IMATS NYC 2014
IMATS stands for International Artistic Makeup Trade Show. It is held in several different cities such as London, Vancouver, Sydney, Toronto, New York and Los Angeles. Over the past 3-5 years, this show has become very popular to attend. I had the privilege to attend my very first one this year in my own city New York.
My “makeup bestie”, Stefani (Makemefiece YouTube channel) and I officially decided to go in January. We thankfully bought out tickets for the Saturday April 12th show at the beginning of February because shortly after, Saturday was sold out.
In preparation to the show, I looked up every exhibitor that was attending the show to see what products they had that I wanted to get my hands on. I was very excited that a few of my favorite companies such as Sigma, NYX, Makeup Forever, and Lime Crime were going to be at the show. Great thing about this show is that many companies let you swatch colors and test out products from companies that store is located a plane ride away or they only have an online store. Another great this is that many companies have their products at discounted 20-40%. Purchasing at the show itself could also save you on shipping.
I made two lists: one of products I needed and the other of products I wanted for future purchase. Having these lists prior to attending IMATS really helped my experience. The list of the products I needed, I made sure I went to first. As for the second list, I stopped by their booths to test out or swatch the products, after I was done with my priority shopping.
Line outside prior to opening
I arrived at 7:45 a.m. and doors opened at 8:30 a.m. The line was long and swung around 4 times. I have a feeling people must have arrived at 5 or 6 a.m. We had a while to wait but I’m glad I had my girls for company.
(Me, Stefani (Makemefierce is her YouTube, & Bianca)
Once inside at the reception desk, we showed our tickets and received wristband which color corresponds to the day or days you will be attending. Once pass the reception desk, you will tons of booths and people everywhere. But be calm and stick to your “must hit” booths and “must have” list.
Inside and front of reception desk
Stefani and I – Orange wristband for Saturday
The first booth we went to was Sigma. A lot of people went to this booth first because within minutes of opening, a huge line was already forming. Thankfully, the line was organized at calm. While on the line, the Sigma workers gave out brochures of their products on sale. The Sigma workers were extremely pleasant and helpful especially when it came to any questions you have about their brushes and makeup. I forgot to mention, prior to making the line, at the front of the Sigma booth, were gift bags with very nice goodies inside. Inside the bag was an adorable Sigma pen that came in handy while waiting on the line, to circle the products you wanted. At the register, you received your products, paid and signed up for an e-receipt on your purchase, which is great because very few booths gave you a “detailed” purchase receipt. This was by far my favorite booth at IMATS and it is defiantly one you should hit up first. I should also mention, Sigma sponsors many YouTube Makeup gurus as Nicole Guerrero, Carli Bybel, and Jaclyn Hill. Many fans came specifically to see these girls and Sigma did a great job to make a separate “Meet and Greet” line for them which kept the fans and shoppers calm and happy. I came by the Sigma both 3 times: one shop and the other two to meet Nicole and Jaclyn. They are both beautiful and glamourous.
Nicole Guerriero (YouTube)
Our second big booth we went to was Lime Crime. They are known for their colorful lipsticks and lip glosses. The bag they gave you with your purchase was super cute. Unfortunately, their line must have been a 3-hour wait! I believe Lime Crime wasn’t ready for so much “popularity” at IMATS. Perhaps they needed more workers. I only went Saturday. It could be that Sunday, they got a handle of things and kept the line moving. Nonetheless, their lipsticks and lip glosses are worth buying. I would advise if you did what we did which was to take turns on the line while the other did shopping. Their pigmentation is excellent and the packaging is adorable. This was a very cute and quirky booth.
When it was my turn to switch off the Lime Crime line, I went to NYX. I love NYX. Many of their products are excellent. I wanted to stock up on their lip butters and matte lipsticks. They have many products on sale and they also had “test” products to try out and swatch. But this booth was madness. The way this booth is designed was that you go around the booth, putting your products in a shipping bin then you had to make a separate long line to pay. Going around the booth at the time I did (1pm) was so crowded like “bumper to bumper”. Many people delayed the booth by testing and swatching, which is nothing wrong with that because its good to test out a product before you buy it. Good thing about gong around the booth is that you can skip around the people testing out and swatching and move to the next section. I difilled my shopping bin with a lot of things but mainly lipsticks. All their products are on an open display and overwhelming because they carried a lot of colors and products. Unfortunately, if they ran out of a specific color, the workers were busy attending to other customers or filling other sections running out once they found the specific product “in the back”. It was very chaotic! But their sales and discounts were great. I loved to test what I buy and IMATS and the NYX booth created that opportunity for me. I was very happy with my purchase but the experience was terrible. As opposed to Lime Crime, NYX did keep their line moving. My biggest advice in regards to this booth: come back at the end of the day! I passed by the booth around 3:30pm, and it was empty. No pushing, no shoving, the NYX workers were very in a calmer mood and were able to restock the sold out products. My jaw dropped when I saw such a calmer booth. It was dinaltey “night and day”.
Long lines and a lot of people, but still having fun
Lashes are in style and it is something I am getting into now. I love lashes. One of the booths I stopped was Velour Lashes. There are high quality 100% mink lashes that with the proper care, you can wear up to 25 times! All of their lashes were at discount at $20 each. When you purchase their lashes, you had the option of the Velour workers to put them on. This would be a great opportunity if you don’t know how to apply them, take them off or clean them to ask questions and pick their brain. The pair I bought is called “Lash in the City”. I already had lashes on but if I didn’t I would defiantly had them apply it because they are so soft and beautiful. I swung by this booth a second time for the “meet and greet” with Carli Bybel. She is a sweet heart and friendly. Since it was towards the end of the day, Velour was kind enough to bring gifts and a cake in appreciation for Carli. They also had Carli throw into the crowd LASHES! I happily had one fall right into my bag. Thanks Carli and Velour.
Carli Bybel (YouTube)
Carli’s Boyfriend Brett (Brettcap YouTube)
“Usie” with Carli
The atmosphere in IMATS is great. They had contests and shows for those into “theater makeup”. It was fun to watch their transformation. Many may not know this about IMATS, but there are companies and booths that sell theater makeup. Its amazing to see the artistry and talents of these artist as they transform their models into creatures and monsters. You can see the product line they use for the process because their booths are open for the public to see and purchase. Towards the afternoon, a show and competition is held and you can see all the amazing entries.
While walking around and visiting booths, we bumped into many talented makeup artists. Some were bloggers or have a YouTube channel. They were very approachable and super friendly. We had the chance to talk and snap pictures with a few. These ladies are just as beautiful in person.
Amanda Ensing (YouTube)
My overall IMATS experience was beyond my expectation. Yes, there is a lot of people and it can be very overwhelming. That is why I chose write about IMATS to better inform and prepare you if you do decide to attend. I would recommend attending IMATS, especially if you are in the beauty and theater industry. I defiantly will be attending next year!
The smiles of a well accomplished shopping day!
Did you attend IMATS 2014? Are you going to attend IMATS 2015? Feel free to comment below and if you have any questions.