The Powder Group’s Makeup Show (TMUS) vs. Makeup Magazine’s International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS) 2009

This post is intended for all the aspiring pro makeup artists in the house. Every industry has it’s trade shows and the beauty biz is no exception. Being a professional in the industry, I’ve always felt a need to attend them as often as schedule permits, if only to shop and walk around and see what’s new in makeup-landia. IBS – the International Beauty Show – services the salon professional. Being a media artist (Print, TV, Film) I never really attend IBS. However there are two shows vying for attention in my spectrum of the business; The Makeup Show (TMUS) and the International Makeup Artists Trade Show (IMATS)

A Brief History: IMATS is over 10 years old and while it started in LA it is now truly International taking place in several cities, The Makeup Show is only a couple of years old, started in NYC and 2009 was the first year it made it’s way out West to Los Angeles. IMATS was founded by a longtime Union film makeup artist and has always had the reputation for being more Film/FX oriented. The Powder Group started their show directly in response to that as a show for the beauty side of the industry. So what did I think?

The Makeup Show

• Clearly geared towards the beauty segment of media makeup.
• Good education for novice makeup artists/makeup enthusiasts. (i.e. – most of the education was on some form of “how to become a makeup artist” so if you already are a makeup artist that’s a moot point)
• Good exhibit/floor layout.
• Good selection of vendors, many of whom do not normally attend the other trade shows (lines such as Smashbox and Stila)

• Seemed to be geared far more towards makeup enthusiasts and students than working professional artists.

International Makeup Artist Trade Show

• I attended the first show when I was an assist-level artist, so I will always have a soft spot for this show.
• I bought my first pro product – Parian Spirit brush cleaner – a product I still swear by to this day
• Always has a clear professional artist attendance both as speakers/presenters and as attendees.
• This was the IMATS 12th year so logistically they’re more on-point.
• BETTER PRICING for entrance into the show, particularly for those who – like myself – just wanted to walk the exhibit floor
• Good education for a wider level of artists on a wide array of topics.

• Has also had an increasingly large non-professional attendance.
• While they had been improving, this year definitely had less exhibitors to appeal to Beauty makeup artists.
• In past years the beauty was given it’s own section, not mixed in with the FX but this year everything was jumbled back together.
• I’m going to guess the economy was a factor but certain core exhibitors were missing (Embryolisse??? Glad I got some @ TMUS), and the vendors that replaced them ranged from weird (a “clothing shield” to protect clothes from makeup during wardrobe changes that looked like a piece of cheesecloth) to ‘why on earth are they here?’(an exercise machine… yes… at a makeup trade show. ???)

All in all both shows were fine, neither were ground breaking. A friend and fellow la-based makeup artist said that she feels like the shows are generally more for students or artists who live in areas that don’t have easy access to products, etc. I think that’s true. I definitely think the shows offer more to newer artists, but old saws like myself like to get inspired too (senior artist Joanna Schlip spoke at IMATS a few years back and she was truly amazing).

I hear at The Powder Group’s Makeup Show there was a preview night of some kind for Bloggers. This is something I’ve wished for pro makeup artists to be able to have since forever. The needs of a pro artist are obviously different than that of a enthusiast or even a student, and it would be nice to get individual attention to learn more about products, etc. That said, I did get introduced to some new brands at both shows, particularly at TMUS, and I ran into groovy folks I don’t get to see often so that aspect of the shows is always a good thing. But definitely for the future, an Artists’ Preview lounge would be fantastic.

Ultimately, however, as long as I can get my Parian Spirit, I’m all good.

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