Pat McGrath x Maison Margiela

Pat McGrath for Maison Margiela SS24 Couture Collection

February 19th, 2024

February 19th, 2024

The Maison Margiela SS24 show at Paris Haute Couture Week received thunderous applause from both critics and social media users alike, not just for John Galliano’s designs, but for the fantastical makeup artistry from Dame Pat McGrath.  Warpaint explores the virality of the doll-like makeup looks and details the products used to achieve such a look.  

Pat McGrath x Maison Margiela

Pat McGrath for Maison Margiela

McGrath has had a longstanding relationship with Galliano, the current Creative Director at Margiela.  Even before he joined Margiela in 2016, the duo had collaborated several times during his era at Dior Couture (c. 1997-2011) and have remained close ever since.  In 2013, McGrath was quoted as saying “make-up just isn’t the same without Galliano”, and she has since designed the makeup for several of the Margiela runways.  

For the SS24 Couture Collection, debuted under the Pont d’Alexandre III, Galliano endeavoured to explore the “underbelly of Paris”, heavily influenced by the cocottes and corseted men of the Parisian underworld.  With the runway littered with extreme cinched waists, pannier skirts, boxy cropped jackets and cigarette trousers, McGrath created jaw-dropping makeup designs to complete the look – porcelain skin, a glass-like sheen and an out-of-this world glow.

Pat McGrath x Maison Margiela Pat McGrath x Maison MargielaPat McGrath x Maison Margiela

An Instant Hit

The makeup created by McGrath was an instant hit amongst both the fashion industry and social media users alike.  Hailed by critics as the ‘great runway makeup revival, the looks inspired makeup artists and enthusiasts to seek out how to recreate this for themselves Countless recreations were attempted, some far more successfully than others – see the beautiful attempts below!

As social media struggled to perfectly recreate the crystalline glow of the porcelain skin, McGrath herself teased that she would later be revealing how she created the look. In the interim, speculation swirled, with various products thought to be responsible.  One of the most popular suggestions was Kryolan’s Liquid Glass, as well as several facemarks being thought to be responsible for the peel-off effect.  The Natura Bissē Diamond Luminous Perfecting Glowing Mask and the Freeman Renewing Cucumber Peel Off Gel Mask were speculated to be the most suitable.  Subsequently, these products have been incredibly hard to get hold of, with many still sold out. 

Pat McGrath x Maison Margiela  Pat McGrath x Maison MargielaPat McGrath x Maison Margiela


Breaking Down the Look

When she finally took to Instagram live to explain how she achieved such a flawless glass skin, McGrath explained it was a method which took her and her team three years to perfect. Not wanting to gatekeep how this was done, she recreated the runway look and detailed several of the products used.  

To prep the skin, McGrath use the trio of Pat McGrath Labs Divine Skin: Rose 001 The Essence, a moisturising toner and the Sublime Perfection Primer.

Pat McGrath x Maison MargielaPat McGrath x Maison Margiela

Then, to achieve the perfect snow-white skin, McGrath used the Sublime Perfection Foundation topped with a white face paint from Kryolan.

Pat McGrath x Maison MargielaPat McGrath x Maison Margiela

For the showstopper – the peel-off layer – McGrath used a unique concoction of various products.  In her Instagram Live masterclass, she explained how people had been spot-on in their guesses regarding the peel-off facemarks, but instead of using just one product, McGrath had perfected a blend of several.  Specifically, she named the Proot Calendula Peel Off Mask, the Daggett & Ramsdell Tea Tree Peel Off Mask, the Que Bella Hydrating Pineapple Peel Off Mask and (confirming social media’s speculation) the Freeman Renewing Cucumber Peel Off Mask.

Pat McGrath x Maison MargielaPat McGrath x Maison MargielaPat McGrath x Maison Margiela

McGrath explained how she mixed the various masks with distilled water to thin out the mixture so it could be applied using an airbrush.  Ultimately, it took eight layers to achieve the look, set with a hairdryer in between application, and finished with the Skin Illustrator Clear Gloss for extra shine.

McGrath did say that she was coming out with a one stop product, not quite yet ready but its release had been brought forward due to the reaction to the show – so we look forward to finding out more. 



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By Frankie Hardy

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