Hey guys! IMATS is around the corner (literally only a couple of days away! *dies*) and I wanted to give you guys a video/guide to what you guys should expect, and what you will need to survive the crazy and overwhelming world that is IMATS. If this is your first time going to the event or not, I hope this helps you guys. This is the second time Karla and I are going and we can’t be more excited.
1. Be prepared
Buy your tickets online: it’s the easiest way to ensure your entrance to IMATS as well as avoid the lines to buy tickets at the actual event. By doing so, it is cheaper and more efficient for you to get in and get a wristband in exchange (just don’t forget your ID).
Make a list: This is my take on window shopping, I go to the IMATS website and check out the exhibitor list and by checking out their websites and what they offer I make a list of what items I am interested in checking out and make sure I go there for those reasons instead of spending more time on things you don’t necessarily need or want. There is also an app on smart phones that can do this for you as well (IMATS LA 2012)
Check the schedule: By doing so, you can see if any of the events or demonstrations from renound makeup artists interest you. There are specific time frames that these mini showcases take place so make sure you keep track of time! I know how hard it can be to stray away from makeup, but just think about how awesome it will be to see one of your favorite makeup artists or a way to learn new tricks of the trade.
2. Dress comfortably
Take this as you wish, everyone is different. I have seen plenty of IMATS goers dress casually or really dressy as if they are going out to the club, however you feel comfortable then go for it! Just keep in mind you will be there for a long period of time, either on Saturday from 830-5 or Sunday from 10-5, so if you’re thinking of breaking in some new heels, maybe just reach for some cute flats, sandals, or sneakers! No one likes to be standing in pain all day.
3. What to bring
CASH! A lot of the vendors accept cash only, but bring other form of payments as well just in case you can use your credit/debit card as an option. It’s also nice to carry cash because it’s quick and easy.
Food: I’m not saying to bring a whole meal, but if you know you’re going to be there all day, at least bring snacks! I would bring some fruit like an apple or some melon slices, even cherries. And I would bring trail mix, a bar, candy, anything to munch on that will keep you satisfied until the end of the event. Because, let’s be real… convention center food isn’t all that great, and for the price they charge? No thanks!
Bring water! Or any bottle’d drink that you can easily drink out of and stick back in your purse. Keep yourself hydrated because as I’ve mentioned, convention center prices are jacked up!
Bring a bag that will carry all of your necessities. I would suggest a side/cross-body bag that will keep you easily hands free for you to swatch and try things. I wouldn’t suggest anything big that you have to carry on your shoulder or on your forearm because that would create a hassle when you have to set down your purse and dig things out. Also keep in mind, there are a lot of people and very little walking space from booth to booth so by not worrying about your big bag in the way, it creates less stress! So nothing as small as a clutch, and nothing as big as a duffel bag.
Camera: We all want to remember IMATS, don’t we?! Of course! So bring your cameras, charged and ready, and I mean cameras… not your phones (because of the quality and it’s going to die a lot quicker, and we don’t want that). DSLRs, point and shoots, polaroids, anything you guys want to remember this awesome event. And if you’re anything like me and like to take pictures of everything and their moms, bring an extra battery and SD card just in case!
Phone charger: this is optional of course, but I like to carry my phone charger with me wherever I go because I never know when my battery is going to die, and I just like to be prepared. There is down time so if I can find an outlet and just chill with my phone charging, I’m a happy girl–more Instagramming for me!
MAKEUP WIPES! I wish I knew to bring some last year. These babies will come in handy all day! You’ll be swatching everything, and you need a clean hand to swatch new things on, so be sure to have these handies in case some vendors don’t have any. Like I said, you can never be too prepared!
4. What to expect
LINES! And lots of it. Lines to get your tickets, lines to redeem your tickets, lines for the bathroom, to get into the convention center, for food, for showcases… everything! So be prepared… I know it gets old, waiting in line. But let’s be real, lines are everywhere and patience is a virtue. So stand in line like a champ and you’ll be set.
Gurus: A lot of people come out to this event, not to mention YouTube gurus such as MakeupbyTiffanyD, Jazziebabycakes, Queenofblending, Petrilude… etc! So be informed of their whereabouts (follow them on Twitter) so you can chat it up and take photos with these lovely people. They are there to have fun just like you guys, so be nice!
Deals: One of the main reasons people come out to IMATS is the discount on retail products they offer–from 20% to 60% off depending on the booth! So shop around and check out the different deals and which ones you might want to stand in line for, and some you can skip out on. Keep in mind also, there are vendors such as Ben Nye who sell their items as well as stores that sell Ben Nye, so keep an eye out for the different deals each booth may offer for the same product *you may just find a cheaper one at the store versus the actual brand name vendor*
5. Be nice!
As self explanatory and common sense as this sounds, no one likes a grumpy person, so be nice. Lots and lots of people are going to be there all day just as you are so just be patient, nice, kind, and you will get the same respect in return!
And that is it you guys. Good luck! I hope this was somewhat helpful for you. If not, sorry, but this is how I am going to IMATS and what is going to help me. If you have any suggestions, let me know what I can use to survive IMATS too. Please share if you are attending IMATS this year, and what you guys plan on getting, or if you went to your IMATS already let us know how your experience was!
P.S. Some booths I think are worth visiting are: Inglot for their eyeshadows, Sugarpill for their pigments and shadow palettes, NYX for a wide range of products: especially lip, cheek, and face, MUFE for foundations, eyeshadows, and lip products, and Bdellium for their brushes!