The Makeup Show LA – Recap

inglot booth

Inglot at The Makeup Show LA

As I’ve mentioned, I was at The Makeup Show LA this past weekend. Today, I have some photos of the show and a brief recap of my experience.

Note that unlike IMATS – which I also enjoy – The Makeup Show is a pro-only show. Per the website’s FAQ, permitted attendees include “makeup artists, hairstylists, estheticians, cosmetologists, agents, models, and stylists.” I attended as a beauty blogger.

Because it’s pro-only, The Makeup Show is less crowded than IMATS.   Most booths don’t have any lines, and the few that do have lines have very short lines. The Makeup Show is also more selective about their exhibitors.  For example, The Makeup Show had three exhibitors primarily selling brushes – Hakuhodo, Crown Brushes, and Bdellium Tools (though some other booths, like OCC, sold their brushes in addition to their makeup).  The most recent IMATS had at least five exhibitors primarily selling brushes.  Personally, I enjoyed both the relaxed feel of the smaller, more selective Makeup Show the more keyed up atmosphere of the crowded IMATS – if you have the opportunity to, I think both are worth attending.

hakuhodo booth

Hakuhodo at The Makeup Show LA

I don’t want to make this post too long, so here’s a quick list of some things I enjoy about makeup trade shows:

  • Talking to and connecting with the people behind the brand & hearing about their passion for their products.
  • Swatching & playing with hard-to-find products that I can usually only purchase online.
  • Hearing about, seeing, and swatching newly launched and about-to-launch products.
  • Meeting up with online friends (I got to hang out with Stef of We Heart This, yay!).

And of course, purchasing makeup at a discount isn’t too bad, either! Here are my purchases from the show:

Nars Satin Lip Pencil - Palais Royal-2

Nars Satin Lip Pencil – Palais Royal

I’ve already reviewed NARS’s Satin Lip Pencil in Palais Royal. (By the way – these are now available for purchase at Nordstrom or

ellis faas concealer

Ellis Faas Concealer

My first Ellis Faas product! Review coming soon – I’ve already tried it out.

Cult Nails polishes

Cult Nails polishes: Annalicious, Seduction, I Got Distracted, Mazo, Alter Ego, Blaze

I bought six Cult Nails Polishes – plus I got to meet the brand’s owner Maria, who is so lovely. The Cult Nails booth had nail polish wheels for swatching their polishes, which I really appreciated, since I already had my nails done.

Hakuhodo Brushes: G5515 BkSL, G5514 BkSL, J5521 BkSL, Kokutan L, Kokutan W

G5515 BkSL, G5514 BkSL, J5521 BkSL, Kokutan L, Kokutan W

My big splurge was more Hakuhodo brushes – but I chose well, and love the brushes I purchased. This is actually my second G5515 – I use it just about daily, and at only $15, it was worth picking up a second copy.

I also bought some sponge tips for swatching from Dante Disposable Products; they seem to be very good quality so far, and were about a quarter of the price I would have paid at the drugstore for sponge-tipped applicators.

dante sponge tips

Dante Disposable Sponge Tip Applicators

Overall, it was a great experience, and I’m so glad I was able to go to the Makeup Show LA. I swatched so many things, talked to so many people, and had a great time!

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  • Really–that brush was only $15?? Damn I shouldve gone if only just for those brushes!! 🙁

    • A lot of people are under the misconception that all Hakuhodo brushes are really expensive, but they have big price range. A lot of the goat hair eye brushes are $15 – $25 – cheaper than MAC! I think the reason they have reputation for being expensive because some of their brushes – primarily the face brushes made with blue squirrel – are in the $80+ range.

  • Liz

    Sounds like fun! I’ve never been to any of these mega makeup events and don’t really feel the need to, but I always enjoy a glimpse into the scene. 🙂

  • Bellyhead

    How fantastic it would be to see the Hakuhodo brushes in person! Sounds like it was a great experience, Emi.

  • AH I am so envious of those Inglot makeup artists… would that not be the funnest job ever? 😀

  • Sorry for the late reply – yup, the top two are the Kokutans 🙂