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If you’re an avid YouTube viewer like us (admit it, you’ve gone on watching binges) and some of your favorite YouTubers are beauty bloggers/vloggers, then you’ll know all about the IMATS hype. It’s like as if Sephora and Cosmetic Company Outlet rolled in on Santa Claus’ sleigh and planted itself at your nearest convention centre. Any makeup fanatic would go ga-ga for the products and shows presented. We decided to test our luck at the convention and take a little peek into what it’s all about. But in order to survive the madness, here are some tips to scope out the best of the best.

1. Be familiar with the exhibitor floorplan.

IMATS always has a complete list of their exhibitors so that you know who exactly to expect when you arrive. Obviously on the first day it’s going to be quite chaotic, so be prepared to know which booths you want to hit up in order to maximize your time at the event and not have to wander around for hours looking for the right vendors.

2. Make a plan of attack.

Like Black Friday, it’s not enough that you know where the exhibitors are. You need to make sure that you have a plan of attack so that you can prioritize the booths and get exactly what you want before they’re sold out.

3. Talk to the exhibitors.

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Sometimes they’re the owners of the companies, and they’ll give you hints in regards to how to use the product, or secrets about the product. We learned that all of the Hakuhodo brush heads are arranged to create their shape as opposed to being laser cut. This make the brushes much softer than the standard ones you’d find in Sephora or MAC. So don’t be scared off by their hefty price tag, when you’re paying for brushes, you’re paying for quality (not that those $5 brushes aren’t bad either, everybody has an arsenal of them in their makeup collection).

4. Bring cash for a faster transaction.

If you’re plannig to buy some stuff, chances are that other people will too. Don’t be the one to hold up the line with your debit/credit card when everybody else is paying with cash. Bring some bills with you to make your transaction faster so that you’ll have time to scope out the other booths at IMATS while everybody is still waiting in line to pay for their things.

5. Bring a friend.

Chances are that you’ll probably have to end up lining up at certain booths, and having a friend with you at IMATS makes the whole waiting process a little bit less painful. Plus, you guys can give each other advice as to whether or not that eyeshadow shade actually looks good on you or not.

You’ll also be able to split up discounts. We saw an exhibitor that was selling six Essie polishes for $18. Now most of us aren’t going to be hunting down six shades that we’re lusting after, so go splitzies with a friend and each of you guys can get three different shades and still get the discount. The more the merrier (especially at IMATS).

6. Learn from the pros.

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You never know when any of the educators are willing to give away free technique tips. Usually they charge for their knowledge, but you might be able to pick up some of their secrets for free! We chatted up the Make Up For Ever Academy and found out that their exhibit was completely freehanded, nothing was airbrushed and they’re possibly looking to open an academy in Toronto as well!

7. Prepare to meet your idols.

Sometimes you’ll find a makeup artist that you absolutely love, or that YouTuber that you’re addicted to watching their videos. Be prepared to meet the ones that you worship with a camera ready on hand. This brings us back to #5. If you have a friend, you can get each other to take pictures. Another set of hands is always great to have.

8. Be prepared for amazing deals.

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A lot of the times the exhibitors will have great deals for you that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Yes, we know that your IMATS tickets were pricey, but the cost is well worth it. We found an exhibitor, IVYLUX (the Canadian distributor for PYT hair tools),  that was selling CHI and GHD level quality hot tools for an amazing price.  Hot tools however won’t be the run of the mill $20-30 dollars, so if you’re planning on picking up something a little bit pricier, make sure to bring enough cash with you. Which is why rule #1 is important, if you’re prepared ahead of time with a complete list of exhibitors, then you’ll know how much cash to bring with you to IMATS.

After getting a quick demo of their products and learning just how much healthier a ceramic hot tool can be on your hair, we walked away with an amazing discount code that’ll help make your holiday shopping just a little bit easier!

All online purchases done through the Canadian retailer for PYT hair tools at IVYLUX will receive 25% using the code: HOLIDAYGLAM. The code is valid between now and February 1, 2015. Just make sure to order through IVYLUX directly, because the flagship PYT site won’t be able to provide you with 25%. So if you’re in the market for a new hot tool, or you know that a friend is looking for one, now would be the best time to get one!

9. Unless you’re going on the opening day, products may sell out.

We were deeply saddened when we walked by the Ben Nye booth and realized that they had completely sold out on all of their Banana Powder. Boo hoo. If what you have your eye on is an HG product, make sure that you show up early enough to get one for yourself, or else you risk the chances of it being snatched up by someone else.

10. Sit in on the presentations.

Some of the shows might just be competitions, but some are also demos. If you want a free lesson, make sure to sit in on some of the presentations by master makeup artists to learn some new skills to wow your friends and future clients.

11. Put yourself on a makeup ban a few weeks before IMATS.

If you know that you’re going to be buying plenty of things at IMATS, make sure to cut yourself off from casually shopping at Sephora during your lunch hour. Those things will always be there, but IMATS is only once a year. Save up for it so that you can purchase products from companies that you can’t easily access all of the time. IMATS is definitely the time to splurge. Plus, many companies often have discounts at IMATS as well, so don’t give in to instant gratification and wait it out until you arrive at IMATS.

12. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

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You can easily by fake lashes at the dollar store or even your local pharmacy. But how often can you try out luxurious lashes before purchasing them? Many expensive lash brands are exclusively online, so often times you won’t get a chance to check out the quality before ordering them. When at IMATS, do as others do, just buy it all. We caught up with Velour Lashes who showed us their huge array of mink lashes as well as some customer and company favorites too. We’re working on a future collaboration with Velour lashes and can’t wait to show you guys the exciting project!

Tell us:

[quote_center]Which exhibitors make the top of your list?[/quote_center]

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  1. Hello,
    I would like to share one of the videos, how can I do that? I have checked on your youtube channel… nothing! I’m sure that the individual videos will get more views if it could be shared.
    Thanks for your help
    (I wanted to share the video of MAKE UP FOR EVER Academy on our Facebook page where we have more than 14000 fans)


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