Guess who went to IMATS yesterday? Yours truly!
Some of you already knew that I went to the International Make-up Artist Trade Show held at the Toronto Congress Centre. (It’s my second time going to IMATS. Last year was my first time.)
It was a lot of fun, and I was so exhausted when I got home! (My wallet was a little exhausted, too, but I didn’t put a dent in it as badly as last year, so that’s good.) But I had to work on this post for you!
For those of you who are hearing about IMATS for the first time, let me break it down for you.
Anyone can attend IMATS – you don’t have to be a make-up artist. You just have to pay for your ticket. IMATS is set up like a pavilion with numerous booths (1 brand per booth). If you’re Canadian, think of it like the CNE’s shopping pavilion, except everything you can buy is cosmetics-related.
Not only can you find incredible deals on a lot of brands under a single roof, but they also have seminars scheduled throughout the day to help you hone your skills and student competitions so you can marvel at current talent.
In this post, I’ll give you a brief run-down of what I saw. And, of course, I’ll also show you the small things I bought. I’ll also share some photos I took while I was there. I thought that I’d take more, but I really wanted to experience IMATS, and sometimes being a ‘photographer’ can get in the way of truly relishing the moment.
Planning ahead really saved me time during the registration. I pre-ordered my IMATS ticket – this allowed me not only to bypass the long line-up and go straight to the separate lane for pre-orders only, but I also saved $10 on my ticket (so I paid $30 CAD instead of $40).
After registering, you can pick up an IMATS booklet that includes the schedule for the seminars and a little information about some of the artists and keynote speakers.
Last year when I went to IMATS, I saw the model on the cover win the student competition.
This is the floor plan:
The seminars/demonstrations took place in the “Main Stage” and “Open Forum Stage” areas. (And just so you get an idea of the brands that dominated IMATS, 125 was NYX. 301 was Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. 201 was Make Up For Ever.)
Here are just a few of the other brands:
- Crown Brush Canada
- Jordane Cosmetics
- M.A.C. Pro
- Naked Cosmetics
- NARS Cosmetics
- Temptu Pro
- Yaby Cosmetics
The first thing I looked at was the Make-Up Museum. It seemed like nobody was interested in that section because it was a ghost town. But that was fine by me because I got to take photos without getting shoved around.
I liked how the Student Competition Stage was right in the middle, so it was easy to see the artists’ progress on their models while you were shopping. It also made it easier to take a lot of photos from different angles.
Here are a few of my photos:
The make-up artist 1st place winner got a cheque for $1,000. The others got loot from the various companies in the pavilion.
In one of the booths, artists were demonstrating body painting, so of course I asked if I could take their picture!
The model said she thought my nails were cute! And I thought she had a lot of patience to be able to sit so still for a long time. (I could never do it.)
One of the seminars I attended was Eve Pearl’s – “The Flawless Bride of All Ages: From Natural to Hollywood Glamour”.
According to the IMATS booklet, “Eve Pearl is an Emmy Award-winning celebrity make-up artist and 18-year industry veteran.” She’s an “on-air contributor and make-up artist to Meredith Vieira on Today and a key make-up artist and guest on The View. Pearl’s work has been featured in Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, InStyle, Vanity Fair, and more.”
To show her techniques, she brought a volunteer from the audience on stage. Considering that the woman wasn’t a model and was being watched live and on the big screen by so many people, I think she did a great job at keeping her composure. Hehe, although at times, she had a look of annoyance, which made me laugh a bit.
Some things Eve mentioned and/or demonstrated:
- Reverse contouring – Highlight under the cheekbone, not over. This will make your cheekbones stand out more.
- You don’t have to apply liner neatly if you later put shadow on top and smoke it out
- Fill in eyebrows from the middle instead of from the beginning of the brow, which can be too harsh
- When applying false lashes, measure them against your eye and trim from the outer part
- As a make-up artist, you should bring your own portable lighting & you should build your visual resume/portfolio by photographing your clients if possible
- Sheer out foundation by stippling a damp cosmetic sponge where the skin has fewer flaws
She kept making jokes during the demonstration – some were adult jokes. The crowd was tough, though, and only a handful of people laughed. (Yes, I was one of them.)
I also saw Elessa Jade (Pursebuzz) and Koren Zander (EnKore Makeup on YouTube), but I didn’t take either of their photos. Elessa was wearing a super-girlie black and pink outfit with her signature bow on her head, of course. And Koren was sporting this really adorable Hello Kitty brush belt.
And, of course, you know I did some shopping! With discounted makeup at my fingertips, I’m surprised (but glad) that I only walked out with a few things.
What I Got:
- NYX Mosaic Powder in Cafe – $4 CAD? (I forgot!)
- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics nail polish in Pool Boy – $5 CAD
- NYX nail polish in Secret – $2 CAD
- Two NYX Eye/Eyebrow Pencils in Dark Brown – $2.50 CAD each (Got these for my mom.)
- NYX Winter in Moscow Silver Gray Smokey Look palette – $10 CAD
- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Katricia – $10 CAD
- Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Primer in 0 – $25 CAD
- Bottle of water – I included that as a joke. It was over $2 CAD – expensive, but I expected it.
I wasn’t going to grab NYX Winter in Moscow, but then it was right near the cashier, and I thought it would be a good palette to have for traveling.
When I went to IMATS last year, I spent a LOT more. This time around, I was more discerning.
The item I was most ecstatic to get was the Make Up For Ever primer – what an amazing price! Also, I got my very first Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics items! And when I went for the Lip Tar, I chose this really cool purple. I’m going to try mixing it with other lip colours, too. Supposedly you only need a very small amount, it goes on like a gloss, but stays like a lipstick and is very pigmented. We shall see!
Haha, my haul isn’t very exciting (except for the Lip Tar!), so maybe you feel disappointed. I’m glad that I was able to stick to my budget despite being literally surrounded by temptation.
Before I went to IMATS, I made a mental list of things that I wanted to get, and unless I came across some ridiculously amazing product, I was going to try to resist the urge to buy extraneous things. Think I did a good job, and I managed to wait in line to pay for my NYX stuff without going insane. Seriously! The line-up was looooong, and if I didn’t want to get those eyebrow pencils for my mom, I would’ve just put everything back and said, “Forget it!” But my mom’s worth it.
If you’re planning to go to IMATS, these are some of my tips:
- Pre-order your ticket online – it’ll save you money & also time when registering
- Arrive early (before 10 is best) because they could sell out of something you really want! (But if you’re just casually browsing & don’t have anything in mind to purchase, I actually recommend going late in the day because the line-ups are much shorter, the booths aren’t as crowded & you can shop faster. Of course, this is if you don’t plan to attend seminars/demonstrations.)
- Wear comfy shoes (even sneakers) because a lot of time will be spent standing in line or walking around.
- Attend seminars/demonstrations to not only learn something new, but also to give yourself a relaxing break from the shopping hustle & bustle
- Do your research ahead of time & go to IMATS knowing exactly which products you want (this will help you stick to your budget).
- Go with a friend – one person can stay in line while the other person finds things & then you can switch, plus it’s fun to share the experience!
- Bring your camera – there are so many incredible things you’ll want to remember later
- Bring your own snacks & drinks – if you don’t, expect to pay premium prices for run-of-the-mill refreshments
- Bring cash – some places (like NYX’s booth) require that you spend at least $30 CAD before you can use your credit card. Also, bringing cash helps your budget. It’s easy to charge your card, but if you have cold, hard cash, you can physically see when you have less money. This may curb unnecessary splurges.
This post was a little haphazard and slapped together in a hurry. I was both excited and exhausted when I wrote this, but I reallllly wanted to share this with you today instead of later. Hope you liked my little IMATS overview!