IMATs Toronto 2014: Royal & Langnickel and Kevin James Bennett

IMATs Toronto 2014: Royal & Langnickel and Kevin James Bennett

Every year in Toronto, some of the most talented make-up artists descend on this fine city to impart knowledge and, of course, sell us some amazing goodies! IMATS, also known as the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show, is geared at pros, students and freelance artists who want to stock their kits, network, discover products or learn something new.

Although there are some great deals to be had, I go mostly for the demos and learning sessions. And this year, my FAVOURITE MUA was there, the outspoken and super talented Kevin James Bennett. He really tells it like it is and is not afraid to be frank and honest, no matter who he pisses off.

His session was called MAKE-UP BRUSH 101: EXPLORING THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE and was sponsored by Royal & Langnickel. Here is what I learned.

All brushes mentioned are from the [R]evolution line Kevin helped create.

IMATS Toronto 2014 Kevin James Bennett 3
THE EASY DOUBLE BRUSH TRICK: How to get all-day eyeshadow
You need to be quick, have both brushes in hand (he used the BX50 – a flat concealer brush and BX75 – a medium buffing brush).
Apply gel liner as shadow (he used Kryolan definer) on the lid  with the concealer brush and blend out immediately.
This base will stay all day, won’t smudge and can last in all kinds of weather.

Continuing on to his smokey eye look…
Pat a shimmer over this matte base (he used a Yaby pigmented).
Then apply a neutral matte to the crease. Keep the eye OPEN while you apply the crease.
Blend out. Then blend some more. Then BLEND SOME MORE.
Apply a light MATTE shade to the browbone, not a shimmer.
Using the BX-70, blend the browbone shade down into the crease.

Words of wisdom:
You only need ONE neutral matte palette, not a few. And by neutral matte, I do not mean “naked”.
“The only things I know that are naked and shimmer are vampires and sunlight”


IMATS Toronto 2014 Kevin James Bennett 5
Then if there’s any fallout, use moisturizer to remove it NOT makeup remover. You don’t want to dry out your beautifully prepped skin.

Then on to contouring…
KJB’s motto is “let the face do the work”. By highlighting the natural bone structure and not going overboard with harsh lines and shimmers, you can wear this look during the day.
He dabbed Face Atelier’s Zero Minus (a white foundation) in an upside-down triangle under the eye and a bit under the brows, blending everything together with a BX-15.

I found this technique so natural and easy-to-do (so I bought the Zero Minus as well)

IMATS Toronto 2014 Kevin James Bennett 4
Now onto blush. Using a bright matte shadow (that’s right, you don’t need a separate blush palette), he patted a small amount of colour on the apples of the cheeks.
Then using a dry brush (BX-15) he buffed out.


Royal Langnickel Revolution brush review
So after the demo, I hit up the Royal & Langnickel booth, where Kevin was helping people choose brushes. We had a quick chat and I tried not to fan girl, then I grabbed three of the brushes suggested in his demo.

Royal Langnickel Revolution brush review 3These are some seriously high quality brushes. They actually put MAC to shame to be honest. They are sturdy synthetic fibres so the shape holds true after washing, and the handles fit in my hand so perfectly.

Royal Langnickel Revolution brush review BX-15 2BX- 15 – small domed kabuki
Great for applying and buffing out blush or bronzer. The brush is small enough to use for all those narrow blush pans from holiday kits too.

Royal Langnickel Revolution brush review BX-70 2BX70 – large flat eye fluff
Fits into the groove under the brow. Use to blend down the brow bone and crease. It’s also good to push and wiggle dark shadow into lash line.

Royal Langnickel Revolution brush BX-66 2BX-66 – eye blender
When Kevin said this brush was better than my beloved MAC 217, I was skeptical. But so far, he has not steered me wrong so I had to grab it. (Sidenote: this was by far the most popular brush at the booth). I have to say, it definitely gives the 217 a run for its money. This is easier to handle and a bit more precise but has the same blending power. Hmmmm.

 I have been using these brushes for about 2 weeks now and DAMN what a difference it has made in my daily routine. My shadow is blending better, my blush goes on easier. Just overall, super fantastic. So thank you KJB for your knowledge awesomeness.

And I’ll leave you with some more wise words:

Keep your kit small. If you need a certain colour, then make it. I’m a makeup-artist dammit, I can mix my own colours! – Kevin James Bennett


Enter the giveaway here

  • lol i like the last quote.
    i didn’t stay that long for his talk at imats but he has some great tips here~

  • Those are some great tips! Love the idea of using Zero Minus as a highlight- I got a generous sample of it at IMATS, so will definitley have to give it a go! Glad you got to meet him and that you’re happy with the brushes so far 🙂