Best Makeup Artist Tradeshows

Mar 12, 2023 | Pro Makeup Kit

Insider Guide to Makeup Industry Trade Shows

If you’ve never been to a pro makeup industry trade show, then you’re missing out.

Thousands of new and established makeup artists make the pilgrimage every year to the ‘meccas of makeup’ that are pro artist trade shows.

Makeup Industry trade shows bring together the best of the makeup industry, including leading BAFTA and Oscar winning makeup artists as well as new products launches and the best pro makeup products the industry has to offer.

Makeup trade shows bring all of this together under one roof and combine them with exclusive makeup education workshops, industry presentations and training opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else.

So put them in your calendar and get your good self to a pro makeup tradeshow, at least once a year, so you don’t miss out.

Read our guide below so you are fully prepared to hit a trade show like a pro.

How to get the most out of Makeup Trade Shows

Before You Go

  1. Do Your Homework

Make sure you are in the know BEFORE you go so you get the most out of the trade show you visit. You want to research the event in advance, so you know who and what you want to see on the day.

  • Check out the Exhibitor List and Floor Plan

Research who is going to be at the trade show – check for brands and companies that are exhibiting so you know exactly what products you are hoping to buy at the event so you can prioritise those stands and know where to find them.

  • Buy an ‘Early Bird’ ticket

Don’t expect to rock up on the day and buy a ticket – they often sell out before the event. You will also make big savings on ticket prices if you take advantage of the ‘Early Bird’ discounts. That is why you need to plan and do your research. Put the dates of the shows in your diary so you can purchase as soon as the tickets go on sale.

  • Book workshops and seminars asap.

Makeup Artist Trade Shows often have a fantastic line up specialist training and education opportunities. They are always very popular and sell out fast so make sure you book these first to avoid missing out.

  • Get yourself some business cards printed

Makeup Industry Trade Shows are fantastic networking events so make sure you have some business cards with your contact details and social media handles on them.

  • Apply for student and pro discounts

This will often get you a discount on Trade Show ticket prices, as well as additional discounts on the day.

On The Day

  1. Get there early

If you want to take advantage of the best deals, then make sure you arrive as early as possible.

  • Set a budget – take cash and cards

If you’re going to splurge, make sure it’s worth it. Ask yourself if you really need those neon eyeshadow palettes for your kit, even if they are half price?

If you see something you want and it’s just outside of your budget, then it’s ok to haggle (politely!) And remember to take cash as well, to take advantage of some ‘cash only’ deals.

  • Take a mini portfolio of your work

It’s quite possible for you to bump into an Oscar winning makeup artist at a pro industry trade show and they are often in the mood to chat. This is what makes these events so special and exciting. You never know who you might get chatting to and it’s always worth having a few images of your best work to hand.

  • Prioritize Guest Speakers and Workshops

Industry trade shows can be incredibly busy and super hectic. It’s very easy to lose track of time and miss a seminar or the presentation with the Oscar winning makeup artist. Always prioritize the workshops and guest speakers. Set alarms on your phone to remind you and make sure you start queuing early to guarantee yourself a seat.

  • Be a decent human being

Always be friendly and polite even though the big queues can be frustrating. It can seem like it’s taking for ever to get served but remember the staff at those stands are working like trojans and are run off their feet all day. Be kind and patient and take the time to check out the show programme and plan what you’re going to see next, whilst you wait in line.

  • Wear comfortable shoes and don’t over dress

Relaxed and professional is best and remember you’re going to be on your feet for most of the day so wear shoes that you can walk in.

After The Show

  1. Network, meet industry professionals and introduce yourself. You’re quite likely to bump into an Oscar winner at a pro makeup artist tradeshow.

Your Makeup Trade Show Essentials:

  • Tickets – print off in advance
  • Large shoulder bag for all your swag
  • Cash and cards
  • Snacks and supplies
  • Floorplan
  • ID

Top 3 Pro Makeup Industry Trade Shows


IMATS – International Makeup Artist Tradeshow – is a global event with annual shows in America, Australia and Canada. It’s the longest running UK makeup trade show and was originally housed in the historic Alexandra Palace in north London.

The show has since grown into a massive event and relocated to London Olympia.

IMATS covers beauty, fashion and film with a heavy commercial makeup brand focus. It has grown a reputation as a glamorous and edgy event that attracts not only established professional artists but also ‘influencers’, and thousands of makeup obsessed teenagers in search of epic makeup bargains.

Expect big crowds of stadium proportions and long queues at this weekend event, as well as workshops, seminars and their famous student makeup competition.

Top Tip

Attend the PRO Artist Preview on the Friday evening, to get first access to best discounts and more intimate professional panel discussions.

For more information visit


The UMA Expo – United Makeup Artist expo – was set up the much-respected McGowan family and is the wholly British owned exhibition for the professional makeup industry.

The two-day show relocated to Liverpool this year making it a more affordable experience. It is also strongly focused on film, theatre, and television professionals as well as supporting new makeup artists looking to break into the industry.

A more relaxed and intimate show that lets you get up close and personal with guest speakers who happily mingle with the crowds on the show floor throughout the day. UMA Expo champions pro makeup artistry brands and there are some fabulous deals to be had at this industry event. Also a fabulous focus on wigs and wig dressing skills with support from the National Theatre and NASMAH.

Top Tip

The hands-on workshops are a highlight for learning cutting edge techniques with makeup industry leaders so book these early.

For more information visit

The Prosthetics Event

If you love monsters, then you don’t want to miss The Prosthetics Event.

Set up by special effects maestro Neill Gorton who created legendary makeup effects, creatures and characters for cult British television series Dr. Who, as well as films such as Saving Private Ryan, Hellraiser II and Lara Croft Tomb Raider, to name just a few.

Launched in 2014 The Prosthetics Event has grown to become an unmissable annual event where you can meet and learn from the heroes and legends of the special effects makeup world. Originally located in Birmingham it relocated to Ricoh Arena in Leicester.

If your passionate about monsters, blood, guts and gore and prosthetic effects as well as sculpting, mould making and body art then The Prosthetics Event is your spiritual home!

Packed full of educational classes and SFX demonstrations, as well as the famous Monster Mash and the chance to win a one-to-one portfolio workshop with your makeup industry heroes and legends.

Top Tip

Apply early for the one-to-one Career and Portfolio Surgeries – they can be life changing!

For more information visit



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