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Thread: Pat McGrath

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    Default Pat McGrath

    One of the most famous and sought after makeup artists in the world, Pat McGrath is known for special techniques of forgoing brushes. She prefers to use her hands and fingertips to apply products, and pays special attention to the appearance of the skin.
    The Cut (Archive) / The Guardian (Archive) / W Magazine (Archive)

    Some points from the first above article that I thought led to insight on her personality.

    Pat McGrath is perhaps the only makeup artist who lives up to the second word in the job title, the Velázquez of the beauty world. She can make a celebrity gleam for a magazine cover, then gather scraps of patent leather or lace and start cutting and gluing bits to a model’s face until she resembles a butterfly or an unspecified exotic bird.
    McGrath’s particular magic lies in how she treats the skin. She draws out an incandescence, even when the colors and textures of the rest of the makeup are theatrical. “She never puts a lot of foundation on you,” says Naomi Campbell, who first sat in McGrath’s chair in 1994. “That’s the art of it. She makes sure you always see the skin, and that’s not easy to do.” It’s a secret technique that McGrath guards, like a soft-drink conglomerate with a special recipe.
    McGrath is especially adept at dark skin, which can look ashy with the wrong foundation. “I don’t like to talk about color,” says Campbell, “but we’ve not had so many black female makeup artists. She knows all types of skin and how to work with them.” Any makeup artist can adequately cover spots and swirl on some blush, but McGrath makes the colors look as if they belong. “That’s the beginning of the mastery,” says Valletta. “A lot of people can do a killer eye, but if the foundation doesn’t look flawless and fresh, then you’re missing the whole point.”
    Creating the beauty look for a fashion show goes something like this: Several days before, the makeup artist and hairstylist study the clothes and any briefs they can get about the designer’s inspiration. For a Prada show, for instance, McGrath and Palau, the hairdresser she works with most frequently, meet with Miuccia Prada, who explains her vision, often a fragment of a narrative. “She might say it’s a filmic reference, or a moment in time,” says Palau. “Like, ‘The girl was caught in the rain with a 1940s hairstyle.’ She never gives you a clear picture reference, it’s words and emotions to create an emotion.”
    She also comes with as many as 85 trunks filled with reference books, sequins, red lipsticks, false lashes, and just about any other substance that could be smeared or glued on the face. McGrath and Palau gather about ten models in another room and start painting and smudging, pinning and curling. “We talk a little — ‘What do you think it should be?’ — but a lot of it is unsaid,” Palau explains. They present the models to Prada, who refines and hones the look. Usually, the group agrees on a specific execution, and the assistants take pictures and detailed notes, which become a recipe of sorts. It’s all very precise, until it isn’t.
    It's worth noting that due to her warmth, models refer to her as "Mother".

    Written Interviews:
    i-D (Archive) / Vogue (Archive) / Glamour Magazine (Archive)


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    Pat McGrath - ESTP Zhukov

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