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Makeup Artist Pat McGrath Launches First Branded Product, Plans Full Color Line

The superstar makeup artist has plans to launch a full Pat McGrath-branded cosmetics line, most likely in late 2016.

With the launch of her first Pat McGrath-branded color item, Gold 001, the superstar makeup artist is firing an opening shot into the competitive color cosmetics space, with plans to launch a full Pat McGrath cosmetics line, most likely in late 2016.

The first product, Gold 001, is being launched under the Pat McGrath Labs moniker exclusively at at noon Thursday. Pat McGrath Labs will not be the name of her new beauty line; instead, the Pat McGrath Labs name will be used as a platform to offer limited-edition and limited-run products McGrath wants to bring to market very quickly. For instance, runway observers will note that McGrath has shown a particular love for gold for spring 2016, most notably at Prada, where she used Gold 001 over a lipstick for a gilded finish. The product was also used on Kim Kardashian West for a shoot West did for online makeup purveyor Violet Grey.

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“I was in the labs, working on my [full] line, and I saw this incredible gold,” said McGrath. “This is something I couldn’t sit and wait a year for. That will be the kind of platform Pat McGrath Labs will offer.”

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Gold 001 is what McGrath calls a “highly malleable formula,” uniformly sized micropigments mixed with squalane, a chemical used mostly in high-end skin care to provide slip. It can be used wet or dry to create a gilded glaze — opaque or sheer — anywhere on the body. “You can use it as an eyeliner for a Studio 54 look, put it on top of a shadow, blush or lipstick, or use it as a body paint,” she said.

The product, priced at $40, comes packaged in glassine on a bed of gold sequins with a “second-life container,” Mehron Mixing Liquid and a metal spatula. “We’re doing that because if it breaks — and it may, because the formula is volatile — it’s not the end of the world,” she said. “You just scoop it into the other container.”

The one drawback of extreme quickness to market is the inability to manufacture huge product runs. For instance, only 1,000 pieces of Gold 001 will be available, and customers will be limited to one apiece, said McGrath. She also hinted that another Labs product may be released in December.

McGrath is no stranger to product development, having worked not only with Giorgio Armani Beauty and Aveda in past years, but also as global creative design director of makeup for Procter & Gamble’s Cover Girl and Max Factor brands since 2004. (P&G inked a deal with Coty Inc. in July for the brands.) McGrath said she will be continuing to work with those brands.

While she admitted she’s been spending lots of time in labs for her full color line, McGrath is playing her cards very close to her chest as far as specific details. But she said she is loving answering only to herself as far as that line goes.

“To be able to do all this on my own terms is incredible,” said McGrath. “The ability to bring something to market very quickly often isn’t possible with large companies, and I love the idea of launching something fast. That’s the way the world moves now. I feel like I’m breaking all the rules and being true to me. I want it not only to be exciting for the consumer, but have it be exciting for me as well.”