December 31, 2020 Legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath has become the first makeup artist to become a Dame of the British Empire, as revealed in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2021 New Year Honors list. She was awarded the title for her services in the fashion and beauty industry and diversity.
“Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that one day Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II would recognize me to be among the incredible recipients of this honor, both past and present,” said McGrath on Instagram. When I first launched my brand, PAT McGRATH LABS, it was designed to inspire self-expression and individuality. I dedicate this honor in tribute to Makeup Artists everywhere, I adore each and every one of you.”
This isn’t the first time Queen Elizabeth’s honored the famed makeup artist. In 2014, McGrath received her Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to the fashion and beauty industry. An MBE is the third-highest ranking award in the Order of the British Empire, and Damehood is the most esteemed.
McGrath is a beauty industry icon, well-known for being the mastermind behind the world’s biggest fashion shows and campaigns. The first time I tried one of her cult-favorite eyeshadow palettes, I quickly realized I was experiencing something of a different caliber. She launched the first product in her collection in 2015, and it’s become a favorite among everyone from makeup enthusiasts to professionals.
The makeup expert got her inspiration from her mom, Jean McGrath. “My mother’s obsession with beauty and fashion ignited my passion for this amazing industry, and I feel blessed to have the privilege of working with some of the most extraordinary people throughout my career,” said McGrath.
In a 2019 interview, McGrath spoke about her mom’s impact on her journey to becoming one of the most influential makeup artists in the world. “Despite her lack of formal background in beauty or fashion, she taught herself to sew and create looks fresh off the catwalk,” McGrath recalls. “She wanted to train my eye, so she would often stand in front of the TV during my favorite shows and request that I explain to her what she had done differently and what products she’d used to achieve her look. I learned so much from her.”