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Tuesday 25 June 2013

IMATs: Makeup, Wheelchairs and Bloggers. Oh My!

As you may have guessed from the title I went to IMATs London this Saturday.
I'm sorry, I just want to take a moment and bask in that statement. I went to IMATs. ME - the chronically ill chick who has to use a wheelchair which she can't push - went to IMATs in London, which boils down to a loud, busy room full of makeup people, a 4hr drive away from home.

Please excuse photo quality, they were taken on my little camera which isn't very good

And it was incredible. The best single day I think I have ever had, and something that never would have happened if I hadn't gotten sick. Weird.
Anyway, this post isn't about me getting misty eyed and saying amazing over and over again until you are screaming, "And?!?" at the screen, it's about my experience, what the disability access was like and - more importantly - what I bought.

So, I live in Leeds which makes getting to London a three and a half, four hour drive and staying anywhere overnight wasn't in my budget so I was up at 2.45am. No lie. Mostly because I wanted to wear makeup - we set off at 4am. Anyway, got up, sorted my bag, washed my face, did my makeup, got dressed, double checked my bag and left. And then I grabbed my Mum and we set off.
Why did I grab my Mum? I can't drive, and I can't self-propel so I had to have someone with me and I had my Mum. And why did I drive? Well the venue had parking, trains are ridiculously over priced and it's easier for me in my wheelchair.

The crowds at just after 9am

When we got to the venue it was actually 8.25am as we had stopped on the way down and there was a queue pretty much the whole way down the side of the venue and I was freaking out cause it was cold and I didn't think queueing for ages was going to help the whole 'crazy exhausted due to an f-ed up medical condition thing. However, because I was in a wheelchair and had pre-booked a ticket they whisked me in straight away and gave my mum a free wristband (ticket) as she is my essential-companion (there is no way I could have gone without her).
Anyway, the access was really good. The ramp was really good, hand rails on both sides, the works and there was a good sized lift (only one but most people were really good about not using it). The space was carpeted but it was still possible for me to self propel a little bit and the stalls were far enough apart that the wheelchair fit comfortably between them. There were at least 3 other wheelchair users there and none of them seemed to be struggling. The only thing I found really hard was the fact that the seating for seminars wasn't good for wheelchair users, the aisles weren't wide enough for wheelchair users to sit in so we had to sit really far from the stage, at the edges. It was kind of awkward.

The stalls had some amazing stuff, were often doing some really cool demos and were staffed (in the main) by really friendly people. The only stalls I found that had rude people working at them were Inglot (who were super busy so I don't know that it was their fault) and one of the ladies at Mac Pro was a little snippy. The people at OCC Cosmetics, PAM and Guru Makeup Emporium were super lovely, and most of the people at Mac Pro were also super lovely.
I went, obviously, primarily for me but also was sent with a budget for special effects makeup for my little brother and everyone was really kind and helpful in finding the right stuff for me and giving me loads of information.

So, I also went to some amazing seminars, the OCC "Cosmetic Chemistry for Makeup Artists", The "Makeup to Die For" seminar with Bobbie Weiner (Bloddy Mary) and the "Power of Social Media" seminar with Ruth Crilly (amodelrecommends), Caroline Hirons (Beauty Mouth), Louise from sprinkle of glitter and Anna from vivianna does makeup.
The OCC one was super interesting; they were talking about how the chemical composition of their products (and other products) effects how they performed. I also found out that lip tars can be used anywhere (officially they don't recommend them for the eyes but everyone was saying how nice they looked on the eyes, take from that what you will).
But my favourite seminar was the social media seminar, it was funny and interesting and felt like chatting with friends. Seriously, it was really great and I got to talk to Caroline Hirons who is a really amazing person.
Photo - Lotionspotionsme :)
So, what did I buy? I mentioned I got some special FX stuff for my brother right? Cause I did and it's gross. If you want to see that stuff in another post let me know
Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre
Hakuhodo Fan Brush
Hakuhodo Tiny Smudger Brush
Hakuhodo Angle Brush

Inglot 37
Inglot 112R
Inglot 116R
Inglot 154
Inglot 452
Mac Face and Body Foundation in White

Mac Reflects Pearl Glitter and Mac Reflects Gold Glitter
OCC Conceal in Y0

OCC Lip Tar in Hush

OCC Lip Tar in Interlace

OCC Lip Tar in Pris
Sugarpill Soot and Stars

Sugarpill Poison Plum

The Real Techniques Duo Fibre Collection
The Glamcor single use adhesive hand palettes (they are super useful)


  1. Hi wheelingalong,

    I am so excited about finding your blog! I have ME and Fibromyalgia too, and am always looking for British people with similar interests to me, in a similar position. You're the first person I have found with ME who is also into make up & beauty.

    I was watching some videos of IMATS London online and dying of jealousy so I thought I'd find out what their disabled access is like and I found you! Well done on managing to get through such a tough day physically. I am so glad that it was worth it for you. I don't know about you, but sometimes being in big crowds in a wheelchair is really hard going so it's very encouraging for me to hear that you had such a great time, and makes me all the more determined to work towards going next year.

    I was wondering whether you let IMATS know that you were disabled and needed a carer in advance? And, if you don't mind me asking, did you have to pay anything for her? Lastly, did you have to provide any proof of needing carer, ie benefit entitlement or something?

    Thanks for writing about this, it can be so hard to know what will be worth all the pain and energy expenditure so reading your review has been very useful for me. I can't wait to check out your other posts.

    Love Katie x

    P.s. I have a blog and a YouTube channel too, just in case you want to check those out. (

    1. I am so glad you did find my blog, I sometimes feel a bit like no-one knows I'm here :)
      I am totally with you on big crowds + wheelchairs, it's a real pain! I was really surprised, but most of IMATs wasn't that crowded :)
      I didn't have to let anyone at IMATs know about anything in advance or show any paperwork, they were incredible about it all. In the future I think I would let them know, & I would recommend to anyone that they do the same but I don't think you need to.
      I hope to see you at IMATs next year :)
      P.S. I'm totally checking out your channel ASAP :)
      P.P.S if I missed anything out that you would like to know (parking, getting to the venue, quite areas, food etc) please let me know, I would love to help as much as I can. I wish I'd had someone I could ask about this before I went!
      P.P.P.S I have YouTube too, if you didn't find that (same name)

    2. P.P.P.P.S. my mum didn't have to pay a thing, and they also bump you to the front of the queue so you get into the venue first xx


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