Hi guys. :) I posted this past Friday that I would be attending the International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS) in New York City Saturday, the 6th of April, and now that this weekend is done and I'm enjoying one of my days off, I thought I'd share my experience (and some pictures) with you.
IMATS is essentially a makeup convention, where makeup artists, companies, and hobbyists alike can get together, network, enjoy tip-filled classes, and (best of all) shop at discounted prices! Well, I believe the artists are entitled to these discounts permanently since makeup is their career, so the discounted prices are really a bonus for the hobbyists like me, haha. There is a pro-only day, for makeup artists, which was the 5th of April of this year, and then days for the general public, which were the 6th and 7th of April. Tickets for this year's show sold out about two or so weeks before those dates, but I preordered mine back in January for $45 (door prices are higher).
IMATS took place at Pier 94 in Manhattan, and I must say that despite the enormous line of people, it wasn't entirely claustrophobic due to the vast amount of space in the building (thank God).
Here's a quick shot of the line, so you get a slight idea of what I mean when I say 'enormous.' ;)
|The entrance was a fair distance from the right end of this photo, and there were a few turns before the homestretch to the front door.|
Anyway, despite the line being long, the waiting time to get inside was not bad at all. The only negative about the wait was the 'spring' weather that felt more like a tolerable winter day. It did warm up later, I'll admit, but I was in line hours before that happened. (And crazily enough, it's 71 degrees today, fucked up weather.)
There was a short hall lined with neat pictures that led to the registration desk, and it was there that ticket-holders received their IMATS bracelets, a pamphlet outlining the booths (which I failed to pick up), and a decently-sized shopping bag for carrying the day's purchases (quite too large for me, and much too small for others).
|One side of the hall leading to the registration desk.|
|My bracelet, which was one of those bracelets that has to be cut off to remove (I can never open the damn clasp!).|
Then the fun starts. I got there when the doors were just opening, so I quickly went to the booths I wanted to buy from (Inglot, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, City Color, Jesse's Girl) before the crowds would really kick in. I had no problems at Jesse's Girl or City Color, but OCC had a 45 minute 'line' (the company representatives insisted when people reached the booth that there was no line) and I was stupid enough to only buy a lipstick at Inglot and no eye shadows, which I ended up coming back for at 12ish, only to find their table mobbed by people. It took forever just to get close enough to swatch the shadows - having your order filled was another half hour or so!
|There was a ring of people at least 4 feet thick surrounding the Inglot booth.|
Popular YouTuber Julie G. was at the Jesse's Girl booth (since she has a nail polish line with them) and I got to see her, but I didn't go up to talk with her or get a picture taken with her. At OCC, I ended up waiting on that line for nothing because I saw that their lip tars (which normally cost $16) were $12, and I didn't love them enough to shell out $12 for colors that didn't impress me much. (I came on a budget.)
I won't go into much more detail on what booths I visited and purchased from (I'll make sure to write a separate post on that), so now I'll just show some pictures I took that pretty much sum up why any makeup lover is in heaven at IMATS.
Aside from the huge array of products, there are artists creating stunning looks on models - sources of inspiration for any makeup user, from beginners to professionals.
And for those that like movie and FX makeup, there's a fix for that too.
To top it all off - and I touched on this earlier when I mentioned Julie G. - a lot of YouTube beauty 'gurus' come to IMATS (though the one in L.A. seems to be more popular since most of them coincidentally live on the west coast). I personally decided to go to IMATS because I wanted to meet one of my favorite, if not my favorite, beauty 'gurus,' emilynoel83, and I actually managed to find her amongst the crowd! That alone made my day - she was SO sweet (and her makeup was as stunning in person as it is in video) and took a picture with me, though I feel weird posting a picture with someone else on here when they won't even know about it, so I'm not going to. I also saw xteener, as she was a guest at one of the classes I sat for, and eleventhgorgeous, who I was also able to take a picture with (and they were very sweet and pretty in person as well).
Overall, IMATS was a great experience. I met people I admire, was able to test out products from companies I never heard of before, and managed to get some badass deals (again, more on this in a separate 'haul' post).
Will I go again? Well, that depends on a few factors.
(1) The brands that will be attending.
(2) The people I watch on YouTube that will be attending.
(3) If someone else will go with me (my mom wanted to but by the time I went to get her ticket, it was sold out).
I 100% believe that anyone that loves makeup should try to make it to at least one showing of IMATS in their life, but for someone on a budget like me who doesn't do makeup for a living, going once may be enough. If other beauty 'gurus' I watch and really admire attend next year, I might find myself buying the ticket. Additionally, if there are brands I really love attending, then I most likely will go for the discounts. And I suggest you go with someone - I was pretty lonely there by myself (and having other people would help with scoping out booths while keeping a place in line)!
:SIDENOTE: ***THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT TO WHOEVER PUTS IMATS TOGETHER; THIS IS SIMPLY ME FINDING MORE EVIDENCE AS TO WHY NYC SUCKS.*** I'm a bit disappointed with how the exhibitor (company) list at IMATS New York compared to IMATS Los Angeles. I saw that people who attended IMATS LA were able to purchase MAC products, which is what my purchase was built around, but much to my dismay the exhibitor list online for NYC was 100% accurate and there was no MAC booth. Furthermore, the exhibitor list for IMATS LA was almost twice the length of the exhibitor list for IMATS NYC. I understand that each show has booths for whatever companies that decide to attend that show, but I thought New York is supposed to be this center for fashion and all that flashy crap. I just seem to keep finding more and more reasons for how overhyped this stupid city really is. :END SIDENOTE:
Anyway, I hope this post gives some insight into how it is at IMATS, for those who never attended one (or have never been to the one here in New York). I'll try to get the other post I mentioned (about booths I visited and purchased from) up as soon as I can.
Thanks for stopping by, and 'til next time. ('<>')>