Get Gorgeous/ Cosmetics
Kristin Booker • November 21, 2012

You Ask, I Get The Answers: Reader Q&A With Celebrity Makeup Artist Pat McGrath

Makeup artist legend Pat McGrath. Image courtesy of Twitter.

So, one of the cool perks of writing this blog is that you all get an insider track to the top experts in the industry. I’m always excited to bring real questions to the people who actually CREATE the trends you see on the runway. In my book, there are a few people who top the list of the most loved and most talented in our industry, and at the very tip top is world-renowned makeup artist and Global Consultant for COVERGIRL Pat McGrath.

When I say “celebrity makeup artist,” I don’t just mean that Pat works on celebrities. She does and they are so many in number that it would take the entire post to name the all. The most important thing about Pat is that, within the beauty and fashion industry, Pat herself is a celebrity. All those amazing trends we all imitate coming down the runway? Pat’s behind a staggering number of them.

So, when we all got our twice-annual chance to sit down with Pat and have her walk us through the trends she created for the Spring/Summer 2013 collections at all four Fashion Weeks (New York, London, Milan, Paris) using a ton of COVERGIRL cosmetics, I took a minute to grab her at the end and fire off a giant list of your questions for your every day faces. Here were the questions you posted on my personal Facebook page, and here are Pat’s answers to YOUR questions:

What is the best matte foundation that has good coverage & is oil free? My skin is olive but has some old acne scars I hate. Sometimes covering them up & not looking overly “done” is a challenge. – Liz C, West Hills, CA.
Pat’s answer: I really love the COVERGIRL Clean Liquid Makeup Foundation. I honestly think that you should give that a try for great coverage and a smooth finish with an oil-and-fragrance-free base.

Tips for finding the perfect foundation for dark skin? – Patrice Y. Chicago, IL.
Pat’s answer: There are so many shades for dark skin, my goodness! I would definitely advise checking any color out in daylight before buying it to make sure it truly blends into your skin. I also recommend checking the color on your neck and chest, which is so important. You’ll be wearing it on your face, neck and chest, and the colors can very greatly between those areas. Make sure that the hue can blend and marry all those tones.

Embrace fine line eye and mouth smile wrinkles or try to cover/fill? – Katie M., Murray, KY
Pat’s answer: I think either way, you have to be careful what products you use. Products that are too oily/too shiny can enhance the lines and make them more visible, which is the opposite of what anyone wants. COVERGIRL + Olay Simply Ageless Foundation has a formulation that stays suspended above fine lines so it leaves a smooth finish and it won’t settle in. It’s a good product to try.

Check with her about what she thinks is the best way to cover/deal with rosacea cheeks & broken capillaries around the nose, pretty please. – Paula W., Oklahoma City, OK
Pat’s answer: You definitely need to check with your doctor to discuss options to help with their appearance. In the interim, color-correcting products that have a violet or green base can counteract redness.

Yeah, how does she recommend making small squinty eyes look larger!? – Caitlin H., Charleston, WV
Pat’s answer: White or beige eyeliner inside the eyes (along the lower lash line/water line) will make the eyes appear bigger.

Is there a type of makeup that doesn’t make your wrinkles look more noticeable, and maybe even reduces their appearance? – Shari F., Magnolia, AR
Pat’s answer: A makeup that’s not too drying, definitely. With the lines, avoid frosted lipsticks or any products with shimmer – they make the lines look worse. COVERGIRL LipPerfection lipsticks add great hydration and can actually improve the mouth area over seven days continual use. Also, I love adding those skincare benefits to your makeup routine, like COVERGIRL + Olay product line. The Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation and the Simply Ageless Eye Concealers are amazing.

NOW, since I only had two minutes with her, there were three questions that she couldn’t answer due to the time constraint that I’m happy to handle:

How to not have sticky lips on pictures? As in, the sticky lips that get stuck when you smile. – Mary Kathryn D., Charlotte, NC
Kristin’s answer: Topping your lips with a gloss balm in a similar shade to your lipstick  will keep it from getting too “tacky” so your lips will stay parted. Check out one of Pat’s backstage mainstays, COVERGIRL NatureLuxe Gloss Balm (great shades that will work with almost any color, or use them instead of lipstick.) Also, if your lipstick is getting sticky, it might mean it’s too old or the formula is too drying for you. I LOVE the COVERGIRL LipPerfection lipsticks (Hot is obviously my favorite) for a great matte look with amazing hydration AND staying power. As a general rule (and people may hate me for saying this), but I typically avoid lip gloss when I know I’m going to have my photo taken. If the formula breaks down, there you are with your lips sealed together and it turns into a hot mess.

Also, is there a good book or website she would recommend for those of us that are cosmetically challenged? – Shari F., Magnolia, AR
Kristin’s answer: There are literally a bazillion tutorial videos on YouTube, but as far as a basic bible for makeup, I’m always going to recommend Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin (Little, Brown and Company, 1999)

Best product or way to fill in eyebrows. How to depuff baggy eyes quickly. And best makeup trick for hooded eyelids. Thanks! – Elisa G., New York, NY
Kristin’s answer: Always fill in your brows using small, hair-sized strokes that will mimic the hairs that are already there. If you use a pencil – like COVERGIRL Brow and Eye Makers Pencil – just remember to take your time to draw the hairs in and make sure the pencil is super sharp. I recommend then blending the pencil in with a small, sharply-angled brow brush like this one.

If you need to depuff baggy eyes quickly, I’d recommend keeping clean spoons on the door of your refrigerator and use them as compresses when the problem arises. Cool green or white tea bags that have been steeped and then refrigerated also work wonders. You can also keep your eye cream in the refrigerator and use the backs of the spoons to apply it morning and night to help prevent the issue. Also, keep salt, starch and processed sugars (including alcohol) to a minimum.

As far as hooded lids go, you want to create the illusion of lift, so be sure to keep a slight arch to the brow and then you’ll want to make sure you highlight the brow bone when applying eye makeup. Smoky eyes look amazing on your, particularly when the lightest hue is brought up high toward the brow bone, the medium tone gradually comes down toward the lid and the darker hue is brought out as an exaggerated V-shape from inside the crease of the eye to a little past the end of the lash line and then back in along the lash line. Also, try winging your eyeliner out slightly past the end of the lash line to give more lift to your eyes.


Thanks for all the questions, you all! Hope these were helpful. Got more questions? I’ve got experts standing by, so ask away!



One Response to You Ask, I Get The Answers: Reader Q&A With Celebrity Makeup Artist Pat McGrath

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