Pat McGrath: The Best of Beauty

Posted on September 19, 2017

Welcome to the first edition of The Best of Beauty, where we take a look at the inspiring stories of the most influential and highly successful individuals in the beauty industry. Whether you’re a makeup maven, have an interest in skincare or fragrance or are just new to beauty, this series will help you engage and become familiar with individuals who have revolutionised this industry.

It would be rude not to start with the legendary British Makeup Artist, Pat McGrath. Vogue Magazine and other commentators refer to her as the most influential make-up artist in the world.

Portrait of legendary Makeup Artist Pat McGrath.

McGrath credits her mother for her love and passion for fashion and makeup. She told Vogue that her mother trained her with a simple yet effective technique, “look at the pattern, check the fabrics, look for the makeup and begin”. Being a woman of colour, she was always experimenting with mixing up colours, as there wasn’t much available for women with black skin.

Two models pose wearing makeup by Pat McGrath.

Pat McGrath began her extremely influential career with just an art foundation course behind her. She has no formal training in fashion or makeup, proving her passion, attention to detail and dedication to the industry has helped her get to where she currently is. 

Model wears bright pink eyeshadow and a red lip by Pat McGrath.

The breakthrough in McGrath’s career came while she was working with Edward Enniful and i-D Magazine in the 1990’s. Not only did she help launch i-D to international success, her innovative use of colour brilliantly solved the world’s boredom with grunge. Since then, she has worked alongside high profile photographers including Steven Meisel, Paolo Roversi, Helmut Newtown and Peter Lindbergh. Photographs of her work have been published in various fashion magazines such as American, English and French Vogue, W, and Harper’s Bazaar. 

Pat McGrath uses a unique brushless approach applying makeup with her fingers on a model.

In 2004, McGrath was named the global creative-design director for Procter and Gamble where she was in charge of brands such as Max Factor and Cover Girl, among other brands. 

Model wears dramatic and colourful makeup on the eyes, a unique approach to standard beauty looks.

Pat McGrath has an extremely unique approach to makeup as she is known for her use of creative handmade makeup, inventive use of materials and particularly working with her fingers instead of with brushes. McGraths limitless mindset and boundless creativity allows her to showcase her talent using bold hues and material experimentation, from feathers to ornaments. Her art lies within the reinvention of makeup and experimentation, this outlook helps create the vibrant and influential looks we see on numerous catwalks and fashion shows. 

Model is pictured with gold diamante facial jewellery.
One of Pat McGrath's signature dramatic eye makeup using navy, grey, charcoal and a smudged red lip.

Expanding her already successful career, McGrath debuted her very own makeup line, Pat McGrath Labs in 2015. In the beginning her products were sold exclusively on her website, but with her line rapidly expanding Sephora began carrying her products. McGrath’s first product, ‘Gold 001’, was released on limited numbers on her website and advertised only through her social media accounts. This product sold out within six minutes, breaking the Internet. Pat McGrath Labs continues to break the Internet with the release of ‘Skin Fetish 003’ crashing her website for three hours and selling out overnight. McGraths unique sequinned packaging and advertising helped set her apart from the competitors. 

Pat McGrath’s Lust 004 Everything Kit. It features six highly pigmented matte lipsticks, a clear vinyl gloss, a metallic gold pigment, and three microfine glitters.

Pat McGrath is set to expand her cosmetics line in late September 2017. She will be introducing an ‘unlimited’ core collection of colour cosmetics, a highly anticipated first for her brand. This is set to rollout on patmcgrath.com in two stages. You can expect 40 shades of lipstick in two finishes, 11 shades of lip liner, 5 shades of eyeliner, a mascara and an eyeshadow palette that comes in three colourways.

A gentle, humble soul who continues to thank her Mother for her successful career – Pat McGrath is a game changer to beauty. McGrath’s legacy and skill will forever be embedded into the beauty world. Her talent and bold choices are appreciated by the likes of the rich and the famous both past and present and will continue to impact the beauty industry in the future.


By Mikayla Tabone.

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