What the hell is IMATS? It’s the International Makeup Artist Trade Show held in 4 countries around the world and only visits 6 locations – New York, Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Toronto and Vancouver. The event celebrates the makeup industry by showcasing incredibly talented makeup artists including special Fx, exhibitors and education and is the first of it’s kind.
So what was it like? OMG!!! First of all it was so nice to be surrounded by like minded people who share a passion for makeup like I do. I did expect a much bigger crowd as this was my first time attending and didn’t fully know what to expect, but it was actually nice not to have to fight crowds to see anything.
I arrived at Sydney’s Royal Hall of Industries 15 minutes before doors opened in the freezing cold and figured out which line I was meant to be in (we were split into 3 lines – general public, pro card holders and those entering in the competitions). Lucky for me there were only a handful of us pro card holders when I arrived so I didn’t have to wait too long to be let in but boy did I underestimate how cold I’d be! There was a coffee van for those needing a warm caffeine kick which I thought was a great idea but since I don’t drink coffee I just had to suffer the icy wind.
A man came over to our line and spoke only loud enough for the first couple of people to hear, I heard the word champagne but that was it. We were then ushered through the door where there was no champagne in sight (yes I was disappointed, lol) but a table with complimentary IMATS shopping bags and a program. Then it was every man for himself as we spread out to start our shopping. YES! We get priority shopping before the general public are allowed in, this is great! Wrong. Just as I hit the first stand in the hall I see over my shoulder a serge of eager makeup lovers rushing to grab a bargain. So why did we get a 2 minute head start? Who knows. Oh well I have some serious shopping to do before the first speaker of the day.
I had a list of items I wanted to buy or had run out of in my kit and needed to restock, so they were my shopping priority. On my list was the new Lime Crime Mermaid Hi-Lite palette, check out the line up for the Makeupnet stand selling Lime Crime. Yep. It was even longer than you can see here.
15-20 minute wait time with the same for Morphe products. That was nothing! You should have seen the line up for the NYX stand, I didn’t even attempt that one. As I walked past the NYX stand I peaked through between people to see if there were any new release products worth lining up for but sadly it was all the same products you can buy at Priceline, Target or the NYX concept store here on the Gold Coast just slightly discounted.
The prices on most things was fantastic, I saved $30 on the RCMA foundation palette, bargain! But I was slightly disappointed there weren’t more vendors, I didn’t count how many there were but I was expecting a few more. BUT having said that the ones that were there were great and their staff were all so lovely and friendly, willing to answer any question you had or help you find that product you weren’t leaving without.
So, you wanna see what I bought? Well here’s my haul video on YouTube, enjoy!
Now the day wasn’t JUST about shopping, although it was a really fun part of it, the rest of the day I spent soaking up knowledge from industry legends like Danessa Myricks, Roque Cozzette and Melissa Sassine. Sadly I only purchased a Saturday pass so missed out on seeing the amazing Rae Morris speak on the Sunday (note to self: purchase weekend pass next time).
First I watched the beautiful Yalda Girowal show us how to “Slay The Day” with a makeup demonstration and sharing her tips for creating that fabulous glam look we all love at the moment. Sadly I missed the first half of her presentation as I was stuck in that stupid line for Lime Crime.
Danessa Myricks was up next with “Multidimensional Makeup” and my goodness did she light some fires within my makeup artist belly! She spoke to us about high end editorial looks and was an absolute wealth of industry knowledge. Such a beautiful, down to earth and inspiring woman. I could have listened to her for hours and hours. And after seeing her use products from her own line of makeup I’m super keen to try the range.
Next was Roque Cozzette who like Danessa gave some very useful and inspirational industry advice. His brushes look amazing and I wish I’d bought some.
Melissa Sassine was fabulous with her demonstration on “Framing The Face” and the importance of eyes, brows and lips. She gave quite a bit of useful advice for bridal work which I will definitely be implementing with my brides.
Lastly, I sat in on the bubbly Freshta Sahak while she gave us her tips on getting “Eyes and Brows on Fleek”. Her energy was fantastic, especially after such a long and information overloaded day.
It’s safe to say when I walked out of that beautiful historical building I felt so incredibly inspired and ready to get home to the Gold Coast to put everything I’d learnt into practice, not to mention play with all my new toys…I mean work tools.
So was there anything I DIDN’T like about IMATS? It would have been great if there were announcements over a PA letting us know when speakers were about to start, I had to keep a careful eye on the time in between speakers so I could get to the right stage in time to get a seat. Learnt that lesson the hard way while stuck in that bloody line up for Lime Crime but let’s not go there again. Also, and I know this may upset some people, but I really think there should have been “trade only” hours or perhaps one of the days be for trade professionals and the other for both makeup artists and general public, I mean it is a MAKEUP ARTIST trade show after all. I could spot a makeup artist against a makeup fan because we knew exactly what products from what stall we wanted and we dived in and grabbed them, paid and walked away. While the makeup fans were swatching everything and anything and asking questions which is what was causing the lines. I think if we were separated it would allow us in the industry to shop quicker and easier without the line ups and for the makeup fans us makeup artists would be out of your way too, we’d have done our shopping and then be off sitting in on the educational sessions that weren’t of interest to you. Another thing I was disappointed with was that there didn’t seem to be any pre releases of new products or sneak peaks. It would have been great to get some insider scoops on upcoming products but that’s understandable if there just isn’t any to showcase.
So all in all it was a fantastic and inspirational day, my feet weren’t feeling great by the end but that’s the price you pay for having so much fun. My advice for anyone thinking of attending next year is to buy a weekend pass if you want to get as much advice and tips as you can from the best in the industry. Get there when doors open and do your shopping first, this way you won’t be disappointed when things you want are sold out and you’ll be finished shopping ready to soak up the knowledge from the speakers (plus you can rest your tired feet for a while). Finally I highly recommend you read through the schedule BEFORE you get there and work out who you want to see and what time they’re on and also which stage they’re on, I did this and made myself an itinerary allowing plenty of time for shopping, lunch and toilet breaks so I didn’t have to miss a keynote speaker because I didn’t know they were on. It definitely made the day less stressful. I didn’t get to watch the Battle of The Brushes: Character/Prosthetic Awards Show like I’d hoped and I also missed out on the demos as some of the booths as time just didn’t allow for it but perhaps I can do it all next year. Bring on IMATS 2018!!!
If you want to know more about IMATS head to the wesbite: http://imats.net/about-imats/