Following up on my previous post, IMATS: What the International Makeup Show is Really All About, I am so excited to talk about the day I had at the Los Angeles show with my friend Shannon! As I had mentioned, this was a last minute occurrence as she had just found out on Monday that she actually won a pair of tickets from Frend’s Beauty. This was such an unexpected treat, and we got to have a girl’s day in L.A. that I think we both needed! Since it was so last minute, neither of us really planned to shop but decided to focus more on networking, seeing fellow artists and brand owners that we knew through our time at CRC, and watching demos, lectures, and classes. Trust me, passing up on IMATS show deals was extremely tough, but I feel that we both had a great time just submerging ourselves in the industry.
We started the day a bit later than we originally planned, but made good time driving from San Diego and ended up getting to the show in Pasadena at around noon. We picked up our tickets from will call, and headed to the exhibit hall to check out all of the amazing booths.
Walking into this room is like sensory overload! There are people talking, there is music, there are voices over the loudspeakers from the live demos and lectures, there are smells emanating from different booths, and you just want to touch everything! Some booths have lines that have to be regulated by a red rope and security, due to the crowd. Some are small, unknown brands that have just launched or are in prelaunch, which is a great opportunity to meet the owners/creators and learn about some of the up and coming products. And it is hard not to get distracted by the demos!
Over the years, I have seen some industry staple brands and products debuted at this show, and this year was no different! Some of my favorite brands released new items, including Viseart and RCMA. Viseart has finally come out with… wait for it… A BROW PALETTE! Called “Structure”, this palette features wax and beautifully colored powder for perfect brow styling. Made with the same quality ingredients and care that they are known and loved for, this palette is about to be in many kits and homes throughout the world.
RCMA has been collaborating with Kevin James Bennett for some time, and he has done videos and lectures on their behalf online and at shows like the IMATS (this year included). He focuses on the importance of complexion in makeup application, so it is no wonder that he released two new palettes with them at the show. One is a full size palette, which combines the popular Shinto and KO series of RCMA’s foundation, as well as the new adjuster shades that he has developed for the company. Having those series together is already a huge perk, since normally they are in separate palettes. But the addition of the primary shades, black, and white means you can literally do any face with this palette! No longer will you have to purchase both large palettes as well as adjuster shades, if you understand color theory and master the art of mixing colors, you’ll be in league with some of the top tier artists. He also released a second 5 shade palette, just containing the adjuster shades by themselves. This is the perfect supplement if you already have foundation palettes. Made with RCMA's signature concentrated formula, they are comprised of 50% of the richest pigment. I love my MaqPro adjusters, but I have a feeling these will be the new kit staple for myself and many artists.
These were the items that we were the most excited to see, but unfortunately the Viseart palette was not there when we were, which was very disappointing. We stopped by the RCMA booth to say hello to the guys, and check out the KJB palettes. They were everything I dreamed of and more, I can’t wait to get my hands on them! We tracked down KJB himself and chatted a bit, since Shannon had worked with him in the past, which was a pleasant surprise. We picked his brain a bit about the palettes, and some of the other products he as designed as well. I really admire his artistry and vast knowledge, and definitely look up to him in this industry. And he is such a sweet and honest guy, he’s fun but will definitely call anyone and everyone out on their bs which gets him a lot of love and hate. I had a bit of a fan girl moment while talking to him, I fully admit!
After walking around a bit, we stopped at the Inglot booth to take a picture of the gorgeous demo they were working on. We happened to look behind the model and spotted Monetta, owner and creator of the Stick With It Palette, hanging out and snapping pictures as well! I absolutely adore this woman, I would always make sure to see her when she was dropping off orders at CRC and I love chatting with her. And of course I love her product, as you might guess from the review I wrote about it some time ago. She is such a sweetheart, and she showed us the newest model of the palette which is just beautiful! While chatting with her, she tells me that a fellow Glossible member wanted to meet me and she pulled me over to the Makeup Light booth to meet her. That warmed my heart, it isn’t too often that someone gets excited to meet me! I mention this because love the Glossible people, they are the most amazing, funny, and supportive people I have had the pleasure to interact with. It was such a treat to meet one of the faces I always see online, and she was a complete doll! If you haven't joined the group yet, do it!
After making a few rounds in the main hall, we went into Hall 2 which featured mostly special effects booths and the makeup museum (more on that in a minute). There was a stage set up, and we had the pleasure of viewing the Star Trek panel which featured artists from many different series (including Michael Westmore!!) That was another fan girl moment for me, I wanted to rush the stage like I was at a concert.
We also ran into Eric Coffman, president of Graftobian. We met him when we worked the CRC booth at the Makeup Show LA, and it was great chat and catch up with him a bit. We checked out the SFX demos going on, which included some of the submissions for the student “Battle of the Brushes”.
We then ventured into the makeup museum, which was a site to behold. They had models of iconic characters like Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Wolfman, and even some Star Wars characters (which will always send my heart a flutter). And the best part? Dick Smith’s makeup kit, complete with molds made from some of the most iconic characters he ever designed.
There weren’t any evening classes or lectures that we wanted to stay for, and we were feeling the effects of a long drive, hours on our feet, and zero food or drink intake. They have several snack bars throughout the place, but when you get in the zone you kind of forget that it is probably a good idea to intake some fuel! So we decided to wind our trip down, made a few more passes of some booths, and I grabbed some IMATS souvenirs.
So though this trip was last minute, it was definitely a welcome and enriching experience! Normally I would save for months before attending this show, it is difficult to not buy something at every single booth! But even though we weren’t shopping until we dropped, we still got to see and test new products, meet new people, see friendly faces, and talk shop with some amazing artists. I would call it a success!
If you’re thinking that you may attend some time, I recommend going in with a battle plan. Check out the list of classes, lectures, and demos, and make yourself a schedule so you don’t miss anything that you want to see. They release a list of exhibitors, and a floor plan of the booths so that you can figure out beforehand which ones you want to visit. Of course you’ll wanna look around at the other booths, but there will always be those that you don’t want to miss out on. Give yourself enough time to attend the classes and visit all of the exhibit halls. Bring a friend, or a few, and make a day of it! If you’re attending the LA show, the convention center is in the middle of Pasadena so you can venture out for lunch at any of the restaurants and coffee shops nearby.
Whether you’re in the industry, an aspiring pro, or just a lover of makeup, there is something at this show for you. I heartily recommend that you attend, at least one year. Maybe we’ll see you there!