Pat McGrath is one of the greatest artists of our generation — who just so happens to prefer lipsticks and eyeshadows over oil paints and clay. From the
gilded lids of Prada to the glitter lips at DKNY, her makeup artistry has become the benchmark by which the rest of the industry measures itself.
With a career spanning three decades, McGrath has mostly worked behind the scenes, keying the biggest runway shows and editorials in the game, and serving as the creative director for major makeup brands. But in 2015, when she went solo to launch her own namesake makeup line
Pat McGrath Labs, it was her turn to bask in the spotlight.
"The reactions to these launches were so incredible," McGrath says. "My website could barely handle the amount of traffic... and [they] completely sold out both online and in Sephora stores." And, once a product is gone, it's gone; all of McGrath's releases are limited-edition to maintain the quality.
That's why her latest "launch" is so exciting. McGrath is re-releasing two of her best-selling products next month. "Due to the high demand and popularity of both
Skin Fetish 003 and Lust 004, I had to bring them back," she says. Skin Fetish, a highlighting set, will be available on McGrath's site on March 3, while Lust, a glitter lip kit, will hit the web on March 13.
To celebrate, McGrath dreamed up three spring makeup looks on three of her muses, exclusively for
Refinery29. Ahead, she previews the trends we'll all be wearing this season, the backstage techniques to get you there, and her glorious beauty ethos. It just might inspire you to pick up an eyeliner (or whatever your medium of choice) and create something unforgettable, too.
You have McGrath to thank for the influx of glitter lips you've seen everywhere — from Instagram
to the red carpet. "After a season of bare faces, people start to crave the drama..." McGrath says. "Graphic and textural elements become accessories — a retro matte mouth, an expensive jeweled lip, flickering eyelids and cheekbones — [they're] all ornate elements that bring the face to life."
This time around, she swapped out her typical cherry-red base for a coppery nude. "First apply a rich coat of the Lust lip color of your choice," she advises. "Next, take a sheer amount of gloss and apply it over the lip color as the 'glue.' Dip your finger into the glitter and firmly press and roll over the lip, layering until [it's] packed with glitter." Then don't drink anything all night, unless it's through a straw.
Acne Studios jacket; J.W. Anderson earrings.
Pat McGrath Labs Lust 004 Flesh 2 Lipstick and Glitter, $60, available March 13 at PatMcGrath Labs; CoverGirl Brow and Eyemakers Pencil in Honey Brown, $4.99, available at Ulta Beauty; CoverGirl Tru Naked Eyeshadow Palette in Nudes, $11.99, available at Ulta Beauty. Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
To amp up the look for evening, McGrath sketched on an inky black liner — one of the now-sold-out versions from her line.
Stella McCartney jumpsuit. Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
These gilded lips and smoky lines were perfect for our model
Mallory Merk. While on set, she insisted on DJ-ing her photo session and played everything from Kanye West to Kid Cudi. And it makes sense — aside from modeling, the 16-year-old is also a successful recording artist.
Her spunk made her the perfect muse for this badass glitter lip.
Stella McCartney jumpsuit; Dion Lee earring.
Louis Vuitton Jersey Bra-Style Top, price upon request, available at Louis Vuitton. Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
McGrath gave model
Duckie Thot the ultimate party eye — paired with gorgeously luminous skin. "Fresh, flawless, glowing skin should always be the cornerstone of any makeup look — natural or not," McGrath says.
To achieve the rich color, McGrath mixed two royal blues together — a shade from Phantom 002 along with a CoverGirl shadow. The oversized, graphic shape is a fresh alternative to your typical smoky-eye — and perfect for spring.
CoverGirl Tru Naked Jewels Eyeshadow Palette, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty. Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
The bold blue comes alive with Duckie's killer smile — and it's genuine. The South Sudanese model, who uses her Instagram as a
platform for positive change, had us in stitches on set, cracking jokes and bringing the energy.
Victor Glemaud sweater. Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
For night, McGrath suggests pairing the graphic blue eyes with a deep, wine-colored lipstick — which shouldn't make sense, but, in Pat's hands, absolutely does. The deep, glossy shade of Lust 004 in Blood Wine 2 provided the perfect contrast to the pop-art-inspired blue shadow. If there was ever a time to be
extra, this is it.
Alexander Wang Ride Flip Skinny Jeans, $295, available at Revolve; Pat McGrath Labs Lust 004 in Bloodwine, $60, available March Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
We get it — this level of bold eyeliner isn't for everyone. But McGrath firmly believes that makeup should be fun, and not stuffy. "Don't be afraid to experiment and get creative with your makeup," she says. "Try different colors, textures, shapes."
After a season of black geometric liner, McGrath is reaching for white pigment to shake things up. And the fresh take couldn't be more perfect for the warmer months.
Victor Glemaud sweater, Altuzarra earrings.
3.1 Phillip Lim Leather Studded Bralette, $450, available at 3.1 Phillip Lim; Marc Jacobs Embellished Appliquéd High-Rise Skinny Jeans, $695, available at Net-A-Porter. Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
Funny enough, McGrath spent more time on the skin for this look than she did on the actual eyes. "You must always begin by building the face up, starting off with gorgeous skin and playing with the light and shadow that works with your bone structure," McGrath says. "A bare face with dimension is the best canvas to build on and allows you the space to get creative and add bold elements and textures."
She pressed Skin Fetish balm into model
Aleece Wilson' s cheekbones and down her nose in order to add structure to her face. Aleece, heralded as the model to watch this season, was a huge fan of the way the face and eye makeup highlighted her famous freckles — and we have to say we agree.
Marc Jacobs necktie.
Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish 003 in Nude, $72, available March 3 at Pat McGrath Labs. Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
Once you've got a gorgeous canvas to play with, you can add all sorts of elements — like an extra swipe of liner or some bold blush layering.
"I know it's easy to keep doing the routine you're used to, but there is a whole other world of looks out there that would look incredible on you," McGrath says.
Now get out there and try them.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Pink Velvet Hitch Dress, $828, available at Net-A-Porter; Marc Jacobs Embellished Appliquéd High-Rise Skinny Jeans, $695, available at Net-A-Porter, Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More
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Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there! Photographed by Jerome Corpuz. More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Your Beauty Regimen Just Got An Enchanting Upgrade Thanks To Beauty & The Beast Everyone's Favorite Highlighter Landed A Starring Role In This Graduation Photo 3 Easy Tutorials That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Cat-Eye Game