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Question: Is IMATS worth it?

Answer: Absolutely! As an avid follower of YouTube beauty gurus, I had always heard my favorite vloggers (shout out to Nicole Guerriero and Carli Bybel!) discuss IMATS. After seeing their coverage and doing a little research myself, IMATS truly seemed like every makeup lovers’ heaven.

IMATS stands for the International Makeup Artist Trade Show and is the world’s largest makeup event. Thousands of award winning makeup artists, vendors, and makeup enthusiasts come together under one roof (albeit in several different cities including New York, Vancouver, London, Sydney, Toronto, LA, and London) and put together an absolutely amazing show.

Upon walking into this year’s IMATS New York, it was almost overwhelming how many booths and speaking events there were to witness. There were even live demonstrations put on by notable – and even Oscar winning – makeup artists (like Robin Mathews who won an Oscar for her work in Dallas Buyers Club!). I felt like a kid in a candy store and dove right into the madness.

The most popular and mob-worthy booth by far was the NYX Cosmetic booth, which was a giant square filled to the brim with a mass amount of their incredible products. The vendors were handing out bins to each shopper that were being filled-up as if everyone were trick-or-treating around the booth. There wasn’t much breathing room, so if you wanted a lip color, you had to go in for the grab and hope you could retract your hand without it getting chewed off (I’m exaggerating of course, but women can get a little competitive when it comes to discounted makeup products). I personally went for the Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp, the Retractable Eye Liner in Aqua Green, as well as the HD Concealer Wand. I have to say, I was extremely happy with each and every one of these products. The lip cream is super long-lasting and has amazing pigment. The eyeliner gave me just the right amount of subtle turquoise for that extra pop of color under the eye, and the concealer has absolutely incredible coverage that also brightens extremely well. Three cheers for NYX!

Next, I made my way over to the Sigma booth. Sigma is known for its incredible brushes, but they have some killer makeup products as well. Tara Vogelgesang explained to me that on average, every girl should own at least 20 makeup brushes. This may seem like a lot, but considering each product you use, an arsenal of brushes as a back-up when your go-to’s get dirty is vital. Sigma gave out awesome goodie bags to their visitors filled with samples of some of their brushes and makeup, which was gladly welcomed by all!

Soon after, I spoke with Siân Richards, creator of the London Brush Company and the London Brush Shampoo. These solid shampoos are all-natural, organic, and vegan—totally safe to use and awesome for your brushes.  Siân  says that she wanted to create a product that would look after makeup brushes as well as restore older ones that didn’t contain any cheap products. These shampoos are so genuine that they’re even made on a farm in California by a woman who has goats right on site for goat’s milk! How cool is that? Siân also explains that women have come to her saying that they’ve used the shampoo as a cleanser on their clothing or as a face wash, and it successfully helped clear their skin. This product is the real deal and definitely a safer alternative—and it won’t harm your brushes like other cleansers that contain alcohol.

Another great booth I stopped by was the Model in a Bottle booth. Their most beloved product is the makeup setting spray, which is essentially hairspray for your face. I picked up a bottle of this and tried it immediately, before a night out with friends. I was so happy with this product and genuinely felt like my makeup had stayed in place all night long. I was also gifted the brow setting gel (thanks ladies!) and found that it worked incredibly well, even when applied over an eyebrow pencil.

Lastly, I met with the wonderful ladies of Beauty Blender, mostly because I had always been intrigued by the hot pink tear-drop shaped sponge and wanted to find out more about it. One of the representatives, Alexandra, explained to me that the Beauty Blender mimics the actual texture of your skin and doesn’t leave streaks like brushes do. What you do is saturate the sponge in water, towel dry it, and dab it into your foundation before blotting and blending the makeup in to your skin. I tried it out and found that it really did help my makeup look much more natural than a brush, without much effort at all! I give the Beauty Blender two thumbs up.

The IMATS was an incredible experience and definitely a beauty paradise for any makeup junkie. It was really empowering to be surrounded by so many successful makeup artists and product creators, as well as the awesome crowd of beauty lovers getting their shop-on. This was a high-energy, ultra-glamorous event that I highly recommend to all makeup lovers!

Did you go to IMATS this year? What did you think?