Updated Aug. 2, 2010

The Los Angeles edition of the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show has always been the biggest of the now-six annual IMATS. But the 2010 show, held at the Pasadena Convention Center June 26-27, was the biggest IMATS yet. It attracted nearly 9,000 attendees, up nearly a third from 2009, while the number of exhibitors rose from 85 to 119.

Two full days of programming filled four classrooms, the main hall and the exhibition stage, with seminars ranging from the challenges of working on Avatar to serving as a personal make-up artist. And for the first time, the show offered a screening of films created by make-up artists, plus two full days of master classes for professionals before and after the weekend’s events.

Tuesday Coren's winning beauty/fantasy make-up
Tuesday Coren’s winning beauty/fantasy make-up

This year’s beauty/fantasy student make-up competition, themed Alice in Wonderland, featured several finalists from previous shows. Tuesday Coren, of Cinema Makeup School, took first place; Miranda Jory (Cinema Makeup School and Make-Up Designory) won second and Chun-Yen Lee (Make-Up Designory) earned third.

Saturday’s programming concluded with Australian fashion make-up artist and author Rae Morris. The keynote speaker and educator won over the audience with her common-sense approach to the industry and her self-deprecating sense of humor as she described her celebrated, if unexpected, career.

Sunday’s packed educational schedule covered a wide range of topics. The show’s first-time Guru Summit was a freewheeling discussion with five well-known YouTube beauty commentators. The event’s standing-room only crowd reinforced the growing link between the beauty/fashion industry and the social networking community. Equally intriguing was a couture bridal fashion show (see Issue 86) and a panel exploring the agent-artist relationship, with panelists Madeline Leonard, Timothy Priano and Charnelle Smith.

Steve LaPorte creating a look

Back in the exhibition hall, the character/prosthetic student competition was underway, as participants created Grimm’s Fairy Tales characters with prosthetic pieces supplied by Rob Burman and Scott Ramp. Entries were strong, but in the end, Ming-Yen Ho (University of North Carolina School of the Arts) won first place, Nagomi Narushima (Nikkatsu Visual Arts Academy) took second and Win Liu (Blanche MacDonald Centre) won third.

The weekend’s last piece of programming may have been its most complicated as well. A panel featuring members of the Alice in Wonderland make-up team had been in the works for months, but the line-up changed up to the last minute, with the final panelists consisting of make-up artist Richie Alonzo (who also appeared in the film as one of the Red Queen’s courtiers), designer Arjen Tuiten, Legacy Effects co-chief Lindsay Macgowan and lens designer/technician Cristina Ceret. Also appearing, via Skype, were Joel Harlow and Mike Smithson, who were in Hawaii shooting the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean.

This was the first time the technology had been used for an IMATS panel. Although there were a few minor wrinkles (causing some worry for yours truly, the event moderator) the fact that it ultimately succeeded opens new possibilities for future shows. After all, the ‘I’ in IMATS stands for International.

For more IMATS Los Angeles photos, go to www.imats.net/los/photo_gallery.php