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Today, beloved makeup artist Pat McGrath attempted the biggest launch of her nascent career as a beauty product entrepreneur. Her much hyped and previously website-breaking highlighting kit, called Skin Fetish 003, launched broadly this morning at Sephora.com and in seven brick-and-mortar stores around the country. The soft launch last month on her website crashed the site, but today that same frenzy wasn't apparent.
Racked visited the NYC Times Square store at 8 a.m. when it opened, and there were five people waiting outside, not counting the huge line of people right next door waiting to get into Good Morning America. One woman who was waiting, Soraya, 31, already had a suspicious opalescent sheen on her cheekbones. "I went to the Union Square event they had [on May 3rd]. Pat's such a beautiful soul and a great person," Soraya, a makeup artist, told Racked. "I bought two and I'll be picking up another two now."
Two other women made a beeline for the Skin Fetish 003 display once in the store. Tracy, 52, and Ann, 53, both from Ireland and in New York City on vacation, had never heard of McGrath until they read about her "on the internet yesterday." "We're planning to look 20 years younger with this!" Tracy laughed.
Downtown at the Union Square store, there were about 10 people waiting at the 10 a.m. opening. One shopper, Candice, 24, was purchasing two of each color. "This is the first I've heard of [Pat McGrath]. I just looked at a couple of YouTube tutorials," she said. "Some of the people got their hands on it when they launched a week ago and it looked really good." She said she was keeping two kits and giving two to her friends.
In LA, no one was waiting at the store as of the opening, according to Racked's LA editor. As of 3:30pm EST, all seven stores – two in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Houston, Las Vegas, and Miami – all had plenty of stock left in both colors. A Houston store representative did say, "You better get here soon, though."
Online the situation seems to be similar, except with a slightly rockier start. Sephora's reps told Racked yesterday that the product would go on sale "probably at 12:01am." Then this morning that time was bumped to 9am PST/ noon EST, although Sephora never officially announced the time, much to the annoyance of customers on social media.
The product actually became available around 11:45 am EST. (As of 3:45 pm, we were able to still purchase a kit online.) According to Sephora, kits are "available until it sells out." The company did not have an estimate of when this would happen.
This is Pat McGrath's third limited edition makeup launch, after she previously offered a gold pigment and a colorful eye kit. Skin Fetish 003 is arguably the most accessible and universal product, so it's not surprising that McGrath chose to scale up the offering. The fact that this didn't sell out immediately hopefully won't dissuade her from continuing on with her full beauty collection, because this highlighter really is fantastic. Kylie Jenner Lip Kit mania shouldn't be the yardstick by which makeup launches are measured.