It’s been 2 years since I attended the IMATS in LA.
Imagine walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (if you love chocolate), or the world’s largest hang out with orangutans (if you would love this so much then you and I are more alike than you may think!), whatever the case the IMATS is total paradise to a Makeup Addict like myself.
Other than the awesome fact that they turn the Pasadena Convention Center into an explosion of everything Makeup related, what I love is the feeling I get when I walk in the doors. There is a mix of people ranging from young girls interested in makeup, to beauty bloggers, to “fakeup artists” (basically they cover themselves in glitter, every color of Sugarpill eyeshadow and glue upside down lashes on their upper cheeks), to *I do this for a living* Makeup Artists, to the most insanely talented SFX makeup artists on earth.. and oh yeah, Jeffree Starr was there too.
I go to the IMATS to get inspired. Just being in a room full of people with the same passion and ambition I have makes me get really competitive and hungry. The second time around wasn’t as magical as the first but I expected that. I went mainly for two reasons: to gawk at the incredibly amazing special fx characters and prosthetics- THE SHOPPING!!!! I gave myself some limitations this year as my budget is pretty tight due to moving to LA, and just you know, living in LA and eating food in LA. I was not allowed to buy eyeshadows (except for sugarpill- I can’t stand not owning any anymore – damn you instagram!!!), primers of any kind, face setting spray, mascara, foundations (unless airbrush set), or skincare or anything from Naimies, Frends or Nigels’s (I can go there any time and their deals for pro artists weren’t really any more exciting than they already are).
I had some specific brands I wanted to check out: Anastasia (the makeup- not just brows), Sugarpill eyeshadows (because if I see instagram posts with 3439104831 likes and all they used was tako and bulletproof I would feel like a failure if I didn’t own some), Inglot, Chella, Limecrime, NYX, OCC, Parian Spirit, Senna, Stila Pro, Wolfe, and any brands with Mink Lashes.
How good did you think I did? Here’s the scoop-
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia’s makeup was “just okay” to me. I didn’t jump up and down with the eyeshadow palette they offered at IMATS, and was about to buy some of the new Dipbrow Gel Brow pots (obsessed). I had to tell myself that I still had three gel brows from MAC’s brow launch last year that I need to go through and they are literally the same thing. I was interested in the contour palette, but it just reminded me so much of the terrible contour and blush palette from BH Cosmetics that I wasted money on. After getting home though, and seeing more posts about it I do regret not purchasing it. I ended up leaving with the Brow Pro Palette, which normally is not sold, and the new brow fix primer (wax pencil that you use before applying color to brows).
I stood in line for Sugarpill and when it was my turn I was kind of amazed how small the line is. Granted, it’s relatively new but for such a huge name I was like “oh this is it?”, until I swatted the colors. They are so pigmented it’s ridiculous. I bought 4 shadows (Tako, Bulletproof, Poison Plum and _), and 2 loose shadows (Birthday Girl and Tiara). While I don’t think I’m going to be rocking the colorful goth look anytime soon, or ever, these shadows are fantastic and are a much better quality and value than MAC’s Gesso and Carbon (sorry, MAC!). Also, I usually de-pot all my shadows but I’m leaving these as they are- the packaging is too cute, down to the box!
Even trying to approach Inglot was a hot mess. There were swarms of people and I literally got pushed trying to look at some regular looking eyeshadows, so I left. I can say that I was only interested (and still am) in two products- their gel eyeliners and their new setting powders that provide a soft glow and are HD approved. They were the same price at IMATS as I can get with my pro card so I’ll scoop up some of the fun gel colors later on.
Walked by, not interested.
Cute display as always but looked rummaged over and I still have an electric blue and grey lipstick I’ll never use from 2 IMATS’ ago. Passed.
The only thing I cared to pick up was the Milk fat pencil, and they were sold out. Too much of a headache to even look at anything else. Passed.
I love lip tars but I have so many already that I never wear, and I wasn’t allowed to buy any lip color anyways! I was interested in the pencils, and still am, but it was late and I couldn’t decide on what colors I wanted so I passed.
Parian Spirit (apparently best brush cleaner)
LOOKED EVERYWHERE, COULDN’T FIND IT. Left pissed.
I came ready to buy their cream blush palette and also check out their other cosmetics as clients of mine have raved about how great the line is. I would have definitely purchased some, if the employees weren’t so extremely rude, stuck up and unattentive. I will never buy anything from them, that isn’t how I do business with them. Plus, their cream blush palette was redone to be larger and it was super dry. I had to rub a stipple brush extremely hard on it to even get it to show color on my hand. PASS.
The way Stila Pro was advertised, I was so excited to see what products they had in their pro line. Turns out there isn’t a pro line. It was just Stila. Which is great but I could get that anytime with my pro card. Passed.
I wanted to buy some body paint starter kits. Wolfe is known for them. Sadly, looked everywhere couldn’t find it so I passed. Maybe next year!
There were two brands that had amazing mink lashes. Flutter and Velour. I will definitely be getting some of these, but their discount at IMATS was less than the pro discount at Naimies/Frends/Nigels so I passed.
Sounds like a sad day but nope… I found so many great things from other brands I didn’t plan on being in love with!!
The last thing I need is any new foundation but I had to stop and see what all the fuss was about. Face Atelier has been in magazine after magazine and on celebrity after celebrity. I asked them what their other favorite stand out products from their line were. They said the Airbrush thinner to make any foundation into airbrush. I already have the Make Up For Ever one but what the hell. They also recommended the Matte setting spray. They said that after spraying on top of airbrush, you can tweak little things without screwing it up. The only thing I didn’t like is that I asked how their airbrush thinner compared to other brands and the lady (who certainly acted like the brand owner) said very snotty, “I don’t pay attention to other brands.” I seriously had to force myself not to walk away. What a stuck up bitch, seriously. My forces prevailed and I left with some seriously good product, although I had a bad taste in my mouth.
I picked up both the airbrush base and the matte finish. I had to get a mini of my color foundation to test on myself before I would put it on a client. I like that they sell minis of their foundation- very important to a pro MUA.
Hi my name is Megan and I’m a Makeup Brush snob (“HI MEGAN!”). I have more brushes than I know what to do with. The last thing I needed was any more but these prices were crazy low. In my head I just wanted to feel the terrible quality but as I caressed these brushes against the back of my hand.. that feeling never happened! They were so soft and Excellent quality. The handles aren’t the fanciest thing in the world but it didn’t matter I couldn’t pass up a fat fan brush, a flat kabuki brush, a new lip brush and a mascara brush.
Total: $20 (HAH)
Gleam by Melanie Mills
Melanie Mills is a well known, emmy winning makeup artist that worked on “Dancing with the Stars” for several years. Her claim to fame was how much the cast members’ glowed from head to toe. She intelligently decided to market that and created “GLEAM”. Gleam is a body makeup that basically turns you into JLO the second it touches your skin. Unlike other body glow brands, GLEAM stays on once it sets and doesn’t rub off. It also doubles as a lotion. They also sell body highlighting powder and the most amazing huge brush I’ve ever seen/touched.
After talking with Melanie herself, I picked up all three products and didn’t look back! Melanie, by the way, was so humble and sweet and went out of her way to give me genuine good advice from MUA to MUA. She also cut me a good deal, which will keep me buying her brand in the future.
THE MAKEUP LIGHT
Do you remember being like, 7 and that new Barbie came out that had the COOLEST dress, and the COOLEST hair, and the COOLEST car? Like you would have done anything to have that damn doll?? That is how I feel about The Makeup Light. Oh my god. I could take down my entire studio set up which takes up a quarter of my living room, and have better lighting with this product. It’s perfect for photographing makeup and recording videos. (I bought the GLAMCOR light set a couple years ago and I hate it. It makes everything yellow and blinds you. Also the lights fall apart and I’ve had to superglue it back together twice.) The Makeup Light closes right up and you can take it on jobs. I would have bought it in a heartbeat if it was in the $200-$300 price range but it is retailing for $650, and they were selling it at the show for $450 with free shipping. With only having a 6 month warranty, I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t. This was the most heartbreaking thing of the day.
Total: $0 😦
Basically badass sharpies to draw all over yourself with. The inner child in me couldn’t resist. I had to get 3 of them. Will I ever use them realistically? Probably not. But I HAD’TA.
Beauty So Clean
Makeup Pro’s can’t have enough of this stuff. I spray it on all my product before it touches my client’s skin. I picked up an extra bottle for less than half off the retail price.
Total: $10 (retail $25)
Oh boy. The love affair began. Kryolan is serious makeup for serious makeup artists. It’s a brand from Germany that unlike many of the biggest makeup brands in the world, actually make and manufacture their own product. The result is absolute perfection. Most pro’s already have the Derma Palette, which I had to pick up. On top of it I wanted so much more but in due time. I also splurged on their setting spray, which is in a hairspray type of can. It was a super fine mist that locks on makeup all day long and makes it waterproof. Their gel liner colors were amazing and since I didn’t get any Inglot, opted for these instead. I bought Aubergine (dark burgundy brown), (a light pink) and they were out of Sienna (red brown) but she gave me the tester (barely touched, and nothing Beauty So Clean can’t handle!). I was still bummed about Senna and that damn blush palette but REJOICE- Kryolan’s was so much better!! The colors are beautiful and blend together to create almost any color you like. Picked that up!
They have a new product that is for body art called Aqua Color + and when I start exploring that artistic side I’m definitely getting it. You can layer other colors on top of each other without them blending together. They weren’t available for sale yet, but were super fun to play with. Another product I got to test out is their new Derma Liquid Foundation. It’s the liquid form of the Derma Palette and dried to a total matte finish that looked just like perfected skin. Powder unnecessary. Right now they have US locations in San Fransisco, Chicago and Boston. Maybe soon there will be one in LA!
Total: Around $85
When I airbrush people I generally tend to use Silicone Based Makeup. Here in LA, a lot of people don’t like Silicone or are scared of it (mmhmm… no reason to be). I have been leery about going back to water based after using OCC, which I cannot stand. After speaking to lot’s of pros out here, they all recommended Kett. I picked up a starter set of their Water Based Airbrush foundations. Generally speaking, if you’re drier you go with SB, if you are oily or breakout prone, you go with Aqua based. That said, it is truly a preference and both work for both skin types. Can’t wait to try it out on myself, and if I approve, on my airbrush clients!
Model in a Bottle
Super famous for their setting spray, I stopped by this booth to see what else was new. I stopped myself from picking up their famous setting mist, because I already have a new bottle of fix + at home and didn’t need it (thank god because I later found Kryolan!). What I was super interested in was their lip fix. It seals any lipstick color without drying out your lips. Perfect for my brides that love that YSL or MAC color, but don’t want to reapply and definitely don’t want it to kiss off! I bought it and then after my purchase, they were so nice to gift me the eyebrow sealer as well. I can’t wait to try these products out and review them!!
One of the best purchases I’ve ever made was my Züca Pro Bag. I use it on every job I do. It quickly overflowed and I bought a Stilazzi Large Set bag, which works but it very heavy on my shoulder once it’s full of all the extra supplies, brush set, cleaning stuff, palettes, etc. I wanted to know what they have been up to the last 2 years, and fell in love with this cute little bag that fits on top of your Züca! It even has space inside to keep your iPad and other media devices. Problem was it was $160. I waited until the very last minute of the show, and swarmed back around and offered $120. They finally accepted as they were packing up then DUN DUN DUN Chase turned my card off for fraud protection. Haha. So I awkwardly stood there on hold making these people wait on me but all prevailed and I got my new baby.
All in all, it was a great day. There were so many more booths that seemed to have great products, I just didn’t need them at the time. I wish I would have been able to see all the classes and lectures. A cool part of the day was helping my friend Ashley get into her costume.
She modeled for Frank Ippolito (Face Off) and wore a skeleton prosthetic that was applied on stage. I spent around $700 including my IMATS ticket and parking. It was a pricey day, but the value of the products I received, and the extra options I can now offer my clients was well worth it. See you next year, IMATS LA! If you’re in the NYC area, the IMATS are coming to you next. The show is April 11th through the 14th. Tickets are available at http://www.IMATS.net.
This was all so helpful!!!!! Make sure you sign up for makeup artist magazine pro card to get in free next year and go in a day before!!!
I have the Makeup Artist Magazine Pro card and it only gives you 10% off I didn’t go Friday or Saturday because I had to work. I wish I got in free!!
*Edit* Just checked out the website- apparently if I’m in the union, or get agency representation I get a pro GOLD card, which has free admission. I’m checking out agencies now, and cleaning up my book. I need to meet more photographers out here because I don’t want my book to be full of bridal- even though I’m so proud of it.
This was so informative and helpful. I’m prepping myself for The Makeup Show shopping. Thanks for taking the time to do this break down!
This was so informative and helpful. I’m prepping for The Makeup Show. Thanks for taking the time for this break down!