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Makeup Trade Show


The season is upon us.  Makeup artists out there rejoice. It’s makeup Christmas for many of us as the trade shows roll around for another year. The excitement is brewing and for all the good little boy and girl artists out there, that ticket will be delivered and the festivities will commence.


UMA Expo 2017


The United Makeup Artist (UMA) Expo kicks us off and is then closely followed by the International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS) and I for one am very excited.

I love the buzz, the exhibition of it all, rubbing shoulders with seasoned industry professionals and students alike.

AlI the new toys and products all in one place and all packed into a couple of amazing venues.

Like I Said:


My Makeup Trade Show Survival Guide


Keep your cool. Don’t lose your head. Do not get carried away. These are all key to a happy time. I want to give you guys some tips on networking and watching the demonstrations too.


IMATS London 2017

Plan Ahead


To start things off it is essential you pre-plan.

Get yourself some business cards printed up.

Get yourself a stack of them!

There are websites out there where you can pickup very well produced and reasonably priced cards. This is especially important for all you students out there.

The trade shows are the perfect place to network, meet industry professionals and introduce yourself. and are great websites for all your card needs. You can even put your own designs on them.

Ticket in hand and a pile of business cards in your pocket you are ready to go.

Take your credit card but make sure to add some cash to your wallet. Cash is your back up.  If the card system goes down, which I have personally experienced, you can avoid going into complete panic with a cheeky cash purchase.

Be prepared and take both methods of payment.


Stop! Look! Listen!


You walk through the doors and suddenly you are bombarded with a sensory overload of amazing sights and sounds. The buzz, all that sparkling makeup right by the entrance. Right in front of you.

I must buy, BUY! BUY! Oh look at that shiny makeup next to the shiny makeup I just bought and so it goes on. You are caught up in a panic purchase frenzy.


Keep Calm And Carry On!



You heard me. Stop! Wait!

It is so easy to lose your head and get completely carried away. Believe me, I still have shiny glittery things in my makeup kit I bought 10 years ago. All  things still in their original packaging and things I have never ever used.


It is far too easy to get completely carried away and spend half a years rent in one day. Hell that is exactly what all the stands are set up to do. Offering amazing discounts just for us and piling the stands high with gorgeous products and with sales people eager to tell us how we would simply die without these in our lives.


It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint


Upon entry make sure you take in the magnificence of the event and look around at the majesty of it all.

Surviving the trade shows is a marathon not a sprint my lovely people. Take your time. Walk around. Look at all the stands and what they all have to offer. Chat to people. Ask questions. DO THE ENTIRE CIRCUIT and (wait for it) DON’T BUY A SINGLE THING.

What? No? That can’t be? What are you talking about? Are you mad?




Do you really need that pair of green eyelashes?


By following my advice and take note of all the stuff you like the look of, write it down if it helps. Then take a load off, grab a coffee and calmly work through your list. Ask yourself if you need those two foot green and red glittery eyelashes or the glow in the dark makeup brushes? Of course you don’t . You really don’t.

Taking stock is important. There are amazing bargains to be had and you can save a small fortune at the events. Shop wisely and fill your bags with items you will use and love. If like me you still over spend, at least you will have spent smart.

All Presentations Are Not Equal


My TOP TIP! Plan the presentations you want to see before you get to the shows. Many happen at the same time and many will fill up extremely quickly. Plan what you really have to see and work out if it will be popular so you can plan on getting a seat early.

You snooze you lose!

Just saying.


Demonstrations? Please Enjoy Responsibly


Are you watching demonstrations on the stands? Please enjoy responsibly.

There are some amazingly talented people, demonstrating some very cool makeup skills. All are there to show off a little and to do it just for you. Every one of them welcomes questions and photos and of course a kind word or two. Just remember.  Unless they encourage questions during their demonstration please let them finish before asking them. I absolutely promise they will answer all your burning questions with relish and enthusiasm. Demonstrating a complex makeup with 100 people firing questions is a little tricky.

If you take photos at the event and post them on social media make sure you give a little credit to the artist who demonstrated that fabulous makeup. It is only polite and hey you might even get a follow from said artist on your Instagram. Bonus!


It’s On The Cards


Now let’s get back to all those cards you are carrying around. The shows are amazing places for networking. Get your face out there and get chatting to people.

Every one of us at the event is there with a little showman in us. The shows are amazing places to share ideas, talk new products, talk to peers about ALL THINGS MAKEUP!

Strike up conversations. If you are a bit of a shrinking violet force yourself and do it. Once you have chatted to a few people and realise they will talk your hind legs off, it will all become simple. I promise.

GIVE PEOPLE THOSE CARDS! You never know what it will lead to.

My final words to you ‘Have an amazing time, enjoy, glitter and be gay. It is a special time for us all. Have a ton of fun and I am sure I will see you there.’ Philip

Happy Makeup Christmas

Book tickets for 2017  IMATS

Book tickets for 2017 UMA Expo


Philip Carson-Sheard

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