Remember when Pat McGrath singlehandedly clocked Haute Couture makeup at Atelier Versace in 2016? Bella Hadid, Taylor Hill and Karen Elson blew up the internet – and our beauty hearts – with McGrath’s shimmering ruby red pouts, which, with a stroke of genius (or glitter), sparked an instant beauty sensation.
Since then, a lot has happened by way of sparkle, and McGrath is usually at the shimmering hand of which. First, she launched a makeup brand anchored in the sparkly stuff. Pat McGrath Labs quickly became the conduit by which avid consumers could get in on the glitter party, with the Lust 004 Kits becoming an instant sell-out, making the glitter-loaded lip accessible to the masses.
Then Peter Phillips got crafty with his pigment at Fendi in 2017, painting pouts with incandescent flecks on a similar gaggle of girls (Bella and Gigi). The look was met with a measure of criticism (remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), with many referencing McGrath’s work in the glitzy lips.
McGrath hit back the only way she knows how – with punchy pigments and a whole lot of shine; applying a shimmering, structured foil to the Maison Margiela mouths for Fall 2017.
Then in March this year, McGrath elevated her glitter lip from 2016, taking it from flat shine to the third-dimension for Margiela’s iconoclastic spectacle in Paris. The holographic lips were a mélange of maxed-out metallics and souped-up shine, making for one of the most memorable looks of fashion week.
In July, McGrath once again used glitter, liberally splaying it all over model skin (with symmetry and a steady hand) for Margiela’s couture offering.
And over the weekend, McGrath reopened the glitter vault, letting loose (quite literally) at the Maison Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week, this time taking to the eyes of Kaia and co. with a supremely meticulous smattering of coloured gemstones. It was spectacular, to say the least, made all the more wow with the use of Kira Kira (McGrath’s favourite glitter-enhancing app). Swarovski crystals in lime, lilac and fuchsia were artfully applied around the eyes of a handful of models with both geometry and sculptural whimsy, a nod to designer Pierpaolo Piccioli’s proclivity for embellishment.
Clusters of crystal poured from eyes in feline swoops – some even making their way to the brow bone devouring entire eyebrows – it was brazen beauty executed the McGrath way: streamlined sparkle and otherworldly skin. Whilst the look was boldly directional, it was offset by raw skin and the clean, striped-back beauty of the rest of the model mass. Then on a select few, the iconic glitter lip was cast afresh with all-new gleaming pigment and high-shine gloss in magenta and cherry red thanks to McGrath’s MatteTrance Lipstick in Extravaganza and Forbidden Love.
But interestingly, this time around, it was the eyes – not the lips – that had the last word: breathtaking, exuberant and most definitely Insta-worthy (Kaia’s rendition have been regrammed on repeat), they left us with (Swarovski) stars in our eyes.
Beauty escapism as its best; long live McGrath’s glitter.