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Pat McGrath Launches Limited-Edition Lipstick and Glitter

Taylor Hill and Bella Hadid at the Versace couture in July wearing Lust 004. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
Taylor Hill and Bella Hadid at the Versace couture in July wearing Lust 004. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

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Pat McGrath, fashion’s favorite makeup artist, just announced her fourth limited edition makeup launch, called Lust 004. It’s her most extensive collection to date, and it’s all about playing with lip color and texture.

By now it’s no secret that McGrath likes gold, bright color, and shiny things and thinks we should put all of this on our faces whenever possible. This proclivity is fully on display in the 004 collection.

There are three different sets within the collection featuring different colorways called Flesh, Vermilion Venom, and Bloodwine, which is the set she used at Versace’s couture show this June. Each five-piece set comes with two matte lipsticks, a powdery loose gold pigment in a pot, one finely milled glitter coordinated to the lipsticks, and the glossiest clear lip gloss in a tube you’ve ever seen.

Photo: Pat McGrath Labs

Photo: Pat McGrath Labs

At a preview, McGrath demonstrated how to use all the various products on models. The lipsticks can be mixed to create new colors or both used simultaneously for ombré lip looks with the lighter color in the center of the lip. The finish is matte and feels weightless on. The glitter can be added directly on top of the lipstick without adhesive by just patting it on. To finish the look off, she added a healthy dollop of gloss. (Do not expect to eat or drink anything if you attempt this glitter plus gloss look.)

The gold pigment, which is loose and powdery, included in each of the three sets is different from her very first product, Gold 001, which was pressed into a pan and more shimmery. You can wet the powder and use it as eyeliner or above the cupid’s bow as a "jewel accessory," according to McGrath. The best trick she demonstrated, however, was literal makeup alchemy. She squeezed some gloss onto the back of her hand, sprinkled some gold powder onto it, then blew off the excess, leaving behind what looked like molten gold to apply wherever you deem necessary.

The collection launches on August 30th on PatMcGrath.com, and then, like the Skin Fetish 003 highlighter, will be available on Sephora.com and at seven Sephora brick-and-mortar stores (these) on September 8th. The five-piece sets cost $60, and if you want all of the colors, they’ll be offered in an "everything" set for $150. McGrath is also offering the individual lipsticks for $25 each. Everything is packaged in her now signature sequin-filled ziploc bags, which are pink this time around.

McGrath is still actively working on an official makeup line, but she was vague about when that would launch, though initial reports predicted it would launch by the end of 2016. When asked about the strategy behind these limited edition launches, she said, "The Gold 001 thing I really did do for fun. I really only thought it was going to be a thousand people that were going to understand these insane gold pigments. Just the fact that there was an outpouring and thousands and thousands of people asking for more, that’s really great when things happen organically. Yes, there is a bigger plan, but that really was going to be one time only."

Photo: Pat McGrath Labs

Photo: Pat McGrath Labs

McGrath alluded to the long lead time it traditionally takes to produce a cosmetics line. "I’m basically releasing all my obsessions, my real, true kit rather than a fake kit that you have to launch two years in advance," she said. She wanted to be able to offer products that mimicked what she was actually doing backstage at runway shows, which explains the esoteric colors and glitter.

While not specifically asked about this, McGrath also talked about the packaging for the limited edition products, which may have been in reaction to some of the reviews the packaging for the Skin Fetish 003 received on Sephora’s website alleging that it felt low quality. "The packaging has to be basic because the formulas are truly expensive. The fact that this [lipstick] is like the purest pigment but feels like a lip balm is an absolute luxury," she said. "Most people would take the [formula] that’s four steps down to be able to afford the expensive packaging but this is really all about pigment, all about performance being at its most maximal and its most luxurious but in truly the most basic form, straight from the laboratory. That cuts out years in actually getting something to market."

In addition to working on her own line, McGrath is still P &G’s global creative design director, offering creative direction on makeup brands like CoverGirl, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Max Factor, which staged a limited edition US comeback this month.