Before shaking up the industry with her out of this world makeup brand, Pat McGrath was dominating catwalks. Her tendency towards bold, daring makeup looks and adventurous application techniques has made her a household name. Yet, her brand’s recent accomplishment was overshadowed in favor of another makeup mogul.
Our mother of makeup’s hit brand Pat McGrath Labs was estimated to be worth $1 billion in 2018. To put that into perspective, Kylie Cosmetics today is worth $900 million.
This news was announced around the same time as Kylie was being labeled the world’s youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes. While I believe Kylie’s brand deserves recognition for its hard work, I hated seeing Pat McGrath’s momentous achievement overlooked for yet another Kardashian/Jenner headline.
It’s very possible that I didn’t hear about this milestone due to who I follow and interact with on social media. It’s possible it’s due to the white washing of media. More than likely, it’s a combination of these two and a million more not on my radar. Both lead to the obvious point that our media needs to change and give more recognition where it’s due. Not just seek out which headlines will give them the most clicks.
Yes, Pat McGrath Labs reached this achievement a year ago. It still deserves to be celebrated today. For so long, beauty companies only catered to white women. So many still do. We’re finally seeing brands backed by women of color break into the mainstream beauty world. Some makeup brands are finally expanding shade ranges.
When it comes to the world of beauty, the competition is fierce. The brands backed by familiar faces, like Kylie Cosmetics, are ones we hear about day in and day out. We value social status more than skill and tales of hard work.
McGrath was raised by a single mother who was her first source of beauty inspiration. Read any interview about McGrath’s trajectory into the industry, and you’ll no doubt read about how her mother, being a makeup junkie herself, instilled this love into her daughter. A love that would lead her to start a career full of passion and beauty.
On top of creating product for her brand, Pat still creates looks for more than 60 brands during fashion week through Milan, Paris, London and New York. She’s worked with Naomi Campbell and Gigi Hadid.
Yet, despite this constant stream of work, she still finds time to answer followers in the comments of Instagram posts. No doubt that this first-hand interaction helps others feel more connected with her.
Anna Wintour named her the most influential makeup artist in the world. Queen Elizabeth II made her a Member of the Order of the British Empire. All of this accomplished by a woman born to a single mother in Northampton, England.
Stories like Pat’s are ones we should be loudly celebrating. She’s trailblazed a path for herself and has become an inspiration to everyone out there who could never relate to mainstream beauty trends. No wonder she’s lovingly referred to as the Mother of Makeup.
More fuss, headlines, Instagram images, and Tweets should have been put out celebrating Pat McGrath’s monumental achievement. We should take it upon ourselves to spread stories like hers to the masses to not only celebrate their hard work, but to also inspire future generations of industry shakers.
So here’s to Pat for staying at the top of her industry thanks to decades of day in and day out grind. To her beautiful creations both on the runway and lining the walls of Sephora. Here’s to hard work.
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Cover image courtesy of Allure