Ever since I saw a preview of the Kat Von…
If you’ve never been to IMATS, the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show, you’re definitely missing out. Here are a few reasons why my friends and I not only hit up the Toronto show but also recently travelled to NYC for another round of shopping, swatching and networking!
1. Stock up on your favourites and essentials… at a discount!
If you look at the long list of vendors at IMATS, you’ll see some tried and true brands like Kat Von D, Make Up For Ever, MAC, Royal & Langnickel, Anastasia and Embryolisse. This trip, I picked up another KVD Shade + Light Eye quad because I use my other ones daily, a few more Moda brushes and my everyday staple, Embryolisse cream. All of these were offered at a pretty good discount to the public (and even more discounted for Pro card holders).
One of the main reasons we travelled to NYC for IMATS is because the list of vendors is far more enticing than in Toronto. You’ll find Sugarpill, Dose of Colors, Juvia’s Place, Beautylish and more!
2. Grab new releases before everyone else
One of the first booths we hit up was Dose of Colors. Why? Because their new highlighters, which were bound to sell out online, were up for grabs before their public release! This is the case with a lot of other booths, like Violet Voss and Sugarpill. Stay tuned to your fave brands’ Instagram to get a sneak peek as to what special exclusives they have for IMATs.
As someone living in Canada, shipping rates are often astronomical, so being able to buy directly from the seller and skip the shipping is a HUGE deal for me!
3. Test out buzzworthy brands
A lot of brands aren’t widely available in store, especially if you don’t live in major urban centres. Get your hands on Insta-famous brands like Juvia’s Place, Violet Voss, Lit Cosmetics, Artist Couture and Cailyn so you can test out shades and see what you really want to buy. No purchase regrets!
Although a lot of the brands at IMATS are carried at stores like Ricky’s (in NYC), you’ll often find the displays are out of stock.
4. Network with brand reps
I was lucky enough to find some spare moments to chat with a few brand reps (and having a media pass definitely helped open the door). I came armed with business cards and now have contacts at some up and coming brands looking to launch in Canada, like Kiss NY Pro! As someone who blogs and also works in PR this is invaluable, and I love helping brands out as much as I can.
5. Meet the makers
IMATS is also a great place for smaller, indie brands to test new products and gauge audience reaction. Plus, you can chat with the owners of the brands, like Lemonhead! This brand reached overnight success after a review from Jeffree Star a few nights before IMATS. I was able to chat with the owner about how she started and what her goals are. I’ll definitely be featuring more on Lemonhead in the future.
There are also bigger brand creators you can meet like Shrinkle, Anastasia and Doe Deere!
6. Attend classes and learn something!
Last but certainly not least, grab your notebook and watch a seminar. Over the years, I’ve learned helpful tips & tricks from celeb artists like Jordan Liberty, Kevin James Bennett and Gregory Arlt. There are also special FX demos by artists from shows like Face Off, The Strain and Game of Thrones!
You can attend IMATS in six cities as of now: LA, NYC, London, Sydney, Toronto and Vancouver. These usually run for 3 days over a weekend, with Friday night being a Pro night. If you have a blog or Youtube channel, make sure to check out the requirements for a press pass, because you could go for free!
*Media pass was provided to me by IMATS, but opinions and purchases are my own.