More IMATS News

My previous post on my IMATS experience and haul was long enough, so I decided to talk about the speakers and share more photos in a new post.

The Latest IMATS news is:

After a successful 2012 show at the Toronto Congress Centre, IMATS Toronto is moving to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for 2013. With its downtown location and proximity to hotels, attractions and shopping, the venue is the perfect place to host one of six locations for the make-up world’s biggest gathering.

IMATS Toronto 2013 will be held Nov. 9-10th. So hope you can make it next year, if you missed it this time around. The International Makeup Artist Trade Show, better known as IMATS, is produced by Make-Up Artist magazine, a division of Key Publishing Group.

I really want to share some of the tips and tricks, and useful gems to learn from that I picked up at the show. I wanted to watch ALL the guest Educators and Professional Makeup Artists on both the Main and Open Forum Stage on Sat. Here’s what they had in store for us:

11AM : Make Up For Ever presents – David Harbid (International Makeup Trainer for  MUFE)  “HD For All” (Main Stage)

11:15AM : Eve Pearl (Emmy award-winning artist, author of Plastic Surgery Without the Surgery: The Miracle of Makeup Techniques, she owns the Eve Pearl cosmetics and Makeup Studio and Boutique in NYC, her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, InStyle, SNL and Good Morning America) “From Makeup artist- to Makeup Mogul: Turn your career into a thriving business” (Open Forum Stage).

12:15PM M.A.C. Pro presents Melissa Gibson  – -MAC Senior Artist, has been with the company since 1989. She takes pride in getting inspired by everyday objects and images that “spark a train of thought” and says, “I love the fact that it can be washed away. It’s makeup, it’s fleeting”.   “Makeup as Art” (Main Stage).

1PM Temptu Pro presents Nicky Posley -has more than 10yrs makeup artistry experience, has done many music videos, TV shows, and has worked with Elle, Today’s Bride, and for runway shows of designers Max Azria, Adrienne Vittadini and Imitation of Christ. “Airbrushing Made Simple” (Open Forum Stage).

2PM Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics presents David Clasfeld – began his career as a part-time cosmetics department associate, went on to do runway for Diesel, Heatherette Etc, editorials for Interview, Zink an Time Out New York! His Hi-Def work for Target and Best Buy etc on TV, lead him to a career in Airbrush teaching and product development. He’s spent years finding out what works best on set and guess what… OCC is his own brand, (so thank him for our beloved Lip Tars, y’all!)    “HD Makeup Techniques: Airbrush and Beyond”  (at the Main Stage).

2:15PM Royal & Langnickel Brush Mfg. presents Kevin James Bennett (see details below) “Beauty Unlimited: Technology That Unleashes Artistry”. (Open Forum Stage).

3:15PM Make-Up Artist magazine presents Battle of the Brushes: Student Make-up Competition- Beauty/Fantasy Awards Show (Main Stage).

4PM Make-Up Artist magazine presents Lottie “Working in Fashion” (see details below). Key-note Speaker on the Main Stage.

I couldn’t watch them all AND get my To-Buy/To-Do List checked off, but made a point to catch at least these three:

Melissa Gibson MAC Senior Artist. I don’t often get to work on creative shoots but I do enjoy this “artistic” side of the industry! (I loved Art and Art & Design in school!) So watching Melissa create this look on stage was fun:

MAC Senior Artist Melissa Gibson's demo model

MAC Senior Artist Melissa Gibson’s demo model. IMATS 2012

Melissa’s Tips:

  • Using swarovski-like crystals from craft stores can be fun and are fine to create stunning looks, but Melissa suggests using the real deal if you want to use them for a shoot, since the fake kind don’t photograph as well. Go get the expensive ones if you’ll be using them on work you’re going to have photographed or for your portfolio.
  • Use Pros Aide adhesive for a stronger hold or lash glue on the gems/crystals. Don’t put too much glue on the back or they’ll slip around.
  • Tweezers (with a blunt end) are handy for picking up and placement of the crystals on the face.
  • If you’re not a great illustrator (she says she isn’t one)- Melissa suggests using craft store stamps or stencils [on the face and body and tracing over them with makeup].

    IMATS 2012

    Melissa Gibson on stage with her model and makeup assistant. IMATS 2012

The look she was showing us on stage was all about creating contours and sculpting the face. She joked about it being just a little light contouring (haha!). My fave part was when she got to the lips. Oh, the shading and symmetry on the face looked perfect and seemed so effortlessly done. Using MAC’s black chromacake and Fix+/water, softened with a blending of white to a grey on the temple and neck. But loved when she said, “Do something different on lips” (even if the eyes may already be so dramatic) she finished the look using MAC’s Black Track cream eyeliner as a lip liner(!) and made the model and us, all laugh when she finished the top cupid’s bow line with a flick and said, “it’s Movember!” Haha. Another tip:

  • Don’t make the model laugh when you’re working on her lips!
  • Use pigments to fill lips (as she did, using a fuchsia shade, after applying Black Track as lip liner to add detail on top and bottom center of the model’s lips. Unexpected and it works. Looked great!)

“The one nice thing about makeup, is you get to wipe it off if it didn’t work out for you… Sometimes, those mistakes..or what you end up with is something that’s surprisingly…is unbelievable”. -Melissa Gibson M.A.C. Senior Artist.

Kevin James Bennett -He’s a multiple Emmy Award-winning makeup artist with more than 20 years honing his skills for his work in TV, film and print. According to my IMATS program, he is “happiest when working with designing, buying, talking or writing about his passion: make-up!”

IMATS 2012

Kevin James Bennett on the Open Forum Stage. IMATS 2012

I wasn’t sure what to make of his “HeLL-O, you’re an Artist. It’s in your name! [Makeup Artist]” tone to begin with. But it only took me a couple of seconds to realize that he’s an award-winning senior artist who, with all his accolades from peers and admirers of his work- he was entitled to poke a little sarcastic fun at those watching him on stage to learn. I really enjoyed the reminders and tips of how we should make the most of our makeup and not be afraid to mix and make what we need (rather than buy..another grey, for example):

Kevin James’ Tips:

  • “You need grey? You have white [eyeshadow], you have black. Mix it/Make it!”
  • Put lip conditioner on (model’s lips) add pigment= lip color!
  • (And to indulge his “inner Drag Queen” -*giggles*) he added a golden bronze gloss over the pigment, to soften the pink lip look.
  • Apply bronzer along cheeks. blend creme foundation with a brush over the bronzer -which is already exactly where you wanted it placed. And you have = Creme Bronzer (blush).

I Love teaching my students how to maximize their products when they bring their personal kits/makeup bags in to class. So these were great tips!

They saved the best til last (to keep us around til the end, it seems!) But it was worth the wait to see Lottie’s work up on the giant screen and to hear all about “Working in Fashion”. Lottie has been Key Makeup Artist in fashion shows in NYC, Milan, Miami and LA. Her list of celeb clients includes Robert de Niro, who she said was more for just grooming, Emily Mortimer, Leighton Meester, Taylor Swift, Solange Knowles, Shirley Maclaine and MORE. If that’s not enough to impress,  she’s also represented Make Up For Ever, Guess, Dove and Etc..

IMATS 2012

Here’s Lottie- minus her cotton candy pink locks and samples of her work below:)


It was Lottie’s first time to do something of this size, but she spoke honestly her own awkward style, she won us over and answered questions from her audience: young and old, newbies to the makeup artist trade and old timers alike.

She started off doing Graphic Design, but realized that it wasn’t really what she wanted. But she said she had no direction and didn’t know what to do. She loved looking at magazine pictures but in terms of makeup, she wasn’t sure which direction to go in. Her words echoed what I had mentioned to a talented new makeup artist friend of mine. When I introduced Arianne, to my friend Jacqueenie. I mentioned that Arianne, aka @TheGlitterGeek is a beauty blogger who’s work I admire. We bumped into each other at the show and I remember telling her it’s not always how long you’ve been in the Industry when she quite humbly returned the compliments saying that I’ve been doing makeup much longer than her…(although certain experiences do come with time- and age). She’s so talented! Go check her stuff out/follow on Twitter. I said that there are opportunities and learning channels available now that weren’t around when I first started my (then) career as a makeup artist. And here are Lottie’s own words to that effect:

“I feel like these days, you have more opportunity to learn..Social Media, YouTube, Twitter, Tumbler…All these avenues where you can learn about techniques and products, and different ways to find out how to actually do makeup. And when I started, there wasn’t any of that. It was basically, looking at mags and looking at pics of runway shows and trying to [replicate] it. And that’s basically what I did”.

She said, she’d count down til the time when the Dior runway show went online, so she could copy and learn from it. But it didn’t really help her learn about different skin tones Etc. So she started doing makeup on the office secretary, on her friend’s friend’s grandma, on anyone who’d let her do makeup on them! She continued to say,

“It was a really hard journey…I didn’t have structure..kind of like, right now” she jokes, making the audience love her more for being so…real.She had to check her phone to stay on track, and joked about checking her guideline, not her text messages.

She said it was hard to find her feet and which direction she wanted to take. but added, “I also think it was very valuable to do it this way. Because nowadays, people have shortcuts and they don’t have that..[background experience of coming from the] School of hard Knocks. Where you fail and you..fall down..and you learn the hard way. Now, everybody needs to know the shortcut..Who do they need to know? Who do they need to talk to? To get what they want… That works too, but in the end, it’s your talent. And that’s what’s going to help you have a long career in Fashion”.

IMATS 2012

Guess what Lottie’s fave color is? :p

Lottie’s Gems:

  • Remember, it doesn’t matter how much work your agency gives you. If you can’t/don’t get along, don’t sign.
  • In NY, Milan, Paris and London- they don’t expect you to do makeup AND hair. [I can attest to that!] She thinks it’s a “money thing” here in Canada, and some if not most of us who have experienced it in the audience, agree. Market yourself as a makeup artist, but mention that you do hair, too. Then you become a threat [to the competition]. Very few people who work in Fashion are great at both makeup AND hair.
  • She recommends starting in Runway if you want to get into Fashion Makeup. It’s very stressful, especially backstage. But it teaches you to be fast and flexible.
  • When working for Photographers/or wanting to work with a good one, make your portfolio attractive to photographers. It’s a process…She suggests talking to your peers about the best Photographers and, what it’s like to work with specific ones.
  • If it’s for a Test shoot, where everyone works together for mutual benefit. Get involved by asking who the model is, or the hairstylist. Don’t just say “Yes” to everything.
  • Don’t let photographers make you feel pressured if it’s a shoot that’s made to benefit everyone there. But find a photographer whose work fits yours. Example: Lottie’s style is Creative, but still wants to show off the model’s skin and beauty, so she’d look for a photographer whose work showed the same focus.
  • “It’s better to have 5 Amazing photos than 25 Okay photos [in your book]”.–True! Agencies will know and some would even take the photos right out of your portfolio if they don’t make the cut!
  • Be honest when you speak to agencies. Tell them about your talent but that you’re really having a hard time looking for a Photographer you can work with.
  • Do you need an actual hard copy portfolio of your work, or would a disk or digital version do? Some agencies are old school, like Guess, who’ll ask for your book. Others might just want to see your work ie. from an iPad. So don’t spend thousands of dollars making extra prints of your work for additional portfolios yet.
  • Collaborate. Talk to people you like. Really talk “so it doesn’t end up like a pissing contest.”
  • When doing [shoots] remember that if it doesn’t come together: hair, makeup, wardrobe. the whole thing will fall apart. If any one of the other factors are wrong, the agencies will not be looking at your makeup.
  • Being a part of an agency isn’t the be all and end all. It helps to have contacts and work together as a team.
  • The Runway is great for Team Mentality.
  • Remember, You work for the Agency, but they work for you as well. So choose one who represents people you admire! You’re only as good as your [team] or the last name on the roster.
  • Work with other people you admire and be pushed to be better. (She talked about honing her skills again in the Runway Industry after 5yrs in her career) and said, “When you’re around people who can do better, and faster- it pushes you to do /be better”. Ex. She used to be bad at doing brows (and would get called on by Key Artists to watch someone else  to get it right). And she’d always thought Lips were..”secondary”, but she pushed herself to be better. (Now she’s known for the great, bold, and beautiful clean lip looks that she displays so well in her work- and she humbly says, “I don’t know why” !)
  • Surround yourself with talent and learn from their techniques
  • Working Runways also makes you more in-the-know about trends, and the next “it” girl model, in case a client needs a recommendation..
  • A note on Assisting – If you are assisting, it’s not an opportunity to network, or put that work in your portfolio. You’re there to learn, and help. She finds it really hard to find an assistant she can trust. Makeup Artist Assistant Etiquette is so important. (This is a rule of thumb for pro jobs, however on smaller shoots- I often tell my assistants when it’s ok to “network” etc. as I’d regularly use my makeup students as assistants to help them learn the ropes).
  • Social Networking: even if you’re not “in it”, use it to keep on top of things. Ex. Designer collaborations, latest designers, trends…
  • Secrecy and Social Media: It’s getting harder to keep things  a secret. Don’t post photos of shoots before it goes public without permission from the photographer. Backstage shots are usually fine.
  • When sending a sample of your work by email, send a couple or 3 of your latest work, rather than 25 attachments. She thinks some people may get annoyed with that.
  • Brow Blocking- depending on the brow hair type, she may sometimes just run concealer over then hair, or sometimes use wax..Or a thin layer of peel-off face mask over brows, before applying glitter design on it. (Love this tip!)
  • Glossy Lids-add the gloss just before the shot is taken. Recommends using Make Up For Ever’s waterproof products (aqua cremes) and layer, then put the gloss on top.
  • (An audience member asked Lottie to name her top 5 foundations, but she wouldn’t and didn’t want to- stating that it depends.. Sometimes she just uses concealer). She did list these noncommittally -MUFE, Face Atelier, MAC Face & Body, Ilamasque, sometimes Dior, sometimes Armani- when she’s used them backstage. 😀
  • Where would you spend money on when you’re just building your kit? Depends on where you’re working. Ex Beauty/Bridal: Foundation, every other shade, and just mix for in betweens. Don’t bring glass bottle- just transfer the contents into portable containers. (I stick my glass products in a zip lock in my fridge- and use small plastic jars, labeled). And invest in Lips.
  • What has kept her motivated when she’s had a bad phase? She thinks about how much she loves makeup and said, “We’re very lucky to have our job [in makeup- what we love] and get paid for it…compared to other people in 9 to 5, or 9 to 8 jobs, who get paid a fraction of the pay we [can] get”.
  • Have confidence and believe in your work. Especially if it’s for a test job. Ask questions first to be informed about location, the peg/designer, Etc, and be prepared.

Love her AMAZING work. I’m a Lottie Fan! IMATS was so much fun. A day off from my stressful life.

Pick up some of these Pro Tips and go have fun with makeup:) Tell me what you think.

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