IMATS Vancouver 2018

Hello everyone! As a few of you may know, I had the absolute pleasure of covering IMATS Vancouver 2018 during this last weekend as a member of the press. This was an extremely exciting opportunity, as I had never before attended a larger makeup event. It was also fortuitous, because I was already going to be travelling to Vancouver that weekend to see a live podcast (hint: SSDGM), and I was considering attending IMATS just as a member of the general public on Sunday. But a press pass to cover the whole event was so much better!


“The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show, or IMATS, is the world’s largest celebration of make-up artistry. Thousands of make-up artists, exhibitors and enthusiasts discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer. Make-up pros from fashion and film (including Oscar, BAFTA and Saturn award winners) 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 make-up competitions, where international make-up students race to create winning looks.”

IMATS Vancouver was held on October 21-22 2018. Upcoming IMATS dates include:

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IMATS Vancouver 2018 was hosted at the Vancouver Convention Centre, overlooking the beautiful Vancouver Harbour in the heart of downtown. Vancouver, Canada is certainly the perfect place to host such an event, as it is an absolute mecca for TV and film-related industries. Television shows such as Supernatural, Riverdale, the Flash and Arrow are all filmed in Vancouver, and I often have the pleasure of hearing about the set design of various shows as my sister-in-law is a scenic carpenter in Vancouver.

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IMATS Vancouver included two days of stocking up your makeup kit with shopping, live demonstrations from various award-winning makeup and SFX artists, and the Battle of the Brushes, where students competed to create the best character for a given theme.

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Make-Up Artist Magazine produces IMATS and showcases inspiring creative artists bimonthly.

“Make-Up Artist Magazine is the make-up community’s top resource for innovative make-up techniques and the latest industry news and trends. Read in more than 70 countries, Make-Up Artist is a bimonthly source for pros and aspiring artists working in film, fashion, TV, theater, retail and beyond. But the helpful tips, inspiring images and insider information have been a big hit with the public, too. We reach generations of artists around the world through the pages of our magazine and our online edition.”

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IMATS Vancouver featured over 40 booths that featured different retailers and makeup or film schools. There were plenty of brands to shop, many of which had good deals on. Some of the more notable brands that were present at IMATS Vancouver were Bdellium Tools, Ben Nye Makeup, Bioderma, Stilazzi, Hakuhodo, Lime Crime, Make Up For Ever, Morphe, NARS, Royal & Langnickel, Smith Cosmetics and Suva Beauty. I think one of the most exciting aspects of this event was having access to brands you normally wouldn’t (especially in Canada, and where I live).

I honestly went into this event thinking that I wouldn’t be purchasing anything. I was so, so wrong… So be sure to come back and check out my IMATS Haul post tomorrow!



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Along with the retailers, there were many booths representing the various makeup artistry schools in Vancouver, including Blanche Macdonald Centre, John Casablancas Institute and Vancouver Film School. At each of these booths many demos were done over the weekend, showing the talent that each one of these institutions bring to the table.

Blanche Macdonald Centre

Artist: Jennifer Little  @artistjenniferlittle
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Artist: Jennifer Little  @artistjenniferlittle
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Artist: Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick @kelseyannaf

John Casablancas Institute

Artist: Kathleen Fowlstone @littlemonstersstudio
Artist: Kathleen Fowlstone @littlemonstersstudio

Artist: Jennine Cook @transformationwhiterock

Vancouver Film School




Ben Nye Makeup

Artists: Courtney Frey and assistant Bonny Bahry
Artists: Courtney Frey and assistant Bonny Bahry. Picture is model posing with Dana Nye, President of Ben Nye Makeup

Artists: Courtney Frey and assistant Bonny Bahry 

Suva Beauty

Artist: Shaina Azad @shainaazad, CEO of Suva Beauty showing off their UV-activated Hydra liners.

Throughout the event, there were also separate stages and demos being done by featured makeup artists.

Michael Burnett

Michael Burnett @mbpfx is an Emmy nominated makeup artist, who has worked in film & television for 30+ years and is currently the Director of Design & Development for FrightNight Studios.

“How to run a haunted house like a pumpkin king” with Michael Burnett

Mimi Choi

Mimi Choi @mimles is a Vancouver-based professional makeup artist renowned for her unique artistic style.  Since graduating from Blanche Macdonald Centre in 2014, her pioneering illusionary work has garnered international attention and a large following on social media.

“Drop Skull” by Mimi Choi

Thomas Surprenant

Thomas Surprenant @thomassurprenant is an Emmy award-winning special effects makeup artist who has worked on numerous TV shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Coneheads.


“The summoning of Astaroth”  by Thomas Surprenant

Mike Fields

Mike Fields @mikemakesmonsters is a Vancouver-based makeup effects artist.

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“Demon Make-up Demo” with Mike Fields

The main highlight of IMATS is always their Battle of the Brushes, where makeup students compete to create the best character for a given theme. This weekend featured two themes: Victorian Emporium and Wildwood Warrior.

Battle of the Brushes (Character/Prosthetic): Victorian Emporium

Victorian Emporium was the theme for the first Battle of the Brushes held on
Day 1 of IMATS Vancouver. This theme centered on the era just beyond the industrial age, with a special focus on the integration of alternate history and science fiction, with pistons, cogs and gears.

“The Emporium is symbolic of a Jules Verne and H.G. Wells neo-Victorian aesthetic–while conjuring up a cabinet of curiosities, full of magic, mad science, invention and adventure!”

Battle of the Brushes Victorian Emporium Winners
First Place:
Victoria McNair
Second Place: Jessica Ratsoy
Third Place: Danica Yurchak

Some close-ups of Jessica Ratsoy’s character for Victorian Emporium. Jessica Ratsoy won second place.

Battle of the Brushes (Beauty/Fantasy): Wildwood Warrior

Wildwood Warrior was the theme for the second Battle of the Brushes held on Day 2 of IMATS Vancouver. This centered on the themes of strength, independence, sub-cultural earthiness and fantasy.

“It’s alluring and epic, with a touch of mystical, vibrant and playfulness”

Battle of the Brushes Wildwood Warrior Winners
First Place:
Jessica Ratsoy
Second Place: Danica Yurchak
Third Place: Janica Sandy

Final Thoughts

Overall, attending IMATS was an incredible experience. As an exclusively beauty enthusiast, it was really exciting to take a look into the SFX world and see how some of the creatures that we see on television and in movies are created. The artistry demonstrated at this event was absolutely out of this world, and is a must-see for any makeup PRO or enthusiast alike.

For more information on Make-Up Artist Magazine and IMATS, please visit their websites. And don’t forget to see whether IMATS is coming to a city near you! I can promise you that you will not regret the experience!

Additionally, as you will see in tomorrow’s post of my IMATS haul, there were some great deals to be had on products to stock up your makeup kit, and overall some amazing brands were made more accessible, which is always good.

Have you been to an IMATS or similar beauty event? What was your experience like?

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4 thoughts on “IMATS Vancouver 2018

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