IMATS - the worlds largest celebration of make-up artistry.
This year was my first time ever attending IMATS & it definitely won't be the last. Make-up artists had told me previously about IMATS trade show & how spectacular their discounts are on huge brands but I wasn't prepared and neither was my purse.
WHAT IS IMATS TRADE SHOW?
The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show, or IMATS, is the world’s largest celebration of make-up artistry. Thousands of make-up artists, exhibitors 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 the Battle of the Brushes student make-up competitions, where international make-up students race to create winning looks.
Before IMATS, there were no trade shows specifically designed for make-up artists, although cosmetic companies had expressed a desire for such an event.
PURCHASING TICKETS & CHOOSING THE BEST DAY TO ATTEND
A few months prior to the show I was doing my research on the trade show when I noticed that the Friday was much cheaper to attend as the day was specifically for PRO card members only - so of course I decided to apply not really knowing whether I would be accepted. The application was simple and easy (nothing like those lengthly MAC pro card applications). You can apply for different cards depending on the type of MUA you are; student, bridal specialist, media specialist & union card holder. You can also attend on other days without a pro card however some exhibitors do not offer discount to those without a card. After eagerly waiting by my phone & refreshing my emails every hour of everyday for two weeks my application was approved -hooray- & I was able to buy a ticket for the Friday. The ticket cost me £25 which didn't seem too bad as the Saturday tickets were double the price. The PRO card entitled me to a price reduced ticket & qualified me for extended discounts on the day (could it get any better?! YES).
THE MORNING OF IMATS
Here I am on the day restlessly waiting for the hour to come for me to leave & catch my train so I filled the time with selfies (as you do). I imagined everyone at the trade show to be dressed fabulously with their full glam on so I thought I would make an effort for what felt like Christmas for makeup enthusiasts.
After a trip from my home in Essex to London Olympia National I arrived at IMATS (eeeeeeeek). I hurried down the queue of beautifully polished MUA's embellished in glitter, lashes & pigment where I then joined the line. I could hardly contain my excitement, along with all the other makeup junkies my feet were fidgeting from side to side, dying to get in & start shopping. Staff gifted us with programmes and lanyards whilst we waited which allowed us to get a feel for the day ahead.
INSIDE THE DOORS OF MAKEUP HEAVEN
After some security checks I entered what felt like heaven. Greeted at the door with a complimentary shopping bag branded Kat Von D perfect to fill with all the goodies I was about to purchase. There was such a huge selection of makeup brands from the biggest and most well known brands to some very prestigious red carpet brands. Take a look at some of the brands who exhibited:
Eldora False Eyelashes - 5 pairs free lashes with minimum £30 spend
INGLOT - 20% off & gift with purchase
MAC cosmetics - 35% off for card holders
Kryolan - 20% off standard 30% off card holders
Kat Von D - 40% off for pro card holders
MAKE UP FOR EVER Paris - 15% off standard 55% off for gold card holders
NARS - 40% off for pro card holders
Peaches & Cream
Too Faced - 40% off for pro card holders
Urban Decay - 40% off card holders & exclusive Backtalk palette
VISEART - 40% off
I took full advantage of the NARS 40% off discount, in fact I'm pretty sure at one point I debated buying every product and then justifying it to my mum when I get home by saying 'its my job' - but of course, lets be realistic, as much as I would of liked to, I didn't quite have the funds to do that. I was overwhelmed by the discounts and it truly felt like Christmas came early. The whole experience was astounding, I felt as if I was in a movie as I roamed through Olympia Hall and aliens came to life with prosthetics & wigs. The hall was filled with incredible artistry all day long and if your looking to be inspired there were so many versatile demos taking place you won't be lost for aspiration. Anyone would enjoy this show, whether your new to the industry, a pro or even just a makeup junkie! What I enjoyed the most was being able to see brands I've only ever seen online e.g Peaches & cream, Eldora lashes & Kryolan. Buying new products for my kit is particularly important as well as a huge expense so I do like to touch and try products before I invest & IMATS gave me the chance to do this.
HOW MUCH DID I SPEND VS HOW MUCH DID I SAVE?
Overall I purchased 22 new products for my kit totalling to - £268.40 however saving and incredible £219 WOW. Not only did I save money some brands were even giving gift with purchase so I received a Make Up For Ever mattifying primer & blue INGLOT eyeshadow (I'm sure this will come in useful some day).
WOULD I GO TO IMATS AGAIN?
As crazy as it sounds I'm already saving for next years show! Putting a little aside each month so I can replenish my kit in one big hit. If I was to give advice to anyone going I would say its definitely worth applying for a PRO card or even going along with someone who has one to make sure you get all the best discounts. Arrive early to avoid queues and items selling out. Go with a purse full of cash because YOU WILL WANT TO BUY EVERYTHING.
Keep an eye out for my next post where I'll be reviewing all my new amazing products & whether I would have bought them at full price.