Whether you have been to IMATS before or this will be your first time, I can imagine you know what to expect : Lots of makeup, lots of bargains, even more people and hoards of giggly girls excited about seeing their favourite makeup artists, bloggers and You Tube stars. IMATS is upon us once again this weekend (July 10-12th) at London’s Olympia, and I’m hearing it’s going to be bigger & better than ever.
A few tips if you haven’t been before : Take a phone charger, take a bottle of water, take your patience as you WILL be Q’ing for the good bargains & take your time. You can literally spend a good 6+ hours there people-watching, purchasing, watching the amazing demos and soaking up the flurry of colour, products and niche brands that are on offer. Pro day (makeup artists/invite only) is on the Friday which I think is kinda cool as it’s less crazy and hey this IS a show originally for ‘makeup artists’ so it’s nice that they do this and allow us guys to get in there first. The Saturday and Sunday is open to all. If you aren’t familiar with the area. Olympia is in west London & does has it’s own tube stop (Kensington Olympia) but the tubes to this stop are pretty infrequent & crappy. Forget trying to get there directly on the tube, either get off at High St Kensington (15min lovely walk & shops) or Hammersmith (12min walk), it just makes life easier and if you have Google maps you are fine.
I hope you have saved some pennies because you will be tempted to spending all your hard-earned cash whether you are a makeup artist, beauty blogger, makeup lover or you just went with your friend to keep them company. Yes you will be walking out sweating and clutching lots of bags. Most stands do take cards, but I recommend just taking cash with you as it’s just easier / quicker and at least you can control your spending more mindfully.
Stands to visit:
1.) NARS. Go straight there. Like now. Last year they had like 70-80% off some of their old sets and I got some ABSOLUTE BARGAINS…like the 2 body Monoi oils for just £15 (they retail for like £96!!) and some other great things. These guys were super busy so if you are after a NARS bargain then get there early on the Saturday and get ready to que.
2.) Love Makeup. One of my favourite stands as a MUA. This has lots of smaller, niche brands on the one stand and the girls and guys running it are always super helpful.You will see some brands you may never have heard of and lots you have – take time to swatch, play & discover.
3.) Crownbrush. It’s huge, they have like 6 gazillion brushes, they are super cheap and I just love ’em. I think I got like 15 brushes last year. Don’t rush there as they are usually pretty stocked up but be prepared to spend a bit of time there weaving in and out of the other shoppers and looking at all the different brushes. If you were to buy 5 brushes my tips would be :
1.) C472 Pro Chisel Brush (my absolute must-have for foundation!)
2.) IB119 Deluxe Crease (a good MAC 224 dupe)
3.) IB101 chisel deluxe powder (fluffy, big, soft powder brush for an unreal price)
4.) SS021 Syntho Blending Fluff (I use this as a buffing concealer brush)
5.) BK33 Mini Oval Smudger (perfect for underneath the eyes smudging and blending)
Not only do you get to drool over all the brushes , but Zoe will be doing some body paining demo’s on both days and it will be really good to see her in action. Last year was SO good and I hear she has something even better planned for this year. I’m assuminng they will be selling their makeup range too ; definitely pick up a couple of the chubby eye and lip pencils! Have a look at my swatch post here for ALL the shades.
4.) Makeup Forever. I have big love for this brand and yes it has launched in Debenham’s over here now but this is a good chance to see it in all it’s glory, try the amazing foundations (I love the face & body) and also get a good deal.
5.) Makeup Atelier Paris. Beautiful makeup, a great colour selection and you really need to try something from this brand if you haven’t already. Their eyeshadow palettes are insane!
6.) Hakuhodo. A real makeup artist favourite when it comes to brushes ; the ultimate in luxury, high-quality and some of the most insanely good brushes you will ever get your hands on! Hard to get anywhere else and they come to London just once a year, so go and visit if it’s just to have a feel of these bad boys.
Demo’s to go and watch:
11am Apex Room : Contouring with colour. Creative, bright, fun and inspiring.
12.15 Main stage : Lan Nguyen-Grealis. Self-taught artist Lan will be talking about her discoveries & techniques in makeup.
11am Apex Room: Lee Pycroft. For budding/new makeup artists, this talk will be very beneficial.
2pm Main Stage: **Andrew Gallimore**. Just a must.
Just wander in and around the demo’s to see what takes your fancy, these are just ones that I would defo take time to go out and see, but there are events going on every day, all day, in about 5 different areas.
Are you braving IMATS this year?! What are the brands you are wanting to go and see?