Patricia Ann McGrath is a British make-up artist and the most influential make-up artist in the world.
Pat McGrath was born and raised by in Northampton, England in 1970, in a working-class household by her Jehovah’s Witness mother. Her mother, Jean, was a dressmaker and became a big influence on McGrath’s eventual career in make-up, teaching and encouraging her to experiment with make-up and inspiring her love for fashion.
McGrath has no formal training in fashion or make-up, having completed only an art foundation course at Northampton College. In the 1980s, McGrath moved to London and became involved with designers such as Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.
McGrath’s first breakthrough occurred in the early 1990s working alongside Edward Enninful at i-D magazine, continuing to work as a receptionist to support herself financially. In 1999 she was hired by Giorgio Armani to collaborate on a new range of cosmetics and became the recipient of the Pantene Pro-V Make-Up Artist Of The Year Award in both 2000 & 2001.
McGrath was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to the fashion and beauty industry. Ten years prior, in 2004, McGrath was also hired by Procter & Gamble, as Global Cosmetics Creative Design Director in a multi-year partnership that was rumoured to be paid at $1 million
In 2015 she launched ‘Pat McGrath Labs.’, her own line of beauty products which by 2020 had become a $1 billion company and becoming the biggest selling beauty line at Selfridges.
2017 saw McGrath hired by her previous colleague, and friend, Edward Enninful as Beauty Editor-at-Large for British Vogue and in the same year won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the Fashion Awards, a British Fashion Council Event.
In 2020, six leading stars, including Saoirse Ronan, Naomie Harris and Sara Sampaio, wore Pat McGrath Labs make-up to the Fashion Awards. McGrath has also regularly appeared in the Top 10 of the Powerlist, highlighting the most influential Black British people across a number of industries
In 2020 she was included in Time’s 100 most influential people list. She is the first make-up artist to be made a British dame.
McGrath was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to the fashion and beauty industry and diversity and was the first ever make-up artist to be given this honour.
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