If you’re a makeup artist, or a makeup fan, and you haven’t heard of Pat McGrath MBE (that’s right, MBE), then my God, consider this an intervention. That’s like being in a band and never having heard of the Beatles.
Pat isn’t referred to as “the most influential makeup artist in the world” for no good reason. With her cavalcade of fifty assistants, four motorbikes and two VANS worth of kit she is responsible for some of the most iconic and creative looks ever seen at fashion week, and in what feels like every high end campaign and magazine going for the last twenty years. Whether creating the fashion week looks that filter down to the wearable trends, or in her position as creative director at Procter and Gamble, overseeing Max Factor, Cover Girl and Dolce and Gabbana cosmetics, her influence in the world of beauty, at every level, is VAST.
Here you will find a collection of genius tips and hacks from the lady herself, and none of that bog standard “test-your-foundation-on-your-collarbone” stuff. More like unique, ingenious little bona fide Pat McGrath makeup tips, usually only those privileged enough to work alongside the woman herself would know. A little gift from Pat, via me, to you. Enjoy!
1. The foolproof trick for the perfect flick;
I still remember the first time years ago that I saw Miss McGrath use this technique, and was blown away by its foolproof simplicity. No more struggles with quick drying liquid or gel liners limiting your ability to correct and change the shape. And what a relief to know that even Pat McGrath herself admits to not getting it right first time every time
“Use a pencil first, then clean up any mistakes with a cotton bud and a bit of cleanser. Once you’re happy with the shape, go over with a liquid liner to get that perfect line.” It’s that simple.
2. Can’t find the lashes you’re after? Make them!;
At Louis Vuitton’s ss12 show, McGrath created an ultra-feminine, super girly look with bespoke fluttery lashes from heaven! She went on to confirm that each girl was wearing ten, count them, TEN sets of lashes, pre-glued together. For this particular look she said to “make sure the lashes are fluttery and not spiked, keeping the skin, blush and lip natural to make the look ultra pretty”.
3. The secret to lipstick that DOES. NOT. BUDGE.;
Ain’t nobody got time for a leaky lip line. Pat recommends the following technique;
“Layer your products. Line and fill the entire mouth with lip liner before applying lipstick for long lasting wear. Blot lips with a tissue. Then layer matte colour by applying lipstick with fingers. To prevent feathering, blot with tissue again, then I like to set colour by holding one thin layer of a tissue over the lips and lightly dusting translucent powder on top. It’s genius!”
4. Don’t overlook the finishing touches!;
Makeup artists all know the foundation on the hands trick, to even out skin tones and save on retouching, but don’t forget other unloved areas! “It’s a great idea to put a little foundation on the ears, says McGrath, “this is what we do at the shows for the runway.”
5. Ingenious tips for fuller lips;
Back during Prada’s SS13 show, Pat traced the models’ cupid’s bows in white, explaining that adding a white illustrated curve along the cupid’s bow makes the pout appear fuller, by emphasising the lip shape. She recommends trying a nude liner or concealer for a more wearable “real life” take on the look, and a more subtle effect.
6. Simple tricks for larger looking peepers;
“Skip mascara on the lower lashes, if you want the appearance of bigger eyes” recommends McGrath. Throw in a touch of her old favourite subtle white liner in the waterline and you’ll have the prettiest, girliest “no makeup” eye look going.
7. Be sparing with the powder!;
“Don’t use too much powder on your nose nor chin. You need to keep these areas a little bit alive,” she says. McGrath is also an advocate of cream blush over sheer foundation as the best way of adding to that fresh, natural glow.
8. Go off-piste with your techniques;
Not every look requires brushes; think outside the box to get the textures you want! At Prada AW13, Pat explained, “Wet wipes were used to dab off lipstick after it was applied. It created a stained effect that looked like faded roses.” Dreeeeeeamy.
9. For softer brows, bleach isn’t the only way!;
We all love a strong dark brow, but if a look could benefit from something a little softer, you do have options!
“To tone down dark brows, dab with concealer and brush through a little gold shimmer shadow, to keep them from looking dull,” she suggests, like an absolute boss.
10. Combine your mascara shades for added depth;
As seen here backstage at Dolce and Gabbana SS14 “To get a more natural lash look, but still really open and frame the eye, use black mascara on the roots and brown on the tips.”
I can hear the deafening cries of “HOW DID I NEVER THINK OF THIS?!” as we speak. I’m just spreading the McGrath knowledge guys, I can’t take the credit. Good isn’t it? You’re welcome.
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