Smorgasbord Sundays: My IMATS 2011 Trip, Haul & Photos

IMATS Toronto 2011Guess who went to IMATS yesterday? Yours truly!

Some of you already knew that I went to the International Make-up Artist Trade Show held at the Toronto Congress Centre. (It’s my second time going to IMATS. Last year was my first time.)

It was a lot of fun, and I was so exhausted when I got home! (My wallet was a little exhausted, too, but I didn’t put a dent in it as badly as last year, so that’s good.) But I had to work on this post for you! πŸ™‚

For those of you who are hearing about IMATS for the first time, let me break it down for you.

Anyone can attend IMATS – you don’t have to be a make-up artist. You just have to pay for your ticket. IMATS is set up like a pavilion with numerous booths (1 brand per booth). If you’re Canadian, think of it like the CNE’s shopping pavilion, except everything you can buy is cosmetics-related.

Not only can you find incredible deals on a lot of brands under a single roof, but they also have seminars scheduled throughout the day to help you hone your skills and student competitions so you can marvel at current talent.

In this post, I’ll give you a brief run-down of what I saw. And, of course, I’ll also show you the small things I bought. I’ll also share some photos I took while I was there. I thought that I’d take more, but I really wanted to experience IMATS, and sometimes being a ‘photographer’ can get in the way of truly relishing the moment.

Planning ahead really saved me time during the registration. I pre-ordered my IMATS ticket – this allowed me not only to bypass the long line-up and go straight to the separate lane for pre-orders only, but I also saved $10 on my ticket (so I paid $30 CAD instead of $40).

After showing my printed e-ticket, I received a wristband. It’s neon green this year and plastic if you paid for only 1 day (IMATS actually is going on today, too). Last year’s was hot pink and papery. I had to wear this bracelet at all times to get in North Hall H, which is where IMATS was.

IMATS 2011 Toronto Bracelet

I was pretty happy to see that the bracelet was green because it went with my nails – I did green frog nail art. (I’ll be posting a tutorial on it later. Got quite a few compliments on it, which made my ego very happy!)
Edit: I’ve published the nail-art tutorial. Please see the above link. πŸ™‚

After registering, you can pick up an IMATS booklet that includes the schedule for the seminars and a little information about some of the artists and keynote speakers.

Toronto IMATS 2011

Last year when I went to IMATS, I saw the model on the cover win the student competition.

This is the floor plan:

Toronto Congress Centre Floor Plan

The seminars/demonstrations took place in the “Main Stage” and “Open Forum Stage” areas. (And just so you get an idea of the brands that dominated IMATS, 125 was NYX. 301 was Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. 201 was Make Up For Ever.)

Here are just a few of the other brands:

  • Crown Brush Canada
  • Jordane Cosmetics
  • M.A.C. Pro
  • Naked Cosmetics
  • NARS Cosmetics
  • Temptu Pro
  • Yaby Cosmetics

The first thing I looked at was the Make-Up Museum. It seemed like nobody was interested in that section because it was a ghost town. But that was fine by me because I got to take photos without getting shoved around.

IMATS Toronto 2011 Makeup Museum

Looks like me on a bad day

IMATS 2011 Toronto Makeup Museum

Me on a bad day when I get lippy

IMATS Toronto 2011 Makeup Museum Toronto Congress Centre

Not me

Toronto IMATS 2011 Makeup Museum

How I look when I don't use my flat iron

Toronto Congress Centre IMATS 2011 Toronto


IMATS Toronto 2011 November

He's got 99 problems and a *beep* ain't one!

Toronto IMATS November 2011

What I look like when I'm feeling under the weather

I liked how the Student Competition Stage was right in the middle, so it was easy to see the artists’ progress on their models while you were shopping. It also made it easier to take a lot of photos from different angles.

Here are a few of my photos:

IMATS 2011 Student Competition

Student Competition at IMATS Toronto 2011

IMATS 2011 Toronto Congress Centre Student Competition

I'm immature, but I thought, "Hope that model didn't eat too many beans!"

Toronto IMATS 2011 Competition

Toronto IMATS November 2011 Student Competition

Can't forget to paint those nails!

IMATS Toronto 2011 Student Competition Winner

This was bad-ass! I was rooting for her to win.

IMATS Student Competition Show Toronto 2011

During the show

Student Competition IMATS Toronto 2011

IMATS Toronto 2011 Competition 3rd Place

3rd Place

IMATS Toronto 2011 2nd Place

2nd Place

IMATS Toronto 2011 1st Place

1st Place

IMATS 2011 Toronto 1st Place Prize

The make-up artist 1st place winner got a cheque for $1,000. The others got loot from the various companies in the pavilion.

In one of the booths, artists were demonstrating body painting, so of course I asked if I could take their picture!

IMATS Toronto 2011 Body Painting

The model said she thought my nails were cute! πŸ™‚ And I thought she had a lot of patience to be able to sit so still for a long time. (I could never do it.)

IMATS Toronto 2011 Body Painting 2

One of the seminars I attended was Eve Pearl’s – “The Flawless Bride of All Ages: From Natural to Hollywood Glamour”.

According to the IMATS booklet, “Eve Pearl is an Emmy Award-winning celebrity make-up artist and 18-year industry veteran.” She’s an “on-air contributor and make-up artist to Meredith Vieira on Today and a key make-up artist and guest on The View. Pearl’s work has been featured in Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, InStyle, Vanity Fair, and more.”

IMATS Toronto 2011 Eve Pearl

To show her techniques, she brought a volunteer from the audience on stage. Considering that the woman wasn’t a model and was being watched live and on the big screen by so many people, I think she did a great job at keeping her composure. Hehe, although at times, she had a look of annoyance, which made me laugh a bit.

Some things Eve mentioned and/or demonstrated:

  • Reverse contouring – Highlight under the cheekbone, not over. This will make your cheekbones stand out more.
  • You don’t have to apply liner neatly if you later put shadow on top and smoke it out
  • Fill in eyebrows from the middle instead of from the beginning of the brow, which can be too harsh
  • When applying false lashes, measure them against your eye and trim from the outer part
  • As a make-up artist, you should bring your own portable lighting & you should build your visual resume/portfolio by photographing your clients if possible
  • Sheer out foundation by stippling a damp cosmetic sponge where the skin has fewer flaws

She kept making jokes during the demonstration – some were adult jokes. The crowd was tough, though, and only a handful of people laughed. (Yes, I was one of them.)

I also saw Elessa Jade (Pursebuzz) and Koren Zander (EnKore Makeup on YouTube), but I didn’t take either of their photos. Elessa was wearing a super-girlie black and pink outfit with her signature bow on her head, of course. And Koren was sporting this really adorable Hello Kitty brush belt.

And, of course, you know I did some shopping! With discounted makeup at my fingertips, I’m surprised (but glad) that I only walked out with a few things.

IMATS 2011 Toronto Haul

What I Got:

  1. NYX Mosaic Powder in Cafe – $4 CAD? (I forgot!)
  2. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics nail polish in Pool Boy – $5 CAD
  3. NYX nail polish in Secret – $2 CAD
  4. Two NYX Eye/Eyebrow Pencils in Dark Brown – $2.50 CAD each (Got these for my mom.)
  5. NYX Winter in Moscow Silver Gray Smokey Look palette – $10 CAD
  6. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Katricia – $10 CAD
  7. Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Primer in 0 – $25 CAD
  8. Bottle of water – I included that as a joke. It was over $2 CAD – expensive, but I expected it.

I wasn’t going to grab NYX Winter in Moscow, but then it was right near the cashier, and I thought it would be a good palette to have for traveling.

NYX Winter in Moscow

I like how it has lip & cheek products, shadows & brushes in one small case.

When I went to IMATS last year, I spent a LOT more. This time around, I was more discerning.

The item I was most ecstatic to get was the Make Up For Ever primer – what an amazing price! Also, I got my very first Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics items! πŸ˜€ And when I went for the Lip Tar, I chose this really cool purple. I’m going to try mixing it with other lip colours, too. Supposedly you only need a very small amount, it goes on like a gloss, but stays like a lipstick and is very pigmented. We shall see!

Haha, my haul isn’t very exciting (except for the Lip Tar!), so maybe you feel disappointed. I’m glad that I was able to stick to my budget despite being literally surrounded by temptation.

Before I went to IMATS, I made a mental list of things that I wanted to get, and unless I came across some ridiculously amazing product, I was going to try to resist the urge to buy extraneous things. Think I did a good job, and I managed to wait in line to pay for my NYX stuff without going insane. Seriously! The line-up was looooong, and if I didn’t want to get those eyebrow pencils for my mom, I would’ve just put everything back and said, “Forget it!” But my mom’s worth it. πŸ™‚

If you’re planning to go to IMATS, these are some of my tips:

  • Pre-order your ticket online – it’ll save you money & also time when registering
  • Arrive early (before 10 is best) because they could sell out of something you really want! (But if you’re just casually browsing & don’t have anything in mind to purchase, I actually recommend going late in the day because the line-ups are much shorter, the booths aren’t as crowded & you can shop faster. Of course, this is if you don’t plan to attend seminars/demonstrations.)
  • Wear comfy shoes (even sneakers) because a lot of time will be spent standing in line or walking around.
  • Attend seminars/demonstrations to not only learn something new, but also to give yourself a relaxing break from the shopping hustle & bustle
  • Do your research ahead of time & go to IMATS knowing exactly which products you want (this will help you stick to your budget).
  • Go with a friend – one person can stay in line while the other person finds things & then you can switch, plus it’s fun to share the experience!
  • Bring your camera – there are so many incredible things you’ll want to remember later
  • Bring your own snacks & drinks – if you don’t, expect to pay premium prices for run-of-the-mill refreshments
  • Bring cash – some places (like NYX’s booth) require that you spend at least $30 CAD before you can use your credit card. Also, bringing cash helps your budget. It’s easy to charge your card, but if you have cold, hard cash, you can physically see when you have less money. This may curb unnecessary splurges.

This post was a little haphazard and slapped together in a hurry. I was both excited and exhausted when I wrote this, but I reallllly wanted to share this with you today instead of later. Hope you liked my little IMATS overview!


19 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sundays: My IMATS 2011 Trip, Haul & Photos

  1. Carmela

    Awesome post! Very informative and thorough. Those pics of the museum are actually creepy. I don’t think you’d find me there either! πŸ˜‰

    Nice haul, Mary!! I’m amazed to see such good deals! That MUFE primer should be awesome! πŸ˜€ I’m so excited to see the OCC products! I’ve been dying to try their lip tars as I’ve heard nothing but good reviews about them. But I probably should stay away from any cosmetics till maybe May next year. Hahaha!
    Carmela recently posted: OPI Warm and Fozzie on a Special Day

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      It’s easy to really get carried away with all these good deals. At the NYX booth, while I was waiting in line for the cashier, I saw one woman blow through $200 in cash on NYX stuff alone. That’s hardcore!

      That Make Up For Ever primer is pretty good. I’m already on my second bottle of it. This one is just my back-up. It saves me a bit compared to getting it at Sephora.

      Carmela, is it even possible to stay away from cosmetics for that long? They’ll find you! Mwhahahahaha! πŸ˜›

  2. Amber

    Great post, and great photos! Its kinda of ironic how we look the same when we dont use our flat irons and feel under the weather πŸ˜‰ I think you did good at what you bought. Its great not to get caught up and go overboard especially since its the Holiday shopping season. I have seen swatches of pool boy its such a pretty color. I would like to see your thoughts on the NYX palette, and of course that lip tar!!
    Amber recently posted: Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow – Petal Pusher

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Amber!

      Hehehe, yes, we are such a pretty sight, aren’t we? πŸ˜‰

      Yes, the holiday shopping season is here again! There’s no rest for the wicked…and by wicked, I’m clearly referring to my wallet. πŸ˜›

      I’m really excited to try the Lip Tar especially, but…hehe, I have to figure out other lip colours I have to mix with it first. I’m not sure if I can go BAM straight into wearing purple lips. (Even the MAC All of My Purple Life lip gloss took a lot within me to wear it because it’s so dramatic and different than what I usually wear.) But I do like purple-tinged lip colours, so hopefully I can create those hues with this.

  3. Lisa Walker

    I have never been to IMATS before but heard a lot of great deals there. Hopefully go there someday. You recently tweeted about the famous Jack Black lip balm and I couldn’t find it at Sephora. Can you please tell me which section did you find it at?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Lisa!

      If you get a chance, you should definitely check it out. Even though you can buy a ticket for 2 days, I really think that 1 is really all you need to snatch up everything you want/need.

      When I got my Jack Black balms, I actually ordered them online (with some other stuff), but I believe I’ve seen them in the Jack Black section (with the brand’s moisturizers and cleansers). I’m heading to Sephora on Monday and I’m looking to see if they have the limited-edition Jack Black set, so I’ll report back here.

        1. Mary Post author

          Turns out I didn’t go. I was still feeling sick and weak, so I couldn’t go…But once I’m feeling 100% again, I’ll swing by there and let you know. (I’ll leave a comment on here and also e-mail you, just in case you don’t see the comment.)

        2. Mary Post author

          Sorry for the delay. I went to Sephora today and yes, I was able to find it. It’s in the “Men’s Skincare” section. They have all the Jack Black stuff there. They have little clear plastic cups that hold the lip balms. I only saw them available in mint and in the lemon flavours. Hope that helps.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Erin!

      Oh, IMATS in New York is going to be way bigger than the one in Toronto for sure! The American IMATS always has more brands that show up including Inglot. You’ll have a blast! πŸ˜€

  4. Elyne

    Very nice pics! Glad that you’d have fun. I really really like the make up on the model that won she looks so cool. If you want more lip tars but for cheaper you can always get Sleek paint – it’s cheaper a bit of a thicker formula and easier to apply , you can get it from their website – although they don’t have that much colors as OCC has. Another tip for applying the lip tars is applying with a brush don’t do it with your fingers because they will stain and it will make a huge mess, in order to apply it properly you only need a tiny bit and apply it as dry as possible because otherwise it will feather out. I’m also very interested about what you think of the NYX palette and the MUFE primer. I keep hearing from people that MUFE isn’t that good.

  5. Marta

    Wow Mary! This review was sooo fun… I literally feel like I was able to visit IMATS with you (maybe tucked in safely in your pocket πŸ˜‰ )
    Makeup for me is … well… like learning calculus for a kindergartener! I’m sooo lost and so I originally thought IMATS = not for me! WELL… having read your review I’d want to go ‘just for the experience’ … even if my bracelet had an N for “novice” πŸ˜‰
    Magda went and picked up an OCC polish for me so I’m super excited to dip my nails into a bit of the IMATS experience.

    You rock! (But I may have said that to you before)?! lol
    Marta recently posted: Day 1 – β€œPINK NAILS”

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      That’s exactly the feel I wanted the post to have – to make it seem like my readers are there with me. πŸ™‚ I’m glad that it came through.

      Makeup can be so complicated and intimidating sometimes, so I understand how you feel. I still have so much to learn! If I ever feel like there’s nothing new to learn, I’d become bored pretty quickly.

      Yes, next year you should definitely go to IMATS for the experience. I don’t know of any other trade shows like this, so it’s the one time each year I look forward to diving into makeup and seeing new (and established) talent.

      That was really nice of Magda! πŸ™‚ I was hoping that OCC would have their green polishes available (of course), but I didn’t see them. It’s possible that I missed them, though, because the booth was crowded and getting to the front was a bit of a struggle.

      Marta, YOU rock! Seriously! Your support all this time means so much to me. πŸ™‚

      1. Magda

        No, Mary, they didn’t have the green polishes. I believe they just had their latest collection πŸ™‚ And, it is my goal to get Marta to come next year πŸ˜›

        1. Mary Post author

          YES, Marta needs to go to IMATS – it’s an incredible experience in itself, even if you don’t buy anything! It’s just really fun to attend!


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