IMATS 2012: The Haul

This year I hit IMATS with a budget and a plan: NO MAKEUP! Seriously, there is no need for me to add a single piece of makeup to my collection… especially not from IMATS. The discounts are nice… but the makeup stations are always a feeding frenzy. I find that it’s best to plan ahead. So I did.

I called Hakuhodo ahead of time and placed my order. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about what they brought to the show, and what they left behind. With the exception of replenishing my Velour Lashes stash (I used them all on the models for the Agenda Magazine cover), that’s all I really planned on buying.

I took pictures of the brushes separately (I got 10 in all) because I thought they looked better that way:

Angled Face Powder Brush
Pointed Face Powder Brush
Highlighter Brush
3 Eye Shadow Brushes (Small/Med/Large)
 2 Crease Brushes (Small/Med)
 1 Angled Brush (brows/lashline)
1 Mascara Spoolie
Now, of course these brushes are not necessary. I am, however, upgrading my brush collection (and sending the lot of my original brushes to my little sister)… and I opted to add the Hakuhodo Vermillion Brushes to my collection. I’m slowly building. I’d like to use mostly Hakuhodo brushes in the future. I love their symmetry and performance, and I think they’re worth every penny. I’ll finish this collection up likely next year. I have plenty to work with for now.
I also restocked my Velour Lashes stash. I’m fond of the ‘Complete Me’ Lashes because they’re very long and can accommodate a wide range of eye sizes and shapes. You can cut them and not lose the overall look and feel of the lash, which is fabulous. 
I admit to being a first-timer with Model in a Bottle. I’ve heard amazing things about this product, but I’ve never gotten around to actually using it. So this time, I plunked down a few dollars for the original formula and the sensitive skin formula. I can’t wait to test it out in this summer heat!
There was a fantastic show special on brush cleaner (this is my favorite brand), so this purchase was a no brainer. I was out of brush cleaner, and I got this little ‘show kit’ for the price of a regular bottle of cleaner.
My final purchase was a makeup book called ‘Makeup Is Art.’ I bought it because I liked the practical aspect of the makeup. I’m always interested in unusual color combinations and placement, but I tend to lean toward more wearable creations. The cover notwithstanding… the inside is full of looks and ideas that can easily be interpreted into editorial… and even practical applicaton.
That’s it… that’s my haul! See… NO MAKEUP! I  had a really good time this year. I’m really happy with the experience, and my purchases. 
We’ll do it again next year!


There was plenty of makeup looks to be seen at IMATS… mine was not one of them. I opted for functional makeup that would last all day. That meant primers, and products with major staying power.

Chanel Blush in Malice
Anastasia Brow Gel in Espresso
Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow in #27 (inner corners)
Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow in #28 (lids)
Louise Young Eyeshadow in Pom Pom (crease)
MAC Eyeshadow in Brule (browbone)
Armani Waterproof Eye Pencil in #1 (lashline, waterline, outer crease)
Armani Eyes To Kill Stretch Mascara
MAC Lip Pencil in Mouth Off (all over the lips)
*I never blotted or touched up the makeup throughout the day. It wore true and set perfectly on my oily skin… from standing in line outside, to sitting in class… through screams, squeals, hugs, pictures and everything else!*

IMATS: The Spectacle

Some of the makeup this year was awesome. Some of it was a little scary… but it was intended to be (monster makeup). I missed the student competition (they were taking too long and I wanted to get a good seat to see Kabuki)… but there was plenty to see otherwise…

See what I mean about them deserving their own post? Anyone who took the time to do all that, deserves to be showcased. Some of those looks are COMPLICATED. Some of the artists were working on the same subjects from the time I got there, until I left 7 hours later.

IMATS 2012: Overview

I do love going to this show every year. If nothing else… witnessing the spectacle that is IMATS (in all of its colorful glory) is worth the price of admission.

First things first… FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE LINE TO GET IN WAS OUTSIDE! Now this is noteworthy because IMATS is held in Pasadena… in the Summer. Temperatures can get as high as 100+ degrees. Now, imagine fully made up, high heeled, tightly clothed divas waiting in that kind of heat! NOT.FUN.

I’m happy to report that I was in loose, breathable clothing and Sketchers (my official work shoe LOL). I am not a fan of being uncomfortable in the quest to look cute.

After a wait of about 30 minutes… I was at the front of the building.

 Once inside, I did a quick sweep of the floor (tradition) and got so see some familiar faces…

Little Sis Amanda! She was all smiles as she pitched in at the show.
Brian from Frends Beauty Supply. They carry Chantecaille and Kevyn Aucoin… that’s my go to place for those brands.
The fabulous Samantha from Naked Cosmetics. I was too happy that she remembered me from last year. Well, I did buy a YEAR’S SUPPLY of the Naked Cream. I’m sure that made me at least a little memorable. LOL
Look at all that madness around NYX. I didn’t go near that area. A billion Makeup Artists and customers all grabbing the same lipgloss… DRAMA. NYX, INGLOT, Make Up For Ever and MAC always end up looking like that at IMATS. The wait to purchase can be HOURS sometimes. No thank you. I’ll forgo any discounts for peace of mind and ease of shopping… thank you very much. LOL
Another favorite Beauty Supply store. I get INGLOT, Kevyn Aucoin, Koh Gen Do and Gleam from this place. Love the folks there (Hey Cheyenne!). Fabulous spot.
See what I mean? Look at all those folks! They are about 4 deep.. not kidding. Everyone is sweet and courteous… but still. I get claustrophobic – and there is no eyeshadow in the world worth being smashed up with a bunch of folks all at once. This is how buyers regret happens. LOL
I guess Stila figured… Skin Sells.
 Mmm Hmmm… Drama.
 New NAKED Foundation from Urban Decay. Available in Autumn 2012. They gave out samples for individual skin tones. Smart. That way, everyone ended up with a color they could actually use.
This is my color. #8. The SA tried to put me in #7.5 but I felt that it was too ashy. This color had more yellow in it and was much warmer on my skin.

That’s the overall look and feel of IMATS this year. I want to do some of the makeup looks and ideas in a separate post because really… they deserve a place all their own.

IMATS 2012: A Lesson in Touch by Kabuki

IMATS was quite the experience this year. I made a specific point to witness this year’s Keynote Speaker, Kabuki, in action.
Instead of a traditional makeup application or Q&A session, he opted to show  us how one of his ‘extreme glamour’ creations come to life. I found the entire experience quite enlightening.

The model came out ‘half’ done… he wanted to show us what we were in for. The application on her face is hand made. He put it together first by sketching it on paper, then in practical construction with tulle and crystals.

Instead of using typical products and brands – and making the novices worry that they MUST have such and such brand or brush in order to achieve the look (special shout out to all the folks who asked the painfully obvious questions)… he mixed and matched creams and powders from any brand in any manner… until he found the color/texture he was looking for.

I found Kabuki’s technique haphazard and precise all at once… there seemed to be no actual method until it all came together. I feel that he knew in his head what was going to happen, and he took us along for the ride. He didn’t stay specific to any textures (cream to cream/powder to powder), but instead moved them around  until they performed the way he wanted.

It’s worth noting that he worked on his knees… he even wore knee pads for the occasion. It’s a personal preference… Kabuki prefers to not only be very close to the face he’s working on, he says that if he looks ‘up’ at the models, he can get a precise idea of shape and color placement. He mentioned that some artists work looking ‘down’ at the model and inevitably screw up their lip application because the angles are all wrong.

It was easier to see some of the more precise color placement by taking pictures of the big screen… so I did that instead of photographing the stage. Even though I was in the third row, he was still pretty far away.

Once all the color was placed, he applied the application using Elmer’s glue (which I found completely wonderful and hilarious) because he says it’s the easiest to remove from the skin. To properly apply the application, he had the model lay flat. He says that was the best way to ensure symmetry.

After he put on the application, he finished with a deep black/burgundy lip color… some lip tar mix (again with the obvious questions… I imagine that even after 2 hours of imprecise precision… some folks still hadn’t gotten the memo that Kabuki is less about brands and more about color and texture) that he swirled together until he found the particular shade that he wanted.

All finished! He removed the model’s shiny cape to reveal a dress that he helped design. It was all very ’80’s and androgynous and beautiful in its boyish glamour.

I rather enjoyed the presentation. I found it to be educational in that in encourages artists to be ARTISTS… and see things through touch and texture. Kabuki appears quite reserved and pleasant and focused. His method is internal… and I think that’s what I appreciated most about the lesson. I really like his approach to artistry and makeup in general… definitely glad I took the time to see him in action.

Gearing up for IMATS

I can’t believe it’s been a year already. IMATS is coming back to Los Angeles… and I’ll be there. But this time I’m on a budget. Hmph.

IMATS London

I’ve also mapped out a plan so that I don’t lose my natural mind. After my exploits at The Makeup Show, I sincerely need to have a seat.

I will definitely get some choice brushes from Hakuhodo. I want to start building an S-Series collection. But I have to take it slow. Those are the flagship brushes of the company, and they are EXPENSIVE. So I’m just going to do a few this time.

I’m also going to pay a visit to the lovely ladies of Velour Lashes. I’ve started using their lashes since getting them at The Makeup Show in March… and they are FABULOUS. They are so light and comfortable, and clients love the fact that they are Mink and cruelty-free (the hairs come from brushing the animals, so they are not harmed).

I’ll pop by OCC Makeup to see if anything is new and maybe hit Naimies and Nigels for show discounts on some of my favorite brands. I’m a little bummed that Kevyn Aucoin won’t be there (I can always use more Radiant Diaphanous Powder), but I’ll survive.

I also want to go to the Master Class taught by Kabuki (MAC), and I might catch a few others. I hope to stay (read: be awake) long enough to see the student competition at 3:45pm.

I always go to IMATS the old fashioned way (waiting in line with everyone else). I know a few ‘Pro Card’ card holders will be there on Friday, and I think they get an express pass in on Saturday, but honestly I enjoy the spectacle of IMATS, from long lines to amazing makeup.

I might meet with a few colleagues while I’m there… but I promise that this time I’m wearing comfortable shoes! I do NOT want a repeat of The Makeup Show. Bianca was just having a ball and taking her time, and I was in the worst shoes on earth… my feet were KILLING me! No more. Sneakers this go around. I’ll leave the ‘dressing up’ to the youtube gurus this year. 🙂

As always, I’ll take lots of pictures and regale you guys with tales from the wild side of makeup!