These 5 Legendary Makeup Products Are All I Need for Every Type of Look

Welcome to The Great Beauty Try-On, where we seized the opportunity to test-drive the best-selling makeup products from some of your favorite beauty brands (plus some newcomers!) and documented the process along the way.

I’ve been a fan of legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath for ages, but it wasn’t until my adult years that I started hoarding all her expertly crafted products. The woman truly needs no introduction, but all you need to do to understand her gift is take a peak at her work on Taylor Swift’s latest (and stunning) music video for her single “Bejeweled.” Every product McGrath turns out is a vision, and dare I say, a masterpiece. I know I sound incredibly dramatic, but that’s how passionately I feel about this brand.

You can then imagine my excitement when I learned I’d be reviewing some of the brand’s best-selling products for The Great Beauty Try-On. My Pat McGrath collection is expanding all the time and I’m happy to report that these five products made the cut. If you love a dreamy makeup look that transports you to another (holographic, might I add) dimension, look no further. I’m giving my thoughts on all of McGrath’s biggest hits below. Keep on scrolling.

My review: I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical when I put a few pumps of this foundation on the back of my hand. The consistency seemed a bit watery at first and I wasn’t entirely sure it would apply well or create very good coverage. As soon as I applied it to my skin, though, I found the thin consistency wasn’t an issue—it actually provided really nice coverage and glided onto my skin really well. 

To be perfectly honest though, after wearing this all day, my feelings were mixed. I’ll start with the pros: On the bright side, the foundation does provide really great coverage without you having to use a ton of product, which I’m definitely a fan of. But, I also have sensitive skin that tends to be reactive to certain products and ingredients. This foundation unfortunately caused me to break out, so I’m not sure I’ll be reaching for it too often in the future. I was a little bummed because (obviously) I love Pat McGrath products and the formula is technically noncomedogenic, but my skin just didn’t quite like it. It does leave a really smooth, luminous finish, though, and may work beautifully for others.

My review: Okay, so the foundation didn’t fully land for me, but the obsession with this blush is real. Normally, I’m a cream-blush gal all the way, but this powder formula definitely surprised me. First, I love this bronzey, rose gold shade. The pigment payoff once applied is fantastic and it adds the perfect amount of warmth to your cheeks for any kind of look. I’d use it sparingly for a daytime look, but it can definitely be built up to a more dramatic hue at night.

The other colors this blush comes in are also totally drool-worthy. It might come in powder form, but it’s so creamy and pigmented that I would use it as an eye shadow, too. I would expect nothing less from McGrath. Any color-drenched product of hers is guaranteed to provide serious, next-level radiance.

My review: Speaking of radiance, that brings us to my favorite product of the bunch: the Mothership IX Palette. Anyone who knows me is aware of my Pat McGrath eye shadow palette obsession. This palette, along with Mothership VI: Midnight Sun, are two of my most prized possessions. Although I already own two of McGrath’s works of art, I still have a full wish list of what I’d like to buy next from her brand. For today’s review, though, I chose to create a look with Huetopian Dream because I can never get enough of the shade Astral Amethyst Moon (the shimmery, futuristic hue in the right corner of the palette). 

I adore the rich base shades in this palette to start a look. Once again, McGrath’s creations never disappoint in the pigment department and these burgundy-leaning nudes show up perfectly on all skin tones. Everything in this palette blends so beautifully together. When I was finally ready to dust a shimmer shade onto my lids, it just melted right into the other colors like a dream. Fair warning, though: There is quite a bit of fallout on some of these shadows, so make sure to tap any excess off your brush before applying it to your lids.

My review: No matter what kind of makeup look I’m wearing for the day, I never skip the highlight. Whether I go for a liquid, cream, or powder highlight depends on my mood, but I have to say this highlighter and balm duo works beautifully for any occasion. I love that it can add a subtle and effortless luminosity to the skin, but it can also be amped up with the transparent, dewy balm on the other end of the stick. It truly creates that lit-from-within look that appears natural so I love to wear it to the office. The balm is also infused with hydrating ingredients that create a silky finish on the skin like aloe, argan oil, and hyaluronic acid.

Out of all the highlights I have, I find myself reaching for this one the most, even though I have quite a collection these days. It definitely feels a little weird to swipe the product directly onto your skin, but sometimes I like warming a bit up on my finger and patting it onto my skin. It creates such a gorgeous, dewy finish on top of any foundation—whether it’s cream, stick, or powder.

My review: To say I’m in my lip-gloss era is an understatement. I’m so glad that glossy lips are making a comeback. Previously, I hadn’t worn any kind of gloss since my middle school days (shoutout to my collection of Victoria’s Secret lip glosses). Now, folks like Pat McGrath and Lawless are making the best in the game. This gloss (and shade) are nothing short of delicious. The formula is enriched with luscious, balm-like oils that leave your lips so hydrated, soft, and plump for hours.

I’m obsessed with the shade Faux Real that I’m wearing here. It’s the perfect nude beige color for everyday wear. I always say that I love a good dewy, natural glow when it comes to makeup, and this gloss just compliments both an everyday look so well and a spicier look with, say, some purple eye shadow. The light also reflects off it so beautifully and looks fabulous in photos.

BRB, I’ll just be losing my mind over yet another Mothership offering. Bronze Seduction immediately drew me in with its rich, crystalline shades. 

This formula is a bit pricey. It’s definitely a bit more than I would normally spend on mascara, but it has a gel-hybrid formula that glides evenly onto the lashes and adds texture while micro-fine cream pigments build extra volume. I trust McGrath, so I’ll pay the $32.

I actually have this smooth, matte lipstick and debated on whether I wanted to use this or the gloss for today’s review. I’m glad I went with the gloss, but I can’t wait to try this beautiful soft mauve shade for a nice dinner or event.

Another swoon-worthy palette, except this one is limited edition. It’s also the exact palette McGrath used to create the iconic looks in Swift’s “Bejeweled” video. Enough said, am I right?

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