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How legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath achieved ‘porcelain skin’ look at Maison Margiela show?

21:20, February 5

Although it's been over a week since the beauty looks created by makeup artist Pat McGrath for Maison Margiela's SS2024 Haute Couture show captured the collective imagination, the internet is still buzzing.

McGrath, named the world's most influential makeup artist by Vogue, transformed models into living dolls with “porcelain skin,” thin eyebrows, and strikingly painted eyes, lips and cheeks.

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But it's the waxy, glittery faces she created that have captured attention, spawning countless magazine think pieces and TikTok tutorials, some of which have already racked up millions of views, CNN reports.

During an Instagram Live in which Pat and her team recreated looks from the Margiela show, McGrath praised much of the beauty research, adding that she also "saw things that kept me up at night."

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Since the products McGrath used to achieve a glowing complexion were shrouded in secrecy prior to her livestream, online speculation reached fever pitch. Some believed McGrath used a peeling mask diluted with water and airbrushed it on in layers. Others claimed that the glowing effect was created using a product from professional cosmetics brand Kryolan called Liquid Glass. The theory captivated the internet so much that the product quickly sold out—but McGrath said she didn't use it.

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Speaking to CNN, a spokesperson for Pat McGrath Labs, a beauty brand founded by the makeup artist, seemed to confirm the face mask theory: "Pat McGrath Labs has always been focused on creating products and formulations that have never existed before, and Pat and her team have been spent time working on one formula in the lab... Lna combined several products for the show, including face masks (one of which was cucumber) and the perfect amount of water."

“The hardest part of the puzzle was making sure we could achieve a highly reflective mirror surface without affecting the makeup underneath. This is where the airbrush came into play. We understand that people don't want to mix tons of products and buy an airbrush. That's why we will launch one product that will provide the perfect 'glass finish.'”

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In an Instagram Live, McGrath and her team showcased some of the eight products used in order to create the airbrush concoction, including peel-off facial masks from Freeman Beauty, Proot, and Que Bella. McGrath's team applied seven to eight layers of composite mask to each model, she said. It's a labor-intensive process to ensure their smooth skin doesn't lose its luster before the show.

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A few more secrets from McGrath's masterclass: To achieve the "porcelain foundation" effect on fair-skinned models, her team mixed the Sublime Perfection Foundation from her eponymous line with white theater paint. Before airbrushing, the artists applied water-based special effects glue to the corners of the models' lips and noses, both for sealing and for added shine. The models themselves also helped seal each layer of glass skin by blow-drying their faces, McGrath said. This process took between 45 minutes and two hours.

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