♪It’s the most wonderful time of the year. ♫
Ok, maybe not the most wonderful time, since Christmas is pretty great… but IMATS time is up there too.
IMATS is the International Makeup Artist Trade Show, and comes to Toronto every November! It is a two-day trade show featuring exhibitors, speakers and vendors. The IMATS site describes the event as the make-up world’s biggest gathering. Thousands of make-up artists, vendors and enthusiasts discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer. Make-up pros from fashion and film (including Oscar, BAFTA and Saturn award winners) provide education and demonstrations at IMATS, and new products often debut there. IMATS also features a make-up museum and an Afterglow party, where trade-show guests can socialize.
The show is held six times a year: Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Sydney and London. The best part about IMATS? Well, it’s open to the public so no offical memberships or credentials are required! The 2013 Toronto show took place on November 9-10. Tickets are fifty dollars for one day, or eighty for both days. But, you can do what we did and save up to $20 by purchasing early bird tickets.
Last year was Chris’ first IMATS. You can read all about our 2012 experience here. We returned to IMATS this year with our amazing TNL supporting friends and had a fantastic day! We both said that we weren’t looking to get too much this year since we already have quite a bit of makeup and didn’t think we needed anything more. Plus there is so much to see and do at IMATS. So, how did we do? Continue reading to find out.
IMATS opens its doors at 8:30 am on the Saturday, and we have learned from past years that it is best to get there right as it opens, especially if you want to get anything at all from either Makeup Forever or MAC. These are by far the show’s most popular booths; Makeup Forever offers a whopping 40% discount off regular prices, while MAC offers 20% off. If you dont get there early, you can easily spend a couple of hours waiting in line at these booths.
We made a beeline to MAC when we got inside where Chris ran into Elle, an incredibly talented makeup artist by whom she has had the pleasure of getting her makeup done many times in the past. It was exciting to make the connection, especially since we got immediate service and Elle offered her honest and expert opinion when we bombarded her with questions.
Talk about overwhelming. There were so many booths with great products. We didn’t know where to start.
Interesting vendors included a former makeup artist from Dancing with the Stars who has delevoped a line of body Gleam products (we asked if Cheryl Burke has hairy arms. The answer is no.), the always amazing Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics with their Lip Tars and Face Atelier that can be super hard to get your hands on in Canada.
Other than the awesome vendors, another amazing part of IMATS is all the incredible talent that is showcased. Our jaws literally dropped at some of the work being done at the show. There was everything from runway to theatrical makeup and we were only too happy to watch some masterpieces come to life. It is also an incredible opportunity to get advice, tips and tricks from industry professionals.
A student competition also takes place at IMATS. The competition is open to students of a recognized make-up school and to those who have graduated 12 months prior to the competition date. Students have two hours to create a makeup look incorporating a chosen theme. This year, the theme was the elements. Looks had to be inspired by—but not limited to—the four forces of nature: earth, wind, fire and water. So cool to have the opportunity to watch these looks come together!
There is also an impressive lineup of speakers and panel discussions at IMATS. This year, the keynote speakers included Jordan Samuel, who recently served as make-up department head for the 2013 remake of Carrie, Australian makeup artist and author Rae Morris and five time Emmy award winning artist Eve Pearl. So cool, right?
But what we REALLY geeked out about was meeting one of our favourite YouTubers, Sokolum! She is absolutely gorgeous and her incredible makeup had us gawking all day! On top of that, she was incredibly sweet. Chris was also thrilled to meet her IG friend and YouTuber Crystal DivaLevy. Be sure to check out their channels!
So, now for our little hauls. We are happy to report that we didn’t break the bank, and limited ourselves to products we really needed (ok, sort of). We thought that this pic was hilarious because it really illustrates our taste. These are our nail polish picks. Chris is all about the bright colours, while Ash is…not. Ha!
Here’s what else we picked up:
Ash’s IMATS 2013 haul:
Embryolisse (2 full size, 1 travel size)
MAC eyeshadow in Expensive Pink
Makeup Atelier foundation in shade #7
Mac Prep+Prime highlighter in Light Boost
Mac lipstick in Rebel
Essie nail polishes in Rock the Croc, Bikeride, True Love, Below the Belt, Rags to Riches, Da Bush
Chris’ IMATS 2013 haul:
Embryolisse (2 full size, 1 travel size)
Makeup Atelier foundation in shade #11
Ben Nye Banana Powder (mini bottle, 1.5g)
MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural in Give Me Sun!
MAC Lipsticks Rebel and Girl about Town
MAC Prep+Prime highlighter in Bright Forecast
OCC Liptars in Rx and Black Dahlia
China Glaze nail polishes in Celtic Sun (neon yellow), In the Limelight (Neon green), 108 Degrees (pink) and Senorita Bonita (purple).
We had an amazing time at IMATS and can hardly wait for next year. Many thanks to our incredible friends Sephora, Vann-Ly and Suzanne for helping us spread the word about The Neon Leopard!
Have you gotten your TNL tee yet? Find out more deets here!
If you went to IMATS, we would love to hear about what you picked up and your favourite part. The countdown is on to IMATS 2014!