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This past weekend I was at IMATS in good ‘ole Pasadena, CA. It was my first trip to any IMATS show and I had so much fun!

I drove down with a friend who I’ve known since I was eleven (wow that makes me feel ancient) who is really into the whole makeup/special effects/costume world. In fact she makes costumes for theater groups and individual people, including some recent giant bobble-heads for a Primus show! We managed to talk about our cats and dogs for hours upon hours on the drive, which was fun in a very cat-lady sort of way. 😉

I was able to meet some of the amazing people I’ve been chatting with for years with on social media, so that was really cool. In fact it’s one of the main reasons I went to the show. I certainly don’t NEED any makeup, so I didn’t really buy much.

IMATS is a Face Off oasis. If you love the show like I do, you would be excited to see all the people from the show there. I saw at least 20 “cast members” from various seasons, including the one that just started.

Let’s begin with the photos. Some are from my Canon but some are iPhone 5S photos, so they aren’t all super crisp once blown up. I hate lugging that 60D around all day, it’s so darn heavy!

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This is Alanna who was on a couple seasons on Face Off. She was working on this makeup ALL day long. I adore Alanna, she is one of my favorite people on the show.

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This was Alanna’s finished head-piece.

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And here we have Frank from Face Off doing a mold on someone. I would feel like I was suffocating under that stuff.

Inglot O2M Nail Enamel

The Inglot Nail Enamel line. You know, I have never tried their polish for some reason.

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A foam piece at the Kryolan booth.

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Here we have Laney and Miranda from Face Off working on an alien-esque creature at the Ve Neill booth.

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And here is Roy from Face Off working at the Kryolan booth. Roy is probably my favorite person ever on the show. I love this man and wanted a photo with him so badly, but I didn’t want to bug him while he was working.

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This is at the MAC booth. Not sure what they were doing exactly but they did the same thing both days on two different guys.

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Here is the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics spring 2014 line-up. I’ve got the nail shades to swatch for you soon.

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Here is the lovely Angie (GoldieStarling) working at the Cinema Makeup School booth. She’s one of the people I really wanted to meet and finally was able to.

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This was another creature being worked on at the Cinema Makeup School booth.

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Side-view of  creature.

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Yay I met Angie! She is incredibly sweet and pretty in person, as you would expect her to be. I adore her.

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And THIS is Heather (Sokolum) who I also went there to finally meet in person. Love Heather, she is so rad.

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Very cool woodland looking creature.

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This tree-dude was awesome. I didn’t get a photo of his backside but he had an animatronic bird fluttering around on his back.

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This is a mold that I really loved.

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Glenn Hetrick owns Optic Nerve Makeup in So/Cal and is also a judge on Face Off. Here are some of his molds.

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And I met Glenn Hetrick as well, yay! He actually seems a little nicer and more “human” in person than on the show, where he can be rather intimidating.

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At the Kryolan booth I spotted some lip gloss and stain shades. The instant I swatched the blue and yellow I had this feeling I would wind up owning them. And now I do. I will never wear them but they were so opaque! I also got the sparkly orange one. I’ll do swatches on the blog soon.


Aside from meeting some cool people in person, my favorite part of the show was a 2 hour sculpt that Jordu Schell did. Jordu has worked on movies like Avatar, Men in Black, 300, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, Hellboy and many more. He is also on the show Making Monsters, which I watch. He is really funny and a really down to earth, and a super talented guy.

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After starting with waded up newspaper and globs of clay, 2 hours later this is what he had. Very cool!

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He was nice enough to take a photo with me.

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Here is Lyma who was on Face Off season 5 as a “rookie” doing some makeup at the Tat2u booth. I actually wound up buying the whole set of Tat2u pens because I couldn’t resist. You can make some pretty cool designs with them, as you can see she’s doing.

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And here is a cool skull being done at the MUD (Makeup Designory) booth.

All in all it was a great trip. It definitely seems to be very YouTube heavy though. There didn’t seem to be anywhere near as many bloggers as vloggers there. For me it was fun because I’ve never been to show like this and I loved seeing all the more extreme makeup. Beauty makeup is fun and all, but special effects stuff I find way more interesting.

In terms of how crazy and busy it was, yeah, it was. But the good thing for us was the lines that were the worst were ones where you were waiting to meet a certain YouTube “guru” which I didn’t care about, or the ones to buy actual makeup, which I also didn’t care about. I had heard Sunday was usually less crowded than Saturday, but we found that to the the opposite.

I would definitely go again!


Written by Kelly
Vampy Varnish is dedicated to showing high resolution makeup and nail polish swatches, and providing honest product reviews.