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What to Love About ….. IMATS? The International Makeup Artist Trade Show.

If you’ve never been to IMATS before, it’s a definite “must see” for makeup lovers of all ages.

The International Makeup Artist Trade Show is the largest of its kind in the world and is an annual exhibition to showcase the best of what the industry has to offer, as well as being an excellent opportunity for  Makeup Artists to network with other professionals from around the world and across different genres of the business, be it fashion, film, education or manufacturing.

A visual plethora of creativity and diversity, you can expect to see demonstrations, exhibitions and new product launches as well as the opportunity to buy merchandise at heavily discounted prices.

A highlight of event is the “Battle of the Brushes” competition, where international makeup students compete to create a winning look in front of a panel of influential industry professionals.

First held in Los Angeles in 1997, IMATS was the idea of award-winning makeup artist & magazine publisher, Michael Key and expanded in to Europe in 2002 with the debut of IMATS London.

London IMATS is hosted by Olympia in Kensington and is typically held annually around the 3rd week of May. Always well attended, the Friday opening day is just for professionals, but the general public can also purchase tickets for the Saturday & Sunday.

As well as London, you can attend IMATS  throughout the year at their annual events in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Vancouver, Toronto and New York.

Highly recommended as a fun day out with your makeup-loving friends!



What to Love About …… Chiselled Cheekbones?

As a professional Makeup Artist, I can never resist the temptation of a well-reviewed contour palette; and that means that I’ve tested a few!

One of the most requested skills that I’m asked to demonstrate in lessons is Contouring. Let’s face it, get it right and it’s a game changer; correct application will result in beautifully chiselled cheekbones, a defined jawline and slimmed nose.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Contour has consistently been a market leader, but the one I’m sharing today is by another US brand, KAT VON D (aka Katherine von Drachenberg)

So who is Kat? Well known Stateside, Kat is an American tattoo artist, model, musician and television personality, best known for the reality TV show LA Ink.

The Kat Von D Makeup range was launched through Sephora in 2008 and has progressively grown in size and reputation, with new collections launched each year.

Kat takes pride in the fact that there is no aspect of the makeup line that she has not been creatively involved in, from product development, personally testing formulas, naming the shades, packaging design and artwork….and it definitely shows! Despite the phenomenal growth of the Brand, you still get a real feel for the personality behind the product and ‘Shade and Light Contour’ is a very classy palette.

The Shade and Light Contour Collection includes six matte powder shades, that are suitable for all skin tones. The contour and highlight pairs are arranged by undertone, so you get neutral, warm and cool shades. Use the deeper contour shades to add natural shadow and depth to your face, then accentuate your best angles with the brighter highlight shades.

  • The 3 shade powders are called ‘Sombre’, ‘Shadowplay’ and ‘Subconscious’
  • The 3 light powders are ‘Lucid’, ‘Lyric’, and ‘Levitation’

Included with the palette is a cute and easy to follow instruction sheet, detailing how to master 3 key contouring techniques.

The key to shading is the ability to blend, blend, blend avoiding unnatural, harsh lines and this palette includes soft creamy powders that do just that, with a shade for all skin tones. The powders are highly pigmented, so a little on your brush will give a lot of colour. A great addition to any makeup bag.

This Kat Von D Palette is accessible online through Debenhams online at

Retailing at £37, with Standard Delivery at £3.49 within 5 working days (I ordered Monday night and it arrived Wednesday) or Next Day Delivery for £3.99 if ordered before 9pm.

Delivery is free for orders over £40.

In the words of Kat herself: We are bold, unapologetic, outspoken and different in our own way. We are artists, poets and lovers. We are the outsiders and the insiders. We are Kat Von D Beauty. With Love!

Christiane Dowling is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist for Weddings, Bridal, Proms, Photo Shoots, Makeup Lessons & all Special Occasions.

Based in Sandhurst , Christiane covers all of Berkshire, Hampshire & Surrey including Sandhurst, Crowthorne, Yateley, Finchampstead, Eversley, Shinfield, Reading, Burghfield, Wokingham, Binfield, Bracknell, Maiden’s Green, Warfield, Ascot, Sunningdale, Sunninghill, Virginia Water, Egham, Wentworth, Chertsey, Eton, Windsor, Datchet, Chobham, Woking, Guildford, Godalming, Frensham, Hindhead, Farnham, Churt, Bentley, Bordon, Aldershot, Church Crookham, Fleet, Hartley Wintney, Hook, Basingstoke, Farnborough, Fleet & across London.

Christiane also works nationally & internationally.