Friday, 17 June 2016

A Trip To IMATS, London, 2016

          IMATS London Makeup Haul

                  IMATS London 2016

                  IMATS London 2016

                  IMATS London 2016

Hi, everyone! 

Before you begin, you may want to grab a cuppa, as this could be a long post! 

My long-awaited trip to IMATS, (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) in London, finally arrived Saturday 4th June. A day that was to leave me inspired, excited, wowed, happy, frustrated, poorer and exhausted! Haha! The trade show took place at Olympia, Kensington, London, featuring mostly makeup brands used by professional makeup artists and specialists from TV and Theatre. Apart from the UK, the show also schedules in the US, Canada and Australia. Unfortunately, it only features once a year here in the UK. 

Tickets can be purchased on the day but is best to buy before the event to prevent disappointment and also costs less than on the day itself. Mine cost between £40-50 and was an early birthday gift from Hubby. I can't remember the exact amount, so sorry for that. 

The Journey: 

The plan was to meet up with some friends that we had all originally met, at a makeup course we attended late last year. My journey began very early. 6:30 to be precise, as I had a 3-4hr train ride  ahead of me from Lowestoft, inter-changing at certain times before finally reaching Olympia just after 10:30. However, no thanks to Transport for London, my journey was a little stressful, to say the least, as they decided to shut 2 entire tube lines with a further 2 partial line closures, including part of the District line I planned on changing to. Luckily, the old Londoner in me began to resurface and was able to find my way back around the ole tube network in no time. 

I began to receive messages from my friends whilst I was travelling, that the queues were very long outside the venue. Although fortunately, after I arrived, they went down in no time at all. I was thrilled to see one of my friends still waiting in the queue, as the others had entered after arriving a little earlier. After we all finally met up, we began our process of drooling and spending, often splitting up at times as we all had areas we had wanted to see.

The artists:

There were so many talented artists dotted around, creating some mesmerising work! How some of the models managed to stay still for so long is beyond me! And the thought of being covered from head to toe in glitter totally freaks me out! On the main stage, there were some more talented makeup artists sharing their skill and knowledge, and educating us all. 

Unfortunately, I missed the one artist I wanted to see the most, as he was on earlier before I'd arrived ; super talented, Kevin James Bennett. I also wanted to see celebrity makeup artist, Daniel Sandler, but he was scheduled to arrive on the Sunday. However, I did see makeup artist from Bobbi Brown, Hannah Martin who you may be familiar with from QVCUK. YouTube beauty vlogger Holly Boon was also there, so my friend took the opportunity to grab a selfie with her. Aww! 

The brands: 

There was a good mixed selection of brands with their own units on site - Bdellium Tools, Crown brushes, Kryolan, Makeup Forever, Mac, Urban Decay, Inglot, Nyx, Graftobian, L.A Splash, Lime Crime, LancĂ´me, to just name a few. (A few, she says!)  And you also had your other units with some mixed brands such as Sigma, Milani, L.A Girl, TheBalm, Visart (missed out on those!) Daniel Sandler, RCMA, Ben Nye and a shed load of others! Some of these, I made a bit of a saving due to the discounts on offer. But if you own a makeup pro card, the savings would be even greater! 

Makeup For Ever: 

Makeup For Ever was the stand I wished I'd visited first, as the saving I made was incredible! I purchased the Ultra HD Foundation for £17.00!!! Compared to £29.00 you'd pay at Debenhams. I also grabbed the Step 1 Primer in the Yellow shade for about £14.00 compared to once again, Debenhams at £23.00. So the total saving was just over £20!!! Which is amazing! And it's this in my view, apart from the education, is what trade shows are meant to be about.

Makeup For Ever Foundation, Step 1 Radiant Primer

Pictured: Makeup For Ever Ultra HD Foundation and Step 1 Radiant Primer. 

I'd specifically stayed away from the Nyx Stand in BootsNorwich, after my initial discovery of their arrival, as I knew they'd be featuring at IMATS and wanted to save my splurge until then. But I shouldn't have bothered! Nyx was a bit of a let-own really, to be honest. The queues were long but the Nyx area itself was overcrowded, making it incredibly difficult to see properly what they had. And when you did... you were left very disappointed!  And to top it all, no discounts here. 

There wasn't a lip lingerie in sight, no angel veil primers, certain lip shades out of stock, no contour palettes either. In fact, there wasn't much there that I had on my wish list. I might as well have stayed at home and gone to my nice big Boots in Norwich, as that stand had absolute loads! So, I walked off with a pathetic tiny amount, which now gives me a good excuse to go back to Norwich. 

Nyx Lip Pencils, Butter Lip Gloss, Tame And Frame

Pictured L-R :  2 Lip pencils - Nude and BedRose, Lip Suede - Soft-Spoken, Soft Matte Lip Cream - Abu Dhabi, Intense Butter Gloss - Cookie Butter Biscuit. Tame and Frame Brow Pomade - Brunette.


Mac was absolutely heaving! It was mental!! (what really? Never, I hear you say, eyes rolling!) And couldn't get near a single thing! So just came away with a couple of Paint Pots I had my eye on. Never mind! There's always Jarrod's in Norwich! 

Discounts made for the Pro Longwear Paint Pots were £13.60 compared to about £17.00 at your standard Mac Counter.

Mac Paint Pots, Milani Baked Blusher, Milani Amore Lip Cream

Pictured clockwise:  Mac Pro-Longwear Paint Pot - Tailor Grey, Milani Amore Matte Lip - Amore, Mac Pro-Longwear Paint Pot - Quite Natural and Milani Baked Blusher -  Coralina. 

Beauty B Cosmetics:

The queues to Beauty B was even longer! Brands such as TheBalm, Milani, Sigma, L.A Girl and Z Palettes made this a real crowd puller! From the time my friend and I began to queue till the time we paid, was an HOUR!!! But, it was worth it, as I managed to grab a fab universal palette that was on my wish list, In the Balm of Your Hand, which I thought had gone forever. I think this was a limited release from TheBalm just before last Christmas. This collection features all the favourites from TheBalm in one very handy palette.

I also took the opportunity to pick up a couple bits from Milani. Don't cha just love Milani! I have so many of their blushers but just grabbed one this time as I thought well, now I've seen the other shades in the flesh I can order these another time. I purposely didn't pick up another boring nude, as I have billions of them! So went a bit mad and grabbed a gorgeous Red instead. 

One product that I did discover though, but was out of stock was a highlighter in the shade Lustre by a brand called Girlatick. Guys, if you ever find this, grab it with both hands! It's the bomb!!! 

UK based, Beauty B do also own a website which you can purchase from, which is great to know, as this can be another way to feed our fix from these iconic brands.

Discount wise, there were some made. The palette from The Balm was £30 compared to £34 at Debenhams and there was a couple of quid knocked off individually on the bits from Milani. 

Thebalm In The Balm Of Your Hand Palette

Thebalm In The Balm Of Your Hand Palette

Pictured: In the Balm of Your Hand | TheBalm. 

For all you Balm fans out there!

In this palette features - 3 blushers, Hot Mama, Instain blush in Argyle and Cabana boy, a bronzer/contour - Bahama Mama. Also included are 4 eyeshadows, which 2 were from the Shady Lady palette, Sexy from Nude Tude, Lead Zeppelin from Balm Jovi palette. Then, the iconic highlighter - Mary-Lou Manizer, Caramel lip/cheek stain from the palette - how's about them apples, and finally, Mia Moore from the Balm Girls Lipstick range. Phew!

Of course! As per usual, after I've had a good play around with these there will be a more in-depth review at a later date. 

All in all, was the trip worth it? 

At the time, I was completely knackered!!! The journey was way too long to do in a day, so would definitely consider a stopover at the in-laws in east London, if I were to go again. I was disappointed that we got and I mean got, hardly any samples. Hmm! (eyes rolling!) The discounts were great but when you consider the cost of the ticket and train fare, it didn't total to much. You need to spend a hell of a lot more to gain any savings.

But! And I mean but! I got to meet up with my makeup girlies didn't I? Who contributed so much to the laughs we shared, the knowledge and tips we also shared, and wouldn't simply have been the fab day I had, if it wasn't for them! 

Group selfie!!!!
And here I am on the left. Looking a right div! Ha! As I wasn't too sure if I'd fit in the picture. 

Here we are again! All five of us this time. I get quite emotional sometimes when I see these pics, reminding me of the fab day we shared and our friendships growing stronger. When you find people that share the same interests and are on the same wavelength as you, you just can't beat it can you? 

We are planning our next meet up in Covent Garden, London.  To be continued...

If there are any other queries regarding my trip to IMATS, just inbox me or tweet me. For all information regarding future dates of IMATS, click here.

Have you ever been to IMATS? Would you like to go? 


  1. I've never been to IMATS but would love to go! Great haul - that theBalm palette is fab & the MUFE discounts were brilliant! xx

    Beautylymin| Bobbi Brown Define & Glow Palette Gift Set Giveaway

    1. I hope at some point IMATS will arrive in Ireland. :) xx

  2. So jealous!I wish one day to make it come too!How beautiful is that palette from The Balm!I like that has everything inside,so lovely all the shades ^_^

    xo Aphrodite ~ BubblyBeauty

    1. Yes, it's going to be a great one for travelling! :) xx


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