Pat McGrath’s Foundation Is Supposed to Give You “Couture Skin”—So We Tried It

“When it comes to makeup, my foundation is probably the most important step in my routine. I want my skin to look flawless. And because of that, I’m painstakingly picky about the formulas I wear and am quick to wrinkle my nose at the majority of bottles I try as a beauty editor. (Even some of the ‘holy-grail’ ones!) To be honest, I have so many feelings about this foundation. And it’s one of the few foundations I didn’t immediately love or despise at first application. Rather, I think it’s going to be the kind of relationship where we start off as friends, and as we get to know each other and spend more time together, the love will grow stronger.

“First things first, let’s talk consistency. This stuff is thin and ultra-lightweight. I’d almost call it more of a serum foundation than a liquid, and I absolutely appreciate how featherlight and spreadable it feels on your complexion as you apply it. (I used my fingers to start and then my trusted Beautyblender to finish.) It truly feels like your putting on skincare—which according to Pat McGrath (who says to apply your foundation like a moisturizer) makes perfect sense. One of the touted benefits of the foundation is its buildability, and as someone who loves full, luminous coverage, I had high expectations. I would agree that the foundation is really buildable and offers great coverage—it definitely diffused away my dark circles and some lingering blemishes—but I felt like I had to spend a lot more time on my foundation than I normally would. And I did end up adding an extra touch of concealer with my Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer ($32). If you seek a fuller coverage, prepare to add many, many layers and a few more minutes to your morning routine. 

“I do have to be 100% transparent and say I was a little bit disappointed with how some of my other favorite makeup products like my powder blush and bronzers reacted to the foundation. Normally, they buff effortlessly into my fave liquid foundation formulas, but this felt a bit stickier, and I had trouble keeping them from looking streaky or too heavy in spots. I do love the finish of this foundation, but going forward, I think I’ll stick to liquid and cream blushes, bronzers, and highlighters. During the preview launch in Los Angeles earlier this week, Pat and her team of makeup artists explained that the longer you wear this foundation, the better it looks. I would wholeheartedly agree. Even though I was a little unsure about it as I made my way through the rest of my makeup application, by the time I got to my brows and went into my living room to take a pic, it was like this foundation had become one with my skin and had this insane filter effect that literally blurred away any creases, blemishes, or other imperfections I had been HOPING it would hide. I’ve never felt ZERO need to add a filter or touch of the blur tool, but this skin-perfecting formula from Pat has apparently managed to do the unthinkable—and just that. This foundation is definitely an investment, but considering the quality and versatility of the formula, the showstopping bottle (even the packaging looks and opens like a jewelry box), I’d say it’s well worth the plunge. My biggest tip? Take your time to play around with it—try applying it different ways like with your fingers, a brush, or blender, and mix and match it with a few of your other favorite makeup products to see what it plays best with. You won’t be disappointed.”

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