Seeing the enthusiasm and energy of the crowds that turned up for the IMAGE Beauty Festival roster of speakers was hugely gratifying for Rosaleen McMeel
The IMAGE Beauty Festival wrapped up on Sunday night and the swelling in my feet has yet to subside, my eyebags are roomier than a bag for life, while false lashes are turning up in areas they really don’t belong, but my heart is also very, very full.
While I was only a small part of the enormous team that executed Ireland’s first ever beauty festival, the whole experience was nothing short of a career highlight.
I was in the meeting room over five years ago when the idea of hosting a beauty festival first came up, and part of the team that travelled to London on several occasions to see what the industry had to offer, so I knew our objectives and our vision. I was also in the office back in December when CEO Clodagh Edwards decided the time was now.
James Patrice and Tara O'Farrell opening the IMAGE Beauty Festival
Six months of intense planning, strategising, pivoting and unadulterated hard work later and the doors to the Point Square opened to visitors. Seeing consumers wander around the various activations and engage with the experiences as we had intended them to was hugely gratifying.
As host of the Boots Beauty Stage, I had a birdseye view of the action. The enthusiasm and energy of the crowds that turned up for our incredible roster of speakers spoke for itself. Tara O’Farrell and James Patrice kicked off the event on Day One and kept the audience engaged throughout their session. I was almost sorry to wrap up the double act after their allotted 45 minutes as I knew they could have happily continued for another hour at least.
Jennifer Rock shared invaluable skincare advice, which led to a day-long queue at the No7 skincare facial scanning station
Next up was Nadia El Ferdaoussi who spoke about her travel adventures and shared packing tips as well as beauty advice on multi-purpose products. Rounding off the day was the incomparable Christine Lucignano who demonstrated her favourite beauty hits from the high street on model Marwa.
On Day Two, Jennifer Rock shared invaluable skincare advice, which led to a day-long queue at the No7 skincare facial scanning station, while Paula Callan demonstrated the most beautiful of bridal looks on her model Caoimhe. Throughout all the talks, the audience were engaged and deeply interested in all aspects of the information being shared, from the light-hearted to the more serious.
It was particularly wonderful to see all sorts of relationship equations from old friends to colleagues, mums and daughters to sisters and extended family members visiting the festival, while others enjoyed solo, making the most of every single experience on offer.
When I wasn’t hosting on the Boots Beauty Stage I was helping to coordinate the talent for the Samsung Beauty Theatre, where Melanie Morris was master of ceremonies. She kept the discussions moving, ensuring each speaker put their best foot forward, as only Melanie can.
There were so many highlights throughout the two days, but special mention must go to our headline act, Patrick Ta. Watching a crowded room gasp in delight as he painted the face of model Maria Traynor was worth all the emails and phone calls forward and back to LA it took to get him to Dublin.
The whole weekend now seems like something of a distant dream, but the aforementioned swelling lingers to remind me of the reality.
When it finally disappears I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll gather again and start planning 2020.
Watch this space and (my cankles) for further developments…
Read more: Our favourite moments of Day One at IMAGE Beauty Festival
Read more: Patrick Ta: Getting fired, working with Gigi Hadid and ditching heavy make-up
Read more: Jennifer Rock shares her top skin commandments with beauty fans