The Mother – Pat McGrath

The queen of American fashion, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, proclaimed her “the most influential makeup artist in the world.” Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II made her a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the fashion and beauty industry. It’s undeniable: Pat McGrath is the most influential and sought-after makeup artist in the world.

For more than two decades, Pat McGrath has been concepting, launching and developing luxury cosmetic brands, countless runway shows, breakthrough advertising campaigns and editorial spreads. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #5 series on my blog.

Her ascent to the pinnacle of fashion began in the 1990s with an introduction to legendary lensman Steven Meisel by supermodel Amber Valleta. Fast friends and symbiotic collaborators, they’ve created every cover and lead editorial story for every issue of Vogue Italia, indisputably iconic images for leading global publications and countless brand-defining campaigns.

Each season, Pat McGrath conceptualizes and creates beauty looks for more than 60 ready-to-wear and couture shows in Milan, Paris, London and New York for a luminous roster of the world’s most prestigious brands and visionary designers: Prada, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Gucci, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Maison Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Valentino, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Nina Ricci, Calvin Klein, Loewe, and Alexander McQueen, to name a select few.

With her incomparable mastery and iconoclastic vision, Pat McGrath has transformed the beauty industry. Name any trend of the past two decades, and you’ll find her at its origin, from 1990s dewy skin to no-retouching-necessary foundation specifically designed for this decade’s selfies.

When Giorgio Armani hired her to develop and launch a line of cosmetics in 1999, the minimalist maestro said, “I was struck by the way she interpreted colour and by her ideas about beauty and femininity.”

Engaged as Global Beauty Creative Design Director by Procter & Gamble in 2004, Pat McGrath oversees Covergirl, Max Factor and created Dolce & Gabbana: The Makeup. Recently, she also designed and launched Gucci’s debut cosmetic collection. “She is a terrific business partner. Our success is her success, and vice versa,” says Esi Eggleston Bracey, Vice President and General Manager of Procter & Gamble Cosmetics.

A true creator and innovator at the forefront of the multi-billion dollar global beauty industry with an ever-expanding reach on social media, her recent blockbuster success with PAT McGRATH LABS further proves that she’s poised to elevate beauty to even headier altitudes.

Currently, there are 37 products on Sephora.com listed for PAT McGRATH LABS brand, even more can be found on their official website. Surely, the prices are extremely high, unreachable for some. But from the color stories, to packaging, to longevity, to formulas … there’s very few people in the world who ever declutter this brand’s products out of their collection due to dissatisfaction.

With a creative vision that’s made her a tour de force that touches everything from couture to club kids and street culture; her influence is everywhere, from screen to stage to digital: it’s undeniable, Pat McGrath knows no boundaries.

References:
Sephora.com
Pat McGrath Labs website
Allure article
Vogue article

Bobbi Brown: Making Natural Beautiful – The Contrast Of The Time

If you’re a regular in the beauty sphere, then you may have heard about (or comparisons to) Bobbi Brown products: shimmer bricks, vitamin enriched face base, crushed liquid lipsticks, etc. Ring a bell? Well, there’re 75 products listed on Sephora.com for this brand, which cover every step of makeup application, including skincare and brushes.

But there’s much more to the brand than just high price tags and simple/professional packaging. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #3 series on my blog.

The Overview:

Brown graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a self-directed degree in theatrical makeup. In 1980, she moved to NYC to work as a professional makeup artist. Brown became known for a makeup style that included moderate and natural tones, which was a stark contrast to the bright colors used at the time.

A chance meeting with an NBC Today Show producer led to her 12-year run as a regular beauty consultant on the show. The revolutionary success of her makeup line prompted Estee Lauder to buy the company in 1995, retaining Brown as an employee. Her work has since been featured on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Self, and Town & Country. Brown was inducted into the New jersey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013. Brown served as Yahoo Beauty’s Editor-in-Chief from February 2014 to February 2016. In November 2017, Brown received the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Award for her work in Beauty.

The Beginning:

In 1990, Brown worked with a chemist to come up with ten natural lipstick shades. In 1991, the ten shades debuted under the name Bobbi Brown Essentials at Bergdorf Goodman. She was expecting to sell 100 in a month but instead sold 100 in a day. The following year, she released yellow-toned foundation sticks. Estée Lauder Companies Inc. bought Bobbi Brown Essentials in 1995; Brown retained complete creative control of the makeup line. In 2007, the first freestanding Bobbi Brown Cosmetics retail store opened in Auckland, New Zealand with a makeup school in the back. In 2012, Bobbi Brown’s cosmetics were estimated to represent approximately ten percent of Estée Lauder Companies’ total sales. As of January 2014, there were approximately thirty free-standing Bobbi Brown cosmetics stores.

Why Did She Leave?

Flipping through Bobbi Brown’s latest book, Beauty from the Inside Out, you’ll notice the makeup section is all the way at the end, practically an afterthought. That’s because Brown’s newest chapter in life is more about inner beauty than outer appearance. “In all my books, there were things about how food, drinking water, and lifestyle are going to make you the best version of yourself,” (she tells SELF), but the advice was complementary to a central focus on cosmetics. This time, she wanted to go all in. “I really tried to talk my publisher into letting me do a full-on health and wellness book,” she says. “We had to compromise and put some makeup in the back of the book.”

At the end of 2016, Brown announced that she was leaving her namesake makeup brand. To say beauty industry insiders were shocked would be an understatement. After two decades as the first and last name in makeup for many women, Brown had expanded her presence even more in recent years. She served as the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Beauty’s ambitious editorial relaunch in 2014 and still found time to for a personal blog, Everything Bobbi, where she gave readers an inside look at the inspiration behind her product launches, as well as her sartorial favorites.

But behind the scenes, Brown’s mood was shifting. Makeup no longer felt to her like the be-all-end-all of beauty, and the trends of the day were starting to wear her down. “It was not an overnight decision,” she says. “I was able to move into something I believe in 100 percent and not have to argue with people about another contour palette that I refuse to do.” As of January 1, 2017, Brown officially stepped away from her role as chief creative officer of the brand, her name the only remnant of her influence.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Sephora
SELF Magazine

Kevyn Aucoin: Awakening of Beauty

In the 1980s and 90s, Kevyn Aucoin was responsible for the history-making looks of celebrities such as Whitney Houston, Cher, Madonna, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #1 series on my blog.

He published a number of books throughout his career, two of which are the most popular: Making Faces and Face Forward. These books are widely introduced to makeup artists as the basics for every step of makeup application; focusing on enhancing the natural beauty of individuals, as well as a lot of tips on sculpting, eyeshadow techniques, and more. Personally, I find myself reading through these books over and over again all the time – they’re very informative and the sketches and images are breathtaking.

Kevyn Aucoin had his first Vogue shoot opportunity in the 1980s, which skyrocketed his career exponentially in the next two decades. He started his own makeup line Kevyn Aucoin Beauty in 2001, which still exists and has many industry staple products. He focused on every detail possible in his products and wanted to deliver his passion for makeup and beauty to his audience. His legacy will continue to live on, after his death in 2002.

Many following makeup artists strived to achieve his level of success, but few came close. His dedication and an innovative mind were a force to be reckoned with, every time delivering jaw-dropping looks with unprecedented techniques. It’s safe to say he’s one of the few that shaped the beauty sphere we all know today.