Pat McGrath is a British makeup artist that has become one of the most influential makeup artists of her time. McGrath was born in 1970 on Northampton, and was raised by her single mother – a Jamaican immigrant. Unlike some believe, Pat McGrath is the definition of self-made; she started working as a makeup artist on her own with no formal training, using only her talent and the knowledge of makeup that she had learned through her mother. Even though her upbringing was heavily religious, she states that her biggest influences for her editorial style were the Blitz Kids (Boy George, Marilyn, Spandau Ballet), for these performers presented themselves with an eclectic style.
After leaving school, Pat McGrath took a course in Northampton College in Art Foundation, and her plans were to complete a degree in fashion before she met stylist Kim Bowen, who invited Pat to witness shoots for The Face and i-D. However, McGrath’s big break came from going on tour with one of her ‘clients,’ a person for whom she had done her makeup as a favor for a friend: Caron Wheeler from Soul II Sou, in Japan. As she told the Observer in 2008, she was terrified to leave her job: “I cried all the way there because I’d never been on a plane before and I was terrified.” This opportunity led her to her current position working in i-D as the Beauty Director.
Pat McGrath is one of the most influential people in the beauty industry since she holds the position for being completely innovative with her style and techniques. She has worked with many designers to create the faces behind their fashion shows. McGrath has worked in all sorts of campaigns for many iconic fashion houses such as Prada, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, and Calvin Klein. She has also done the face charts and faces for The Met Gala and, regularly shoots for Vogue Italia and American Vogue. Most recently, she launched her own makeup brand, Pat McGrath Labs, one of the highest quality and most expensive brands in Sephora.
McGrath should be named one of the most iconic and influential women in the world, especially in the makeup industry. She built herself from the ground up and built an empire from nothing. Additionally, Pat McGrath is a woman of color, who has become incredibly successful in an industry that favors a specific type of beauty that differs from hers. As a result, everything she has accomplished has been through her own merit. Pat McGrath is an ICONIC makeup artist who should be admired for all her merits and attitude towards the industry.