This Saturday I attended the International makeup Artists Trade Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. I went early, got in line, and when the doors opened I tried not to get trampled by line cutters and people rushing to their favorite brands.
IMATS Toronto was fun, the shows were informative and some of the booths had great deals on popular brands. Toronto however did not host many of the companies IMATS New York and L.A. had and even though there were some great companies present there weren't as many as I would have liked to see.
There weren't as many sales as I expected either but it was great for getting a lot of makeup in one place and having the opportunity to try new brands. There was also quite a bit of nail polish on sale from Essie and OPI.
There were some amazing displays of colorful and fun makeup at the show this year. The theme reminded me of a circus, there was a lot of glitter and feathers.
This is a photo of one of the models having her makeup done for the competition
And here is her complete look!
Tips on attending IMATS
1. Go early!
I tried to arrive at the venue before the doors opened and even then there was still a line. The earlier you go the shorter the lines and the less waiting around you have to put up with. Also the earlier you arrive the better your chances of getting first dibs on the products you want and the most popular items before they sell out.
2. Be prepared and make a list!
Before you attend the show check out the vendor list online and make a list of what you want. It is a good idea to write down specific colors and product codes because when you do manage to fight your way to the front of a booth you may not get time to stop and swatch products or even speak to some of the representatives. Busy booths like Makeup Forever expected you to come knowing what you wanted. You had to write down the product numbers on a sheet of paper, hand it in, and wait your turn in a long line for your order to be filled. Many vendors took this approach and the result was a mass of unorganized lines everywhere and a lot of shoving to get close to the makeup.
3. Check that your purchases are correct
With all the confusion and crowds the sales reps can get a bit stressed out so make sure that before you leave the booth you check to see if they gave you the correct products and colors.
4. Make lunch plans
At IMATS Toronto there isn't much to eat; we had bad coffee and a muffin. If you don’t want to leave the venue bring food and snacks with you or make plans to go elsewhere for lunch.
5. Dress comfortably
Leave the heavy clothes behind and dress light and comfy. You will be standing in line a lot so wear comfortable shoes. If you have a bulky jacket you can check it before entering.
6. Have an idea of what times the shows are
If you want to catch some informative makeup shows then make sure you plan accordingly. With all the hustle and noise around the booths it is easy to miss the shows and you can learn some great tips from the speakers.
7. Know where the deals are and head there first.
Makeup Forever was one of the most popular booths at the show because all their makeup was 40% off which was a great deal! However some other brands such as e.l.f. and NYX were actually a bit more expensive than you would find at the drug store. NARS didn't really have any great sales but there was sea of affordable makeup brushes and tools to choose from. Some vendors will make you great deals if you buy more than one item, so if you are there with some friends you can benefit by collaborating on a purchase.
I know how tempting rows and rows of beautiful makeup can be but if you don't have a budget you can find yourself emptying your wallet faster than you realize.
9. Get your tickets early
If you order your tickets for IMATS online the pre-sale ticket price is $30 for one day and $50 for two days. If you purchase tickets at the door it is $50 dollars for one day and $80 for two days.
I got some exciting new goodies to try, some from brands that I have never tried before but have been itching to get my hands on. I got products from Makeup Forever, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Ben Nye, NYX, Gleam and more so stay tuned for some awesome makeup reviews and amazing products!
I attended a show hosted by Emmy winner and world renowned makeup artist Mr. Keven James Bennett who showed us which tools to use to create a luminous complexion.
This is a photo of his model's completed makeup look
Here are some of the other ladies who had their makeup done for the competition
Have you ever attended IMATS? What did you think of the event?