What do you like about Pat McGrath? What don't you like?

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Pat McGrath

The real rant is the price point — just really, really expensive. I like some of the smaller formats the brand has done in the last year or so, and I hope we see more of those. The brand has some exceptional formulas, and I love the color stories in most of their palettes.

— Christine


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Michelle Avatar

Yeah, her line is somewhat expensive, but I only wear the lipsticks, so I can’t speak for the other products. But I really do love those lippies! Guinevere is my absolute favorite red!

kjh Avatar

Uh, totally! The big G! And major red, vendetta…the list goes on. Eyes: I have only a wee fiver (in the déclassé packaging.) Her shimmers aren’t awfully aging eyes friendly, but that’s personal and no reflection on the brand. Pat pluses: pretty inclusive. Good formulas, for the most part. Creative. Minuses: the faux exclusivity, the FOMO, and something I can’t quite nail. Pat m/u is somewhat aspirational. ‘I use Pat, only Pat, love my Loubous, and get my Baccarat out of my Birkin bag’ ish. The price is high, but commensurate with the quality, design, and built-in fantasy.

AJ Avatar

Like: Really high quality eyeshadows, some of the best metallics I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting on my eyes, some really gorgeous packaging design.

Dislike: Not just the price point but the fact that sometimes the packaging doesn’t live up to the price point (thinking of really flimsy and cheap-feeling tubes for $15 sample-sized lipstick, for instance). Also I don’t like how heavily filtered and enhanced a lot of the social media promo content is.

Frozendiva Avatar

The products are ridiculously expensive. With the Canadian exchange, even more so. The US $120 equals $170 Canadian. The smaller packages are a bit more affordable, especially at Sephora or the brand sale time.

Some of the colour stories don’t interest me. The gold shade in the eyeshadow palettes seems to repeat.

I don’t have many items from the collections, mainly because of the cost.

I can see the palettes being good for someone starting to build a collection or someone who has cleaned out their collection and is starting fresh. There may be some value for that person. However there are also a lot of dupes out there and people only have so much disposable cash. The cosmetics business just keeps growing and there is a lot of product that goes on sale or to places like Winners/TJ Maxx. People are also tired of paying full price, knowing that sales, which used to be rare, are increasingly common to move stock.

The products tend to go on sale regularly. There is the mad dash to get X item, but then two months later you get a discount. If it is not something you need now, it is just best to wait a month or two. I would have little chance to get something Limited Edition.

The price creep from other brands. If the consumer is willing to pay those prices, X brand can start to inch up.

Mariella Avatar

As you commented, Christine, the price is a real sticking point for me. Her shadows are really good (for the most part) but not THAT much better than Anastasia or Marc Jacobs. The other barrier for me is (wait for it….I’m sure it will come as a HUGE surprise) that very few of her singles, palettes and now her foundations and lipsticks are available IN STORE. I can’t enjoy online shopping for the most part and I can’t imagine buying foundation without being able to swatch it on my own skin. And I like the instant gratification of buying something, paying for it and taking it home with me (the only PMG palette I have is one that was – miraculously – available IN STORE a few years ago. Oh, and can I tell you – speaking of “instant gratification” – just how much it’s killing me waiting for my Temptalia palette to arrive????

T Avatar

I love the quality of the products. My only gripe is the excessive plastic in the packaging. While it’s sort of fun (yet also annoying), I think it’s such a waste and so unnecessary to throw plastic sequins into the packaging especially when it’s more and more imperative to reduce playoff waste. I felt bad buying the products for this reason and honestly haven’t ordered since.

C.Blossom Avatar

Like: the quality, the packaging, used to like the colors

Dislike: prices, bad swatch photography, and the last few palates have blurred together in my mind. They’ve started to feel repetitive.

Jess Avatar

Pricepoint and promo photos.
Price: her products are good. Are they THAT good? No. Her Mothership palettes could be 75 easy.
Promo photos: They are pretty to look at but do almost nothing that makes me understand how the products will look on me.

Oh, and all the sequins in the packaging? STOP OMG. I hate them so much!!!

Lesley Avatar

Some of the products are kind of ordinary. I did not find the eyeliner or the mascara to be anything special, although I adore the foundation, price be damned. My big complaint is the packaging if you order from her site. Those sequins in the bag are appalling.

Shannon Avatar

The formula is beautiful, I don’t mind their prices with the frequent sales. I just wish there wasn’t a gold in every single freaking palette! I’d be more likely to splurge if I wasn’t buying the same gold over and over.

Rebekah Avatar

I’ve only tried some glosses and concealer because of price point. The concealer is kind of cakey under my eyes (I’m 42), so I don’t usually choose it, and the glosses are fine, I guess. I much prefer the Dior Forever concealer and my old favorite Bare Minerals glosses.

Swoozy Avatar

The quality is generally very, very good and consistent. I’d like smaller palettes and a mix of the high color/impact “artistic” cosmetics along with a selection of more “office-friendly” options. And yeah, the cost is crazy – I can’t figure out how it is even more in England than the US.

Jay Avatar

The price point is over-the-top, but if one is patient and vigilant they have plenty of sales and discounts. Love their lipsticks, and only paid above $9 for two or three of them.

I am deeply annoyed that the eyeshadow pans are glued in: I understand they’re going for an auteur “this is a perfected arrangement” type of this, but that’s (a) needlessly pretentious, (b) kinda condescending, and (c) shouldn’t be applicable to the singles, which are also glued into their silly little clamshells.

The packaging is substantial. I usually like it as it sets a good mood, but it does affect the portability, easy of storage, and obviously the price. I don’t like that the shades are not labelled, but I use an extra thin gold lacquer pen to just label them myself. It’s often unclear how sheer a shade will apply, and whether it’s metallic vs sparkly. Perhaps I’ll come up with little symbols and add those next to the written names.

The shipping packaging is more than a little much. I have so much black tissue paper now, and a whole jar of gold sequins. Not as bad as the time I ordered a single lipstick from mac and it came in a box in tissue paper in a larger box in tissue paper, in another box big enough for a pair of hiking boots, but still. That kind of thing doesn’t feel luxe as much as it feels like conspicuous consumption.

Nancy T Avatar

What I love has been most of her formulas. My favorite lipstick formula has been from her line; LuxeTrance. And I actually do love her packaging! I know that makes me an outlier, but hey. I also love that she finally got rid of the AWFUL black spidery packing material. Thank goodness.

Now for what dislike (hate?) – Mother Pat DC’d LuxeTrance Lipsticks! 😢
Then there’s the cost. Man. No one else other than Loubouton costs more!

DonnaL Avatar

For one, the price point is extremely high. I suspect a lot of the $$ goes towards packing. While some if the formulas are unique I also find them hard to work with and not appropriate for an every day eye look for me – her glittery ‘special’ shadows are problematic. The fallout is hard to deal with.

Overall, I feel that this brand is overhyped but it I had to pick one thing I like it would be her blushes.

CeeBee Avatar

Love: Celestial Divinity, Bronze Seduction and the Divine Rose palettes, her glitters and duochrome eyeshadows are amazing. I also love her gloss and lip fetish sheer/balm formula. The packagign is also luxe and very beautiful to look at!

Loathe: The 2 Blitz Trance lipsticks I have a nasty waxy “aftertaste” and I don’t particularly like the Matte Trance formula much. It’s expensive and not easy to access for me – Sephora NZ stocks a limited range but they don’t have the blushers yet 🙁 The Fetisheyes mascara was clump city, wasn’t impressed with that one…

Renee Avatar

PML is the only luxury cosmetics I have spent money on. I love the pigmentation and the packaging – even though it is extremely expensive. The gripe I have is the blend-ability. It’s a little more difficult to blend out than everyone would have you believe – I find I have to work a little harder at creating a nice gradient than I should with such a pricey shadow. The longevity is fantastic though – I am getting older and my eyelids are starting to crease more later on in the day, and I have noticed that these shadows don’t budge. I haven’t tried the majority of her other products — other than her eyeshadows, I like the chap stick, lipgloss, and highlighters quite a bit as well.

Genevieve Avatar

I have only one palette from Pat – the Sublime Mini and I do have to say that I love the quality of this gem and I think her quality for eyeshadows overall is pretty good.

What I don’t like, is as you have said Christine, her prices are hideously expensive. In Aus – the quads retail at $105 and full palettes are more than $195 – 200.
Secondly – I think she had done her Divine Rose series to death – lots and lots of pink themed palettes that don’t appeal to me.
Lots of her lipsticks are the same sorts of shades as well. And the gold sequins are just so annoying.

Phoebe Avatar

I wish the color stories across the brand were more functional and cohesive. I have nearly all her palettes and if those were the only ones I could use, I’d struggle to get versatility out of that collection.

It needs more mattes and more neutrals to ground some of the extravagant colors, chromes, and formulas.

Marites Avatar

Like: the quality and color payoff for the shadows, some lipsticks.

Dislike: the price, the ovyerblown advertising, the packaging, plastic is never elegant, and incredibly clunky.

Hate: the glitter, in the packaging, the lip kits.

janine Avatar

I like the packaging.. the heavy plastic is Lux and the collections are nicely put together in her es palettes

I wish the plastic palettes had the names on the outside and I dislike the repeated shadows. Seems like there’s a medium warm brown in almost every palettes and lots of golds. I’m not into her specialshadows which are micro glitters with not much pigment. I haven’t tried the highlighters they are all gold. Mascara is ok. I found the lipsticks average lip gloss is nice. red

Heather Avatar

Pat McGrath us unlike any eyeshadow on the market! It wears down to an even more amazing shimmer than when it starts and she is good about IG posts using the products with IG MUA. My only complaint is how HEAVY the palettes are! You cannot travel with them but when you purchase a bundle with the early discount it brings down the prices!

Laura Avatar

I find Pat McGrath products to be not as elegant a formula as I prefer these days.
The eyeshadows are pretty but I’m hard pressed to find a quad or a palette that I often like every shadow in, and for the price point, it’s a no go, most of the time.

makeupmaus3 Avatar

I just bought my first eyeshadow quad of hers from Sephora. I justified the cost saying that this would be what I would wear to get married in next week. Other than that, I really can’t justify purchasing them otherwise except at a discount.

Ruby Avatar

Like: the quality and shades of the lipsticks which at one time were an addiction

Dislike: dunno why, but the one eye palette I own makes my lids itch. Haven’t taken another risk on non lipstick products

Agree that the price point is too high but after the Lipstick Wars of the last several years it seems they are not that different from many high-end lipsticks and at least the quality is there. Honestly, don’t think any lipstick can justify being more than $30 no matter what the name on the bullet is (unless it’s in a diamond-encrusted case), but once everyone started doing it, it became accepted, sadly.

brendacr1 Avatar

I love the quality of her products, I have only had an issue with one of her lipsticks breaking on me and with all of the products I’ve purchased that’s pretty good odds. The only thing that has held me back from purchasing recently is the price, if money were no object I would probably own it all, but it’s over the top prices that will make me question if I really need another eyeshadow, lipstick, eyeliner etc.

Rachel R. Avatar

I love her eyeshadows and lipsticks, and her lipgloss is nice. Her packaging is gorgeous.

Getting limited edition items is really difficult, and I’m still salty about the Star Wars palettes release. And her high prices keep me from trying more of her products. The sequins and black squiggle packing materials are annoying.

Ashley Manwaring Avatar

Love the eyeshadows, especially the glitter shades.

Dislike that the pink theme has been going round and round when purples and greens have been requested loads online.
Also all the social media has really inaccurate swatches! Eh: for the liquidlusts they showed one colour in 5 different ways! These swatches should be accurate but they’re not at all.

Donna Avatar

Loves: The pigment and textures are amazing. Lipsticks are in my top 3. So glad she finally brought out blush and yes they are excellent and did not disappoint.

Dislikes: Price, I wait for her sales which seem to happen a lot, wait a month and the eyeshadows you like will be on sale even the limited editions. The swatches she puts up on her site, I have to wait for Christine to do swatches to actually see what the colour is really like without the sparkly photos Pat uses. Packaging as said by most, something simple no doubt yes cardboard is better for the environment but perhaps better stronger version.

Fidan Avatar

I honestly don’t like anything about this brand after having the most horrible customer service experience with them (they didn’t send me the product I bought, nor did they refund me). It left such a bad taste in my mouth, that the branding seems very pretentious to me now as well.

Helene Avatar

What do I like, if I had answered this yesterday I would possibly have been more positive.
I have eyeshadows, 3 Motherships, 2 Mthrshps, I think I may be mistaken about that name :D, I have the big 18 pan palette. I also have some old singles, 2 or 3 lipsticks, and have tried eyeliner pencil and mascara. I have 3 lipsticks and a gloss as well.
I hardly ever reach for any of the stuff I have from the brand. I don’t feel inspired by the palettes, though I so want to love them.
I get so much fall out when I use any of the shimmerier e/s’s I did a one and done today with one of the shimmery shades, I still have greenish shimmer dots on my cheeks, and nose(!), after trying to clean the fallout away twice. Maybe I should use some other application method 😛
I hate the matte trance lipsticks, they dry my lips out like few other lipstick formulas.
I didn’t care for the mascara at all, the eyeliner pencil was OK, but it dried out.
I also dislike the imaginary in the e-mails I get. The swatches on the website are not showing a true depiction of what they want you to buy.
The price is high, as most everyone else have said.
I still dislike what happened with the Star Wars release, when I thought I had bought what I wanted only to get an e-mail 3 days later that the palette was out of stock, 3 days! After that I have only bought one thing from the brand, the 18 pan palette.
I hate the FOMO, so I don’t buy anything from the brand these days.

What I like, I love the colour of the lipsticks I have, I love Major Red, but hate that I broke it and it’s discontinued. I like the lip gloss I have.

Lots of dislike and very little like from me, and it makes me a bit sad as it’s a brand I want to love. I have been inspired by Mother Pat over the years, and I was so excited when she started her brand. Now I just don’t care anymore. The FOMO killed my enthusiasm.

DonnaL Avatar

I agree with you – I don’t feel inspired at all by the eye shadow palettes. Every time I take one of the mothership palettes, I struggle with putting a look together.

Adrienne Avatar

I thought I didn’t have anything to say about this at first, but then I pulled out my PMG lip balm, which is nearing its end, and realized I dislike having to toss (or hoard) the empty lipstick case, which is a big heavy metal work of art. Seems so wasteful to throw it out – these should be recyclable or refillable. I’m literally dreading reaching the end of the other few PMG lip products I’ve bought on sale and having to throw the ornate cases away. Love the quality of the lippies and eyeshadow, if it’s on sale!

Lianne Avatar

I adore the lipsticks, they’re so smooth and moisturizing. The packaging is adorable too, with the little lips! It feels so luxe in my hand. I used up my tube of Lip Fetish Balm in VR Pink and I NEVER use up lipsticks. It was so pretty.

I have several palettes but somehow I end up not really using them much. Something about the shades just doesn’t ever seem to suit me. As a previous poster mentioned, sometimes they make my eyelids itch, then water, then I have to repair the look. So that can be annoying.

Several others have mentioned the packaging, which is just a bit much, all those sequins. I get it’s their distinctive thing but it’s more an annoyance than a luxury.

Valerie Avatar

* Love: formulas. I own every lipstick and lip gloss she’s ever made, as well as every eyeliner and eyeshadow palette except for the 18-pan. I’ve tried almost every lip liner and mascara. I have several blushes and both her highlighters. Everything lives up to the hype but the eyeshadows take the cake. I create incredible, iconic looks with ease. These days, nearly every time I wear her palette I get a compliment. Initially, I had a learning curve – learning to use shadow glue and mixing liquid, foiling, cut crease, and even just using a shadow primer. Took a few years. I learned a lot because I invested heavily in products I had no idea how to use at the time and really wanted to make the most of them. So I have a soft place in my heart for all things Pat McGrath.

* Hate: someone else said this – faux exclusivity. Starting last summer, ALL of her products have been on sale. Lipsticks were 50% off, Motherships steeply discounted, everything. It’s been a perpetual sale on her site for a year. I understand that sales suffered as a result of quarantine but I don’t see Chanel doing that, for instance. When it comes to luxury, “the price is the price”. When you mark down your inventory for an entire year, you’re marking down the value of the brand. It makes me feel foolish for having fretted over whether I would get the items I wanted in those unnecessarily stressful releases when I see them go on 50% sale months later. I hope the brand takes a lesson in humility and treats its customers with more respect in future releases.

Cil Avatar

Love the lipstick colors, BUT for the price the package is horrible. I have 2 full mattetrance and 3 mini. The lipstick tube always falls apart, with the golden piece over the mouth getting loose. I absolutely hate the waste of those golden sequins too. What do people do with them?

Naomi Avatar

I love the quality of her products, her eyeshadows are my favorite. There is no need to build up the pigmentation, and they work on all skin tones. I don’t like the weight of her palettes or repeat shadows in new releases. Another thing I hate are the limited edition claims. Decadence was re-released, but people begged her to release it again. I am thinking more of Divine Rose II in pink packaging. I’m annoyed for anyone who purchased it in the black packaging, only to see it available again in pink packaging. I got it on launch just for the pink packaging, but would have waited if I knew I could get it later.

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