It’s almost as though anything Pat McGrath creates is destined to create a worldwide beauty frenzy. Take for example her latest release, Lust 004 — 6 matte lippie shades that come with matching glitter plus a clear gloss — that literally broke & crashed the internet within seconds of going on sale. I know, because I was one of the frustrated many who couldn’t access any of the products that day. But here’s where my story takes a few unexpected twists; grab a cup of something and read on because you won’t want to miss this …
Two days after the Pat McGrath site crashed, it was finally up & running again and even though I was on it in a heartbeat, the Everything Kit I wanted was completely sold out. So what’s a beauty addict to do? Well, I had no choice (right?) but to order each kit individually, even if it was an additional CAN $30.00. Sigh.
About a week later, the products arrived but not without a couple of not-so-welcome surprises; for starters, I had to pay an additional CAN $67.00 in duties (insert stare of disbelief here) AND two packages arrived instead of one, which I then had to spend an additional 30 minutes explaining to the courier that it was a duplicate package sent in error and that it was to be returned (and yes, there was a duty charge on that too, which I fortunately didn’t have to pay as I refused to accept it). Next, after excitedly opening everything up, taking all my photos, and then swatching the entire enchilada, I realized that the Flesh Kit (which came sealed in its own separate package, mind you) held two Flesh 1 pencils instead of both Flesh 1 & Flesh 2. Oy — and the nightmare continued.
I immediately contacted Pat McGrath’s customer service and explained the situation; imagine my surprise when a couple of days later, they not only responded but apologized for the error and told me they would send the missing shade. Soooooo….fast-forward a few more days, and another package arrived (by the way, I was advised ahead of time what the duty charges were and I was even credited in advance from Pat McGrath Labs — points scored for that) and when it finally came, imagine the look on my face when I opened it up … and found the Bloodwine Kit (Blood 1 & Blood 2) instead of the Flesh 2 shade I was expecting. Seriously?
I immediately contacted the customer service department again and within a couple of days I received another reply; once more, they apologized for the mix-up and to make up for all the inconvenience, want to know what they did? I’ll tell you: they not only credited my card with the full amount of my original order, but told me to keep this secondary set AND finally sent along the missing Flesh 2 shade (with no duty incurred, thank you). So at the end of the day, it all turned out well and I was really happy to see that they were not only willing to stand behind their products, but went out of their way to ensure that this customer was happy. Way to redeem yourselves, Pat McGrath Labs.
*Note that in the photo below, Flesh 1 is shown twice as I hadn’t realized it was duplicated when I began swatching everything, and obviously I was too lazy to do them all over again.
Pat McGrath Labs · Lust 004
Pat McGrath Labs · Lust 004
As I stated in my mini-novella above, I initially had my sights on the Everything Kit, as it contained, well…everything plus it worked out a little cheaper than purchasing each kit separately, which is what I ended up doing anyway. On the plus side, I wound up with 3 tubes of the awesome Clear Vinyl Gloss (as opposed to just the one included with the Everything) and three pots of the Metallic Gold Pigment (maybe not as handy, but still…) and just knowing that all the products are first edition makes me happy, because yes … I can be silly & shallow that way. For the record, I know that the whole sequin thing is Pat’s signature by now, but honestly, the stuff gets everywhere. #sequinoverload
There are no clear and concise instructions on how to apply everything and after a bit of experimentation, I landed upon the best and easiest way to work with them. But first, a breakdown: the matte lip shades come in a black retractible pencil format that has a bevelled edge, one that will wear down quickly and eventually round out. The texture is unbelievable; ultra creamy both in application and feel, and basically glides effortlessly along the lips to deliver full opacity from the first swipe. Considering that these are matte, the finish is not of the flat light-absorbing variety, and neither does it suck out every drop of moisture from the lips, but instead feels totally comfortable throughout the wearing. Flesh 1 is the only shade that shows any patchiness and needs to be first blotted then reapplied in order to look as smooth as the rest. The gloss is thick and has megawatt shine, but without any heavy sticky feeling associated with a product this dense; I still haven’t figured out how that sorcery was accomplished. The beauty of a clear gloss such as this, is in its versatility — wear it alone or over any lipstick you desire, and it instantly boosts lips with major volume.
And now for the pièce de résistance, the glitter (or how not to get it all over EVERYTHING). Using a flat lip brush, my first attempt had me applying the glitter over my chosen lipstick which also had just a hint of gloss; my thinking was that the gloss would help bind everything together. WRONG. The gloss just made things slide around and the glitter glopped about it little bunches — so NOT the look I was going for. Going back to the drawing board, I used the same lip brush and this time applied the glitter right on top of the lipstick (no gloss) and voilà! Success! It’s actually quite easy this way and you can go as light or as heavy as you prefer; I tend to apply it to the centre of the lips, concentrating on the cupid’s bow and ensuring the entire middle portion of my lips is well covered — this method works to not only give the illusion of a more lush pout, but makes the glitter really stand out (not that it needs all that much help to begin with).
A word about the glitter; my biggest fear was that it would feel like I applied a layer of sand to my lips and that it would subsequently get all over my teeth, but in fact the texture is so refined that it seems to fuse with the lipstick and within seconds of application I totally forget it’s even there — until someone mentions it, which is something that happens non-stop, when wearing any of these combos. True story: the first time I wore a “Pat McGrath Lip” to an media preview I recently attended, my lips basically hijacked the event and we spent the entire time talking about the products. Staying power of the lipsticks is unbelievably long, even with eating and drinking (I actually put it to the test this past Saturday at a wedding where I wore the Venom 1 combo, and everything stayed relatively put almost the entire evening), and even though some of the glitter might fade (or get eaten), there’s still plenty showing through to keep the look alive.
Bonus: mixing a bit of the Metallic Gold Pigment with the gloss creates the most spectacular molten gold shade — can’t wait to try this effect with other finely ground pigments I have laying about here and see what happens.
Pat McGrath Labs · Lust 004 Microfine Glitters & Metallic Gold Pigment
Pat McGrath Labs · Lust 004 Clear Vinyl Gloss
Pat McGrath Labs · Lust 004 swatches*
- Flesh 1 – nude with a peachy undertone
- Venom 1 – vivid scarlet
- Venom 2 – deep wine red
- Blood 1 – true red, blue-based
- Blood 2 – intense burgundy
*Flesh 1 is shown twice in the swatches above, as I hadn’t realized my error at the time
Pat McGrath Labs · Flesh 1 swatches
Pat McGrath Labs · Flesh 1 with Flesh Microfine Glitter swatch
Pat McGrath Labs · Venom 1 swatches
Pat McGrath Labs · Venom 1 with Venom Microfine Glitter swatch
Pat McGrath Labs · Venom 2 swatches
Pat McGrath Labs · Blood 1 swatches
Pat McGrath Labs · Blood 2 swatches
Pat McGrath Labs · Metallic Gold Pigment & Clear Vinyl Gloss swatch
Pat McGrath Labs · Lust 004
Hype is a powerful thing, and even someone as immersed in this industry as myself, is not immune (as this post proves). I don’t often purchase sight unseen but this is my second experience with a Pat McGrath Labs product (Skin Fetish 003 previously reviewed) and I felt confident enough in the quality to go ahead and order. If there’s anything I find fault with, it has to be with the packaging which is just not up to par, especially when you consider the excellent quality of the products. You’ll say at this point that it’s the product that counts, right? Well yes….and no. When you’re paying a premium price, you should get the entire deal: product & packaging. To say that by simply slapping on a printed label and not investing in more complex packaging, that the brand is therefore opting to focus on ingredients and not the exterior, would be a lie as it takes as much effort & cost to do this step than to print directly on the tube itself. So Pat, if you’re listening, take note: you need to up your packaging game to at least meet the standards of the products you’re putting out — at that point, pretty much no one will touch you.
Still showing availability at Sephora (I know, right?)