As I mentioned in my previous post, this past weekend was a fairly big event in the calendar for professional makeup artists and enthusiasts alike. It was the International Makeup Artist Trade Show, IMATS for short.
I've never been before so I wasn't really sure what to expect. This time around it was held at Kensington Olympia, rather than Alexandra Palace. It was also in the 'summer' instead of being right after the new year.
I can't compare it to the previous venue but I really liked Olympia. It seemed to have quite a bit of space and didn't feel too crowded when walking between stands. As for it being better weather because it's summer, well that wasn't the case. I ended up rocking a plastic bag over my hair/face to protect myself from all the rain on Saturday morning. Yes there is evidence of this.
I was up stupidly early (5AM) after having little sleep but Saturday was the day for me to pick up the things I knew I really wanted to make sure I had them. There weren't any keynote speakers that I was dying to see. But I did watch 'The Student Competition'. I'd seen the artists and models prepping upstairs earlier in the morning so it was amazing to see the final looks on stage. I also watched the 'Power Of Social Media' talk with Ruth Crilly, Caroline Hirons, Sprinkle Of Glitter and Vivanna Does Makeup. I didn't really pick anything new up from it, I think it was more aimed at people who were just starting out but Caroline cracking out the jokes so it was a good laugh.
We ended up staying the majority of the day, it was extremely tiring by the end. Which wasn't helped with the cancelling of the majority of the trains going from Olympia.
Sunday was definitely more laid back. I got to pick up things that I couldn't get to on the Saturday. The stands mostly had amazing discounts ranging from 60% off at NARS to a third off Make Up For Ever. Apart from the odd exception like OCC who had no discount whatsoever. I definitely managed to pick up some bargains on products I'd been meaning to purchase for ages.
I decided to only take my DSLR for the Saturday as it got heavy lugging it around along with purchases. I didn't get end up getting that many photos but still ... Pretties!
Something that totally made my weekend was meeting Caroline Hirons. I briefly saw her before she did her social media talk. But again when we went to Pizza Express to kill time from the cancelled trains. She's one of those people I've talked to for ages since I've been blogging but never had a chance to meet. She is super lovely in person (providing you don't mention face wipes or Sudocrem ... She will beat you and I'm not even kidding) and someone I was so glad I got a chance to finally see!
I also met a whole ton of bloggers who I've been talking to since I started and in more recent times. It was so nice to finally get to an event (of sorts) and meet other like minded people.
Anyway I'm going off on a tangent. IMATS isn't cheap when you have to factor in buying a ticket, prices differ depending on when you buy and how long you go for. Then you have to think about travel to London, travelling around London, accommodation and spending money. It adds up pretty quickly but for me it was 100% worth it. I loved every second of it, except maybe my alarm going off at 5AM and one I will definitely do again next year.
If you're a MUA or even just someone with a keen interest in the field, I really recommend going. You get some really good deals and get a chance to meet some fabulous people.