The arrival of Pat McGrath Labs in the UK has all the glamour of a red-carpet entrance. As one of the world’s most well-known and sought-after make-up artists, British-born McGrath’s own beauty line, launched in the US in 2015, is said to be worth $1bn.
Today, Selfridges has given over its entire Corner Shop space on Oxford Street – transforming it into “The Mothership” (with reference to McGrath’s industry nickname “mother”) – to launch the brand, with workshops and events running for the next three months.
McGrath has been at the forefront of multiple make-up trends over the course of her career, launching her own line with a single gold pigment that provoked a gilt obsession across global runways. She’s responsible for creating cosmetic lines for Giorgio Armani, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana and currently oversees Cover Girl and Max Factor.
So, where to start with such a feast of riches from Pat McGrath Labs? I can say that the quality of products is magnificent, from immaculate palette edits (though these palettes won’t make happy travel companions – they’re heavy) to sumptuously luminous highlighters that give skin a light-bathed look. Lipsticks (£35) leave a bold mark with rich and full pigments, while the bestselling FetishEyes Mascara (£26) pulls lashes upward, fanning them evenly with a coal-black coating.
Choose the Mothership Bronze Seduction Palette (£115) for a mix of smoky and sunset shades with metallics so gleaming they look liquid. It’s versatile but pigment-heavy, so use a light touch at the outset. The Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio (£45) comprises three candescent complexion highlighters in Bronze Nectar, Fine Gold and an opal shade, Iridescent Pink. Buff well at the top of cheekbones, use on bare lids with a quick slick of mascara or dab on lips with a finger and apply a clear gloss over the top.
My lipstick picks are LuxeTrance in power-coral Tropicalia and the berry-ish Beautiful Creature (£35 each) for versatility. They have a silky finish with a scent-free formula – mine lasted for hours before needing a retouch, although they leave their mark on a glass.
Overall, the collection is dazzling – irresistible to make-up magpies like me and my blog readers. It has set a bar so high I don’t expect to see anything more aesthetically entrancing in the beauty market for some time, and all I want is more.
Jane Cunningham is a beauty journalist and blogger. An early adopter of beauty blogging, she has been posting on her website Britishbeautyblogger.com for 10 years, providing (sometimes brutally) honest product reviews and beauty news. Cunningham collaborated with Marks & Spencer to produce a limited edition make-up range and is currently working with Makeup Revolution on an eyeshadow palette. She is also a creative consultant to beauty brands. @britbeautyblog.