The 13 Best Pat McGrath Labs Products of 2023 for Every Look

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Make the sidewalk your catwalk with Pat McGrath’s highly pigmented and impossibly chic makeup.

<p>InStyle / Brian Kopinski</p>

InStyle / Brian Kopinski

It is unsurprising that celebrity makeup artist, Pat McGrath has her own makeup line. After all, nowadays anyone with a shred of influence can launch a beauty collection. However what is surprising is the fact that she waited over two decades to debut her first product. McGrath spent these 20 years socking away ideas and inspirations while painting the world’s most beautiful faces backstage at fashion shows or on the sets of photo shoots. She let all that information and knowledge marinate as she conjured up her own product line.

“They are my favorite beauty secrets that everyone can share and enjoy,” says Pat McGrath. “My goal is to offer a truly elevated and unparalleled experience for all my fellow beauty lovers.”

McGrath is well aware that there’s a new beauty brand, influencer or buzzy product nearly every day, but even in this saturated market, her products are far and away more luxurious, pigmented and wearable than many of her counterparts.

“My line is my entire career, wrapped up into products that I know do not exist anywhere else,” she says, “My philosophy has always been that if I want a product and cannot find it, I make it.”

Related:The 15 Best NARS Products of 2023

Most Universal: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Foundation

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What We Love: With over 36 shades, this buildable coverage foundation has a match for every skin tone.

What We Don’t Love: Those with oily skin may need to set it with a powder to keep it matte and in place.

Unlike most of the makeup brands on the market, McGrath is tight lipped about her new launches. Her collections center around what is missing in her kit and the market. With all the foundations out there, how could anything be missing? The answer: One that does it all.

McGrath’s Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection feels more like a serum than a foundation, but its weightless texture wears like nothing at all. Upon first swipe, it offers a satiny, sheer layer of coverage, but if you are looking for something a little more intense, simply brush on an extra layer.

It also comes in 36 shades in five levels, ranging from very light to very deep, so no skin tone will be left behind without a true match.

Best of all, McGrath insists that she doesn’t play favorites with her products, but when asked which ones she’d place in her top three, she couldn’t leave out the Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection System.

“With the Sublime Perfection Foundation and Sublime Perfection Concealer, I released 36 shades that I would need in my kit if I needed to cover the world,” she says. “Not only are they perfect shades, but also the most exquisite formula and flawless finish that is buildable and versatile”

Will we be adding to our cart? Check, check, and check.

Price at time of publish: $68

Size: 1.8 oz|Shades: 36|Feature: Customizable coverage

Best Concealer: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer

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What We Love: The creamy texture melts into the skin and stays all day.

What We Don’t Love: This formula is super pigmented, so it can be easy to apply too much. 

For McGrath, strong pigmentation is essential, but especially in complexion products. “Everything at Pat McGrath Labs is perfectly pigmented to ensure that they provide the perfect color payoff,” she says. Beyond that, she  prioritizes blendability, a seamless application, and an inclusive shade range.

According to McGrath, her products are “universally flattering and come in a wide range of shades and textures to complement diverse skin tones and skin types.”

And her concealer is no exception. Like the foundation, this is the only concealer in her line, and it is also available in 36 shades. The skin-like finish convincingly covers everything from dark circles to blemishes without looking chalky or sinking into your creases. But be careful with how much you apply — a little dot of this highly pigmented formula goes a long way.

Use a sponge to dab the concealer onto the blemish for a more natural looking finish or use a brush to amp up the coverage. McGrath’s tip? Tap in with your fingers — the heat from your hands will warm up the product and melt it into your skin.

Price at time of publish: $34

Size: .16 oz|Shades: 36|Feature: Full coverage 

Best Eyeshadow: Pat McGrath Labs FetishEYES Longwear Liquid Eye Shadow

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What We Love: These pigmented pops of color are powerful enough to wear on their own, yet versatile enough to layer on top of your favorite powders.

What We Don’t Love: Currently, they are only available in glitter, and we wish there were matte shades for casual days.

When we think about Pat McGrath’s eyeshadow, her iconic, shimmering palettes of bold colors and full-bodied neutrals immediately come to mind.

If you are looking to experience the magic behind McGrath’s eyeshadow for the first time, her creamy, crease-proof liquid glitters are the perfect place to start. Each glowing goop promises glides across lids without pulling or dragging and won’t budge, even if you wear it well into the night.

If a monochromatic shimmer feels a little much for you, swipe it on as a topper over a more muted hue. Though they are currently only sold in sparkle, we are keeping our fingers crossed for a matte companion in the future.

Price at time of publish: $29

Size: .2 oz|Shades: 7|Feature: Stay all day color

Best Mascara: Pat McGrath Labs FetishEyes Mascara

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What We Love: The formula is infused with conditioning peptides to hydrate lashes while lengthening them.

What We Don’t Love: Anyone with oily lids should use a primer before this mascara.

Let’s be real for a minute: With all the incredible drugstore mascara options on the market, spending over $30 dollars for a single tube can feel unnecessary. That said, when you find a formula you can trust, it’s impossible to break up.

We consider this mascara as one of our makeup bag staples. Even after just one swipe, our lashes look long, thick and darker than midnight. Although who wants to stop with one swipe? Not us — we love this jet-black mascara for its extremely buildable nature, especially for the nights we want big, thick-looking lashes, but without the clumps. We wore this to our friend’s wedding and while we were thrilled it stayed in place from the afternoon ceremony through the after party, we did learn the hard way that it is not waterproof.

Price at time of publish: $32

Size: .27 oz|Shades: 1|Feature: Smudge-proof wear

Related:The 16 Best Mascaras for Short Eyelashes in 2023

Best Powder: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder

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What We Love: Available in five flexible shades, everyone can find their match.

What We Don’t Love: It can make very dry skin look patchy.

Known for her signature dewy, poreless skin, applying a powder from McGrath’s collection may feel wrong, but it is so, so right.

First, this setting powder comes in five shades — light, medium, yellow, deep — which is important to note because even though many powders claim to work on any and all skin tones, they rarely deliver on the promise. Second, this powder is an ironclad lock to keep your makeup looking fresh and in the exact spot where you applied it.

While it is marketed for under eyes only, we tend to go a little crazy and dust it everywhere. Yes, it works that well.

Price at time of publish: $32

Size: .14 oz|Shades: 5 | Feature: Silky wear

Best Palette: Pat McGrath Labs Mothership VII Eyeshadow Palette - Divine Rose Collection

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What We Love: The ultra pigmented shades last forever.

What We Don’t Love: The larger palette doesn’t travel well, so a midday touchup is unlikely.

If there is one thing and one thing only that Pat McGrath Labs is known for, it is the jumbo eyeshadow palettes. Filled with matte, metallic and astral colors across a rainbow of 10 rich hues, each more striking than the next. Although we thought there’s no way we’d wear the bright yellow cold hue within the palette, we were surprised with how incredibly wearable it was. Each shade is versatile and can easily be taken from day to night.

“Use the IntensifEYES Artistry Wand on the eyelids as a primer before applying eye shadow,” recommends McGrath. “This not only hydrates the delicate skin on the eyelids, but it also helps the eye shadow to adhere better and appear more vibrant.”

Price at time of publish: $128

Size: .15 oz|Shades: 10|Feature: Powerful pigment

Best Blush: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Divine Powder Blush

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What We Love: It layers without looking chalky.

What We Don’t Love: Many shades are often sold out.

In a world where cream blushes dominate the conversation, this powerful powder remains unbothered. This tried-and-true formula has been buzzy since it launched and hasn’t slowed down one bit. According to McGrath, this powder blush remains the most anticipated production in the brand’s entire history.

“When it launched, it was beyond,” McGrath says, “People were obsessed with it.”

And it’s easy to see why. Instead of simply sitting on top of the skin, the ultra fine dust sinks into cheekbones for a natural-looking flush. It's easy-to-blend formula means that amping up the color is as easy as another swipe.

Price at time of publish: $39

Size: .34 oz|Shades: 12|Feature: Ultra blendable

Best Highlighter: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Highlighter + Balm Duo

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What We Love: This dual sided tool allows you to customize your highlight.

What We Don’t Love: It is one of the brand’s more subtle products.

Remember how I said McGrath doesn’t play favorites when it comes to her products? Well, she doesn’t. Or at least not really.

As much as she loves each and every product in her line, her signature look is “fresh and dewy skin.” For her, the Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Dup is “an absolute must.” And we have to agree. We spent the past few weeks testing the entirety of McGrath’s collection for this story, but this product has been in our makeup bag for years. We fell in love with its customizable take on dewy skin. Simply use the balm side for a glitter-free sheen or take the highlighter end to illuminate. We like to use them both together for the most gorgeously radiant glow.

Price at time of publish: $50

Size: .12 oz|Shades: 5|Feature: Lit from within glow 

Best Brush: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Divine Blush Brush

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What We Love: The tapered tip makes it easy to get product exactly where you want.

What We Don’t Love: It’s a little tricky to wash.

McGrath’s Divine Blush Brush is composed of incredibly soft, synthetic bristles, formed into a delicately tapered tip to allow for targeted application and easy blendability. While it’s intended to evenly diffuse powder blush across the cheeks, we also love to use it to sculpt our cheekbones with bronzer or contour powder.

Price at time of publish: $39

Feature: Targeted application

Related:The 19 Best Makeup Brushes of 2023

Best Eyeliner: Pat McGrath Labs Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner

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What We Love: It slides across eyelids without pulling or tugging.

What We Don’t Love: We wish it was available in more shades.

No one does eyes better than Mother (what the supermodels and celebs call her), and her liquid liner is elevated, silky and shockingly easy to use. It’s filled with inky black pigment and the felt tip — which many liquid liners get it wrong — is an exquisite balance of firm and flexible for a totally controlled application. It’s also waterproof, smudge-proof and sweatproof.

The only downside is the teeny shade range. Currently, this liner is only available in Xtreme Black and Xtreme Black Coffee. Consider this our formal call to Mother to dream up some more colorways.

Price at time of publish: $34

Size: .41 oz|Shades: 2|Feature: Smudge-proof wear

Best Lipstick: Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick

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What We Love: The matte finish has serious staying power.

What We Don’t Love: Many shades sell out quickly, so it is hard to find the one that you want.

Forget everything you think you know about matte lips. McGrath has somehow figured out how to walk the tightrope between a matte lipstick and a hydrating salve. This lipstick has the staying power of a matte formula, but with the moisturizing quality of a balm. Even after hours of wear, our lips didn’t look like we just spent the day in the Sahara without water.

Each powdery bullet is infused with oil for an extra buttery application. For an even smoother application, we recommend prepping your pucker with an exfoliating lip scrub, followed by a rich cream to create a hydrated foundation for the lipstick to lay on.

It’s available in 34 shades across neutral mauves to bright berries to deep merlots. We love Peep Show, a pinky-peach nude, for daily wear and Elson 2, a fiery orange-red, or Full Panic, a true fuschia, for nights out.

Just be quick, because many of these shades will sell out if you let them sit for too long. Remember, this is a matte finish, so if you prefer something glossier, this may not be the right lip product for you.

Price at time of publish: $39

Size: .14 oz|Shades: 34|Feature: Oil-infused powder

Best Lip Gloss: Pat McGrath Labs LUST: Gloss

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What We Love: It’s pigmented, available in a variety of shades and textures, and layers well over other lip products.

What We Don’t Love: The doe-foot applicator could be a little bigger.

For many people, lip gloss is their intro into the world of lippies. With a sheer, shiny texture that is nearly impossible to mess up, it’s a lot less intimidating than longwear liquid or traditional bullet lipsticks. But this is not the sticky, goopy gloss of yore: This is grown-up gloss. It’s pigmented enough to coat your lips in a sexy shimmer, but it's translucent enough to deliver that shimmering luster.

Available in 38 shades, you are free to choose between shimmers, glitters, and shines. Exaggerate your lip liner application just a hair above your cupid’s bow to give the illusion of a fuller pout. For an extra bold look, swipe this over your MatteTrance lipstick.

Price at time of publish: $29

Size: .15 oz|Shades: 38|Feature: Tacky, not sticky

Best Skincare: Pat McGrath Labs Divine Skin: Rose 001 The Essence

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What We Love: This ultra gentle hydrator can be used in your routine or throughout the day to keep your skin looking dewy.

What We Don’t Love: The rose scent is strong, so if you are sensitive to fragrance, this isn’t for you.

As previously mentioned, McGrath’s signature dewy skin is the look she holds most dear. Makeup can enhance skin, but skincare improves and elevates the feel of skin. This essence was her most surprising launch to date and we can’t get enough.

This bi-phase solution  smooths and hydrates skin. After cleansing, shake a few drops of the essence into your hands then pat the silky liquid directly onto your skin, moving around the face to let it sink into every crevice.

Just be warned, it has a strong rosy scent, so if you are sensitive to fragrance, this may not be the right essence for you.

Price at time of publish: $32

Size: 3.38 oz|Feature: All day hydration

What to Keep in Mind

Your Makeup Goals

As a makeup artist, McGrath is the mastermind behind some of the most extravagant, mesmerizing looks (take Lil Nas X’s bedazzled body at the 2023 Met Gala). Unsurprisingly, many of her products feature vibrant pigments and flashy finishes, but that’s not to say they all should be reserved for special occasions.

Think about your makeup goals and what you want your overall look to be before selecting any of the Dame’s formulas. If you’re looking for a product to use everyday, we recommend the brand's neutral-toned Mothership VII Eyeshadow Palette Divine Rose Collection, which can create an array of subtle eye looks. Another option for daily wear is the Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation, a lightweight, buildable foundation that looks and feels like your skin, but better.

For something a bit more flashy, opt for McGrath's Skin Fetish: Highlighter + Balm Duo, a dazzling highlighter that gives skin an ethereal glow when you step into the light, or go for one of the MatteTrance Lipsticks in a vivid hue. Remember, makeup is all about self-expression, so choose the products that you’ll feel confident wearing, and your true beauty will shine through.

Your Questions, Answered

Who is Pat McGrath?

Pat McGrath is a British beauty industry veteran with over 25 years of experience as a makeup artist. Throughout her career, she has conceptualized and perfected makeup looks for countless magazine spreads and hundreds of celebrity red carpet appearances. Before launching her eponymous makeup line in 2015, she spent years working behind the scenes at other brands, including Giorgio Armani Beauty and CoverGirl.

Is Pat McGrath Labs cruelty-free?

Though not certified cruelty-free by PETA or Leaping Bunny, Pat McGrath Labs does not test on animals.

Why Shop With Us

Anneke Knot is a full-time fashion and beauty freelance writer at InStyle. To do the hard job of narrowing down Pat McGrath Labs entire collection of incredible makeup to just a few products, she tested dozens herself and of course, interviewed Mother.

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