Worth the $$$ ? Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Foundation Review
It seems like the world of makeup is bursting at the seams with new foundation releases. From drugstore to mid-range to luxury and at $68 a pop, the new Pat McGrath foundation is firmly cemented in the luxury category. I’ve been wearing it most days for the past 2.5 weeks sooo it’s time to share my thoughts, and just in time for the Sephora sale, too.
A little bit of a primer on the brand for the unfamiliar— Pat McGrath is one of the most iconic makeup artists of our time. She’s known for her iconic runway looks and editorial makeup which is pretty much the antithesis of instagram makeup. She’s helped launch Giorgi Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, & Gucci’s beauty lines. And back in 2015, she finally launched her own makeup line. While there have been eyeshadows and lipsticks and highlighters galore, this foundation (as well as the accompanying powder + primer) launch is her first foray into base products.
A heavy, frosted glass bottle— it 100% feels and looks luxurious. The foundation is dispensed through a pump, in the 2+ weeks I’ve been using it I haven’t had any issues with it spurting or clogging. Said pump is covered with a cap which is secure. I’ve carried around in my makeup bag a few times with no accidents.
Long-wearing, with a natural finish, offering light to medium coverage. Recommended application is with your fingers (which Pat is known for) or with a brush.
I’ve included a screenshot of the shade range taken from the product page. I personally bought shade Medium 15 which is medium with yellow undertones. I usually go for neutral foundations but the model for shade Medium 15 seemed pretty close to my own skin tone.
From what I’ve swatched and my own experience with the shade I bought, I think the range is fairly neutral. The warm shades do have a yellowness to them, but it’s not extreme. Same thing with the cool shades; there is a pinkness but it’s not extreme.
I also like how the shades are spread across an even spectrum. Each category has 7 shades except for Deep which has 8. As a person who falls into the medium spectrum, I think they did a good job with the medium and medium deep shades. There’s no weird grey or orange undertones and there’s no crazy jumps between shades in regards to depth.
Personally, I find this really easy to apply. I’ve tried it with fingers, a sponge, and a few different synthetic brushes. It spreads easily, doesn’t cling to dry patches, nor does it set too fast. There is alcohol in the formula but I personally don’t notice any sort of dry down. My skin is typically sensitive to alcohol in high concentrations but I don’t have any issues with this foundation.
My favorite way to apply this is with a wet sponge. I think the added moisture from the sponge also made the finish even more natural. I found that with a brush, it took a little bit longer to blend. With my fingers it looked good but it was hard to build it up on areas where I wanted more coverage.
I forgot where exactly I heard this, but apparently this formula is supposed to take on the finish of whatever it’s applied upon. So if your skin is dewy, it’ll stay dewy. If your skin is matte, it will stay matte. At first I thought, “okay… isn’t that the way it works with every foundation?” but then I realized nope it’s not— most matte foundations stay matte even over a dewy primer, and a dewy foundation over a matte primer will often be mattified as a result.
I tested this over a mattifying Murad sunscreen (which tbh isn’t too matte on me), the hourglass mineral veil which has a satin finish, and the Dior backstage primer which leaves my skin hydrated and a touch dewy. The foundation did take on the finish of whatever was underneath it initially, but after a few hours it always ended up looking dewy.
It’s advertised as having a light to medium coverage with a natural finish and I find those claims accurate. I could easily apply two layers of foundation over areas where I wanted more coverage, and it still looked natural. With one layer of foundation, you can see some of my acne scarring peeking through. With a second layer added, they’re pretty much covered up.
I found the wear time the longest over a hydrating/ dewy base. I think the longest I went wearing this was 14+ hours. A decent part of that day was spent outdoors or on the subway, sweating profusely. Even after all that, this mostly held up. There were no areas of congealed foundation to dry patches. The main area it faded was on my chin, but that’s because I have a habit of resting my chin on my hands, thus rubbing off my makeup.
As far as primers go, I think this wore best over a hydrating primer (in my case, the Dior backstage foundation.)
Unlike many luxury foundations, this doesn’t contain any fragrance. It faintly smells like denatured alcohol, but I can only smell it if I’m looking for it.
If you’ve read everything so far, it’s no surprise to hear that I reaaaallly like this foundation. It’s easy to apply. It looks natural and it feels very lightweight on my face. I’ve had some active breakouts as well as some fresh acne scars, and it wears well over those areas too. Many foundations end up drying out around any active zits but this does not. I’m also very impressed at how this holds up against extreme humidity and excessive sweating.
That said, if you have oily skin, I’m not sure how much you would enjoy this foundation. I’m not even oily but this started getting dewy on me after a few hours. Even if I’m indoors all day long, I end up blotting my face after 6+ hours of wearing this. I’ve also seen plenty of youtubers with oily skin complain about the dewiness.
Is it worth $$$ ?
If you have $70 to spend on foundation, have normal/ dry skin, and like a natural finish foundation— I say yes it is worth the splurge. It looks beautiful on the skin, wears well all day long, and doesn’t feel heavy or cakey.
If you don’t have $70 to spend on foundation, fret not cause there are soo many other options out there from drugstore to high-end. For instance, the Dior backstage foundation at $40. Like the Pat, it wears well all day long, comes in a wide variety of shades and undertones, and looks v natural on the skin. I would say the Dior has an even lighter texture and provides less coverage. It also gets less dewy throughout the day vs the Pat.