Attending IMATS is on every beauty bloggers’ things to do at some point in their blogging career. After having a fantastic experience in my first time going, I did what I do best on weekends: I caught up with a whole bunch of beauty bloggers (and friends) and got to do a little therapy shopping and ended up being under my budget by a dollar.
Having heard of this legendary event through various bloggers, YouTuber’s and industry professionals, I felt that it was my duty as a beauty blogger to attend the event, learn new things from the pro’s, and purchase new tools / products from the various exhibitors that I would not normally have access to.
Last year, the experience was incredibly chaotic (As soon as the doors opened, the sight of hoards of girls running towards the various booths and exhibitors really reminded me of the Hunger Games), however they’ve moved the event to Hall C.
As soon as we got in, I made a beeline for several booths but had a moment of panic as is the case when it comes to discounted beauty products. This time around, I made a (long) list and even though I wasn’t really in need of anything, I still picked a couple of items with a budget of $100 (which was admittedly more aggressive than I thought) to a more realistic $150 (which was my budget last year). I was in and out of the even in about 1.5 hour and despite the wandering around, and managed to get everything I needed.
Let’s assess the damage shall we? I think I did quite well – I started out with a budget of $150 and a list, but here is the breakdown of my wishlist vs. what I actually got.
|Wishlist||Purchased & Prices|
|MAC Pro Longwear Concealer $25||Inglot HD Sculpting Powder #505 $15|
|Beauty Blender Pro Pack $85||Beauty Blender Pro Pack $65 (Split with Zubie and Steph)|
|Real Techniques Miracle Sponge $10||Beauty Blender Solid Soap|
|Anastasia Contour Palette $52||Anastasia Contour Palette $35|
|Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer $37||Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer $22.20|
|Make Up For Ever HD Stick Foundation $50||Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ Foundation $26.40|
|** Make Up For Ever HD Ultra Foundation #128 $50||** Make Up For Ever HD Ultra Foundation #128 $30|
|** Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Foundation $42||** Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Foundation $30|
|Total Budget: $351 ($259 for myself; $92 for my friend)||Total Spent:$149 ($68 for my friend)|
My first stop was the Nigel’s Beauty Emporium where I snatched the Beauty Blender Pro Pack which includes 6 beauty blenders for $65. I decided to do a splitsies with Zubie from Living the Grey and Steph from Fun Sized Beauty so I was left with three to last me until the next trip. I discovered that shopping around helped me find the best deal – the first booth I went to (Vertzu, I think?) was selling the pink set for $85 and a couple of booths later, I found the exact same set (including the black ones which Zubie really wanted!) for $20 cheaper! I also got the Beauty Blender Solid Soap to go with the sponges as I’ve wanted to test it for some time now. At the same booth, I spotted the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette which costs about 30% less than the original retail. Even though I already own one, at 30% off retail and NO TAX, I couldn’t resist grabbing a backup!
The Make Up For Ever booth was immensely packed, even beyond last year. The booth is much smaller and I picked up only a couple of items that I really needed. I’ve needed a concealer that I can bring on the go – I love the Kevyn Aucoin that I picked up last year (that I haven’t even finish), but it’s not something easily packed in my travel makeup bag. I also needed to get my hand on another bottle of my favourite travel-ready foundation, the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ Foundation. In addition to that I bought 2 more Make Up For Ever items for my friend who simply couldn’t resist to get her hands on her favourite foundations (and try out a new one) with 40% discount!
At the Inglot booth (though crowded due to its proximity with NYX), when I mentioned that I was a blogger and covered their launch event, the gentleman who was helping me kindly gave me a 20% discount, and rounded down the price I was paying for the HD Sculpting powder – thank you so much!
The rest of the show
Everything about the event has been so much more interesting than last year. I suppose, having a year under my belt meant I was going in with a strategy, going to the less popular booths first. With new vendors this year including Benefit Cosmetics (35% discount), NYX Cosmetics (10% discount) and Inglot (10-20% discount) things were definitely going to get chaotic and crazy quite quickly. The usual big names such as MAC (20% discount), Make Up For Ever (40% discount) and Nigel’s Beauty Emporium (prices as listed, but generally up to 40-50% off retail if paid in cash!) got crowded really quickly, so it’s best to go in with a really good idea of what you want.
Snaps above are simply some of the line-ups from the booths I saw. It took about 30 minutes to get my order at Make Up For Ever, and MAC Cosmetics unfortunately didn’t have as wide of a selection as I hoped they would. However, they had their entire line up of lipsticks, and eyeshadows, plus the new water-based foundation.
I was thrilled to see new exhibitors on the list – it’s always so exciting to get our hands on new items and products at a discount and learn some things along the way. There are two stages set up for the different shows and classes taking place throughout the day. Unfortunately, due to family reasons I wasn’t able to stay longer for the classes and left earlier than I wished!
I know it’s an exciting event to be heading to so I plan on putting up a follow-up post on how you can make the most of the experience and some tips going into your first trade show!