The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show - Make-Up Madness

Faces of all kinds are what made-up the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show.  Held for the first time at the Pasadena Convention Center, on June 20th and June 21st, the IMATS welcomed professionals and the public alike.  It is the only show of its kind, which involved make-up artists, manufacturers and make-up enthusiasts. 


 Many come to the show to see everything that the industry has to offer.  The show keeps getting bigger and bigger, with over 24 new companies exhibiting at the IMATS this year.  This year, the show was over 25% bigger than it has been in the past.  The new location was a perfect set-up for this type of show. 

The Museum

One of the attendees trying out a Coast Airbrush

The Exhibit Hall itself held a variety of products to try, buy and watch being applied.  Some exhibitors even had some samples to give out to attendees.  With there being all kinds of make-up, prosthetic appliances, tanning equipment, airbrushing, make-up cleansers, make-up cases, no avenue was left unturned in the make-up world.  In the Exhibit Hall was also a make-up museum which showcased a wide range of cool displays.  Even Frankenstein was enjoying himself while sipping on a cup of coffee. 


Airbrush tanning booth

A couple of new products were introduced this year.  Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics launched their two new Lip Tar colors, which are quite amazing!  The pigment and shine is awesome!  Celebrity Make-Up Arist, Eve Pearl, launched her make-up line on the West Cost at the Naimies booth.  Beauty So Clean also made their North American Launch.  Make-Up Designory introduced 7 new eye shadow colors, and two new cheek colors. 

Lip Tar from Over Compulsive Cosmetics

The make-up on this models eyes is the new Lip Tar from Over Compulsive Cosmetics

Make Up For Ever was celebrating their 25th Anniversary and Founder Dani Sanz auctioned off one of her original Louis Vuitton make-up cases, which was filled with goodies worth over $5,000 dollars to benefit the American Heart Association.

Fashion shows were a big hit at the IMATS this year.  The World of Contemporary Fashion runway show was sponsored by Cinema Makeup School, OCC Lip Tar and KohGenDo Cosmetics.  Designers included Ilian de Boisblanc, Altha St. Clair III, Micha Kuechenhoff and Sue Wong.  From the turnout and excitement of the show, it looks as though fashion shows will be one of the highlights of the show for years to come.

Fashion show

Every year, there are a variety of competitions held which include not only recent alumni from recognized schools, but also international make-up students.  They are able to submit pictures prior to the show, in which 8 finalists are chosen to compete at the IMATS.  The beauty/fantasy theme was gothic and the character/prosthetic theme was X-Men Mutants.  Prizes were awarded to first, second and third place winners from each competition. This year there was an awards show on the runway that was sponsored by Kryolan.  This way everyone attending the show was able to see the winners and all of the work.

One of the finalists in the make-up competition

A model from one of the competition

Another model from the competition

Fashion shows, competitions and the exhibit hall were not the only features of the IMATS.  Education was also a favorite of many attendees.  A great number of classes were offered in bigger classrooms, allowing more people to attend.  Topics covered through the many classes included the latest techniques, brow shaping, fantasy make-up, sculpting, airbrushing, business strategies, special effects and much more.

Make-Up Designory Booth

If some attendees were not able to make it into the classes, there were many panels as well as keynote speakers throughout the two day event.  Special effects make-up artist Greg Cannom, who won an Oscar for Achievement in Makeup for The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, as well as a nine-time Oscar nominee was one of the Keynote Speakers.  Also a Keynote Speaker was Timothy Priano, who owns an agency.  Timothy has worked with names including, Laura Mercier, Oscar Blandi and Francois Nars, and has helped to further the career of many other artists and hairstylists.

This is a MAC Creation

As the competition ends - these are the last few minutes that are allowed

One of the models in the competition

Guest speakers included Dick Smith and Nolan Robert.  Smith began his career in 1945 and has since built up many credits and has also been a asset to the education and artistry of make-up.  Robert won the reality competition Blush: The Search for the Next Great Makeup Artist.  Robert has worked with many celebrities, including Carmen Electra and Paris Hilton.  He was holding classes at the IMATS on runway and avant-garde make-up.

Aside from the show itself, the Twin Palms, in Pasadena, hosted a party called the Afterglow.  It was held on Saturday evening and featured complimentary hour d’oeuvres and a hosted bar, which was courtesy of Make Up For Ever and Royal Brush.  This was also a great time for networking and learning new things about make-up.

A make-up artist paints prosthetic pieces that are going to turn into something entertaining

After the prosthetics were all complete

The IMATS is a wonderful way to bring all walks of make-up under one roof.  Not only does the show take place in LA, it is annually held also in London, Vancouver, Sydney and Toronto.  For more information about the show, visit    

Prosthetics applied to a model who is in the beginning phases of the process

The finished product

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