The Changing Face of Professional Makeup Artist Cosmetics


Being in the cosmetic industry for two decades as a Boston Makeup Artist, I have seen major trends in cosmetics, such as foundation by airbrush and the schism shift toward color and shimmer textures as mainstream.

In 2015, world renown makeup artist Pat McGrath launched a high-end cosmetic line based on her editorial makeup style. Pat is famous for her avant garde makeup runway looks and prestigious fashion editorial spreads in American Vogue and British Vogue. Heretofore, the market was saturated with neutral color and matte textures as espoused by makeup artist, Bobbi Brown.

Pat brought her knowledge of runway colors and textures to create her brand. She first brought to market a six pan shadow palette called “Bronze Ambition” which added flair to neutrals. She added gold and bronze shimmer as well as a rich deep matte brown shadow, all shadows had a unique formula which blended quite easily. Within this six pan palette, a full couture eye could be created.

Soon after, Pat added several ten pan palettes called “Motherships”. These Mothership palettes included four special shades of duo chrome shadows (Shadows reflecting a second color) or bright vibrant shades as red copper, or diffused shimmer shadows such as Fire Opal (an iridescent pale green) and lots of colorful eyeshadow shades, that are richly pigmented and considered next generation. You Tube blogger Alexandra Anele created tight eyeshadow look to demonstrate looks what a mothership palette could create.

She also introduced two types of lipsticks, a hydrating matte lipstick and a creme formula. The formula for the lipstick was again extraordinary because of the hydration and opacity. The issue was that the lipstick color online are very different than the live actual color. Pat included many editorial inspired lip colors that included a brown base. These were the tones shown in published in digital publications but these shades are not wearable. Because her lip color also were bright vibrant shades, I found it effective to mix two shades. I mixed Beautiful Stranger, a mid-tone rose and Beauty Junkie, a vibrant orchid which is true to the description I used the mixture on a photoshoot and the shade had photographic appeal.

Now Pat McGrath’s eponymous cosmetics line dominates the market for professional and consumer lines of cosmetics. The addition of dark facial contouring, big false lashes and Pat McGraph’s eyeshadows have become a pop culture favorite in the U.S.