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From Runways to TikTok: Pat McGrath’s Glass Skin

Many products went into creating the viral Pat McGrath Glass Skin. TikTok trends had a big hand in getting that information from McGrath.

Lipstick from Pat McGrath
Shutterstock/ Raymond Well

Picture this. The scene is an underground Paris fashion show. John Galliano is putting on a theatrical runway show to present a collection for the Maison Margiela Artisanal Couture Spring 2024. A line inspired by club life in 1930s Paris with the goal of showing off the underbelly of Paris. The makeup for this had to be nothing but spectacular.

John Galliano reached out to long-time friend Pat McGrath and her team to create the iconic “glass skin” look for the line. The pair had first worked together in the early 2000s in a Dior shoot.

Plenty of the outfits from Galliano have latex and ruffles, which perfectly complement the glass skin McGrath and her team have put together. The makeup look is a modern take on porcelain glass skin.

@voguefrance

@Maison Margiela Artisanal, haute couture printemps-été 2024 : un essai brillamment Galliano. #pfw #maisonmargiela #margiela #johngalliano #hautecouture #couture

♬ son original – Vogue France

How TikTok and fashion shows influence each other

TikTok is the perfect platform for Gen Z. Everyone is using it, and it works with short videos that capture shorter attention spans. TikTok is the perfect way to show self-expression and for trends to grow. Because of this, TikTok and the fashion industry influence each other.

Brands have made TikTok accounts to connect to their younger audiences. Some have even gained the attention of newer audiences thanks to TikTok’s reach. It’s easier for all audiences to consume content containing high couture and fashion trends.

Trends are constantly evolving on TikTok. Being an ever-changing, fast-paced app, clothing trends change constantly. Different trends like 90s clothes, Coquette Core, or even Y2K have gained popularity through TikTok. In turn, this influences the style of influencers and celebrities who have a part in fashion seen in shows. Some of the time, celebs and influencers get invited to the shows and make content related to the fashion shown, bringing in more involvement from the viewers. This leads to more followers looking into these high-end brands.

It makes a never-ending cycle.

Very quickly, the “glass skin” look captured the attention of makeup wearers. Thousands of viewers and reaction videos have analyzed and interacted with the makeup look since it took on the runway.

On TikTok, attempting to recreate the glass-skin look became a challenge. Based on quick behind-the-scenes shots taken during the fashion show, TikTok users could tell McGrath used some sort of product in an airbrush machine to apply the glass finish, making the look almost impossible to recreate at home.

Most users have tried to make the look their own by approaching it in a way they feel the most comfortable with. Some creators took on special effects makeup, while others tried out different mixtures of peel-off masks. Recreations of the porcelain look took over MUA TikTok. Use hashtags like #glassskin (with 180K videos) and #patmcgrath (with 17.8K videos) to get the attraction.

Pat McGrath has recognized the love and attention the makeup look has gained throughout social media. She shared her how-to on TikTok and Instagram to be easily accessible to the audience, which made it even more popular.

@patmcgrathreal

SET YOUR ALARMS ⏰‼️🚨 Friday, February 2 at 3pm EST LIVE on TikTok, join me and #teampatmcgrath for a #MaisonMargiela Masterclass where we’ll be recreating the runway look ⏰‼️🚨 SEE YOU SOON xx Pat #makeupbypatmcgrath

♬ Bach unaccompanied cello suite “Prelude” – Jianteng

McGrath told Jessica Dinner for Vogue, “In my 35-plus years of beauty, I have never, ever seen a reaction like this. And it has blown me away how people have had such an emotional connection to these looks.”

How Pat McGrath Made the Look

There are many ways to create a porcelain skin look.

As you’d expect with most makeup looks, a good base is important. McGrath recommends using her Divine Skin: Rose 001™  The Essence as a base before the makeup, but any other base you already own will work just fine. Nonetheless, for the sake of explaining McGrath’s approach, I’ll go into more detail about her products.

First off, she started with a canvas from base products. McGrath used the Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Primer before going in with the Skin Fetish: Perfection Foundation and the Skin Fetish: Perfection Concealer. Then, she went over those with the Skin Fetish: Perfection Loose Setting Powder and Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder.

Face products from Pat McGrath Labs
Credit: PatMcGrath.com

After that, she moved on to blush and highlighter. McGrath’s team used the Skin Fetish: Sublime Skin Highlighter in the shade Nude Opal from the Heart’s Desire Collection. Next was the Divine Blush: Legendary Glow Colour Balm in the shades of Peach Lotus and Forbidden Fleur.

As for the eye makeup, the Mothership I: Subliminal, Mothership VI: Midnight Sun, and Blitz Astral Quad: Nocturnal Nirvana palettes were used. To top that off, the team used the FetishEYES™ Mascara and the eyebrows were made with the Mothership I: Subliminal palette as well.

Mothership I and Mothership VI eyeshadow palettes from Pat McGrath Labs
Credit: PatMcGrath.com

Lastly, the lip makeup consisted of lipglosses and lipsticks. LUST: Gloss™ in the shade Nude Negligee and the MatteTrance™ Lipstick in shades Beautiful Stranger, Guinevere, or McMeanamy, to be precise.

Access to the exact products can be found on the Pat McGrath Labs website.

The glass skin

Creating the glass skin itself took McGrath and her team about three years to put together. On a TikTok live February 2nd, McGrath went into detail about how they achieved the look from start to finish. The makeup look had to last the models over three hours, so a lot of trial and error happened beforehand.

For this purpose, to achieve long wear before the makeup gets a chance to peel off, the team uses an SFX water-based glue on spots most prone to creasing, like around the nose, mouth, and eyes. This was a key detail to help the longevity of the makeup.

@meicrosoft

Recreating @Pat McGrath Labs / @Maison Margiela porcelain doll skin! I took all the tips and tricks from @Erin Parsons and @niko haagenson , without their videos, I don’t think I would’ve figured it out myself. 💕 My main takeaway is that I used a clear peel off face mask, airbrush, and to go in very thin layers! In between layers, I fan everything to make sure it’s completely dry otherwise it’ll start to congeal and not get the smooth effect desired! #avantgardemusic #editorialmakeup #patmcgrath #maisonmargiela #experimentalmakeup

♬ som original – bbm

The most important thing you need to know to make the glass skin is the mix of products. McGrath used four different peel-off masks mixed together with water to dilute the thickness. There are no exact proportions to get the exact mix. Playing around with consistency until you find something that works just right is the best way to go. Ideally, it’s important to note using a non-toxic, clear peel-off mask is key to achieving the right look. As for how many layers to do, McGrath and the team did an average of about 7 to 8 layers.

The most important reveal to come from the live was McGrath’s announcement of a new product. The release date is yet to be announced, but McGrath teased a product meant to make achieving the look easier. One product meant to achieve the perfect glass finish.

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Written By

Ileana (she/her) is in her final year of working on her Journalism degree at College of Southern Nevada. Ileana has previous experience writing album reviews in her high school paper. When she's not listening to music, you're bound to find her deep into a book.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lena Haro

    February 13, 2024 at 12:28 am

    I loved this article. Very interesting. Written very well, informative.

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