July 23, 2012

IMATS Vancouver 2012! (Or Dani's Second IMATS Experience)

Ahhh, it seems like only yesterday that I went to IMATS for the very first time... A year later and my life has gone in a new direction -- that of makeup artistry. I was definitely much more prepared this time around. My decision to go to last year's IMATS was a bit of a whim, so I didn't do any research; I kind of just... went

Anyway... This year, I decided to show up 30 minutes before the doors opened, which was at 8:30am. I was probably one of the first 20 people there and I only had to wait about 20 minutes before going in.

I may be mistaken, but I think there were less exhibitors this year than there was last year. Vancouver gets less exhibitors than all the other cities, in general, so to have even less this year than last is really disappointing. There were a total of 28 exhibitors present this year and only 22 of them were selling merchandise. Some booths also didn't have a lot of products available for purchase, which was such a let down. Naimie's Beauty Centre and CoverFX were the biggest disappointments; I think they must've had maybe 15 products at their table and that was it. I was really looking forward to purchasing the Matte FX powders from Cover FX, but they were only available in a kit and it only came in one shade. From a logistical standpoint, is it really feasible for them to come to Vancouver if they're not selling much of their products?

I'm sure there are many reasons why a lot of the brands that are available in Toronto, New York, and LA aren't made available in Vancouver -- perhaps there's not enough people attending IMATS in Vancouver and brands can't justify coming all the way here. But as a beauty blogger and a (baby) makeup artist, I still can't help being disappointed. Hopefully, as the years go by, IMATS Vancouver will grow to be as amazing as the shows in other cities.

Still, I had a great time and it was most definitely worth it for me to come again. I was able to get nearly all of the products I wanted to get to stock my kit, namely -- BRUSHES (and a lot of them!). My biggest concern was getting to the Make Up For Ever booth, as it is always so busy (unless you're one of the first, which I was!); I wasn't even able to get anything from MUFE last year because I was too impatient to wait in line for ages. But I made sure to rectify that this time around!

It's always lovely seeing other artists work, so I make sure to stop and stare appreciate the workmanship that goes into each look that's being created. That last photo was definitely my favourite... That gentleman from Blanche Macdonald actually had a little audience gathered around him, watching him work. It's just so editorial and high fashion -- I can easily see this model walking down the runway at a Dior show. I wish I could've watched him work for longer, but the line to Nigel's Beauty Emporium took me around a corner and I couldn't see him.

This year, I decided to take advantage of some of the talks that were going on. I chose to go to the Once Upon A Time Discussion Panel because I wanted to hear more about what it's like to work as a makeup artist in the film & tv industry, and the Camera-Ready Beauty Make-up session with Courtney Frey because I wanted to see the Ben Nye MediaPRO HD Sheer Foundation Palette at work. Unfortunately, because the two sessions overlapped, I missed the part that I  was looking forward to the most :p.

The Once Upon A Time Discussion was... interesting. I'm toying with the idea of getting into film & tv eventually, so I was really looking forward to hearing about the makeup artist's experiences with working on that show. There were 3 makeup artists and 2 actors in the panel, so we got to hear about makeup artistry from two different perspectives. That said, one of the actors kind of hijacked the panel... Don't get me wrong; as a performer, it was definitely valuable for me to hear what it's like for him to be in the makeup chair for hours at a time. BUT, I was really there to hear what the makeup artists had to say, and I think that because makeup artists are not usually in front of an audience (and speaking into a mic, at that), they were probably unaccustomed to the experience and didn't feel comfortable taking control of the situation.

I also wished that there was a question and answer section at the panel. There were things that I wanted the makeup artists to touch on... What is the collaborative relationship between makeup artists, actors, and production staff like? How far ahead do you get scripts in order to conceptualize makeup designs? How do you experiment with new technologies, textures, and formulas before using it on set? How do you build rapport with the talent on your chair? These were all things that I wanted to know, and it would've been amazing if I had the chance to ask that.

As for the Camera-Ready Beauty Make-up session, it was kind of difficult to see what Courtney was doing on the model at times because of the set up. But that can't really be helped as she was onstage. There were monitors on stage right and stage left, but the clarity of the image onscreen was not that great. What I really liked though, was that Dana Nye (son of Ben Nye) was on hand to speak more in depth about the various products Courtney was using. Since Courtney was doing makeup on her model, she understandably could not put too much of her focus on talking about the products; so it was really awesome to have Dana there as well. Plus, they gave a little package of 2 contour powders to the people who went to the session. Huzza (and all that jazz)!

*Fun Fact: Ben Nye was a makeup artist on The Sound of Music. <fangirling> How flippin' cool is that?!? </fangirling>

And there you have my second IMATS experience in a... What's the opposite of nutshell? :p

If you made it through this unnecessarily long and ramble-y post, then I commend you!

Stay tuned for my haul post!

Have you ever been to IMATS?

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