Wednesday, November 10, 2010
IMATS Toronto Part 1 (Picture Heavy)
Last weekend I had the chance to go to the Toronto IMATS produced by Make-up Artist Magazine with my sister Krista, my mom and our friend Marlene. It was a jam packed weekend full of makeup seminars, makeup competitions, and of couse, a lot of shopping! For this post, the first part of my IMATS series, I will be talking about what there was to do and see at the show.
The first day of IMATS started bright and early (8:30am). After waiting in a short line to get our tickets and my press pass, we were able to get inside the actual showroom that held all of the different vendor booths. To be honest, I was kind of disappointed at first. Having seen a lot of footage from both the L.A and London IMATS I had expected everything to be bigger and more extravagant. I didn't see many models walking around with crazy makeup or prosthetics, there weren't as many vendor booths as I had expected and the room holding everything wasn't very big. With all that said, I really do have to give credit to Make-Up Artist Magazine and all of the people who helped run the event. This was only the second year for Toronto's annual IMATS (hence the whole event being smaller than L.A or London) and everything was well-organized. Everything was on time, everything was well set up and everyone was super friendly.
The first thing we did when we got into the building was head to the main stage where Kandee Johnson was having a Q&A session. When Kandee finally came out on stage, the room was packed and people were standing all around the room trying to get a view of their favourite makeup artist. Kandee, as always, was super sweet and talked to the audience about how she began her career in the makeup industry and encouraged everyone in the room to follow their dreams, no matter what anyone else says. Kandee also took a number of questions from the audience. She talked about her favourite beauty products including which products you should splurge or save on (splurge on brushes, concealer, eyeshadow and save on foundation and lipstick), who her makeup idols are/were (Kevyn Aucoin) and various makeup tips (use a lip pencil for lips instead of lipstick to get a longer lasting colour). At the end of the session, the audience was told that Kandee would be having a meet and greet at one of the vendor booths and would be signing autographs for, and taking photos with, anyone who wanted to wait in line. I really wanted to meet Kandee and give her a little present I had for her and her baby, but a three hour lineup was not something I was willing to do. Luckily at the end of her meet and greet (she sat for 4 hours meeting people), I was able to quickly talk to her, give her the present and get a hug. I can honestly say that she is one of the nicest and sweetest people I have ever met and what you see on youtube is exactly what you get in person. Even the security guard standing beside her during the whole event told her she was the nicest person ever and said he had to hold back his tears when she was laughing and crying with all of the people who met her.
After watching Kandee's Q&A, we decided to walk around the room and check out the different vendor's booths. Every vendor, except for NARS (of course, since I had a list of NARS items I wanted to get) had a discount of up to 40% off. The place was packed and the more popular booths like Makeup Forever and NYX had people crowded around the tables trying to get a quick glance at what products were for sale. Luckily some of the lesser known vendor's booths weren't as crowded and we decided to start our shopping there.
I won't go into detail about what I bought, but I will talk a little bit about some of the new vendors we found. The first booth was called 'Eye Kandy' which offers a special solution that, when used with finely milled glitter (which they also sell), turns the glitter into eyeliner. I'm probably not describing it very well but the results are absolutely gorgeous. My sister and I both ended up getting our eyes done and loved it so much we bought the solution and 6 of the glitters they sell (pics tomorrow).
The second really cool booth we found was called 'Halo Couture Extensions'. Rather than selling the traditional clip-in hair extensions which take a lot of work to get in and come in several little pieces, Halo Couture Extensions sells one large extension piece that goes on like a headband (not a big headband, a tiny string of fishing line headband). To put on the extension piece, you put the headband around your head (think hippie style) and then pull all of your own hair over the band so it can't be seen. It was by far the coolest thing at the show and my sister who has a really short bob, got 16" extensions that looked amazingly real on her.
The rest of the first day was spent looking at all of the vendor booths and attending a Fall/Winter Trends 2010 seminar put on by M.A.C's 'Director of Makeup Artistry' Nadine Luke. What's in for fall and winter? Red lips, colourful smoky eyes, and a very lightly concealed face.
The second day was a lot calmer as most people chose to only attend the first day of the show. Although I missed out on some of the better items that were for sale the first day (I wanted to buy a z-palette for my giveaway), I had a lot more fun browsing at all of the larger vendors booths such as Makeup Forever, OCC cosmetics and Stila and still managed to get some pretty good deals.
The seminar I attended that day was put on by Emmy award-winning makeup artist Kevin James Bennett. Kevin taught the audience how to build a beautiful makeup look from the foundation up. Although I loved listening to Kandee Johnson's Q&A seminar, I would have to say that Kevin's seminar was my favourite. Not only is he amazingly talented (he does the fastest makeup I have ever seen!), he is such an entertainer and made learning about makeup so much fun. I learned that you don't need a lot of makeup in your kit. As long as you have a few essentials, you should be able to do anyone's makeup no matter what the event or situation. Kevin proved this point by showing us his makeup kit which consisted of 6 tiny palettes from the cosmetic company 'Yaby'. I also learned that you should apply all of your cream products before doing your foundation (who knew?!) and should always end your makeup with a pressed translucent powder (not blush as I often do). My mom and Marlene were so impressed with Kevin's seminar, they hunted him down later that day to ask him some questions and get help picking out some new foundation.
One of the best things about the IMATS is the student competitions. Students from various makeup schools throughout Canada come to the IMATS to compete. The first day's competition was "Beauty/Fantasy", where students had to create a look inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Sadly (or stupidly), my sister and I were stuck in line to pay for our NYX products and missed out on taking pictures of the looks. My mom and Marlene managed to see the first day's competition and said that the looks were incredible. Luckily, I was able to see and take pictures of the second day's competition. In this competition, the character/prosthetic competition, students from various Canadian makeup schools had to create a look based on Grimm's Fairy Tales. I can't even describe how amazing everyone's looks were. The fact that they were still students and could create such detailed looks was really inspiring and made me really excited to some day go to makeup artistry school in Toronto.
My IMATS weekend turned out to be a really good weekend and it was great being able to share the event with my mom, my sister and Marlene. We all learned a lot, spent a lot and had a lot of fun. If you get a chance to attend one of the many IMATS shows put on throughout the world, I would highly suggest you do. Not only are the deals great, being able to learn from people who have been in the beauty industry for so many years is a once in a lifetime experience.
Tomorrow I will be posting a haul of what I got at the IMATS show, so be sure to check back for that. If you haven't already checked out my latest 'Dare to Wear' challenge, please do so here. Not only is it a fun way to experiment with makeup, by taking my challenge, you can help raise money for AIDS charities in Africa.