Pat McGrath is a sui generis superartist, one whose influence on the beauty industry spans much farther than any runway or red carpet. Of course, such talent doesn’t go unnoticed; This brilliant Brit’s now added to her resume the title of Global Color Cosmetics Creative Design Director for Procter & Gamble (now that’s a tongue-twister!).
I recently had the honor of quizzing Ms. McGrath on her source of inspiration, the need for primer, and what she just can’t travel without.
Q1: What initially inspired you to become a makeup artist?
My mother was obsessed with both fashion and makeup. We would spend hours researching makeup for black skin.
Q2: When creating looks for the runway, do you prefer to let your creativity run wild or do you try to create looks that the average women could wear?
When creating looks for the runway, I always collaborate with the designers to develop the look. They usually have an idea of the makeup they want for the show, but they look to me to create makeup that’s unique and represents the designer’s aesthetic. Some makeup looks are more daring than others, but they all involve a great deal of creativity and help shape future beauty trends.
Q3: Using makeup to contour can be a bit tricky for most of us. Would you have any tips or tricks for enhancing or softening certain features?
Avoid using contour powder along the cheekbones as it can look too harsh, particularly in the daytime, but use a soft brown shadow in the eye crease to give subtle depth and dimension. Use a loose shimmer powder, such as Benefit Show Offs in Miss Moon, to accentuate the cheekbones, inner corners of the eye, Cupid’s bow and brow bone.
Q4: Do you think the use of primer is necessary for the average girl, or is it more for professional use?
Primer is great to use if your skin is normal to oily or when wearing foundation. It’s great for controlling shine and helps foundation last longer. You can even use it in place of foundation to give the skin a soft focus look that diminishes the appearance of imperfections and wrinkles. YSL Matt Touch is a great primer.
Q5: What beauty products do you always carry with you when traveling? Why?
MAX Factor Volume Couture and CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara- These mascaras pump up my lashes and make them look full with lots of definition. They give my lashes a nice lift too.
CoverGirl Amazemint Lip Gloss is very fresh and great when traveling. Every time I press my lips together when I wear this gloss, I get a cool mint flavor that’s refreshing. It makes my lips feel smooth for hours.
SKII Air Touch Foundation (custom blended for my skin). I love the way it makes my skin appear flawless, yet you can’t see any foundation. It’s also very easy to use and carry with me. I wear it when I’m on camera backstage and when I go out in the evenings.
Aromatherapy Associates Essential Oils bring a wonderful smell to hotel rooms and combat jet lag. I love applying it to my pulse points (wrists, temples) because it releases a relaxing scent all day, and before I go to sleep at night.
MAX Factor ColorGenius Blush in Spices– This blush is a wonderful shade for deeper complexions, as it gives that hint of peachy rose color that’s so pretty.