I stayed in London for two nights at the Radisson Blu Vanderbilt on Cromwell Road. It was a really nice hotel in a great location. Only round the corner from Gloucester Road tube station.
I had saved up for a while and was really excited. I haven't been to IMATS before and had seen a lot of videos and pictures on the internet of it. On Saturday I got up really early to get into Olympia for the 9am opening. I got there at 8.50am and the queue was very long already. Fortunately I didn't have to wait longer than 10 mins as by 9 the line was moving really fast.
As soon as I got in I got my arm stamped and collected a big IMATS bag. This is great to carry around with you and stick any purchases in. A lot of well known brands such as MAC and NARS had stands at IMATS, with good discounts too. MAC were offering a 15% discount to everyone even if you didn't have pro membership. Pro members then got even more discount. NARS were giving a good discount too and were selling limited edition stuff they had left from collections such as Andy Warhol and Guy Bourdin. There were quite a lot of people at NARS looking at all the products and I did have to be a bit patient. The queue to pay wasn't near as bad as the line for NYX. I think the NYX queue was the worst of the lot. By 11.30 it had gotten really long and went all the way down to the end of the building. I'm not really a NYX fan so gave them a miss.
I did manage to check out some really awesome brands such as Sugarpill and Inglot. I also had a look at some brands I had never seen before such as Artist Of Makeup. Apart from picking up some goodies I also gave myself time to look at some of the demos. The one I wanted to see the most was contouring with color. I've seen many demos on contouring, but never one doing it with color. It was definitely different and I enjoyed watching it.
I had great fun looking for some bargains. Here is all the stuff I bought.
Sugarpill Addicted To Pretty Palette - £21.00
Z Palette Large - £12.76
Classic Beauty The History Of Makeup - £35.00
Artist Of Makeup Eyeshadows And Palette - £23.31
Makeup Studio 13 Eyeshadows And Palette - £68.25
Inglot Freedom System And 3 Lipsticks £17.00
Elegant Depilation Hair Removal System, 2 for £20.00
This was my first IMATS and here are my tips which may come in handy for future events.
- Buy your ticket early. Don't leave it to last minute, this years Saturday tickets had sold out in advance. I got my ticket a bit too late which meant it cost more. I was lucky to buy mine when I did because in the next couple of days they sold out and only had Sunday left.
- Wear comfy shoes. You're going to be on your feet a lot and doing a lot of walking, so keep your shoes nice and comfy.
- Bring a good amount of cash. While quite a few brands accepted cards, there were a couple that were cash only. Use a mixture of the two.
- Carry a bottle of water with you. Bringing your own drink not only saves you money on drinks in the event, it keeps you hydrated before you get in. It was really hot even before 9am on Saturday and i'm glad I had a drink with me already as I was thirsty.
- Plan your journey in advance. If you want to get to IMATS for opening, make sure you know what bus or train you are getting. I got the tube to Olympia from Earl's Court and the tubes don't run very often to Olympia. I was on the tube just after 8.30 which gave me enough time to get the tube.
Overall I enjoyed this year's IMATS and glad I decided to go. I'm looking forward to next year's event as this years one was fantastic. Be sure to check out my trip post on the rest of London.