TODAY, after meeting a friend in lower Manhattan, I decided to saunter a few blocks to Chinatown. Although this was not my first time in the neighborhood, I realized that by viewing the area through a different lens, I was able to experience ultimate bargain shopping, for a wide selection of items, from T-shirts, sunglasses, perfumes, cellphone cases to knock-off designer items. What really captured my attention however, were the many ways in which different forms of art unfolded as I browsed past the store fronts, sidewalks and hidden nooks.
SOME OF THE ART I DISCOVERED
I couldn't help but notice how ubiquitous the Bob Marley face has become (pictured on the T- Shirt above). I'm especially proud to see how his legacy has lived on. The legend...... singer, songwriter, messenger and teacher....the man who brought Reggae music to the mainstream and worldwide stage from the confines of some inner city Jamaican communities. Based on the arrangement of the T- shirts, you'll also notice that the "Obama" face is next to Bob Marley's. What fascinates me is how cultural, social and political issues can be craftily displayed through art. I could go on for eons talking about The Simpson's (pictured above) as a fixture in the American living room, but I digress. Regardless of your political stance, Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States, is a symbol of hope and change in his own right. His role in the White House is one that will forever change the landscape of American politics. I strongly feel that he is one of the fulfillments of Martin Luther King's Dream and a true embodiment of the "American dream."
As a self-respecting makeup fanatic, how could I miss the International Makeup Artist Trade Show known to many as IMATS? It was my first time attending and it did not disappoint. It was also my first time visiting the ginormous venue, Pier 94 on Manhattan's west side. In a nutshell, IMATS is a huge convention for the makeup world, where vendors, makeup artists, enthusiasts and other makeup professionals congregate. There are exhibitions, steep discounts to satisfy the addict in me and what I call makeup artistry at its highest levels. How cool was it to see special effects makeup used to transform a person into a Martian-like creature using silicone application, latex, molding, airbrushing and painting. For a moment, it felt like I was on the set of War of the Worlds or some other science fiction film. There were also classes and hands-on demonstrations to enhance the educational aspect of the whole experience. In short, I had FUN!
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EVENT
I definitely enjoyed the shopping aspect of the trade show where I scored some new products and got to see and play with a range of makeup, some familiar while others were newly launched. Perhaps one of my most memorable moments was getting to meet Keyshia Ka'oir, owner and CEO of KA'OIR cosmetics as well as self made entertainment mogul. KA'OIR cosmetics boasts bold and vibrant lipsticks, glitter, eye shadows and nail lacquers. It's so interesting how actually getting to meet a person can immediately change your perceptions or any preconceived notions that you might have. She is such a beautiful and sweet person with an incredible "waist to hip" ratio that you have to see for yourself to believe.
IMATS would not be complete without grabbing some products to add to my collection. I discovered a relatively new company called City Color Cosmetics, whose counter was practically empty since people aggressively took advantage of their low prices. I managed to scoop up a few left overs like a BB moisturizer, foundation, some concealers and an auto lip liner. My other acquisitions include a set of brushes from Royal and Langnickel collection, Ardell individual lashes, glitter adhesive and a highly pigmented eye shadow called "Bloody Mary" from Secrets of Hollywood Makeup-Artists.
IMATS NYC 2013 was an awesome event infused with the excitement of scoring great deals and mingling with a menagerie of folks in the makeup world, albeit a throng of enthusiasts and long lines in some cases. It is a MUST-DO for anyone affiliated with the wonderful and colorful world of makeup artistry.