“We’ve been practicing for three years,” makeup guru Pat McGrath told her “sleuths” of the “glass skin” look at the spring/summer 2024 presentation on Jan. 25
Only 25 days into 2024 makeup artist Pat McGrath has broken the internet.
The beauty guru, who has spent decades creating some of the most breathtaking makeup looks ever seen and shaping makeup trends one season after another, was tasked with concepting the beauty direction for creative director John Galliano’s Maison Margiela Artisanal Collection during Haute Couture Week in Paris.
Naturally, McGrath exceeded expectations — and our wildest imaginations — with a makeup look that was her forward-thinking take on porcelain glass skin. It was so modern, in fact, that it sent the internet into a full-blown frenzy in the hours that followed.
One day later, a release from McGrath’s makeup brand Pat McGrath Labs explained that brows were concealed, “replaced by pencil-thin arches drawn on using neutral-toned shadows” while cream blush was applied to the center of cheeks “for a doll-like flush” and on the lips “subversive shades of blooded red and black are topped in clear gloss for a surreal pout.”
But as for skin, which had everyone talking, the release said it was “coated in a hyper-shiny glaze, mimicking the smooth, reflective quality of glass.”
Meanwhile, on Instagram and TikTok McGrath and her team posted behind the scenes videos of the making of the look, which quickly amassed millions of views, equally as many questions and praise galore.
“MOTHER THANK YOU FOR BEING INCREDIBLE!” Christie exclaimed in the comment section of one post.
On February 1, with the world still clamoring to know what she used and posting their own conspiracy theories on how Mother (as McGrath is affectionately called) created the look, McGrath announced she’d be going live on social media on February 2 to reveal her secrets.
“I’ve never seen a makeup look go so viral,” McGrath said during the live demo while Christie, as well as countless brands (from Fenty Beauty to Anastasia Beverly Hills), celebrity makeup artists and fans all over the world watched in awe.
With “the whole world” tuned in, “Professor Pat” and her team began their masterclass — and gave viewers a glimpse at her brilliance.
“The thing about working backstage at shows is military precision,” she said of the process.
During the tutorial, McGrath revealed that backstage they had about 30 makeup artists and 15 airbrush machines misting a "mask" she and her team concocted using formulas already on the market onto the models’ faces.
But before the airbrush magic happened, McGrath and her team walked viewers through the makeup application. First, Divine Skin: Rose 001 The Essence was applied to skin, followed by Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation with a “little bit” of a Kryolan product mixed in to give the skin “that otherworldly…30s, porcelain” look.
In some instances, brows were laid flat (ie: brow blocked) using a glue stick or special effects glue. With a damp brush, her team applied shades from the Mothership 1: Subliminal eye shadow palette in little thin hair strokes for a “painted doll effect” and perfected with the PermaGelUltra Glide Eye Pencil. On the lids, McGrath applied one of her MTHRSHP palettes.
“It’s not perfect. It’s meant to be poetic,” McGrath said as she moved on to the blush, applying Divine Blush: Legendary Glow Colour Balm with her fingers. The team used a “very light hand” with Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfector Blurring Under-Eye Powder for a “pick-me-up” and blur.
“When it came to the glass skin, we’ve actually been practicing that for three years,” McGrath revealed, as she and her team dove into their glass skin tricks.
First, a special effects, water-based glue was “applied to certain areas of the face” and to increase longevity as the look needed to last more than three hours. Then Skin Illustrator was applied as a “seal.”
“It was a real scientific work in progress,” said McGrath, who revealed she’s near-ready to launch her own mask to get the look at home.
McGrath and her team had a 7:30 a.m. call time the day of the show, which which scheduled to start at 7 p.m. (it was only 45 minutes late!). Prior to the show, McGrath and her team presented 300 variations on the look to Galliano, which were allocated to each design.
McGrath and her team explained that initially the process took about 90 minutes to two hours, but once they got the hang of it, two people could knock out a look in 45 minutes, or less!
It was a labor of love. “Whenever we’re briefed, we see these beautiful collections. You cannot help but be inspired from seeing the magic we’re very lucky to see,” McGrath said.
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McGrath also shared another heartfelt announcement: she’ll be looking for some people she saw recreating her look to become part of her crew. “We would love for many of you to join the team because I saw things that kept me awake at night. You’re all wonderful.”
As fans typed comments such as “add to cart” and “you are a genius,” McGrath marveled at the finished look.
“I’m speechless” she said.
Same, Pat. Same.
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