Attention all makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts: we watched team Pat McGrath recreate the viral Maison Margiela runway look in a two-hour masterclass. Here’s a recap of what you may have missed
British make-up artist Pat McGrath is no stranger to the limelight. She made her name and made waves in the fashion and beauty industry by making beauty looks for shows in Milan, Paris, London, and New York, becoming the founder and CEO of her eponymous brand, and getting awarded by Queen Elizabeth II as Dame of the British Empire in 2021. McGrath is rightfully called the most influential makeup artist in the world for constantly setting trends and elevating the art of makeup. This year is no different with the debut of her most viral look yet on Maison Margiela’s Artisanal Show in Haute Couture Week SS24. Since everyone’s been trying to figure out how she did the beauty looks, McGrath decided to run a makeup masterclass on TikTok and Instagram Live on February 3, at 4 a.m. Philippine time.
“John [Galliano] briefed us so beautifully about moonlight, moments on the Seine, just porcelain dolls. We spoke for hours and it really inspired us all to come up with this look,” McGrath shared. If you’re among the makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts interested in recreating the Porcelain Doll look and glass skin effect from home, here’s a recap of the most important details and the products they used.
Maison Margiela Masterclass
The live session could only be described as historic, with dozens of the world’s top beauty brands, makeup artists, models, and influencers joining in to watch Pat McGrath break down the secret behind the Porcelain Doll look. The Maison Margiela Masterclass took two hours to complete as she and her team recreated the runway looks onto models Dasha Gold and LaPorcshia and answered the people’s burning questions about her work. McGrath also took that time to announce exciting news for her fans, like that she would be hosting another Masterclass soon, releasing more videos, and launching new products to make recreating her glass skin effect much easier at home.
In the masterclass, team Pat McGrath emphasized the importance of skin prep before anything else is applied. The first product they mention is the Divine Skin: Rose 001™ The Essence, which is massaged onto the skin before they work on the brow block, for which you can use either glue sticks or SFX glue. The team mainly used Pat McGrath Labs products to execute the makeup looks, namely the Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Primer and Sublime Perfection Foundation. However, they mentioned that because of Dasha’s pale skin tone, they also added a touch of Kryolan‘s white cream paint to her foundation. Notably, netizens thought McGrath used that brand’s Liquid Glass for the porcelain skin effect, but she later debunked that theory.
The products they used on Dasha are Mothership I: Subliminal for her brows and eyes, Divine Blush: Legendary Glow Colour Balm and Skin Fetish: Divine Blush for her cheeks, PermaGel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil and MatteTrance™ Lipstick for her lips, and just a little bit of Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder. On the side, McGrath mentioned that for the eyeshadow, the goal is not perfection but poetry. You also see in the masterclass that the makeup artists apply and blend a lot of the products using their fingers to prevent the appearance of any hard lines. Another key element to this beauty look is applying SFX glue like Kryolan’s Pros-Aide to reinforce some areas of the face and lock the makeup in for hours. This adhesive should be water-based and look clear as it dries.
McGrath and her team prove that beauty products can be utilized in more ways than their original design. From using eyeshadow to craft thin brows to using lip products on the eyes, we see this technique again when they demonstrated the Porcelain Doll look on model LaPorcshia. For this model, the makeup artist used the PermaGel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil to draw her thin brows and then the lavender MatteTrance™ Lipstick in Faux Pas to color her eyelids and cheeks. Meanwhile, the eyeshadow palette they use for her is Mothership VI: Midnight Sun for its violet shade. They also use the same blush layering process on LaPorcshia using the Legendary Glow Colour Balm and powder blusher for extra dimension and a glossy pop of color. The other difference between the two models’ makeup looks is that they use the PermaGel Ultra Lip Pencil, Legendary Glow Colour Balm, and the Lip Fetish Sheer Colour Balm on her pout.
McGrath’s team added the special effects and airbrushed the glass skin concoction after the makeup was done. That being said, they do reinforce the beauty look with more color and shine after the airbrushing process is finished. The final touches to Dasha’s beauty look, for example, include the LUST: Gloss™ in shades Peach Perversion and Flesh Astral on her eyes and lips, as well as FetishEYES™ Mascara for her eyelashes. Likewise, they tapped on LUST: Gloss™ in shades Peach Perversion and Flesh Fantasy on LaPorcshia’s lips once her glass skin was secured.
The secret to porcelain skin
Of course, the beauty look’s claim to fame is the almost eerie, Porcelain-like glass skin effect McGrath and her team created. The secret behind this effect is that they airbrush a concoction made up of several face masks onto the skin in layers. The mixture they used during the Maison Margiela Artisanal Show is the culmination of three years of trial and error. Now, they have it down to a science.
The elaborate mixture is composed of distilled water, Daggett & Ramsdell Tea Tree Peel Off Mask, Freeman Renewing Cucumber Peel-Off Gel Mask, PROOT Calendula Peel Off Face Mask, Que Bella Refreshing Watermelon Peel Off Mask, and Que Bella Hydrating Pineapple Peel Off Mask. Notably, Skin Illustrator Clear Gloss is the first product the team airbrushes over the makeup before they go in with the face mask and water blend. They airbrush that blend onto the model in seven to eight layers. After each even application, they blow dry the model’s face using a medium setting to dry each layer off before airbrushing another one. Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder is another key element to the look as it prevents creasing under the eyes.
With each layer, you’re rewarded with a vivid brightness, creating more and more intense layers of glass. In this regard, McGrath comments that the internet sleuths are right about her using a mixture of face masks to create the effect. “We mixed so many products together, and we really want this also to be something simple to reapply. So get ready, we are making our own. It is coming really soon and also with the right, perfect consistency,” McGrath announced in the Live session.
Photos: PAT MCGRATH