The weekend of April 10 was a great one for cosmetics in NYC. The International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS) hit New York and offered endless cosmetic inspiration. IMATS is a tradeshow specifically designed for makeup artists. Before IMATS, there were no tradeshows exclusively for cosmetics. But cosmetic companies expressed a desire for such an event, and in response, Emmy Award-winning make-up artist and Make-Up Artist magazine publisher Michael Key held the first IMATS in August 1997 in Los Angeles. Ever since then, IMATS expanded to educate and connect make-up artists and enthusiasts from around the world. The show is held six times annually in major cities: Los Angeles, New York, London, Vancouver, B.C., Sydney, and Toronto. IMATS allows the paramours of cosmetics to see a diverse mix of products and demonstrations and to learn from industry leaders.
Personally, I had always heard about IMATS, but I had never taken the initiative to go. When my love for makeup hit an all time high late last year, I decided this would be the year. I called up my best friend and LIM student Kasey LaRosa, and she purchased the tickets for us as soon as they hit the market. At first, the website kept crashing because of the heavy load of buyers, but eventually she got it to go through and it was a go.
Arriving at Pier 94 early Saturday morning, I kept wondering what brands were going to be there. They checked our tickets and ID’s as we entered, then proceeded to give us wristbands followed by the words “enjoy ladies!” At first sight, it was overwhelming; the crowds, the lines, and the music were an overload, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to get in there to shop and learn. We took a walk around the huge room to scout out who was there. Brands like Stila, Anastasia Beverley Hills, Morphie, Velour Lashes, and so many more attended. We asked ourselves, “what do we really want?” Because everything seemed like an option.
We jumped on to the Sigma line. Sigma, most famously known for its brushes, is mainly only purchasable online. The line was insane, more than a mile long. At first we were skeptical about the wait, wondering if we were going to have to wait the whole day for brushes. But we did get on, and I am more than pleased that we did. I purchased two brushes, The Flat Kabuki (F80) and The Large Angled Contour (F40). If I were to purchase them online, I would have spent more than $50; however, at Sigma’s booth at IMATS, I spent $22 and got four free samples of makeup and brushes.
Right after Sigma, we headed over to Mink Wink Lashes. Mink Wink lashes are 100% mink lashes that are handmade and cruelty-free, and they look great on every eye shape. I’m personally not the biggest eyelash wearer, mainly because I didn’t know how to put them on properly. At IMATS, the Mink Wink booth was offering free application with purchase. Perfect for me, I thought, now I can watch a professional apply them and hopefully, learn for myself. Kasey told me to choose the lashes that look most natural--in her opinion the ones that crisscross over each other. Being that she is a falsies fanatic, I took her advice and went with the Duchess Lashes, priced online for $30. I purchased them for $22 and received a dust bag and lash applicator for free. The lash applicator is priced online for $7, and I would say it is a necessity if you’re like me and cannot seem to apply lashes to perfection. The “lash expert” at the booth began to apply the lashes to my eyes with the applicator and explained the process: “Apply the glue and wait on it to dry, then with the applicator, apply the lashes as close to your natural lash line and release grip from the applicator.” May seem complicated, but practice makes perfect!
Lime Crime was next on our list. Lime Crime is not your ordinary glam-makeup; it is more of a carefree, express yourself brand, stating that their target customer likes to live “unapologetically.” At the front of the line, we were greeted by the makeup artists of Lime Crime, all dressed to the brand's image. They reminded me of the movie Alice in Wonderland (not the animated version). After much deliberation, I decided to purchase the Eyeliner in Lazuli, beautiful cobalt blue liquid eyeliner priced for $14 online, IMATS price $8. I also purchased Velvetines in Utopia, a lavish liquid lipstick that applies liquid but dries matte, priced for $20 online, IMATS price, $16. I definitely went with two colors that stand out in my makeup collection, but hey, summer's coming, so bright colors are in!
We were sure to stop by other booths, such as NYX, Mehron, Ardell, Hakuhodo, and Static Nails (which did all the nails for NYFW, how cool?) At the end of a long, tiring, yet amazing day at the trade show, I was extremely impressed and excited to get home and try everything out. Until next year, IMATS.