IMATS Toronto 2014 Recap

IMATS Toronto 2014 Recap PostI’m excited today to bring you my IMATS Toronto 2014 Recap!

As I announced in this blog post a few days ago, I attended IMATS Toronto 2014. (Click that link if you want more detailed background information.)

IMATS stands for International Make-up Artist Trade Show, and it’s an event presented by Make-up Artist Magazine that I’ve been going to every year since 2010, with the exclusion of 2013.

It’s open to anyone aged 17 or older, and you don’t have to be a makeup artist to purchase tickets.

So why do I attend IMATS when I’m not a makeup artist? Simple. I am a beauty-and-creative enthusiast who appreciates artistic inspiration and learning from thought leaders who not only think outside the box, but who break the box wide open.

I’m never disappointed in my trips to IMATS Toronto because it’s like a condensed version of going to summer camp, except everyone who’s there shares a similar passion for makeup, artistry, and an undeniable drive to do something different.

Although commercial beauty is lovely, it’s the editorial looks that inspire me on a whole other level, and IMATS Toronto gave me inspiration galore.

This year, I mainly went for the experience, to attend seminars, and to check out the competition. Those are my favourites, and the shopping is just secondary.

This blog post is photo-heavy, hehe, but if you’re a regular reader of Swatch And Learn, you know that it’s the usual here. I always like to share many photos.

When I participated in IMATS Toronto 2014, I took several photos along the way, which you may have seen on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, especially. By providing live coverage during the event, it was my little way of taking my dear readers with me, so that you could see some of the exploding talent and get a glimpse into how amazing the experience was!

Since I brought both my smartphone and my DSLR camera, I snapped photos with both, and you’ll see a bunch more photos that didn’t make it onto my social media.

This year, IMATS Toronto 2014 was held in the South Building, Halls F and G at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, located in the heart of downtown Toronto.

It took place on Saturday November 22 and Sunday November 23, and I attended it on the Saturday.

IMATS Toronto 2014

According to the trade show brochure:

“IMATS is the make-up world’s biggest gathering. Thousands of make-up artists, vendors and enthusiasts discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer. Make-up pros from fashion and film [including Oscar, BAFTA and Saturn award winners) provide education and demonstrations at IMATS, and new products often debut there. IMATS also features a make-up museum.

Before IMATS, there were no trade shows specifically designed for make-up artists, although cosmetic companies had expressed a desire for such an event. In response, Make-Up Artist magazine publisher Michael Key held the first IMATS in August 1997 in Los Angeles. It allowed artists to customize what they wanted to see and it offered a diverse mix of products, demonstrations and education from industry leaders.”

In previous years, I bought my general-admission ticket, attended the show, and blogged about it. (Click on any of the below links to see my recap posts.)

This year, I decided to apply for a Press Pass. This meant filling out and submitting the Press Pass Eligibility Form with my blog’s statistics.

Many thanks to Beauty Editor, Chantel Heister for approving my request and granting me the Press Pass, which was my complimentary ticket to the trade show.

So instead of wearing the colourful wristbands that I had in previous years, I wore this:

IMATS 2014 Toronto

Here’s what the Saturday schedule looked like:

IMATS Toronto 2014 Recap

It was already pretty crowded when I got there, but apparently it was even busier before! (Check out my Instagram video clip showing you the hustle and bustle!)

When I arrived, I spotted two colourful models who were going to be part of the upcoming competition, Battle of the Brushes, which showcases not only the creative use of makeup, but also prosthetics.

Although I don’t often have my photo taken, I wanted to be in one with these two people! Hey, it’s not every day that you come across walking artwork, right?

(Haha, and look at the two people photo-bombing in the back!) 😛

IMATS Toronto 2014 Swatch And Learn

In case you’re wondering, I wore my Snowman Nail Art to the trade show. (Click the link or photo to see my step-by-step tutorial for it.)

Nail Art Snowman Nails

There were lots of makeup artists doing body painting on models, and I just couldn’t get over the wearable masterpieces!

Look at all the fine attention to detail! The whole time, I was thinking, “How can I translate that into nail art?” It’s so beautiful, colourful, and complex.

It was hard to believe that the model was just wearing undergarments and the rest was paint. Even when you looked up close, the makeup was applied with such precision and care that it looked like a seamless suit she was wearing!

IMATS Toronto 2014 Body Painting Designs

Okay, that Saturday, I had more photos of myself taken than I do in half a year! 😛 Haha, well, aside from my nails.

IMATS Toronto 2014 SwatchAndLearn

There was plenty of other body painting going down by various artists.

IMATS Toronto 2014 Body Painting

Body Painting IMATS Toronto 2014

Makeup Artistry IMATS Toronto 2014

IMATS 2014 Toronto Body Painting

IMATS Toronto Body Painting

The student makeup competitions at IMATS are always fun, and I look forward to them.

I watched as the makeup artists worked their magic on the models:

IMATS 2014 Toronto Makeup Artist Trade Show

IMATS 2014 Toronto Makeup Artist Trade Show

IMATS in Toronto 2014


IMATS Toronto 2014 Makeup Artist Trade Show

IMATS Toronto 2014 Makeup Artist Trade Show closer

Check out the video I posted on Instagram showing you this makeup station with the artists at work!

This year, the Battle of the Brushes was sponsored by Jordane Cosmetics.

According to my IMATS brochure:

“The student make-up competition is one of the most exciting events at IMATS. Every year, international make-up students and recent alumni from recognized schools submit photos of their work to be considered for competition.

After a blind judging, the Make-Up Artist magazine staff selects eight finalists in the beauty/fantasy category and eight in the character/prosthetic category. The staff chooses a theme for each category every year. This year’s beauty competition theme is Art Through the Ages, while the character competition is themed The World of Comic Books and Graphic Novels.

IMATS visitors are welcome to watch as finalists compete during the show. Cash and/or prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners for each competition.”

Here are some photos I took during the competition:

IMATS Battle of the Brushes Competition Toronto 2014

IMATS Battle of the Brushes Competition Toronto 2014

IMATS 2014 Toronto Make-up Artist Trade Show Competition

IMATS Toronto 2014 Battle of the Brushes Close-up

IMATS Toronto 2014 Battle of the Brushes smaller

IMATS Battle of the Brushes Toronto 2014

IMATS Toronto 2014 Battle of the Brushes Makeup Artists

The makeup artists are going to stand beside their models.

IMATS Toronto 2014 Battle of the Brushes Makeup Artist Competition

IMATS Toronto 2014 Battle of the Brushes Makeup

Watch Instagram video clips I took during the show, so you can see some of the stage performances as well as giving out first and third place awards!

There was also a ‘make-up museum’, but it was a deserted area. What a pity because there was some pretty cool, albeit creepy, artwork on display showing special effects.

Haha, to give you an idea of how much people tended to steer clear of the museum section, I took a photo. Everywhere else was very crowded, but the view with my back toward the museum was like this. Yup – that’s how far away people stayed from this area!

IMATS Toronto November 2014

Are you ready to see the things that made people wary of venturing closer? I was brave enough to check it out (as always). I like seeing special effects, especially when they’re so realistic!

This is a vampire autopsy body.

IMATS 2014 Toronto Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Check out the detail on the coffin to the right of the body.

IMATS 2014 Toronto Metro Toronto Convention Centre smaller

This is “The Master’s Coffin”. It was designed by artist Guy Davis and was sculpted by the makeup effects team.

The Master’s intricately carved coffin took a full eight weeks to build. There were three versions of the 9 x 4 x 3-foot coffin made, including one with swinging doors and two of the non-opening variety.

IMATS Toronto

IMATS Toronto smaller

I don’t think this dude liked me at first glance. 😉

2014 IMATS Toronto

2014 IMATS Toronto smaller

And this dude realllllyyyy didn’t like me! 😉

IMATS Toronto 2014 Photos

2014 Toronto IMATS

Here is “The Master Animatronic Puppet”, which was originally built for the pilot episode. The Master animatronic double featured a programmable motion-control system, a hyper-extending jaw and eyeballs that could bulge on cue.

Despite the enormous amount of work lavished on the animatronic Master, it ended up not being used.

IMATS Toronto 2014 The Master Animatronic Puppet

Gina Bettelli was at IMATS, so I attended her Make-up As Art seminar.

According to the IMATS brochure:

“Gina Bettelli started her career in 2000 as an Estee Lauder make-up artist and worked as a M.A.C. senior artist in San Diego for six years. She has done photo shoots, TV segments on make-up trends, make-up tips for newspapers and magazines and make-up for celebrities including Andie MacDowell, Paula Patton and Fergie. She has worked on Oscar week, Cirque du Soleil, the Sundance Film Festival and International fashion shows and film festivals.”

IMATS Toronto 2014 Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics

IMATS Toronto 2014 Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics closer

I posted a couple of video clips on Instagram in case you’d like to see them:

Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics IMATS 2014 Toronto

Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics IMATS Toronto 2014

Yes, those are bits of sugar packets on the model’s lips. It was a collage effect. Check out these closer photos to see more of the details of the whole makeup look! (The eyes were particularly stunning!)

IMATS Toronto 2014 Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics Tutorial

IMATS Toronto 2014 Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics Tutorial closer

IMATS Toronto 2014 Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics eye

Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics IMATS 2014 Toronto closer

Gina Betelli MAC Cosmetics IMATS Toronto 2014 closer

The main purpose of going to IMATS for me was to learn something new and to see makeup artists in action. But, of course the beauty junkie in me did a smidgen of shopping. 😉

I was looking for a fan brush that would be great for applying my new Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector pressed highlighter in Opal. (Haha, I’ve been itching to use it, but although I have 578378397876876 brushes, I didn’t have a decent fan brush that wasn’t scratchy.)

Woo hoo – found a good one at the booth. The natural hair is so silky, and like any brush that is soft and smooth, I find myself ‘petting’ it like a total creepo. (Anyone else do that, too?)

I can’t wait to use it, and I won’t be surprised if I just brush my face with it even without makeup when nobody is looking. 😉

IMATS Toronto 2014 Silk by Royal & Langnickel Finishing Fan Brush

Royal & Langnickel Finishing Fan Brush BC300 ($6 CAD)

But now for the most exciting part of the whole event! 🙂

I met up with Zenorah, who you know from YouTube! Let me tell you – she is incredibly sweet and gorgeous! We clicked immediately, and chatted as we looked around at the Royal & Langnickel booth for brushes.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of posting photographs of my face on the blog, but I just couldn’t resist sharing a photo Zenorah and I took together. 🙂

IMATS Toronto 2014 Zenorah Mary SwatchAndLearn

Thanks to Zenorah, I found out about a Royal & Langnickel brush that’s a little similar to the coveted NARS Ita Brush, which is a heck of a lot more expensive. This one came in at just $12 CAD.

IMATS Toronto 2014 Royal & Langnickel Revolution BX-35 Brush

Royal & Langnickel Revolution BX-35 Brush ($12 CAD)

I can’t wait to use it for contouring when my Anastasia Contour Kit from Sephora arrives soon! And I absolutely love the handle. It has a slight rubberized texture that feels so luxurious while giving you a confident grip!

Zenorah introduced me to some fellow YouTubers who are just as wild about nail polish as I am!

Go check out their YouTube channels. They’re all kinds of awesome! 🙂

Thanks to Holly, I was able to locate the booth that sold the Ben Nye Luxury Powder (Banana powder) that I’ve been really interested in trying! 🙂 I can’t wait to test it out and see if it’s worth the hype. (I’m sure it is – after all, it’s the powder that Kim Kardashian uses in her highlighting-and-contour routine, I’ve read.)

It’s definitely more yellow in person. (I think my camera’s flash made it look pink.)

IMATS Toronto 2014 Ben Nye Luxury Powder Banana Powder

Ben Nye Luxury Powder Banana Powder ($11 CAD)

I had a wonderful time at IMATS Toronto this year! Not only did I stick to my small shopping budget, but I got to see a lot of art in the making, I learned more about creating an editorial out-of-the-box look, and I made new friends. So…it was a success! 😀

Hope that you enjoyed this quick overview of IMATS Toronto 2014!

Have you ever been to IMATS? Do you attend any trade shows? Are there any trade shows you’d recommend that I attend? (They don’t have to be beauty-related.)


10 thoughts on “IMATS Toronto 2014 Recap

  1. Melissa

    Wow! It looks like you had a great time and got to see some awesome art. Thank you for sharing your photos and experience with us.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Yes, I had so much fun – it was one of the best times I’ve ever had at IMATS! 🙂

      Thanks for checking out this post and for taking the time out of your day to leave me a sweet comment.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Lindsay Does Nails!

      It was so wonderful meeting you, and I would absolutely love to see you again, so we can chat more! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Lizzy!

      Yeah, there’s so much fine detail that went into that coffin! I’m actually surprised that more people didn’t venture closer to check it out. Such a shame because that was truly a masterpiece!

  2. Zenorah

    Awww Mary, it was my honour & pleasure to finally meet you in person. I simply adore you & I can’t wait till we meet up again 🙂 Meeting you was definitely a highlight from the entire IMATS experience; ps I LOVE the fan brush!! That was an amazing recommendation & I thought I purchased the OPI hand lotions – that will be high on my list next Imats. Amazing recap & photos; you’re beautiful both on the inside & outside!
    Zenorah recently posted: Bite Beauty ‘Best Bite Remix’ High Pigmented Pencils

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Zenorah!

      You just made my day brighter! 🙂 Thanks for all your support and for making my IMATS experience the best! (Haha, I don’t know many makeup junkies in ‘real life’, so it was great talking with you and connecting on that level as well.)

      I tried the fan brush for the first time today with my Becca Skin Perfector pressed highlight in Opal, and it worked great! The bristles are so silky and soft. (I’ve made a mental note to buy more brushes from Royal & Langnickel at the next IMATS!)

  3. Allison

    I love that your recap was more about the events and less about the shopping. I had no idea the cool seminars and body paint! I like hearing about the hauls too, but this was an especially great article. Thanks, as always, for keeping it real 😉

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Allison!

      So happy that you appreciated the perspective I chose to focus on. Although you can really get lost in the amazing shopping, I feel like the spotlight should be on the leaders in the industry who are holding seminars. 🙂 Especially since I’m not a makeup artist, it’s a real treat for me to be able to get educated on tips and techniques. I soak it all up like a sponge.


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