you of what was explained to us and I can tell you that it completely makes sense, although it will take a little getting used to but I really liked the meaning behind the new method.

After PEP
Step one - Seal edge first.  If you do the surface first, it creates a bulbous area when you then cap the free edge.  Also you can often swipe over the free edge so you then go over the nail again anyway.  It also means it's more thorough as if you apply the colour / base first, you can miss sections of the free edge.
Step 2 - Apply the brush in the middle and pull down towards the free edge.  Then go back to the centre but push up so that the bristles fan out to the cuticle area.  
Step 3 - Rotate the finger to the left, pull down the side wall and swipe down that side.
Step 4 - Repeat on right side.
Step 5 - Cure.

When using the brushes they should be wiped one on side so there is a tiny bead on the other side and that's all you need to work with to cover the entire nail plate, per finger.

A week before The Event every ticket holder received an email to state the dress code and all that details for when they attended it.  This included an instruction to pick their favourite CND Shellac shade and apply it to the index finger on their non-dominant hand.  There were quite a few different theories as to why they had asked us to do this.  It turned out it was so that we could use the new LED lamp with the Shellac Express 5 Top Coat and witness the difference in the application and removal.

The Shellac Express 5 Top Coat is a lot thinner than the standard Shellac Top Coat.  It glides on to the nail easily for a super sleek look.  I must say I believe the combination of the new LED technology meant that my nails were exceptionally shiny, a lot more usual so the Shellac Express 5 Top Coat finished them perfectly.  The removal was fantastic and you could easily see the difference in the timing as well as how the actual product lifted from the nail.  I am extremely excited to get to using this product on my clients.  

Finally it was time to return back to our hotel room and then get dolled up ready for the party.  I'd heard that the Sweets know how to party and this is definitely true.  On our return we were greeted with a red carpet and a photographer who I'm not going to lie, I dodged like the plague. We were given two drinks tickets and the hall had been transformed into an amazing space with the dance floor and lit up tables and chairs, with a huge bar in the centre.  The night was filled with canapés, awards and laughter.

The second day of The Event 4.0 kicked off with an introduction to Moroccantan with Kay Pennington and the official male model who was hilariously mass flirting with us all which I have to say, must be a talent in itself.  We were also given some Moroccantan goodies to take away with us.

Next on the agenda was the amazing Maria Cientanni from Lecente.  I've been wanting to meet Maria for quite some time and unfortunately I missed her when she was up at Creative Academy+ Manchester back in October as I was on holiday.  She told us that in 1999 she  didn't know what to do as all she liked doing was paint her nails.  She noticed that back then there were no glitter in acrylic powder or gel so the only way to get a glitter nail was to use a glitter polish which annoyed her because every time she would apply it, it never looked as sparkly or as pigmented as it did in the bottle.  In 2010 she then had an ice skating accident, broke her arm couldn't work for 6 months.  Maria remortgaged her house on a whim and launched "Irresistible" after 3 years of cosmetic approved testing.  The name Irresistible was eventually changed to Lecente as Louis Vuitton's parent company Givenchy owned the trade name "irresistible."  The name Lecente came from her Italian background, "luciente" means brilliance however they didn't want people Google it and it would show just the meanings of the word so they amended it to sound a little like their surname, Cientanni.

Something Maria point out which I found interesting was that some other brands do not have the ingredients listed on their packaging.  We wouldn't allow an unlabelled product for liquid and powder on a client so why would we let a glitter near one?  All Lecente glitters have the labels displayed on the base.

A random fact that we learnt was that their holographic glitter has a tiny "T" on it of colour and holographic although I have to say my eyesight is not that good!

There were various Lecente demonstrations but the one I noted down for you was how to create the "ultimate rockstar nail" (AKA how to make it look like it does in the pot)  We were shown this with Lecente Irredescent Baby Blue glitter and it truly made it super sparkly.
  • Apply CND Shellac in Beau and cure.
  • Apply a layer of glitter into the sticky layer. 
  • Apply a layer of CND Shellac in Clearly Pink over and cure.
  • Add another layer of glitter, top coat and cure. 
It was Maria's birthday that day and she kept joking that all she wanted was the new LED lamp so half way through Samuel came up onto the stage and presented her with one which we all cheered at.
Finally from Lecente we were shown a preview of the new detailing brush that will be available within the next few weeks and told that various other new brushes would be launched in the future which I'm extremely excited about.

After Maria's session, Jan Arnold and Kelly Melanitou the returned to the stage for a nail art challenge which I was really in the mood for after all that talk about glitter.

We were shown the above inspiration board with all the ideas that Jan likes in her style for her clothes and nails.  This was totally like a live version of the programme "Nailed It" and we were given 45 minutes to come up with as many designs as we liked on a colour wheel.

Let me tell you, I've never known pressure like it with industry legends like Gigi Rouse walking around but it was good fun to do something like that and the winning designs were fantastic.

Finally the last portion of The Event 4.0 was from the lovely Irish ladies from Waxperts, Ellen and Trish.  Having met Trish only a few weeks ago and reviewing their brand I was delighted that they were sharing their passion for waxing with us all.  If you missed my review of Waxperts, click here including their story on how they started and what makes this brand special.

Ellen and Trish together did a fantastic presentation including a demonstration of both their hot wax and their strip wax which I could tell by the questions they were asked that they had really impressed many therapists.  At the end they treated us all to a little gift bag which contained their beauty oil that's not yet been released in the UK, an exfoliating glove and some Love Heart sweets.

Unfortunately just like all good things, they have to come to an end.  It truly was a fantastic two days.  If anyone ever wondered whether it was worth the ticket price then the answer, undoubtedly is yes.  The products alone were worth double the ticket price as well as all of the tips, tricks, the competitions, the amazing buffets that they had in the daytime, meeting other members of our industry and having a full experience with them.  I hope that, if you weren't able to attend this time that I gave you as close to a feel of it as you could get.
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