Student Competition

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Start Your Journey Here

Are you serious about becoming a professional make-up artist?

Competing in the IMATS Battle of the Brushes can give your career a huge boost. Competitors’ work is seen by industry leaders attending the shows and thousands of social-media users. Finalists also get a chance for international exposure by having their art featured in IMATS ad campaigns and show graphics. Additionally, the shows give competitors the chance to network in person with the pros doing the hiring. And the cash and prizes from participating exhibitors certainly don’t hurt!

2019 Character Theme


Misfits is an interpretive theme, which relies on the contestant’s imagination. An outlier may be precarious in nature, even malicious or perhaps mischievous. There have been many iconic misfits created for the make-up industry. This theme challenges contestants to create similarly strange and memorable characters.

*Please note: All Character/Prosthetic models must be male in 2019. 

2019 Beauty Theme

Graffiti Glam
Graffiti is the perfect fusion of culture, expression and art. Glamour is a veritable symbol of femininity. Together, this theme evokes vivid colors, graphic lines and stylized make-ups full of transformative perspectives. Both expressive and surreal. Playful and serious.   

*Please note: All Beauty/Fantasy models must be female in 2019. 

Competition Rules and Judging

The competition is open to students of recognized make-up schools and to those who have graduated 12 months prior to the competition date.

After a blind judging for each show, the Make-Up Artist magazine staff selects eight finalists in the beauty/fantasy category and eight in the character/prosthetic category, plus a runner-up for each. Finalists and their models receive free passes for both days of IMATS. The staff chooses a theme for each category every year.

Application Deadlines

IMATS NY: March 12

IMATS London: April 16

IMATS Toronto: August 12

Visit for more information. 

The Best Make-up Experience for a Young Career

"It definitely helped my career tremendously. It's very much like the real world, working in a trailer and trying to get someone on set."
– Patrick Magee, IMATS Los Angeles 2000 first-place winner for both categories; he has since worked on 'Men in Black 3,' 'AVP: Alien vs. Predator' and 'Spider-Man'

Join the Battle Today!