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Every year there’s a little trade show called IMATS that makes its way to Toronto. And it is freakin’ makeup Christmas for me! Not only do I get to shop some of my favourite brands (most not readily available here) but there are great deals plus a ton of seminars that get me inspired and teach me a thing or two. Let’s explore this year’s IMATS!
This yearly show is held at the Convention Centre in Toronto (on Front St.) but different from last year is that everything moved to the larger space in the NORTH building. It was a bit confusing at first since we went to the back to get in and had to walk through the entire building but all in all I preferred the open air, sunny vibe of the new space.
First we’ll talk vendors. Then my haul, then a round-up of deals. K? Ready? Let’s go!
Since NYX Canada is opening their first Canadian flagship store in Toronto, they made their first ever appearance at IMATS. I got there early enough to be able to checkout quickly but the line grew to an unmanageable size within an hour. The booth itself was a bit small and the lighting made it hard to really see anything.
Next, I hit up the Make Up For Ever booth where my fellow CBB member Filomena was working. Again, I was there early enough to be able to place my order and checkout in a few minutes. The wait was about 45 minutes by the time I left.
Nigel’s Beauty Emporium was one booth I wish I had hit up early! The line was pretty chaotic and disorganized but the brands… oh the brands. They had Ben Nye, Too Faced, Anastasia and a bunch of lashes.
Now I may not be a regular user of glitter and loose pigment… but that doesn’t mean I didn’t stop dead in my tracks when I saw the Naked Cosmetics booth. They sell their stuff mostly in themed “stacks”, so since I didn’t want to make that kind of commitment I headed to the Violet Voss booth instead.
I can’t even begin to describe how much anxiety the Morphe booth gave me. They had special guest Lipstick Nicki (Nikki?) and the line was, from what I hear, 3 hours long. I love my makeup but I also value my time so that was NOT happening. If you go to IMATS tomorrow, go to Morphe first if it’s on your list.
You may recall that The Lip Bar has made an appearance on the blog before. These savvy ladies had a Kickstarter several years ago (that I supported) to start a mobile lipstick and bar/lounge truck. Their dreams finally became a reality this year AND they are still doing their retail thing, thankfully. New this year, lip gloss and liquid matte lipstick.
Hello beautiful ladies!
Hakuhodo is the one booth I shy away from, mostly because I am afraid I will fall in love and go broke immediately.
As much as I loved these brushes I just couldn’t justify the price tag so I opted for some synthetic ones from Royal & Langnickel (and they were a steal of a deal).
Even though I have almost as much Benefit as I do MAC, I had to stop by and say hi!
HAULIN’ AND BALLIN’!
I made a list last night with all the booths I wanted to hit as well as specific products and comparative retail prices. And I’m happy to say I stuck within my budget and didn’t stray too far away from my list.
I decided to try Violet Voss glitter after reading some great reviews. Although Naked and Lit have better deals, I stuck to my original plan. This set was $35 CAD (cash price) for the 3 glitters and an adhesive.
I had such a great experience with Royal & Langnickel brushes from my last IMATS trip I decided to buy more! I only had the BX-25 on my list, that angled beauty there on the bottom, but they only had that one available in a set of 6. So twist my arm, I’ll buy the lot! This set was $50 CAD (cash price) no tax etc. A STEAL!
I actually had a lot more on my NYX list but the booth was cramped and impossible to navigate so I came out with these 3 items. The lippies were about $7 CAD each and the contour palette was $21 CAD. (I paid cash, no tax) Also note that the Liquid Suedes won’t be in Canada until January.
My one and only Make Up For Ever splurge, although who knows what will happen on Day #2. This retails for $60 CAD and I got it for $38 CAD (cash price).
I actually grabbed two items from The Lip Bar, but the liquid matte lipstick was the wrong colour and I am exchanging it tomorrow (it was $20 CAD I think). This lipstick called Kiss Me was on sale for $10! So much love for independent cosmetics brands.
My go-to foundation, Face Atelier doesn’t come cheap but it is worth it. This bottle was $52 with tax, but they had deals at the booth too (more on that in a bit). The brand is available online but also at The Bay in the Kleinfeld’s boutique!
I also bought Shadow Shields for $10 at Virtzu.
So here is the D/L my friends: BRING CASH! I cannot stress this enough. If you use debit/credit, you will either be paying a bit more (tax) or a lot more (USD instead of CAD). That being said, also bring your cards because a few booths only took plastic.
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS!
(non Pro card)
- Make Up For Ever – 40% off everything, far and away the best deal at the show.
- FarleyCo Beauty – Zoella, Colab dry shampoo, Real Techniques (Bold Metals). Cash only, no tax.
- Inglot – 10% off everything (fill out an order form and hand it in)
- NYX – No deals here really and the prices aren’t great. (I’m jaded)
- Benefit – 35% off everything AND if you buy 3 items you get 1 free. HOW COOL IS THAT?
- Royal & Langnickel – Brush sets are a great value and if you pay cash you save
- Virtzu – Shadow Shields $10, BeautyBlenders 6 for $80
- Nigel’s – If you can handle the crowd, BeautyBlenders 6 for $65, Too Faced palettes range $29-40
- Lit – 3 glitters for $25, plus they are Canadian and really nice! (bring cash)
- Face Atelier – $80 gets you 1 foundation + either a gloss or blush
- The Lip Bar – Kiss Me, Amaretto Sour were $10 each
- Cici – Lower prices if you pay cash
- Crown Brush – Lower prices if you pay cash (and similar brushes to Morphe but no line)
- Morphe – $25 (cash) per eyeshadow palette
- Eve Pearl – Pro Kit for $100
- Hakuhodo – Less hassle if you pay cash (and a lower price)
- Naked Cosmetics – 1 stack for $40, 2 for $70
Now I know there are a lot more booths, but these are the ones I visited (or my friends did).
Tips for shopping:
Make a list of booths you want to visit as well as products you are interested in. Decide how much you are willing to pay (write down the retail price for comparison). Plan your trip according to importance, if you want Morphe start there. Bring cash!!! Get there early, like 8am early. Bring snacks.
Tips for your life:
IMATS is not just about deals and shopping. There are some amazing sessions for you to watch, each put on by some true makeup artist heroes. Typically, if you attended a class run by one of these artists, you would pay hundreds of $$$.
It’s also good to take a look around at everything else. There is lots of budding talent in the room, from body painting to special FX. Stay for the Battle of the Brushes, cheer on your favourite MUA! Take notes and get inspired!
I seriously fell in love with Jinny’s body painting. (follow her here)
You’re still here??? That was a super heavy post to write, thanks for sticking with me! Stay tuned for some play-by-play tutorials based on the sessions I attended with Gregory Arlt (MAC) and Kevin James Bennett (Royal & Langnickel).
Shout outs to these beautiful babes from the Canadian Beauty Bloggers network. We have grown a really strong and supportive community and I am lucky to call you all friends. Strength in numbers! 🙂