Surrounded by oozing zombies, body painted she-demons and towering runway models, not to mention all the best brands – IMATS LA 2016 was a make up artist’s dream come true. A trade show of beauty and special effects products where aficionados line up for a selfie with Cat Von D, or the chance to purchase Anastasia of Beverly Hills eyebrow definer at a discount.
In mid January, I trekked from my West Sonoma county residence to the Pasadena
Convention center for this orgy of products and creativity. The main hall contained a zillion beauty products, with demos by various makeup schools providing plenty of extreme beauty and creepy effects makeups. Monsters and fairies came to life in the second hall, dedicated to special effects make up for film, TV and everything else.
Highlights included meeting the Amazing Jiro, a Japanese artist who has taken face painting into the realm of fine art, listening to a panel of makeup and effects artists from the Star Trek movies (led by Micheal Westmore), and buying a
set of special effects brushes from Ve Neill, Oscar winning make up artist and judge on Sci-Fi Channel’s show Face Off. I got Ve’s favorite brushes! Okay, they’re new, not really hers, but she designed them and they are awesome.
Everywhere I wandered, in a consumer overloaded daze, another dazzling character blossomed into life, layer by painstaking painted layer. I met Industry rock stars such as body painter Nix Herrera and effects artist and Face Off winner Nora Hewitt. There were seminars, talks and a competition. Too much to take in, but so much fun. Inspiring and humbling. I’m pumped for my special effects makeup class, which is a good thing because it starts tomorrow. – Stacey