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An in-depth look at how the iconic Pat McGrath took ahold of the runway forever

An in-depth look at how the iconic Pat McGrath took ahold of the runway forever

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When art and makeup collide, you know the work could be done by none other than the iconic Pat McGrath. Countless awards, Creative Design Director titles, and a makeup line valued at over $1 billion, nothing is out of reach for the fashion legend. McGrath is one of the most influential and respected make-up artists in the fashion industry, not only doing makeup at shows, but directing entire catwalks, campaigns, and editorial shoots for the biggest names in fashion. Born in 1970, she was raised in Northampton, England by her mother Jean McGrath, a Jamaican immigrant. A devout Jehovah’s Witness, Jean was a lover of fashion and would teach (and even quiz!) her daughter about different shades of eye shadow and fabric. According to Vogue, the entire process of the fashion show, from start to finish, was taught in her adolescence.

Even though her upbringing was quite conservative and religious, she was drawn to icons like the Boy George, Marilyn, and Spandau Balley, who were all fascinated with colorful, bold makeup, following them and frequently the clubs they would perform at. After finishing school, McGrath completed an Art Foundation course at Northampton College. She wanted to start a fashion degree but put this on hold when she met stylist Kim Bowen, who invited her along to watch her work on shoots for The Face and i-D.

According to Vogue, her big break came when she received a phone call from Soul II Soul to go on tour in Japan, having done Caron Wheeler from the group’s makeup three years prior. From there, she worked with Edward Enninful (who was the fashion director at i-D magazine at the time) and earned the title of Beauty Director, and still is to this day.

There is no one quite at impressive as Pat McGrath, MBE (yes, she’s been dubbed a member of the Most Excellent Order by the Queen herself). She is also Editor-at-Large for Vogue UK and is on numerous Most Influential lists (too many to count). Pat is known her for unique, bold, and avant-garde approach to makeup. It’s always larger-than-life. She interprets color like no other and transforms beauty and feminity into ethereal looks you can actually see in real life. She also loves using her hands instead of brushes. Pat McGrath never repeats herself and is consistently taking you on a different journey with each and every designer she works with. She’s worked with Prada, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, and many, many more. Painting the faces of celebrities like Madonna, Oprah, Sarah Jessica Parker, and anyone who can get a moment of time to let her put her unique touch on them.

The legend started her namesake line in 2015 with a gold paint for the eyes, lips, and skin and now creates everything from lipstick to eyeshadow and everything in between. She’s said the following about PAT MCGRATH LABS.

Courtesy of Snoh Allegra/Pat McGrath

“This is the golden age of makeup. PAT McGRATH LABS is my Golden Revolution. The entire planet is just as cosmetics obsessed as I’ve always been. Makeup is a movement. Makeup is mesmerizing. Makeup is major. Mantra-esque, three words have repeated over and over in my mind ever since I was young. Obsession. Inspiration. Addiction. Those words became my guiding principles, my manifesto as I brought this brand to life . I wanted to capture, in a quartet of exquisite palettes, 50 legendary lipsticks, a divine dozen eyeliners and five fetish-worthy lip pencils, The Power of Transformation, The Power of Beauty;  The Power of Makeup.”

Today, her brand is the best-selling makeup brand ever at Selfridge’s and is valued at over $1 billion. And if you expect her to slow down, don’t even think about it! She’ll forever be the person who took art in the world of beauty. She’ll be creating makeup and designing looks for fashion weeks for decades to come. We can’t wait to see what Pat McGrath does next.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite looks in our gallery!

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