Hi there and happy Friday! You have no idea how excited I am for the weekend, as I’ll be going to my first IMATS show! It is THE show for makeup lovers and this is the first time I was able to get tickets before they sold out! I apologize for all the exclamation points but I’m THAT excited 🙂
IMATS stands for the International Makeup Trade Show. It’s supposedly the makeup world’s biggest gathering (last year over 11,000 people attended the NY show) and consists of a program of industry leaders speaking about various aspects of the beauty industry, classes for educating and demonstrating tips and techniques, and of course booths selling the latest and greatest products in the industry! The booths are a big deal as shopping is a major part of this event. Beauty products are extremely discounted so it’s a great time to stock up on items or try some new ones. And, many companies will debut new products!
In addition to makeup pros and heavy hitters in the industry, many of the prominent bloggers and vloggers attend the show for shopping and inspiration. Some are there to make special appearances at booths as brand affiliates (think sigma, morphe). Boy I hope I get to meet Manny MUA!
So as a first time attendee, of course I did my research on what to expect and how to make the most of this all day event. In case any of you are first timers like myself, thought I’d revive my tradition of TGIF tips and share tips for attending the show!
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. As chic as we all want to look while bringing our makeup A-game, you won’t last for the 7-hour event in your highest stilettos.
Wear dark clothing. There’s a reason my Sephora and MAC uniforms were all black. They hide makeup stains really well. With all the new product launches debuting at the show, you will be touching everything. Where a little of that vamp Anastasia lip stain wouldn’t be noticeable transferred onto black, it would be a sight for sore eyes on white or light colored clothing.
Make a shopping list. With all the booths, (I counted 112!) one can easily be overwhelmed among the (discounted) makeup heaven. Lines can also get very long, so make a product wish list to prioritize which booths to checkout first so you don’t miss out on something you really wanted. If you really want to be a go-getter, check out the floorplan/map and get an idea of where the booths you’re interested in are located (LA GIRL why don’t I see you on there?!)
Set a budget and bring cash. Again, with it being a discounted makeup heaven and all, I know I don’t want to go crazy spending so much that my husband bans me from going next year. Make a realistic budget and stick to it. Also, try to bring some of your budget in cash, as some vendors don’t take card. It will make your transactions go faster, and you can visit more of the stalls (while sticking to your budget and wish list of course!)
Bring a durable tote. While I don’t think I’ll need my trusty IKEA blue bag, a medium tote with comfortable handles might be handy. (Yes, shopping plays that big a part in the IMATS experience). Plus, since we are in NYC and you’ll most likely be taking a train there, a tote will be especially handy to lug back your goods on public transportation.
Decide which classes you want to take. Check out the schedule here. There are multiple stages with simultaneous programs. With the plethora of education available (the ones that caught my eye are: doing period makeup, grooming men, quick editorial looks, red carpet looks, how to get agency representation – I WANT TO TAKE THEM ALL!)
Bring business cards. For anyone in the beauty industry (or aspiring to be), don’t forget to bring them with you! You never know who you might meet.
Maximize social media. Bring your cameras and phones fully charged. Seems like a given, but there are no public accessible outlets, and you wouldn’t want to miss your chance to document one of the biggest events in the makeup industry. Don’t forget to tag @IMATSofficial and use the official hashtag #IMATSNYC
If you’ve attended, are there any tips you’d suggest adding to this list? If you found this helpful, or will be there this Saturday, let me know! You can find me on Instagram @nedaneda