Pat McGrath Labs | Skin Fetish 003 Nude, First Edition

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish 003 opener


When makeup guru Pat McGrath created and released her first product (Gold 001), it sold out at the speed of light and kick-started a veritable worldwide frenzy amongst beauty addicts. Her second launch, Phantom 002, had a similar response so when she announced a third new release, Skin Fetish 003, I knew I needed to get on board — especially considering it was to be highlighters this time around.

One of two shades available, I opted for Skin Fetish 003 in Nude — a pearly hue and so totally different from any other highlighter I currently own. The kit includes: Iridescent Pink 003 pressed Pigment, Nude Shiny Stick Balm + Highlighter Duo, and a Buffer 003 Brush and comes packaged in a bag chock-full of silver sequins that needs to almost be opened in a clean room, so as to avoid the little bits from spreading EVERYWHERE.

The images of the highlighters shown on Pat McGrath’s Instagram feed were enough to entice me to order, and web ordering issues aside (mainly due to her site crashing from a veritable onslaught of people ordering) I also felt that the US $72.00 price tag wasn’t a bad deal, considering you were getting three items instead of one. That is, UNTIL I factored in the shipping charge to Canada — a whopping US $25.00, then the nasty surprise of a CAN $33.00 duty charge payable upon delivery. So basically, this highlighter ended up costing a grand total of CAN $158.00 (with the exchange rate). My other issue lies with the packaging which feels somewhat subpar. I felt that at this price, the compact could have been in a much better quality plastic and while the casing of the Shiny Stick is fine and the quality of the brush quite good, both have unattractive black label stickers instead of the embossed lettering I would have thought, which only adds to the overall impression of lack of quality. Definitely not what I was expecting, and certainly not commensurate to the price.

But I digress …. on to the review.


Pat McGrath Skin Fetish 003 packaging

Pat McGrath Labs | Skin Fetish oo3 Nude, First Edition

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish 003 packaging 2

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish 003

Pat McGrath Iridescent Pink 003 Pigment

Iridescent Pink 003 Pigment | Made in Italy, this is an opalescent highlighter hue with a strong pink shift and in a powder that has one of the finest milled textures I’ve come across, all of which glides effortlessly along the skin. The formula is such that it gives you plenty of play options; applied dry with a brush provides a lighter veil of shimmer or even with your fingers (still dry) to press the product more firmly into the skin. Applied over the highlighter end of the Shiny Stick, you get a warmer undertone and a more complex shimmer, but layered over the balm gives the strongest shimmer payoff, although lasting power diminishes somewhat due to the emollient consistency this last combo offers. No matter which way Nude 003 is worn, I find that the texture is exquisite enough that it does not emphasize pores, and gives one of the most seamless gleams I’ve seen to date.

By the way, this product (along with the Shiny Stick) need not be limited to the face (cheekbones, cupid’s bow, brow bone, inner eye corner, bridge of the nose); Pat encourages experimentation and you can also try adding this to the clavicle area, bare shoulders or even along shinbones for an unexpected sexy gleam. Basically, anywhere you want the light to hit (or to catch someone’s eye).


Pat McGrath Iridescent Pink 003 Pigment macro

Pat McGrath Labs | Iridescent Pink 003 Pigment

Pat McGrath Iridescent Pink 003 Pigment 2

Pat McGrath Labs | Iridescent Pink 003 Pigment

Pat McGrath Buffer 003 Brush

Buffer 003 Brush | Made in Japan, this is a narrow brush in a dual-fibred cut with buttery soft natural bristles. The size makes it easy to apply the Pigment exactly where you want, and the softness of the bristles helps with buffing the product seamlessly into the skin.

Pat McGrath Buffer 003 Brush 2

Pat McGrath Labs | Buffer 003 Brush

Pat McGrath Balm & Highlighter 003

Nude Shiny Stick Highlighter + Balm Duo | Made in Italy, this is a dual-ended product with a cream highlighter on one end and a clear balm on the other.

  • Balm – transparent with a high gloss finish, stays emollient and slightly tacky to the touch (does not dry down), perfect for giving an editorial-type glow when worn alone or can also be used as an anchoring base for the Pigment layered on top
  • Highlighter – champagne/oyster hue with a light pink undertone that provides brightness (think of it as a slightly pinker version of NARS’ Copacabana Multiple) in a gliding smooth texture, and which gives off a softly shimmering luminosity (but can also be dialled up by adding another layer for even more brilliance)

Pat McGrath Balm 003 macro

Pat McGrath Labs | Balm, Nude Shiny Stick

Pat McGrath Highlighter 003 macro

Pat McGrath Labs | Highlighter, Nude Shiny Stick

Pat McGrath Skin Fetosh 003 swatches

Pat McGrath Labs | Skin Fetish oo3 Nude, First Edition


As someone who has quite the obsession going with highlighters, I’ll go ahead and say that Skin Fetish 003 Nude is by far the most unique one that I own. The coloration is quite original and the ultra refined texture have me reaching for this almost daily since its arrival. The brush has a nice fit to the hand and the quality of the bristles are excellent, with the dual-fibred nature helping to diffuse the product seamlessly into the skin. The Shiny Stick is very handy as well and I like how you have strobing options with both this and the powder. The downside? The cost vs quality. The concept is sound and valid — but Pat, you need to go back to the drawing board where the packaging details are concerned. Also, the sequins are a cute touch, but in my opinion they’re not only messy to deal with but wind up being a total waste — although they do look good in photos.

If you picked up Skin Fetish Nude or Gold (or perhaps even both), let me know – curious to hear your thoughts

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish 003 closer


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