As many of you know, I spent this past weekend in Toronto for the International Makeup Artist Trade Show, more commonly referred to as IMATS.
This is the third year I’ve attended, and it was definitely bigger and better than it has been in the past. It’s nice to see that more brands are viewing Toronto (and the surrounding areas) as relevant and making the trip up. Not sure who decided November was a good month to host this type of event in Canada, but thankfully the weather cooperated. Saturday was a gorgeous sunny day and while it was a brisk fall day, it was nowhere near freezing and the snow didn’t make an appearance.
The event was held at the Toronto Congress Centre, which is where is was held last year as well. As much as I miss not being able to take the train in (as I did in 2009), it’s relatively easy to get to for those driving as well as those who have flown in as it’s located close to the Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Despite the location of being the same, the hall used was different and the setup was much more condensed. It didn’t really affect me personally, but during the busier hours it was definitely more difficult to move around and to get in to see the vendors, as the lineups took up valuable floor real estate.
During one of those busier moments, I headed upstairs for a press event held by Royal & Langnickel. I chatted with Susan, who hosted the event. She told me about a new initiative that the company is starting, which will include QR codes integrated into the packaging. Each brush will have it’s own video to show how it can be used. I imagine that kind of resource will prove valuable to consumer and professional alike, because the sheer number of brushes available can leave even the best of us wondering at the subtleties between each. This is something that is in the works, so keep an eye out for the new packaging that will feature these codes – as current stock does not include these.
The biggest surprise for me was when I was informed that Kevin James Bennett was there. I’ve been able to enjoy his seminars from time to time and his personality is absolutely charming. His experience and knowledge is staggering, but he is extremely personable and easy to talk to. I inquired about his experience at the Global Face Art Symposium, which is an event put on by Kryolan. He was very excited about the event and spoke briefly about the collaboration, progress and work with such enthusiasm, it’s difficult not to be excited to see what comes of it.The conversation then turned to Royal & Langnickel’s new spin on synthetic brushes. Synthetics are nothing new and most people are familiar with them and their place in the traditional brush framework. At times they can be problematic and lacking in the versatility depending on the medium they’re used with. Royal & Langnickel have integrated the next generation of synthetics into their line, in which the synthetic fibres mimic the texture of cuticles found on natural hair fibres. There were a number of brushes on display that we were encouraged to examine and use. I really liked being able to get my hands on the brushes (the fibres were so soft) and see the performance up close.
This new spin on synthetic fibres is something I’ve heard about through the beauty grapevine, and I’m glad to see it’s becoming more common place. These improved synthetics are definitely becoming an viable alternative to natural hair, because of the dilemma of balancing cost versus quality and their excellent durability.
There was also a mobile spa on site for mini-manicures and hand massages, courtesy of Wright Spa. I opted for no polish, but definitely took advantage of the light filing and lovely massage. The products used are handmade, smelled divine and even two days later are still feeling fabulous.
I actually had my manicure done by Joanna Wright, who heads up Wright Spa with her identical twin Juanita. We chatted about the trade show, blogging, social media and her business. It was really fantastic to hear about Toronto businesswomen doing well abroad, but then bringing that vision back home as well.
What a great way to kick off my first day at IMATS, stay tuned for more coverage and of course my haul!