Countdown to IMATS LA 2013

IMATS_logo_roughIt’s nearly time for one of the most loved events for all makeup junkies – the International Makeup Artist Trade Show! This year the LA show is taking place in January instead of June like previous years, which actually makes more sense. The reason for the change is LA traded show dates with London. Gee, when would you rather be in London, January or June? Yeah. LA is nice in both months, so it was kind of a no-brainer.¬† [Read more…]

My IMATS LA 2011 Haul

Alrighty! Let’s get this show on the road. This post was much requested. But, I still feel I have to say… no, this post isn’t meant as bragging. It’s more like…here’s new stuff I have, please let me know what you’d like me to review! Or at least a preview of possible reviews to come. I did get some of this for free, but the vast majority I paid for myself with money I saved up. So! That’s the end of my disclaimer. :) Now the fun stuff…THE HAUL!

I took these pictures kind of on the fly. When I’m reviewing stuff, I’ll take better photos.

Napoleon Perdis was one of the big sponsors of IMATS this year, and there were several gifts from them given out to press and bloggers. I’m really excited to play with these!

As a special gift to bloggers, we each got a Luminous Lip Veil in Rare Opal, which would not photograph very well as it is an iridescent white with pinky shimmer – so gorgeous. These lip glosses also smell really nice. I was told this shade is LE.
The NP booth was also giving out lip glosses to anyone who signed up for their mailing list. My gloss is in reality more peachy and less bright than this photo. I have tried this gloss and it has remarkable staying power and feels nice on the lips.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this beautiful coral kit in the press bag! It contains an eye shadow quad, a blush duo, and a lipgloss. The gorgeous @omgbren was wearing the colors and I just hope they look as good on me as they did on her!
In the spirit of trying new things, I grabbed the Mehron Celebré HD Pro cream foundation (my shade is Light Р1, shocking I know). The coverage with this is ridiculous in a good way. I am excited to try it. Then I stopped by the Gerda Spillmann booth to check out their Bio-Fond cream foundation. The makeup artist there was nice enough to give me one to try and review for you guys. The shade I will be using is called Weekend. I like that.
I could have sworn I told myself I wasn’t getting nail polishes, but that must have been a bad dream because I ended up coming home with six new ones from brands I haven’t tried before – Kleancolor and LA Splash. The Kleancolors were just $2 each! LA Splash were $3 each.
Kleancolor “Silver Star”
Kleancolor “Aurora” – yes those are star-shaped bits of glitter!!!! 
Kleancolor – “Shooting Star”
LA Splash – “Embellished”, “Golden Seahorse” and “Midnight Rain”
From Beauty Treats I grabbed four masks – two Vitamin E masks that contain brightening pearl, and two Strawberry Yogurt masks that have vitamin C.

I got my very first Lise Watier item! This is a lipstick from the Bora Bora collection called Orange Tango. It’s such a gorgeous, complex color that I had difficulty even photographing it, so you’ll just have to wait til the full review. ;)

Some random odds and ends…

TooFaced Primed & Poreless sample (they were giving these out at the TooFaced booth that was part of Naimies)

Senna lip lacquer in Passion (they were giving these out), Crown Brush brush cleaner (won that in the raffle at Koren’s lecture), a sample of Gleam Body Radiance, and an Anastasia clear brow gel (LOVE!) that I bought because all Anastasia was 40% off. It’s a pricey line so I jumped on that one.

Glamcor debuted their new primer at IMATS! I got mine in a gift bag from the Royal & Langnickel event just before the IMATS pro event.

At Inglot I’m so glad Krissy reminded me of the metal mixing palettes. I’d been meaning to pick one up and totally forgot about it, so I grabbed one. It’s kind of a random splurge item. Do I really need it? No. But I feel really cool using it. ;)

That’s all I got from Inglot.


I also picked up another 10-shadow palette, and 9 shadows. Well, 10 shadows, but I was an idiot and I got a shadow I already have, so I will be exchanging that one at the Inglot store as soon as I get around to going over there. Derr.

The pretties! I got mostly neutrals last time, so I wanted to venture into some color. The blues from Inglot are so nice. When I go to exchange the dupe color I bought (a silver) I think I might grab another green. I believe Inglot was 30% off? I don’t have my Inglot pro card yet so that was a good deal. I meant to go back and check out some gel liners and stuff, but their booth was mobbed so I didn’t get a chance. Good thing I live near their Newport Beach store. :)

Okay I’ve saved my favorites for last. I know, I know such amazing goodies already, how could I not be finished yet? Watch.

NEW BRUSHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did I not say I was going to brush shop at IMATS? Well these were provided by the amazing, super generous team at Royal & Langnickel.

Hard to tell exactly but this is an angled brow brush with a spoolie at the other end. I love these brushes because spoolies are love. The brush head is tinier than my other brow brush so I look forward to trying it out and seeing if it makes getting my brows to look great even better.

Okay. Here’s where I start getting weepy.

What’s this, you ask? This is a dream. When I got to the Royal & Langnickel event, I got a chance to visit with Kevin James Bennett, who is amazingly sweet. He told me I had to come see something, and showed me this brush set. It’s a beautiful set of brushes designed to spec by Kevin and made by Royal & Langnickel.

These glorious brushes are all synthetic with nickel ferrules and soft-touch handles. Under the soft-touch they are bamboo, meaning these brushes are not only flipping gorgeous they’re all green/sustainable. The brush roll they come with is done in a hot faux chain mail finish. Kevin says his favorite is the pencil brush, which he designed to be the perfect pencil brush that never loses its shape.

As if that weren’t enough? This brush set is limited edition. How limited edition? It was only given to the people at the event. HOW COOL IS THAT? I still get all squealy and giddy just thinking about it. Here is an amazing set of brushes designed by one of my idols, and very limited edition. SQUEE.

But wait, there’s even more…

When the peeps at Royal saw I was buying a kabuki brush, they threw that in as a gift as well! I cannot express how kind these people are!

Whew! So that is my IMATS haulage. I had an amazing time with some really special people, and got a lot of really cool stuff! What do you want to see reviews of? 
Oh and if anyone cares, my manicure (not that you can see it very well) is OPI Ski Teal You Drop with some glitter accent nails that have a coat of LA Splash Midnight Rain (I couldn’t wait til I got home to swatch it). 

Brief Impressions – Sigma Bare, Dare, and Flare Palettes

Recently I’ve been ranting a lot about Sigma. I’m sorry if that seems obnoxious or too repetitive to some of you, but I just have some major issues with this company. But, I was interested in seeing what they would be doing with their booth at IMATS. As far as I know it’s their first time at IMATS (right??). I know it’s their first one at IMATS LA… anyone know if they’ve been at the past shows in other locations?

Anyway. The booth really wasn’t that exciting. They weren’t selling anything – just had some samples of their products out to look at, and information about their affiliate program (eyeroll). I guess Tiffany D was doing some makeovers or demos or something but I wasn’t there when she was (which is unfortunate because I think Tiffany is lovely and would have liked to meet her).

Towards the end of the show, I finally made my way over to the Sigma booth to check out the eye palettes. I swatched some of the colors, and I wanted to give you my brief impression of the palettes from playing with them at the show. I didn’t talk to anyone at the Sigma booth and frankly I felt awkward being there because the girls were all too busy taking pictures with the bronzed hunk from the South Seas Skincare booth instead of, you know, talking to me. No, seriously. I mean you’d think they’d want to talk to someone wearing a press badge? So I didn’t stay in the booth very long because I was annoyed.

I tried to be as unbiased as possible even though I don’t care for them overall as a company. I actually like some of the shades quite a bit. I was surprised to see that the majority of them have very nice pigmentation. Here are the quick swatches I was able to get:

Please note that you can click that image to make it larger. I felt like these swatches were a pretty good cross section of colors from all three of the palettes. That deep dark black is from the Bare palette. I believe it’s called Shine, and it has glitter in it. That shadow was actually really lovely with excellent pigmentation. A truly good black is often hard to come by from budget brands so I was happy about that.
The brighter colors (the lime green, the teal, and the purple under the teal) are all from the Flare palette, and I liked those, too. Their names are Oversee (teal), Define (lime) and Allure (purple). The orange (Grasp from the Dare palette) was also pretty pigmented. Some of the lighter, more matte colors can barely be seen on my hand and would need a lot more packing on to get much impact on someone of my skintone and shade, but I think it could be done. 
As you can see, some of the more matte colors don’t have quite as much impact. But matte colors are tricky and often don’t swatch well. Without playing them more like actually using them in an eye look I couldn’t say for certain if they were much good. 
Overall I’d say if you usually use drugstore shadows you probably will be happy as a clam with these. They’re on par with brands like NYX, in my opinion. For $35 you get the shadows and one double-ended brush, which is a decent deal. However if you’re used to using products from higher end makeup brands you will probably find these lacking. They take a little more finessing to get high performance out of (stickier bases, maybe even a colored base to get more impact). If you’re a pro or a product snob (hey I say that with love!) go ahead and skip these.


Lawdy. This past weekend I attended both public days of IMATS along with the pro-only event on Friday night and an awesome event put on by Royal & Langnickel on Friday afternoon. It was a very busy weekend! But full of amazing experiences, and lots of fun!
I’d have to say my highlight of the weekend was getting to hang out and chat with two of my makeup idols, Kevin James Bennett & Eve Pearl. Both of them are such talented, gracious, humble, and darling people. It was a really cool experience to meet up with two people whom I admire so much! And to hear from them that they like what I’m doing with The Gloss Menagerie meant the world to me. I’m so inspired to keep doing what I’m doing and being the best I can be! How heartwarming, right? By the way you can follow them both on Twitter – @KJBennettBeauty and @TheEvePearl. 
Speaking of Twitter, I also got to meet up with a bunch of my Tweeple! I spent my weekend paling around and chatting with the likes of @Krissy90220, @aquaheart, @gracechunmua, @LVmakeup, @ambercxr, @TheMakeupSnob, @karinayhmy, @nymphette415, and @Start2FinishMUA, @PurelyCosmetics, @omgbren, @itsjudytime, @nessasarymakeup and @JuneNing. I had a blast with these ladies, some of whom I’d met before and some I hadn’t. I did not get to meet everyone I wanted to though, and that makes me sad facey. But hey, if you’re local to so-cal and we didn’t get to meet up at IMATS, we can still hang sometime! Hit me up on Twitter or shoot me an email. One can never have too many makeup-obsessed friends!
I must tell you guys, IMATS was insane this year. Saturday was sold out and it was a complete mad house. Surprisingly, Sunday was pretty darn crazy too. It was less so than Saturday, but very packed. I’m really fortunate that I was able to attend the pro event, as it was almost the only opportunity I had to really peruse everything at my leisure. 
I will be posting my haulage & more info about individual products I tried/got at IMATS later, but for now here are some fun pictures from the event!
One amazingly bronzed fellow. He was the demo model for South Seas Skincare’s spray tanning. He got progressively browner all weekend, with this being the end result.
Beautiful! Eve Pearl’s cosmetics line (part of the Naimies booth).
The newest stuff from Too Faced – these products aren’t even available yet! I really like the look of the new smoky eye palette.
Naimies carries Lise Watier, a brand that is otherwise only available in Canada. I got a lipstick that I’ll be telling you more about later. 
Some creepy guys “terrorizing” IMATS spectators…
…and singing about it.
Amazing body painting was on display all over IMATS! Just one of the many stunning examples. I cannot imagine being patient or brave enough to stand there virtually naked and be painted…
Body painting by Vargas at the Royal & Langnickel booth. This one was my favorite because it’s just adorable and so amazingly detailed. Super cute model, too. Kind of hard to believe that other than her shoes & hat, all she was really wearing was panties & pasties!
Eve Pearl applying foundation and explaining the Eve Pearl Method to Krissy, who loved the results!
More super fun IMATS stuff to come! Stay tuned! :)

Countdown to IMATS LA 2011

It’s coming. IMATS LA 2011 is this coming weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena CA. Tickets for Saturday are already sold out. As far as I know there are still tickets for Sunday available. This year, sponsors Makeup Artist Magazine and Make Up For Ever have teamed up to create a special pro-only event on Friday evening, too! 
And somewhere in the hustle and bustle and jaw-dropping awesomeness that is IMATS, will be me. I will be there all three days, photographing and swatching away! Last year I worked the Purely Cosmetics booth, which was a blast but did not leave me much time to get coverage of the event for the blog. This year I will be 100% focused on covering the event for The Gloss Menagerie. Hooray!
A lot of what I see floating around the beauty community about IMATS centers around shopping – because um, lets face it, this is a huge shopping event with so many amazing brands in one place offering their latest and greatest, often at a discount. BUT remember there are also some incredible educational opportunities here to hear lectures from industry greats. I’ll do my best to bring you coverage of both. 
Oh yes, speaking of you…I want to meet you! If you will be at IMATS, I definitely want to hear from you. I have planned an informal meet & greet for Saturday – I’ll be in the lobby at noon to meet up with readers as well as other bloggers, so stop by if you can! If you can’t make the meet & greet, that’s fine…I still want to meet you! If you see me on the exhibition floor definitely come up and say hello!
What brands are going to be there…? An easier question would be who isn’t there! IMATS is truly makeup artist heaven. I’ve been forming “To Check Out…” and “Shopping Ideas” lists for over a week already! Be sure not to miss…
Naimie’s – Naimie’s Beauty Center will have almost an entire row on the exhibition floor featuring many of the awesome brands carried at Naimie’s such as Eve Pearl, Lise Watier, Bobbi Brown, Cover FX, Ben Nye, Kryolan, and tons more. Way too many to list all in one place.
Beauty Treats – Calling all face wipe addicts! If you love makeup removing wipes, get your butt over to the Beauty Treats booth. They have some apricot face wipes that smell amazing. There are others too (like cucumber, lavender, rose…) and face masks that I’m dying to try. If you want something fun but don’t want to spend a fortune this booth will be good to you.
Dermagenics – Dermagenics is a skin care company that has some really nice sunscreen called Sun Savvy Solar Shield. It satisfies all of my major requirements for sunscreen in that it provides UVB and UVA coverage, doesn’t leave a greasy residue or white cast, and wears well under makeup.
Sugarpill – I’m so excited that Sugarpill will be at IMATS! I’ve seen so many awesome things about this brand on youtube and other blogs. I’ve been dying to get my paws on some!
Inglot – DUH! Inglot will be making their IMATS debut. I live near an Inglot boutique in Newport Beach, but that doesn’t make this any less exciting! You’ll just have to wait and see what I come home with.
Violent Lips – I’ve seen these on youtube and they look too cool not to check out. Violent Lips are temporary lip tattoos. Ever wanted plaid lips? Polka dot? Well now you can have ’em! 
This post could be pages and pages long with my excitement about what to see at every booth! I haven’t even gotten into all of the great makeup brush brands that will be there, or gee, I don’t know, no-name brands like MAC, MUFE, OCC…no one you’ve heard of! ;) See the full list of exhibitors here
Those of you who are going, what are you most excited about? 

If you can’t make it, what do you want to read most after IMATS is over about the event? 

Also, if you have any questions about IMATS, please let me know. :)

Don’t Miss These IMATS Exhibitors

For those of you going to IMATS LA next month, first of all you must visit me and say hi at the Purely Cosmetics booth! Then of course you must shop your brains out. Because that is what we do at IMATS. ;)

The coolest part about trade shows like IMATS is getting to discover lines you normally do not have the opportunity to see in person. Here are some of the exhibitors I’ll be making a bee line for…

Cinema Secrets – CS is known for amazing face products (primers and foundations especially), but I’m interested in trying out their brush cleaner. I have heard it cleanses as well as Parian Spirit but smells way better for those of you who aren’t fond of the orange scent. Apparently this one smells like vanilla, so you know it’s on my must try list.

Crown Brush – If you have heard of Crown Brush, you know why I say this. Crown Brush is the source for great inexpensive brushes. Any kind of brush you can think of, Crown Brush has it. The prices are SO affordable, too. They have experts on hand to help you choose brushes too. The only downside is because so many people know about the awesomeness of Crown Brush that their table is usually a mad house! :)

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics aka OCC Makeup – I kind of got off on the wrong foot with OCC and I want to give them another shot. They have come up with a lot of new shades of their signature lip tars and a lot of them look much more wearable than the first shades they introduced, so I want to try those out. There’s also one of their loose pigments that is calling out to me, and I have yet to really take a look at the nail polishes.

OCC Lip Tars in Hush, Memento, and Vapid

Embryolisse – This cult product has a huge following due to a lot of high praise from various YouTube gurus (including the Pixiwoo girls who I LOVE!). I kinda gave it a look-over at The Makeup Show when it came to LA, but at the time I didn’t have much money to spend and wasn’t looking for any new skincare products. However, I’m still searching for my miracle for my feet/heels that are perpetually terribly dry no matter what I do, so perhaps I’ll give Embryolisse a try if they have something to recommend. However, Embryolisse products are quite expensive, so unless I find something earth-shattering or at a great price (many exhibitors offer show specials), I won’t purchase.

FACE Atelier – I have raved about FACE Atelier many times on this blog and I am delighted to visit the brand again at IMATS! They’re a Canada-based brand and although they do have an online store and a pro discount program, the shipping is expensive so I want to try things in person and buy in person whenever possible. If you are a working makeup artist you need to check out their foundation line. It is one of the smartest, most useful brands I’ve ever seen because of their Plus/Minus products:

Zero Minus – Pure white foundation to be mixed with foundations that need to be lightened.
Zero Plus – Dark brown foundation to be mixed with foundations that need to be darkened.
Zero Plus Plus (NEW!) – A deeper, darker foundation to be mixed with foundations that need extra darkening.
Heat (NEW!) – A warm rust foundation color to mix with foundations that need warming up. Also works on its own as a blush!

FACE Atelier has also recently added 3 new darker shades to the foundation line, giving them one of the biggest shade ranges around whether you are pale or dark.

I am also really looking forward to swatching and trying out more of their eye products. Their eye shadows are really gorgeous quality and the pans are the same size as MAC, so they will fit in my palettes. However, FACE Atelier also has some really snazzy clear 12-pan palettes that I love (I have 3 of them).

Mehron – Oh come on if you read this blog you KNEW that was coming! I “met” Mehron at The Makeup Show LA and fell in love. I am madly in love with their lip creams, cheek creams, and the Celebre ShadoBlend eye palette is amazing. I know I will come home with some more Mehron to love. I want to try the cream foundation, and grab some more cheek or lip creams. I also heard from YouTube that I need to check out their loose pigments, too!

What are you most looking forward to seeing at IMATS? If you can’t make the trip, what are you most looking forward to hearing about afterward here on the blog?

Almost That Time Again: IMATS LA

Well everyone, it’s almost time for IMATS LA again! For those of you who don’t know, IMATS stands for International Makeup Artist Tradeshow, and the LA is because it’ll be in Los Angeles this coming June (the 26th and 27th). ;) There are other events in cities such as NYC, Vancouver, London, and more.

If you’re in the LA area and you want to buy tickets, they’re on sale for a discounted rate if you buy them early. You can do that here: and I highly suggest you do!

IMATS is open to the public, which means you do not have to have credentials such as a cosmetology license to attend. I think there’s also a discount rate for students? Check it out. I’m not a student, so I don’t know. :P

IMATS is in-freaking-credible if you have even just a passing interest in makeup and makeup artistry. Exhibitors from all different facets of the makeup industry show off their line, give sneak peeks at upcoming products, and offer special show discounts. It’s a great opportunity to learn about brands you have never heard of, meet people, and of course shop. But it doesn’t just stop at the exhibitors! IMATS also features demonstrations, seminars, classes, and student competitions! It’s fascinating, amazing, and unforgettable.

This year I will have a whole different unique experience at IMATS– as an exhibitor! I am going to be working the Purely Cosmetics booth along with Robyn (the Purely Cosmetics founder), Stephanie– the writer of Aquahearts Obsession, and Grace Chun (a local makeup artist). You may remember my past raves over Purely Cosmetics’ diamond finishing powder (buy this. it’s amazing.)…you should come by and check it out in person if you’re going to come to IMATS.

Now before anyone gets all up in arms about me working for a brand at IMATS, I’m a volunteer. I’m not getting paid to work at the booth. I’m doing this as a favor to Robyn because she is awesome and I love to support small business owners in California, especially in my favorite industry. Yes, that means I’ll get free admission. But you know what? I would have gotten in to IMATS anyway. It’s called a press pass. I would not volunteer to help a brand I thought sucked. The bottom line is Robyn’s line is really great and it’s a product I believe in. SO, with that out of the way, I don’t wanna see any whining about it, lol.