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  • Deepti Sadhwani

Pat McGrath's Makeup Renaissance


model with Pat McGrath's glass skin makeup for Margiela show

Makeup artist Dame Pat McGrath created one of the most memorable makeup looks this past couture season at the Maison Margiela show by John Galliano. Every year, for every fashion week, we go through the same beauty news cycles. Some publications choose their favorite shows, or list beauty trends they think might trend, and some enlist professionals to lend their insight into creating the looks of the season.


This year was different and it came out of nowhere. Pat McGrath created an eerie doll effect on top of her makeup design, bringing art back to the runway. Everyone was desperate to learn how she did it and they went straight to work. Some believed it was Kryolan's Liquid Glass and it immediately sold out everywhere, pissing off a lot of professional makeup artists. The ones who suggested Skin Illustrator's Liquids Clear Gloss were right, but also wrong. It was Erin Parsons, another well known makeup artist, who guessed correctly. Backstage sources were coming out to say that Pat McGrath's makeup artists were given a cup of "water-based liquid that was slightly blue." We also learned that the product was airbrushed on and models were filmed peeling them off. Erin figured out that it could be a gel mask diluted with water and airbrushed on, and she was right!


Pat McGrath was incredibly generous to demonstrate exactly how she executed the Margiela doll makeup and what products she used to do it. After the makeup look was finished, she airbrushed a layer of Skin Illustrator's Liquids Clear Gloss to seal the makeup and act as a barrier between the makeup and the gel mask concoction.


I absolutely had to try this technique and recreate the beautiful makeup look. According to Pat, this glass skin effect was 3 years in the making, so doing it for the first time (and to make it last) was not easy! I did not yet have the Skin Illustrator gloss so I went in straight with the gel concoction. I mixed the Freeman Cucumber Peel Off Mask and Proot Calendula Peel Off Mask with water to make an almost syrupy consistency. I also skipped the special FX glue in areas on our face that tend to move a lot: around the mouth and nose. After a couple layers, it peeled (because of course) - I skipped the glue and forgot to NOT move my face. I started with an airbrush but switched to a brush to speed things up and the mask began disturbing the makeup underneath. I imagined this happening backstage and panicked like I was actually there. I pulled out the special FX glue, touched up the peeling, added a layer of the mask, then concealer on top, and another layer of the mask.  


Pat also used the masterclass as an opportunity to let us know that her own "glass skin" product is in the works for Pat McGrath Labs and I will obviously be purchasing it! Her innovative techniques and genius makeup looks are the reasons we call her Mother, and the reason we will buy anything she is selling.


You can see what my doll makeup looked like here.


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