If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Youtube, you'll know that I went to IMATS for the first time with Monika and it was a fun morning and afternoon of swatching, chatting and hauling. This post will be about the actual event and how our day went and my next post will be all about what I purchased.
The doors opened at 10AM but I knew we would want to be early so we arrived at the line at around 9:15AM and secured a spot in what would be the first third of the loooong line. If you want to have a productive time at IMATS, be prepared to go early, make a list, know what products cost at retail prices and look at the floor plan.
The first person we saw when we made it through the front door was Marlena of MakeupGeek! She was so sweet and beautiful in person and I wish there was a MakeupGeek booth at IMATS NY because I definitely would have bought some eyeshadows. IMATS LA had a MakeupGeek booth and many more brands than NY so if you're traveling from the middle of the country for IMATS, I'd probably suggest LA.
Hakuhodo was probably the booth Monika and I were most excited about so we scrambled there first. The Japanese associates were very helpful and answered any questions we had about the brushes. We felt numerous brushes and they were all incredibly soft and high quality. I only bought one brush from Hakuhodo but now I wish I had bought more. There was no discount but there was no sales tax and shipping is usually a flat rate of $9 on their website.
Then we wandered to Esqido because I wanted to purchase my first pair of mink lashes. We were greeted by Brenda (I'm 95% sure that is her name! I'm really bad at names!) and she explained how to care for the lashes and we ended up just chatting about IMATS in general. I think we actually hung out around the Esqido booth longer than any other booth just talking because Brenda was genuinely interested in getting to know us a bit better. Later in the day, we walked by Velour Lashes and although there were more customers and they were offering lash applications, the vibe seemed to be less personal.
Then it was back to brushes! Bdellium Tools was offering 40% off everything and their prices are already affordable so I picked up a few interesting brushes. There were a good number of helpful associates at the Bdellium booth to answer questions. There wasn't too many people crowding around the booth so it was relatively easy to browse and feel the testers.
For more amazing quality brushes, we headed over the the Beautylish area which housed the Wayne Goss brushes. I had previously felt the original The Collection brushes when they first launched but I was excited to feel the new The Face brushes in person. I'm onto you #12! This was my second time interacting with one of the lovely Beautylish members and she was super passionate about the line on both occasions. Another wonderful customer service experience! At Hakuhodo, Bdellium and the BeautylishXWayne Goss booths, there were barely any customers and this can probably be attributed to the ridiculously long Sigma line. I was happy that I didn't have to push and shove to make my purchases.
Stila had one of the best discount which was 40% off. Unfortunately nothing really caught my eye and it was all but impossible to flag down an associate to get you what you wanted. I was debating if I should get a Convertible Color but I restrained myself since I'm still technically not supposed to purchase color cosmetics (see Makeup Ban post).
Monika and I mostly did a lot of perusing and not much buying at some of the more popular booths. We felt the brushes at Royal and Langnickel and were mostly unimpressed after experiencing the gorgeousness of Hakuhodo.
Yaby was an interesting brand to see in person because they have an extensive range of eyeshadows and the cutest (and tiniest) pans. Monika swatched a few shades and they were really interesting because they totally changed once applied to the skin and didn't look like what was in the pan at all. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing....
Kryolan had a number of palettes and professional makeup products to offer. I swatched a blush and it was not only intensely pigmented but it almost stained my skin. I am definitely intrigued and will have to keep an eye on this brand.
Lastly, here's a glimpse of the Alcone booth which was a bit more crowded. Alcone sells a variety of well known beauty staples from Beauty Blenders to Z-Palettes. The discounts were quite random and differed depending on the product. It was also a bit troublesome because there were no prices labeled so you had to ask the associates. At hectic events such as IMATS, it should be common sense to have appropriate signage that tells everyone the same price so that there are mistakes in terms of discounts.
After about two and a half hours of walking about the venue and lugging around heavy shopping bags filled with exciting loot, Monika and I were content with our IMATS experience. IMATS wasn't as frantic as I thought it would be (although it might be because we went on Sunday and all the popular beauty vloggers were there on Saturday). I think I got some great goodies and it was fun being able to go and try out things I wouldn't otherwise normally get to in person. But I don't think IMATS will be a must for me every year. Perhaps in a few years I'd go again if I had a friend to go with, but with all the e-commerce sites that do frequent promotions and great bloggers to review products, I don't think a makeup tradeshow is necessary for me. What do you guys think of IMATS? Have you ever been before or are you planning to go this year?