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

Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipsticks – my review

Hi lovely people,

I hope you have started this week well – I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and irritated myself, trying to work full-time and follow my passion is difficult! Thank you to all of my followers, subscribers and supporters for sticking with me even though I can’t produce as much content as I would like and as fast as I would like! I also have a huge backlog of blogs to read from some of you but I will get there! Bravo for being able to blog so regularly!

The Vice Liquid Lipsticks

Now that I have had my little ‘vent’, onto the lovely subject matter of this post! I am a big fan of Urban Decay makeup and it was one of the first brands I started buying makeup from when I became a makeup enthusiast. When I heard that they were bringing out their own line of liquid lipsticks, I was naturally very excited given my existing love for the trend!

So, I trotted along to Debenhams one weekend and saw them all on display! In case I have never mentioned it, not only am I magpie, I also love colour! Seeing this array of shades made me very happy!

The Swatches

This isn’t even all the colours they do but it gives a great idea of the range! I got so excited that I swatched them all there and then (some of them were duplicates of the same colour):

Aren’t they just beautiful? I could have happily bought them all but had to be restrained! The consistency of these liquid lipsticks is slightly different to others I have bought. They were a little runnier and not really matte, but as you can see the colour intensity isn’t affected. I ended up buying just the one for now, which was the deep brown shade 4th from the left, called Conspiracy. No doubt I will collect the others one by one! In addition, I have found out that Urban Decay will also be bringing out a range of lip toppers soon which look even more amazing that the liquid lipsticks!! I will definitely be buying a few of those!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post, it’s only a short one compared to my others! If any of you have tried these and have a favourite, let me know in the comments! Stay tuned/subscribe/follow me for more blogs soon!

Dips

xxx

The After Dark Palette – My Review

Hello makeup lovers!

I hope you have all had a great week! I have been flat-out with my day job and then receiving lots of great new products to try to blog about in the future! My list of posts to write is growing list and there are not enough hours to write them!

The After Dark Palette

So, one of the products I received recently was this amazing Urban Decay After Dark palette. I saw this online weeks ago and have been trying to get my hands on it but it was only available in the USA. Until I found someone selling it on a Facebook buy and sell group! Just as an aside, there are some really great makeup sellers on Facebook groups! If you haven’t already, join some groups and you could get your hands on some lovely products!

I was so excited when the palette finally arrived and immediately used it in one of my looks (soon to be posted on My Makeup Looks pages). I also took some swatches for all of my lovely followers:

The colours are GORGEOUS!! as with all Urban Decay palettes, the shadows are deeply pigmented and so buttery to the touch! They all have a slight shimmer but nothing too full on and they blend like a dream. There was also very little fallout when I used them in my makeup look and the colour strength lasted all day.

Here’s a closer look at the colours:

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Even with this photo being as close up as I could get it, it does not do the colours true justice! This is a great palette to have in time for Spring and Summer and the darker shades will look deep and rich in the Autumn and Winter. All in all, it is well worth buying this palette! Having spoken to an Urban Decay counter we should be getting the palette in the bigger UK stores in the next few months. No date has been confirmed that I could find.

Thanks for reading and watch out for a whole bunch of new posts and pages coming soon! Don’t forget to follow, subscribe and share if you like my blog!

Dips xxx