IMATS 2017 – The Greatest Makeup Extravaganza of the Year!

Hello lovely followers,

I hope you are all having a great week so far!

This post has been a very long time coming! I attended IMATS back in May this year and it has been on my draft list for ages! I first attended IMATS with a friend a few years ago, long before I became a makeup artist and beauty blogger, and even then I was hooked!

So what is IMATS?

IMATS stands for International Makeup Artist Trade Show! It is the world’s largest celebration of makeup artistry and creativity. Every year, thousands of make-up artists, exhibitors, and enthusiasts attend the how to discuss, display and collect the best the makeup industry has to offer. Professionals from the fashion and film sectors also attend to provide education and demonstrations at IMATS, and new products often debut there. IMATS also features a make-up museum and the Battle of the Brushes student makeup competitions, where international makeup students race to create winning looks! It’s basically a makeup lovers paradise!

Before IMATS, there were no trade shows specifically designed for make-up artists so to address this, Emmy Award-winning make-up artist and Make-Up Artist magazine publisher Michael Key held the first IMATS in August 1997 in Los Angeles. IMATS then expanded to Europe in 2002, with the debut of IMATS London and now you can attend it in many different places around the globe – the show is held six times annually in Los Angeles; New York; London; Vancouver, B.C.; Sydney; and Toronto.

IMATS 2017

This year’s IMATS was, as expected, amazing! I booked my ticket to go months in advance for £45 and by the time the day finally arrived I was so excited I could barely sit still! It was at this year’s event that I actually found out you can sign up for a Pro card which provides lots of additional benefits depending on which level of card you qualify for. I will definitely be applying for the card for next year’s show – you can find out more here.

This year, I attended the event alone and despite arriving pretty early I still had to queue to get in. However, the buzz in the queue was great and everyone was super excited! Once I arrived at the entrance, this is what I walked into:

   

   

The atmosphere was crazy! Everywhere you looked there were people shopping, trying makeup, displaying artistic work – it was overwhelming! The first thing I decided to do was find my bearings, as there were loads of makeup brand stands I wanted to visit. Looking back and through the many photographs I took, which are all shared in this post, I am sure there were some I missed!

The Brands

Where do I start? There were some familiar loved makeup brands and then a whole host of brands I had never heard of or tried before. I was literally in heaven! I’ll start with the brands we all know and love:

  • Nars
  • Kat Von D
  • MAC
  • Inglot
  • Urban Decay
  • Beauty Bakerie
  • Lime Crime
  • Nyx
  • Makeup Forever
  • Bobbi Brown

As you can imagine all these stands were busy all day long! A few of them I could not even get close enough to look at the displays!

   

   

    

  

You can see all the brands had good sized displays and there were some lovely products to buy! Most of the items were available in their normal stores although some of the brands did have offers purely for the show. Watch out for my next post with details of all the makeup I spoilt myself with!

The lesser known brands and those that I had never heard of or bought anything from were:

  • Kryolan
  • Velour
  • Treasure House of Makeup
  • Royal Langnickel
  • Graftobian
  • Makeup Atelier
  • Sugarpill
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  • The Makeup Outlet
  • Guru Makeup Emporium
  • Bdellium Tools
  • Louise Young
  • Naked Cosmetics
  • Provoc
  • Thalia
  • Lash Unlimited
  • Ben Nye
  • Hakuhodo
  • Mehron
  • Screenface

    

    

Exploring these brands was the most fun for me! They sold general makeup and accessories to heavy duty theatrical face and body cosmetics! I got to test makeup by brands I had always wanted to try like Makeup Atelier and Ben Nye and play with lashes by Velour! One of my favourite discoveries was Guru Makeup Emporium which stocked Danessa Myricks photographic makeup – her makeup is exceptional! But my highlight had to be visiting the HakuHodo stand! This brand produces some of the finest makeup brushes in the world! There were so many to pick from, I was like a child in a candy shop! You could tell just from the feel of them that they were going to deliver excellent results and the available ranges covered every type of brush possible.

Was it worth attending IMATS 2017?

Without a doubt yes! If you love makeup and meeting other people that love makeup, this is the event you have to attend each year. You’ll see what treasures I picked up in my next post, but even without spending, it is such a fun and vibrant day out, filled with colour and variety and just by talking to the brand staff you can learn so much. I am already planning for 2018 IMATS – tickets will go on sale 6 months before the day, which will be in May again. For full information check out the IMATS website here. Who’s going to join me? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to follow and subscribe!

Watch out for my next makeup reveal post on my gorgeous IMATS purchases!

Dips xxx

My day of All Things Beauty

Hi, lovelies,

I hope you’re all enjoying the lovely weather this weekend! For a change, I have had a relaxing couple of days enjoying the sunshine and taking stock of various things in my life and regarding my blog.

I don’t know about you but now that I have been blogging for nearly 4 months it is hard not to become completely consumed by everything blog and social media related! There is so much to learn and do to make the most of blogging but never enough time to do everything, especially if you still have a very busy full-time job too. That’s why this weekend I was determined to take a step back, relax and remember there are many things to enjoy in life as well as blogging!

A Different Kind of Post

That led me to decide on this post. I started this blog site with the aim of focusing mainly on beauty, makeup and skin care but actually, there are so many subjects that I could cover under the title “All Things Beauty”. This post embraces that idea and is different to my usual posts because instead of just reviewing some great skincare or makeup, I wanted to share how I spent a lovely day recently enjoying “All Things Beauty” around Birmingham!

Beauty Day 1 – Sims Footwear

So, I started my day quite early and my first stop was a beautiful shoe store in the Great Western Arcade. The shop is called Sims Footwear and it stocks some of the most unusual and quirky shoes I have ever seen!

I haven’t bought any shoes in ages as my money generally goes on makeup now but this shop tempted me to splurge! There were so many designs to choose from, a variety of colours and heel heights and even matching handbags – it’s a shoe lovers heaven! If you haven’t been to this shop before I definitely recommend a visit.

Beauty Day 2 – House of Fraser

From there I paid a visit to House of Fraser. I have not been to House of Fraser in a long time as I no longer work in the city centre but I used to spend hours in there wandering the makeup sections! This time I actually paid a visit to the Swarovski concession stand first! I have been a lover of Swarovski for years and have a sizeable collection of jewellery but it has been a while since I bought anything.

There were some gorgeous pieces on display:

I have said before how much of a magpie I am – Swarovski is a magpie’s dream! There are so many designs to pick from and a range of prices depending on the budget you want to stick to. Swarovski also run a membership card where you can earn vouchers as you spend – suffice to say I have earned a lot of vouchers over the years! If you know someone who loves jewellery or you are looking for a special gift I would always recommend a visit to Swarovski! On this occasion, I was able to resist spending on the new Spring collection!

The Makeup Counters – Benefit

I then, of course, wandered to the makeup section! I never get bored with looking at makeup and beauty products as there is always something new to discover. One of my favourite brands is Benefit, the products are always great quality and they also create lovely packaging for everything. I loved the display stand they had set up for the extensive eyebrow range:

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I have tried a few of the products from the eyebrow range and everything is brilliant. The brow pomade Ka Brow is perfect for defining and shaping your brows – I use this for a night out so my brows look on point all night! Gimme Brow is ideal for slightly darkening and tidying up the brows whilst keeping them looking natural. The new versions of High Brow Glow are also great for highlighting under the brows and in the inner eye corners. The new range is worth exploring if you struggle with your brows as there is a product for everyone’s taste!

Bobbi Brown

Next on my journey was Bobbi Brown. This is one of the brands I first started following when I started learning about makeup and my love has never diminished. Most of my first makeup brushes were purchased from Bobbi Brown and I still have them! I love seeing what new makeup Bobbi Brown has created and on this day I discovered a new line of eyeliners!

These eyeliners are beautiful! The colours are all dark, perfect for creating a smoky eye or a rich natural look and the texture was so soft and smooth! I took swatches of each colour and when first applied you could blend them out but once they had set on my skin they did not move all day and the colours did not fade. I did not buy any of them on this occasion simply because I was watching my spending but they are definitely on my wishlist!

Another recent release by Bobbi Brown is the Art Stick Liquid Lipsticks. I have bought one of these to test and I have to say they are really good!

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It is basically a lipstick in a squidgy pen! They are really easy to use, the colours are lovely and no less pigmented than a normal lipstick and it is easy to control the application. The colour stays for a good few hours before you need to reapply and they aren’t drying. It’s a clever design and a great handbag item!

Beauty Day 3 – Superdrug

After House of Fraser, I decided to wander to another favourite store of mine – Superdrug! I remember when Superdrug barely stocked any makeup or beauty products but now its brilliant! I can spend hours wandering the makeup aisles in Superdrug and they stock some really great value makeup brands that I probably would never have tried if they weren’t available here. On this trip, I was very restrained but I did notice that they now stock Nip + Fab Makeup!

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I have heard more and more good things about this brand but I have not tried anything as yet. This stand was already out of stock for many items which is generally a good sign that the brand is worth trying! I particularly want to try the cleansing facial pads which are supposed to be excellent but they weren’t in stock so I will have to keep checking until I can try them! I have also heard high praise for the correctors and concealers so they are both on my wishlist!

Beauty Day 4 – Debenhams

If you’re a makeup lover like me, a trip to the city centre would not be complete without a trip to Debenhams. Over time Debenhams has expanded its makeup section and it now includes some of my favourite brands, like Too Faced and Makeup Forever. I specifically wanted to check if Too Faced’s Natural Love palette was in stock but it wasn’t (I have since bought this palette and will be reviewing it soon!) However whilst there I saw Urban Decay had released a new palette and some limited edition lipsticks:

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Up to this point, I had been very controlled with my spending but when I saw this I had to buy it! This palette is petite but still maintains the Urban Decay quality we have all come to expect from the brand. I will be reviewing the palette separately with swatches but I can say the eyeshadows are buttery and pigmented and the colour selection is very versatile for day and night. I also bought one of the lipsticks and I love that too! It’s very pigmented, quite hydrating and stayed put for the majority of the day.

On the way out of the store I passed by the Illamasqua concession stand and saw they had released a new set of lipsticks too:

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Illamasqua is another amazing brand that I love to keep up with and it took a lot for me not to purchase some of these lipsticks! I have tried Illamasqua lipsticks before and they are beautiful, soft and creamy with great coverage and colour payoff. I will no doubt buy a lipstick from the new range at some point and I recommend trying the brand as a whole if you haven’t!

Beauty Day 5  – Lush Cosmetics

After strolling across town for a good few hours I was ready to go home, but not before I paid a visit to Lush! I have never truly explored Lush as a brand but I had heard so many recommendations I thought I better see what all the fuss is about! Watch out for a future post on what I bought and my review of the products!

And that was my day of All Things Beauty! I love days like that, where you can just enjoy spending time window shopping and enjoying the atmosphere as the city centre gets busy! It’s also a great way to relax, clear your mind and get some exercise – I felt thoroughly refreshed and inspired by the time I got home!

I hope you liked this post, I know it’s not what you usually expect from me but I had such a lovely day looking at beautiful things that I felt I had to share it! If you enjoyed this post, do like, comment and share it and if you don’t already, please subscribe!

See you all again soon!

Dips xxx

Bobbi Brown’s Luxe Eye Edition Palette: My Review

Hey makeup lovers! Hope you’re all enjoying your weekends!

I’ve been very busy this last week so I’ve not been able to blog until now. I’ve been planning lots more to blog about in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

One of my recent makeup purchases is the subject of this blog, the Bobbi Brown Luxe Eye Edition Palette. I saw this first on Sephora but they weren’t allowing it to be shipped to the UK. I had made my peace with the fact that I was never going to be able to obtain it….and then I looked at Selfridges website and saw it was one of their exclusives! Obviously, I then had to buy it!

Bobbi Brown is one of my longstanding favourite brands of makeup and brushes simply because:

  • everything she produces is suited to all skin tones
  • its excellent quality and
  • there is always plenty of choice.

Her brushes are some of my oldest and most used because they last so long without loss of bristles and they are easy to master.

I particularly loved this palette because the eyeshadows are beautiful shades for everyday use and you get 3 different coloured gel liners! Given how much all this would cost individually its great value for money and its something you can use all the time, especially if you like the more natural look.

This is what the palette looks like:

The colours from top left onwards are Cream, Sable, Smoke Shimmer Wash, Malted, Beige Linen Shimmer Wash, Black Topaz metallic, Pewter Chrome and Golden Bronze Metallic. From the names, you can see there some matte shades, some shimmer and some metallic. You then have the three gel liners and a double-ended brush with a fluffy eyeshadow angled brush at one end and a liner brush at the other.

When swatched the eyeshadows look like this:

As the colours are neutral it was hard to make them stand out on my skin tone as swatches. But on the eyes, the colour and pigmentation are very good! I used this palette for my makeup look Bobbi Brown Luxe-urious and was really happy with the colour pay off and blendability of the shades. A couple of the shades do have some fallout compared to the others but this was a minor price to pay for the overall quality. They are designed to compliment each other in various combinations so you will have plenty of fun creating new looks!

The gel eyeliners are no less beautiful. I love that you receive three different colours which everyone will make use of:

The first colour is Bronze Shimmer, the second is Patina Ink and the last is Black Ink. The pigmentation is brilliant! The consistency of the gel is smooth and creamy so they slide onto the eyes with ease. As you get two shades of brown and a black this trio will potentially get you through every season!

To see the colour difference more clearly I swatched them, which was also easy to do!

All three colours are lovely and the black is a true black rather than a very dark grey-black, which I often find in other gel liners.

All in all, I love this palette and I am really glad I was able to purchase it! If you are interested in buying it too, it is still available at Selfridges as an exclusive and even more useful, Bobbi Brown and Sephora have posted a video on YouTube with 4 different tutorials for the palette! If you fancy a watch here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_LL_Xc02wY

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you find it useful! If you don’t use Bobbi Brown products yet, definitely give them a try! Stay tuned for more makeup reviews by following and subscribing using the links on the right!

Dips xxx

N.B. THIS BLOG IS NOT SPONSORED OR ENDORSED BY BOBBI BROWN AND IS PURELY BASED ON MY PERSONAL OPINION.

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