When it comes to makeup, beauty icon Pat McGrath is Numero Uno. Affectionately known as ‘Mother’, she’s been in the beauty game for over 25 years and has probably seen it all and can tell a story or two. However, McGrath recently gave an interview in The Guardian where she talked about not makeup, but rather how to get flawless-looking skin and skin care and we were intrigued.


We first wrote about British-born McGrath after her high-profile appointment as British Vogue’s Beauty Editor. McGrath, who was named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in 2019, is regarded by some as the most influential makeup artists in the world. Her makeup brand, Pat McGrath Labs is valued at $1 billion, making her a real self-made beauty mogul. Not bad for a girl who had no formal training in makeup! So, when Ms McGrath wants to talk about how we can get flawless looking skin under makeup, we listen.


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Here are five things we learned from Pat McGrath about achieving great-looking skin under makeup

Contour like a pro

Recent obsession with contouring sees many making the mistake of drawing on some really harsh lines, but McGrath says real contouring is about working with your skin and highlighting only the higher planes of your face such as the centre of your nose, your cupid’s bow and corner of your eyes etc. She advocates that the contour colour should be as close to your skin colour as possible.


Invest in your skin

Many people feel that dermatologists are expensive, but McGrath says it’s important to look after the skin underneath the makeup and the best way to do this is to use the services of a dermatologist. Think of it as investing in your skin. Check out the Black Skin Directory, which connects women of colour with expert skincare professionals, founded by Dija Ayodele.

There is no miracle pill

As much as we have searched high and low, there is no magic pill that will give you flawless skin. Good skin comes from within, which means that you need to look after the plumbing, i.e drink lots of water, get enough sleep, have a healthy diet and yes, cut out the sugar!


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At the end of the day, clean it away

It sounds so simple, but remember to never fall asleep with your makeup on. You’d be surprised at how many people either forget or can’t be bothered to clean away all of the day’s makeup because they are tired. Take it from McGrath, that’s the quickest way to get bad skin.


There is no wrong way to be

When it comes to deciding how you wish to ‘wear your skin’ there is now wrong way. McGrath advocates being you and not pandering to trends just for the sake of it. If something feels right, go for it and rock it with confidence.

In conclusion, what does perfect skin look like in 2019 according to McGrath? It’s being able to see an enhanced version of yourself, but still be able to recognise yourself when you look in a mirror. Now, she’s singing our tune. If it’s good enough for the world’s most celebrated makeup artist, it’s good enough for us!

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