The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show, or IMATS, is the world’s largest celebration of make-up artistry. Thousands of make-up artists, exhibitors and enthusiasts discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer. Make-up pros from fashion and film (including Oscar, BAFTA and Saturn award winners) provide education and demonstrations at IMATS, and new products often debut there. IMATS also features a make-up museum and the Battle of the Brushes student make-up competitions, where international make-up students race to create winning looks.
Before IMATS, there were no trade shows specifically designed for make-up artists, although cosmetic companies had expressed a desire for such an event. In response, Emmy Award-winning make-up artist and Make-Up Artist magazine publisher Michael Key held the first IMATS in August 1997 in Los Angeles. It allowed artists to customize what they wanted to see and it offered a diverse mix of products, demonstrations and education from industry leaders.
IMATS expanded to Europe in 2002, with the debut of IMATS London. Continuing this commitment to artists around the world, Make-Up Artist magazine acquired the Canadian Makeup Show in 2009 and launched IMATS Toronto. That same year IMATS Sydney launched, and in 2010, IMATS Vancouver, British Columbia debuted (which was previously part of CMS).
Like Make-Up Artist magazine, IMATS continues to educate and connect make-up artists from around the world. The show is held six times annually—in Los Angeles; New York; London; Vancouver, B.C.; Sydney; and Toronto.