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IMATS London and Haul

IMATS London what an experience!
I've been planning it for almost a year and got the tickets as a birthday present from my fiancee, so excited was definitely how I was feeling running up to the big day (28th June). If you don't know what IMATS is, it is like an international makeup convention. It stands for International Makeup Artist Trade Show, organised by Makeup Artist Magazine. The show itself runs from Friday to Sunday with Friday evening being set up for pro card holders and specile invitees. Saturday and Sunday are then open to the public, and thats where I got in. If you love makeup or special effects makeup you'll love this event, and you get from between 10-30% off purchases. Now being as excited as I was I looked into all the exhibitionists that would be setup there on the big day. Looking I saw the big brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown, Nars and Nyx, I also saw some stalls I have never even heard of selling things like beauty blenders and Ben Nye powder. So this increased my excitement.

Now a big tip for anyone going to IMATS is to plan your day, especially what you want to get. This event is big and can get very busy and very hot, so bring water or about £10 for drinks and food as it is expensive there. You can also use both cash and card to buy your purchases with so its always good to bring both. Decided what you definitely want to get as not knowing can lead to unnecessary queuing and they go out of stock with some products. Its a good idea to do this as Nars don't have lables or ready to grab boxes you have to ask so its good to know what you want. Plus Nyx queue can be up to 2 hours long because people don't know what they want. Also, get there early either 30 minutes or bout 9am (doors open at 8.30 am) As there are not as many people there and you can start queuing for Nyx as this is the queue that builds up. With getting there early you should buy your tickets online as you will go into a shorter queue (if there early). Plus you know your garanteed entry to the event.

The event is an overwhelming experience first time going and you can spend hundreds there quite easily. Once your inside you will be faced with the first stall, Royal Brushes. Now this stall is good for brushes, but you can easily spend most of your money here and plus there are more brush stalls further in that are as good just cheaper. When you do go in there will be an area where you can pick up a bag, I suggest you do this as some stalls give you a paper bag and the bags can stack up. On this note I do suggest just taking a small handbag as a big one can slow you down and can knock people and stands over. Most stalls are happy to tell you the original and discount price of a product, so don't hesitate to ask, they are pretty friendly. The busiest stalks are Makeup Forever, Nars, Nyx and MAC as these brands are hard to find in the UK and are at discounted prices. At a scale of 1-4 I would say you should visit Nyx(1), Makeup Forever(2), Nars(3) and finally MAC(4). Now you should know these brands don't sell the full range of stock so don't feel bad when they tell you they don't have a product. Through out the day there are also talks on the main stage, smaller stage and apex rooms with people part of the makeup and special effects makeup industry. These talks are interesting and demonstrations can take place while they show you what they do. However, it is not just the talks that do demonstrations, there are also demonstrations at stalls such as Makeup Forever and in the student competitions. These demos are fascinating to see as it just shows the detail and skill used in makeup artistary.

For myself I arrived at about 9am and the funniest thing is to see how many people are in the train going to the same event just makes the atmosphere build. Getting to the doors we were told those with online tickets to go into another queue, great getting excited now. We only waited about 5 minutes till we were being seen and through the door with our right wrist stamped. Seeing the bags stacked up high I grabbed one not thinking about what was inside and quickly found the Nyx booth. Long queue already, but only 40 minutes and I was in and then back out again, I only really wanted two butter glosses and the hd concealer. But while standing in the queue more people joined by the time I left IMATS the queue was about 3 hours long. Though, while being in the queue I got my fiancee to look at prices on the stall opposit which were selling Ben Nye powder and Beauty Blenders. Reasonable prices, after Nyx I picked up a Ben Nye powder in fair just to try (£5) I did want the banana powder but it was £11 for the same size tub.

Quick metion, I only set myself a budget of £50 and still went £3 over. It is safe to say I will be bringing more money with me next time. After the Ben Nye purchases I went looking for Nars, but had a look at all the other booths on the way round. I tried out the eyebrow station, which I forget what its called but the kit was £35 needless to say I didn't purchase it. Finding Nars (right next to Royal Brushes) I knew exactly what I wanted, Deep Throat blush, and yes I just went up to a sales assisstant and asked for Deep Throat (que the laughts). Knowing what I wanted made the experience much quicker a d easier as people were fighting to get a look at some of the products for sale. At this point I was starving and dehydrated, so we went to get smoothies and take a look upstairs at the student competition and look at all the booths from above.

Getting to the top looking down just made the experience a bit overwhelming.  It was like an overload of atmosphere and products, my mind was spining. All these great products and all these people all interested in the same thing you are, just amazing. Taking a few moments to decide my next move I could see the queues build up, but I did see some booths I wanted to see. So off I went on another round of shopping and looking. Crown brushes, were selling makeup palettes and I couldn't resist snapping up a 10 blush palette. Wandering round I found Lime Crime, Wayne Goss, Sugar Pill, Inglot, ect. Looking at brushes I was after a flat top brush for foundation, hearing not great things about Royal Brushes I looked at others. Finding the perfect brush from bdellium tools, just what I wanted and only £9 so bargain.  Having spent my money and feeling withdrawal from buying makeup, I took some quick picks and video before I called it a day.

Having been there from 9 am and only having a smoothie for the entire day by 3pm I was starving. So on our way home we grabbed some food from the Cornish Pasty shop at Clapham Junction station. FYI the wedges there are amazing just the right amount of salt and spice, and the bacon and cheese turn over is cheese and filled with a thick bacon slice, yummy!

All in all the day was amazing and well worth the money and wait. I will definitely be going again next year, so come along it will be fun. You even get to meet a whole bunch of youtubers and bloggers so its a must to do.
Hope to see you there next year 

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