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  • Writer's pictureCelena Rubin

Makeup Artists…In Front of the Camera!

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

Having just returned from the International Makeup Artist Tradeshow, I look back at the flurry of crowds, noise, amazing talent, and a tremendous variety of product. I think how IMATS has changed over the years. I have been attending IMATS for fifteen years now, so I have seen a lot of change.

The first year I started attending, I thought I my heart might pop right out of my chest. I was so excited to see what was offered in the makeup world, I could barely sit still in each class for fear I might miss out on the next one. I sped around from class to class, vendor to vendor, soaking up as much information as I could with ease and anticipation. There were no crowds. That’s right. No crowds. Each class had plenty of empty seats, and each vendor table was easy to reach. There weren’t as many vendors either, and the makeup was predominantly geared for the film and television effects community. It’s a different IMATS today.

Because there’s no license yet to become a makeup artist, anyone can come. I love beauty makeup and now there’s lots of it at IMATS. It seems that everyone else loves beauty makeup too, and everyone else comes to IMATS as well. There’s literally thousands of people there, and it’s a zoo. The last two times I’ve attended, I’ve left with a serious headache. I’m not saying that it’s not fun anymore, because there’s more product, more talent, more education, but it is seriously more crowded, and the focus has changed. It is not just for makeup artists anymore.

The one other thing that really left an impression on me was all the internet youtube sensations. The busiest booths were the ones that had “celebrity” YouTube makeup gurus attached, and people wanted their pictures taken with them. Things really have turned around. Yes, many of us makeup artists started out as actors or in a band, but then at some point we decided to wipe off our makeup, get out of the limelight, and hide behind the camera. When I was leaving IMATS, there was a line of at least 300 people waiting to meet the famed YouTube sensation Kandee Johnson. It snaked from inside the building and winded up and down to outside the building. She wasn’t teaching a class. Those people would only get to say hi and take a picture. Well, IMATS made one thing pretty clear, being a makeup artist is no longer behind the scenes. I thought I was done being in front of the camera in my twenties. Am I ready to put on my makeup and pose for the camera again? Yikes!

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