Most celebrity makeup artists aren’t half as famous as their clients—then there’s Pat McGrath. The cosmetics queen has achieved megastar status in the fashion and beauty industries, and even deemed by Vogue as the “most influential makeup artist in the world.” Her impressive résumé—which boasts working with Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Oprah, just to name a few—reads like an Oscars attendee list. But McGrath’s influence extends far beyond Hollywood; as the global creative director at Procter & Gamble (read: CoverGirl), she dictates trends and creates products that get sold in cosmetics aisles around the globe. We got the chance to talk to the renowned innovator about two of her latest launches, Bombshell Volume Mascara and Bombshell ShineShadow (both in our Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds box), plus who’s on her dream client wish-list and what’s in her bag when she travels.
What’s the best part of your job?
I absolutely love being a makeup artist because of the creative freedom and learning to tell a story through the art of a face. Working with the most talented, visionary people never gets mundane or predictable. Every day is enjoyable no matter where I am, so I never get the chance to be bored.
Is there anyone's makeup you'd like to do, but haven't yet?
I get the chance to work with so many wonderful models, celebrities, and beautiful faces, but I would have loved to paint Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Bette Davis, and Dorothy Dandridge.
What makeup look are you loving right now?
This season, the overall themes were bare-to-the-extreme minimalism and individualism. The idea was to make an individualized statement through makeup and to rebel against the beauty standard. Whether this was a natural ethereal face or something more dramatic, there’s something really appealing about a girl who has the guts to stand out.
You helped develop Covergirl's new Bombshell Volume Mascara, which has two steps. What's the advantage to a multi-step mascara?
I love the new CoverGirl Bombshell Volume Mascara. It is the ultimate way to achieve full intense lashes and a luscious black glossy finish. It’s the best for backstage fashion shows and editorials because of its long-lasting wear.
The new Covergirl Bombshell ShineShadow has lots of shimmer. What’s your advice to someone intimidated by sparkly shadow?
Apply the product very sheer with your fingertips and then layer on a light matte shadow. This will give eyes a subtle shimmer without looking too frosty.
What's in your makeup bag that no one would expect?
Aromatherapy Associates in Deep Relax decanted into a small airtight travel bottle. It helps me relax when traveling.
Speaking of travel, what are your on-the-go essentials?
SK-II Facial Treatment Masks and Eye Masks are amazing. They moisturize and liven up my face after a long flight. For a soft effect on my eyes, CoverGirl Ink It! By Perfect Point Plus in Cocoa Ink is perfect for defining my lash line without looking too heavy. I always carry CoverGirl LipSlicks Smoochies lip balm in Sweet Tweet in my purse. It contains essential lip conditioners for sheer color and a hint of shine. And moisturizer is essential for travel. I love the luxurious feel of Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream.