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I Tried Pat McGrath's Lipstick Hack: Editor Experiment

This Hack Will Make You Rethink How You Apply Lipstick

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pat mcgrath lipstick hack

At this point, it's common for beauty products or certain trends to go viral online. What's a bit more unusual is for a technique to get the entire beauty industry talking. Of course, it would be none other than legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath who achieved this feat when she created a porcelain-doll skin look for the Maison Margiela artisanal spring/summer 2024 show.

After people on the internet begged her to release the details of the makeup look, McGrath hosted an Instagram Live where she re-created it and broke down all of the products she used. In the process, she revealed a unique technique for applying lipstick: rubbing it onto the back of her hand, warming it up, picking some up with her pointer finger, and stamping it onto the mouth. While I was one of the thousands of people reveling in the magic of the porcelain-doll details, the hack immediately stood out to me as a genius way to make my typically very structured lip look feel more natural without affecting the colour. Of course, I had to try it for myself, so read ahead to see if I achieved the Pat McGrath lips of my dreams.

Applying Lipstick Using Pat McGrath's Hack

pat mcgrath lipstick hack

For my product, of course, I had to go with my Pat McGrath Labs Matte Trance ($39) formula in the shade Flesh 3, a deep rose. As the team did on the live, I rubbed the lipstick onto the back of my hand a few times, making sure to be generous so I'd have enough product when it was time to apply. Once it was warmed up, I took the pad of my pointer finger, dipped it into the pigment, and started pressing it into my lips. I found that having more pigment on my hand to work with was a smart move; each time I picked up enough product to stamp the lipstick onto my lips once, then move on to the next area.

Once all areas were filled in, I noticed that the corners of my mouth didn't have much colour. Still, one smack of my lips together added just the right amount of pigment for the finished product to look diffused and feel lived in — the perfect everyday lip.

Applying Lipstick Straight From the Tube

pat mcgrath lipstick hack

To see how well it fared against my usual technique of applying the lipstick straight from the tube, I wiped off the first version and went straight in with the stick. The result was a slightly deeper version of the mauve-rose colour. With this method, I realised that when I used the tube directly, I went over my lips a few more times to make them look as neat as humanly possible. This resulted in more layers of colour than when I used the finger technique. It felt a bit more like a look I'd wear to a formal event versus one that I'd wear on a day-to-day basis.

Overall, this hack surprised me, as I didn't expect to love the results so much. The formula felt lightweight and natural, but there was still plenty of colour payoff. I'm not typically a fan of putting makeup on the back of my hand (I usually forget it's there and end up getting makeup all over my clothes), but for this result, I will make an exception.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Aril Baker
I Tried Pat McGrath's Lipstick Hack: Editor Experiment
Pat McGrath Labs Matte Trance
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