I also wanted a share a photo I took with Samantha of BataLash. She was also very nice and just as beautiful in person.
I took a lot of pictures so to condense it down, I put everything into a Picasa album embedded into the post. I have a picture of my haul, and also a few thoughts on the show as a whole and the future direction I'd like for it to go (which you can read after scrolling through the album).
This year, I was able to save up and spend a little money on things I've been wanting for ages. I bought five pairs of Koko Lashes, mainly because the styles are so similar or dead-on to House of Lashes eyelashes that I swear they use the same manufacturer.
Next, I got two eyeshadows from Makeup Geek in Beaches and Cream and Vanilla Bean. I wanted to dip my toes into the brand and have been needing some skintone neutrals so I thought these mattes looked the best.
I also got my first Hakuhodo brush. I'll talk more about this in a separate review I've got planned but I can already say that this brush has inspired me to do experiment and play with my eye makeup again. I also got the brush cleaner because I feel paranoid about keeping the brush in good condition.
From L.A. Girl Cosmetics, I got two Pro Conceal concealers and their Glazed Lip Paints. A review is coming up but I'll say that the Pro Conceal concealers are pretty amazing for only ~ $2.00.
Lastly I got a backup of my Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown (previously Medium Ash) and two free brushes from Real Techniques (their accent and detailer brush).
My Thoughts on the Show:
PHAMExpo happened to be on the same weekend as IMATS London (even though PHAMExpo's date was announced first) which lead to a conflict where many brands were having to pick between a standalone booth at PHAMExpo or IMATS London. Many brands chose to go to IMATS London but have resellers like Nigel's or Naimie's sell a limited selection of their brands.
I do think the decision for brands to dedicate their main resources to IMATS London affected the availability and vibe of the show. As a whole, the crowd felt less frenzied and more low-key. There was breathing room to be had while you walked down the aisles though I'm not sure how vendors may have been affected. Though brands like OCC, Sugarpill, Graftobian, Bdellium, Beauty So Clean, etc. were at the show, only select products from each line were available. OCC for example only had their lip tars and lip pencils whereas I was hoping to try out their airbrush foundation and concealers. Also, very few brands were debuting something new (possibly because their inventory was all at IMATS London!).
Personally, I was hoping that there would be some vendors selling airbrush foundation (as I've decided to save up for an Iwata system to get into airbrush foundation) but sadly I wasn't able to find any.
I did appreciate the diversity of some of the speakers (Damone Roberts of course and also Pixiwoo and Sam Fine on Sunday) and the fact that Pixiwoo were present at the show but I think something felt missing and that might have been the presence of the brand owners. Part of the trade show experience for me is being able to see the brand owners and have the potential to talk with them at the show but many were in IMATS London.
I did enjoy the show and shopping there but I'm hoping that for next year, there isn't a date conflict. My friend and fellow beauty blogger Bren and I had a good talk on how the show could improve and our main thought is that it should be pushed back to late summer or maybe early fall. Between IMATS LA in late January, The Makeup Show LA in March, and IMATS London in June, that's a lot of trade shows within 6 months. Though there are shows that continue during the year, there's no show in LA in July or August.
Either way, I hope that in the future both trade shows can coexist peacefully and the vendors, consumers, and professionals can enjoy the show.
Disclaimer: I received a press pass to attend and cover this show. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this post.