On a personal note, revisiting IMATS after a three year break came with a renewed hope and excitement. I followed the changes that came including moving its residency from north London’s Alexandra Palace to west London’s Kensington Olympia (an arse ache of a trek for a north Londoner) and a shift away from the show’s true identity to catering for hoards of teenage girls bursting into tears at meeting their ‘idols. Quite. I picked up on last year’s chaotic circus from reading blog posts and was relieved I didn’t have to deal with that.
I fondly remember my first IMATS in 2006 at the Business Design Centre in Islington when I was learning to be a make-up artist and being astounded that make-up artistry goes beyond lipstick, eyeshadow and blushers. That’s the beautiful thing about IMATS – it brings all aspects of the art of make-up under one roof from mainstream to specialist and celebrates it. Wandering around the hall, watching artists create masterpieces before your very eyes is brilliant and a privilege.
It is also a fantastic opportunity to get your hands on niche and professional products at discount rates and even meet the names behind some of the biggest cosmetic names.
Feeling like somewhat of an IMATS veteran, I had a plan in mind and arrived bright and early at Kensington Olympia on day two of the show. I had a list of stalls I wanted to visit, a shopping list and a budget in mind as well. Staying focused helped me to navigate around the hall, which became busier as the hours ticked by and in about two hours I had managed to bag everything I had wanted with time to take a pew on the first floor and look down on the crowds below.
The highlight was meeting the pocket-sized and uber-cute Amy Doan, the founder of Sugarpill cosmetics. I also lost my Sugarpill cherry with a few purchases from the stall including the Addicted To Pretty quad for £20 (normally £25). I can’t wait to use this – the colours are incredibly vibrant and gorgeous.
Other products I was keen to get and succeeded in was Make-Up Forever’s HD Foundation, Lime Crime’s Velvetine Lip Colour in Wicked, Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Blushers in Acid and Trip plus some brushes and OCC Lip Tars. And I was out of the there before midday. BOOM!
The organisers took on board the shenanigans of IMATS London 2013 and turned things around, bringing it back to what it is really about for which I am thrilled. Even Crown Brushes, which is notoriously difficult to visit in the past had more organised space, with the chance to look at products closely and buy them without being elbowed in the ribs.
IMATS London draws to an end on Sunday 29th June so if you’re planning to go, get there early and most importantly, have fun!
For more on IMATS and its international shows, visit www.imats.net.