August 23 2014

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EXCLUSIVE: Pat McGrath Decodes The Smoky Eye—And Six Other Unsolved Beauty Mysteries


Pat McGrath is a woman who wears many hats. A backstage revolutionary who can dictate the width of brows for an entire season with the simple flick of an angled brush, she recently took up film work, devising Rooney Mara’s otherworldly, stone-cold killer makeup for David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But it’s her role as Global Creative Design Director for CoverGirl that is perhaps most influential. When the famed face painter isn’t gluing sequins onto eyelids at Givenchy or brushing on sweet, pastel contours at Valentino, she’s designing makeup for the masses—and imparting her infinite application wisdom, to boot. Above, in an exclusive preview, McGrath decodes the mystery of the perfect smoky eye using model Jessica Stam’s lids as her canvas. Below, we’ve asked her to decrypt a handful of other beauty mysteries to help you keep your lips bright and your skin perfectly matte in 2012 and beyond.

The Challenge: Controlling excessive shine

The Solution: “Controlling shine really starts with your skincare; make sure you use gentle products that do not strip the skin of its natural oils and be sure to moisturize with Olay Pro-X Clear UV Moisturizer. Before putting on makeup, prime the skin with CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Serum primer, then try CoverGirl Clean Liquid Makeup in Oil Control to even further combat the shine. Finish off the face with CoverGirl TruBlend Minerals Loose Powder. I also love Kose Japanese Blotting Papers for perfectly matte skin throughout the day.”

The Challenge: Maintaining a bold, long-wearing pout color

The Solution: “Begin by conditioning the lips with CoverGirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm in Marble, then blot off any excess moisture. Next, apply foundation or concealer all over the lip. Then, take a bright cherry red pencil such as CoverGirl LipPerfection lip pencil in Fire and fill in the entire mouth. Add CoverGirl LipPerfection Runway Shade in Hot generously and blot with a tissue. Dust your lips with translucent powder through a tissue, and reapply a second coat of lipstick. If you follow the steps above you will have a long-wearing lip. To keep it off of your teeth, remove excess lipstick from the inside of your lip by covering your finger with a tissue and closing your mouth around it. A lip brush will give you more control when applying the color and using the bullet will apply more product on to your lips. Run a finger around the lip edge to soften the line.”

The Challenge: Choosing the right red lipstick for your skin tone

The Solution: “For pink or red skin tones, choose more blue-red shades, like CoverGirl LipPerfection Runway Shade in Hot, Dolce & Gabanna The Makeup Passion Duo lipstick in Infatuation, and its Classic Cream Lipstick in Scarlett. For more olive skin tones, shades of orange work well. I recommend CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipstick in Flame and Dolce & Gabanna The Makeup Classic Cream Lipstick in Fire. If you have pale skin, most reds will actually complement your skin tone. One of my favorites is the new CoverGirl Blast Flipstick in Stunner. For darker skin, a great brick red or burgundy will work best. Try Dolce & Gabanna The Makeup Shine Lipstick in Magnifica or CoverGirl Queen Collection Lip color in Fine Wine.”

The Challenge: Drawing a perfect cat-eye

The Solution: “With your eye open, stretch your eye so the lid is flat and trace along your lash line with a pencil liner to outline the shape you want. CoverGirl Liquiline Blast in Black Fire is the perfect tool for the first step. Then go over the line with a liquid liner like CoverGirl Line Exact Liquid Liner in Very Black. A good tip as well is to avoid looking down while drawing the line, so as to create a more exact line that you can see while your eye is open.”

The Challenge: Shaping the perfect brow

The Solution: “A brow pencil is the quickest and easiest way for everyone to enhance and shape your brows. CoverGirl Brow and Eye makers is a great option. Also, top off your brows with a clear mascara like CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara in Clear to keep your brows in place. A good way to determine where your brows should begin and end is to take a pencil or a straw and line it up with the side of your nose to determine where your brows should start. To find where they should end, take the pencil and line it up from underneath the side of your nose past the outer corner of your eye. That is where the brow should end.”

The Challenge: Pulling off the no-makeup makeup look

The Solution: “The look for 2012 is more about technique and appearing beautifully bare and perfectly polished. The most important aspect of achieving this is your skincare. To keep my skin its healthy best, I see a dermatologist twice a year, Dr. Catherine Orentreich in New York and Dr. Frances Prenna Jones in London. My basic skincare includes Olay Regenerist deep-hydrating foaming cleanser and Dr. Orentreich Oil Free Moisturizer. When traveling, I combat the drying effects of airplanes’ recycled air by using SK-II Facial Treatment Masks during the flight, and SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Cream moisturizer after the mask. Using the perfect foundation to finish the perfectly polished look, brows are perfected with CoverGirl Brow and Eye Makers and lashes are lengthened with a natural brown mascara. Then use concealer, such as CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless Concealer, only where needed on blemishes and dark circles and translucent powder on the T-zone to set.”

Beauty Insider