On The Prowl – IMATS Toronto 2012


Over the last few days, Twitter and YouTube have been full of tweets and videos about IMATS LA. We love it, and it makes us want to go to Los Angeles oh, so badly! We have IMATS on the brain and it’s got us thinking back to our latest experience.

For those who may not be familiar, IMATS is the International makeup Artist’s Trade Show and there are six held each year. The lucky cities are Los Angeles, Sydney, Vancouver, London, New York and Toronto. The event is open to anyone who purchases a ticket, you do not have to be certified as a makeup artist or hold any credentials. Beauty companies come to IMATS to showcase their products, which are available to attendees at discounted prices. There are workshops and speakers, usually well known make-up artists performing demos. If you follow the online beauty community it is also a great place to spot your favorite YouTube personality or blogger.

Basically, IMATS is a makeup lover’s Mecca. I hope one day to attend IMATS LA, but until then I am lucky to live in a city that hosts the show, even if it is a much colder city.

Last November was my third IMATS Toronto, and Chris’ first.  Although it lightened our wallets, it was a great day and I picked up some products that I’d like to share. I think a few months after the show is the perfect time to share what I purchased as I have had time to really try them out to review them properly. I love a good after shopping spree haul, but it’s nice to hear if people still love their new goodies after the dust has settled.

A funny thing happens at IMATS. It seems that you’re spending loads of moola and you keep dropping new purchases into your snazzy bag. But, then you get home and dump it out and it’s not nearly as much stuff as you thought you had accumulated. Here are some highlights of my IMATS loot, and my feelings about them after using them for a while:

Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover foundation:

The Makeup Forever table is a zoo at IMATS but the 40 percent markdown is worth the hectic wait.

Makeup Forever HD used to be my holy grail of foundations. It is beautiful on the skin, and color #153 is the most perfect color on me. Two IMATS ago, I purchased 5 of these. However, Estee Lauder has since reformulated their double wear foundation colors. Thus, ELDW foundation became my new love. I bought one HD 153 for old times’ sake though. I find that I still love it, but it doesn’t last as long as my ELDW. I tend to get very shiny in my T-Zone and the Makeup Forever definitely requires a great deal more blotting. It’s great for photographs and special occasions when I know I won’t be out for hours, or in the heat. I would absolutely recommend it, particularly to those with dry to normal skin.

Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes in Matte Black

Aqua Eyes is a very good pencil eye liner. It glides on easily and lasts all day without giving me the dreaded raccoon eye look. My liner literally looks exactly the same at the end of the day as it did when I applied it, and that is about all that I can ask for. The matte black shade is a dark inky hue that is not too intense. Most impressive is that it does not irritate my eyes when I dare to venture into the water line.  I think the twenty dollar regular price tag is a bit hefty for an eyeliner though, especially when I think that Milani Liquif’ Eye is just as good at only a fraction of the price.

Makeup Forever Aqua Brow in #30 Dark Brown

This Aqua Brow waterproof eyebrow corrector is a product I had heard lots about many of my favorite bloggers rave about this stuff. I was not a fan. I tried to love this for about a week after IMATS and I have not touched it since. It did last all day and look extremely natural. However, I prefer the precision and sharpness of using a pencil better than a liquid brow product. I also found that the color was dark for me. I might prefer the Ash or Taupe shades, but I think I’ll stick to my tried and true Rimmel Brow Pencil.


The Beautyblender was a repurchase for me. But, it is worth mentioning because I love it so much. I have yet to find a product that applies and blends makeup so seamlessly. The highly recognizable pink teardrop shaped sponge can be pricy at Sephora. But, it works a lot better for blending out product than some high priced name brand brushes, in my opinion. I primarily use my blender for concealer and highlighter. I only use it for foundation if I am putting on heavier makeup to go out, because I find it uses more product than I need on regular days.

I should note that IMATS featured a company called Virtzu, offering deals on the Beautyblender and accompanying cleansers. They also featured the sponges in black and white, which I had never seen before.  Virtzu quoted one of my friends a price higher than they had sold another friend the same product for minutes earlier. Kind of sketchy, but they offered the same deal when we pointed it out.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in NSFW

At my first IMATS , I remember The Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics ( OCC) counter was small and quiet , with a couple of girls and a handful of lip tar colors. Fast forward to this year… where we waited in a sea of excited girls and shoved for a pen and order paper to get in on the lip tar action. They now come in 40 shades!

Lip tars are quite the innovation. You literally need the tiniest little needlepoint dot of product for your lips. Otherwise they can be way intense. I  already  owned a number of the nude and blush lip tar shades , so this year I decided to make the foray into color and purchased a bright red. In an odd way, I find it easier to wear than the nudes, which can be a little much unless applied extremely sparingly. I am still loving my NSFW and at the rate I’m going, it will last me forever. QueenOfBlendingMUA has some fantastic videos demonstrating the lip tar shades on YouTube.

Embryolisse Lait Creme

I saved the best for last. One of the coolest things about IMATS , is that you have access to products that you have heard amazing things about but have never had the opportunity to buy. Embryolisse was one of those finally-I-get-to-take-you-home products. I have seen Pixiwoo on Youtube moisturizing with Embriolysse and I know many makeup artists keep it in their kits. The representative at IMATS told me that it would be fine on my oily skin and that it would also serve as a smooth primer for makeup. Sold.

Embryolisse is the best moisturizer that I have ever tried on my skin. It makes my skin feel smooth and soft without feeling oily. My skin can be acne prone, especially when getting used to a new product but it seems to really like this cream. It  is heavy enough that I feel moisturized but not too heavy that my pores feel clogged or it feels heavy on my skin.  I feel like it gives me a bit of a glow under makeup and I prefer it to any primer I’ve tried. A little goes a long way and this just might last me till next IMATS.

SO , while I may not be enjoying IMATS in Los Angeles, I can still enjoy my IMATS Toronto goodies. If you went, I’d love to hear what hit and miss products you picked up.

— Ash


Now let’s talk about IMATS from a newbie’s point of view, shall we?

This past IMATS Toronto in November 2012 was my first ever, and before I continue I have to get this out of the way – I. Can not. Wait. To go again!

Quite frankly, I didn’t know what to expect when Ash told me about it months upon months in advance (the girl’s a veteran). I had seen my favourite YouTube “gurus” talk about it on their channels and share their pics, so I knew it was the Mecca of Makeup. All I really needed to hear was the word “makeup” and I was IN! So, 9 months in advance when she first mentioned it to me (I wasn’t kidding when I said she’s a veteran) – I naturally agreed to go along. I walked away with many lessons that day, and would like to share it with fellow noobs.

Top 10 things you need to know in advance:

  1. Once you have purchased your ticket ($30 early bird and then $35 after that deadline expires) – make a list. Actually, scratch that – do some research. It’s good to know who is going to be there and what they will be offering, so once you arrive you have in mind where you want to go. I didn’t do this – I just want to buy makeup. Don’t judge.
  2. Once you have done your research – NOW make a list. If you’re a die-hard YouTube subbie following a long list of favourites, you have a list — no ifs, ands or buts. Like, I can already see you picturing that list in your head. So from that list make an IMATS list and in it, split everything up by brand/company and what items they might offer that you’d like to purchase.
  3. The earlier you arrive, the better – we got there touch later than anticipated but very still early and the line had already circled and reached down the length of the room (a big one, at that). Make sure you take your ID with you so that they can compare the name to your e-ticket. You will also need to channel unequivocal amounts of patience before walking in the door.
  4. Go to Makeup Forever first – if you love them (who doesn’t?!), just make a bee-line. It’s insane – the line, the wait, the hostile girls wanting their foundation. If you have your list, write it on the paper they provide you (they won’t even look at you with your “own” paper) and hand it in. And wait. Forever. I only made it out with a lipstick (the most glorious Moulin Rouge) and a lip gloss, and even then I was barely unscathed. I thought for sure I’d have to call in some troops.
  5. TAKE A PEN WITH YOU!!! It might even be best to attach it to a chain and wear it around your neck. Not. Even. Kidding. You need to make lists at every counter and girls hold onto the pens, so if you don’t want to take someone down for one then bring your own.
  6. You may need to split up with your friends – if you want to stop at a booth that your friend is not interested in – save on time and split up. Time is precious and not to be wasted standing around at IMATS uninterested. So with that, have a meet-up spot or just have your phones on that neck chain with the pen.
  7. Bring snacks with you – you can also leave and return since you have your bracelet. But the food is underwhelming and overpriced.
  8. Just use your debit or VISA – there’s no point to having a budget. I tried that and failed – miserably.
  9. Know your prices – not every company would sell their items discounted (like Nars), so you might as well wait on getting certain things.
  10. Appreciate the art – there are beautiful models walking around with crazy makeup on – take pics! They love it!


And there you have it, but you know what’s even better than all 10 combined??? Go with a veteran – thank goodness I had Ash to show me the way!

Onto my highlights:

My favourite purchases – that would be the brushes. I was in dire straits when it came to that area, so I lost my mind a little at the Crown Brush counter. The prices ranged from $2 to $8 so it was easy to get carried away. I also bought 4 occ makeup liptars (in the order shown in the pic below – Queen, Pretty Boy, Harlot, NSFW) that work well over a matching lipstick. They are so beautifully pigmented and long-lasting. And let me tell you, I am waiting for the opportunity to wear my velour lashes  and love that once cared for properly (and you don’t apply mascara over them) they can be reused! Oh and at the MAC Pro counter – sigh. Mineralize skin finish anyone? YES PLEASE! (I absolutely love it, especially since I don’t wear foundation but I still get nice cover). While there I also got Full Fuschia lipstick and Virgin Isle creme blush. At the Nars booth I got Exhibit A blush (they are so beautifully pigmented and a little goes a long way); it is lovely for the winter and the horrible things it does to your complexion. Actually – just wearing blush in the wintertime is a plus. I also got a steal of a deal on 2 beauty blenders and the cleanser (those are SO handy).

Okay who am I kidding – I want to share the pic of my haul! And if you keep that top 10 list in mind, hopefully yours will be bigger.


YouTube guru sightings – Oh. My. Gawd. Jeanfrancoiscd was there with sokolum79 … like I’m talking yards from me… and I totally chickened out from approaching them! (He replied to my tweets later that evening and I squealed for about an hour). We also saw makeupbycherylh, missjbm22 , Ash and a friend got a pic with queenofblendingmua and worked up the nerve to say hello to the talented makeupbyrisa while she worked at the occ makeup booth. We also had a friend in common with MapleSunset, so she headed to the event with us. There were of course tons more, but there was so much to take in that I’m just going to have to go again. There, that’s settled.

Maybe we’ll see you there? — Chris

9 thoughts on “On The Prowl – IMATS Toronto 2012

  1. Last years’s IMATS Toronto was the first for me. I went with a veteran. Thank the Lord! I had a great time and thoroughly explored all of the booths. I will be back this year and I am hoping to take in IMATS New York and LA some time in the near future.

  2. I am really loving the Embriyolisse as well… I highly recommend it as a moisturizer and as a primer esp if you have dry skin. A good friend of mine purchased it as IMATS and I immediately followed as I remembered that the Pixiwoo sisters swear by it! A little goes a long way!!!!! And I will definitely have to try the beauty blender!!!!!! And they must bring NYX back!!!!!

  3. I had so much fun at IMATS it was my first time this year too!! I’m hoping to go to IMATS LA next year with the same fun girls that I went to IMATS Toronto with!! Now that we know what to expect I think we’ll have an awesome time 🙂

    1. IMATS is definitely something to get excited about every year if you are a makeup lover! Hopefully it will be even better now that it is moving to downtown Toronto! Thanks for reading Erica! -C&A

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