Elegant Dressing: Billion Dollar Woman - Pat McGrath Labs

Almost needed to make a new category for this subject, but I think Elegant Dressing fits the bill - just.  Pat McGrath, is the legendary fashion editorial and runway makeup artist for iconic design houses such as Versace, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Gucci. McGrath's been at the epicenter of the fashion world for over two decades, creating signature looks for each designer from season to season worn by top models including Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid and Joan Smalls.

McGrath launched her makeup line Pat McGrath Labs in 2015 with just one product available on her website and through Sephora stores, which I was all about and shared in my December 22 2016 Elegant Dressing Post. Barely three years later the brand received a $60 million minority investment from New York based investment company Eurazeo Brands giving Pat McGrath Labs an astonishing valuation of $1 billion!!  

This news comes right on the heels of Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics company that begun with lip kit palettes.  Forbes valued Jenner's company at $900 million, another stratospheric amount and last week graced the Forbes magazine cover. However, on Monday with Eurazeo Brand's infusion of cash Pat McGrath blew right past her.  

The meteoric rise of these two makeup moguls is of particular interest to me having been involved in the cosmetics world during my early professional life; initially as a fashion model followed by several years working at Estée Lauder then Donna Karan. Even now years later in a completely different field as an interior designer, and with friends still in the business I continue to have a keen interest in the industry.  

In Jenner's case fame from Living with the Kardashians brought worldwide name recognition which she parlayed into a makeup line that went from zero to $900 million also in 3 years with sales generated through her Facebook and Instagram accounts.  Forbes is forecasting that in another year Jenner at 21 will become the youngest self-made billionaire, although we can debate whether her success is actually "self-made.”

McGrath's story is entirely different. She grew up in Northampton, England with her mother who emigrated from Jamaica. As McGrath shared in her interview with The Guardian newspaper, she was introduced to makeup by her mother Jean...“She always put on a full face of makeup then got in the bath to get that dewy finish. It was next level, but this is where I got my makeup tips from — at seven years old.” That was the genesis of her passion for makeup and left Northampton for London to pursue a career as a makeup artist.

Pat McGrath is an exceptionally gifted artist who produces an inexhaustible supply of makeup statements.  She maintains an at times punishing work schedule that includes leading her team through 60-plus shows during Fashion Week, creating transformative looks that have sparked global trends.

Ms McGrath's idealistic outlook has remained constant..."It has always been my dream to create an iconic beauty brand that goes beyond the usual limitations, that's outside the parameters of what is expected."  At age 53 Pat McGrath sits atop of her $billion dollar self-made empire - totally awesome!

McGrath and Jenner have disrupted the cosmetics industry’s traditional department store concept with neither maintaining a presence there. Choosing instead to drive sales through their social media platforms and in McGrath's case also with Sephora, the personal care emporium.

Can't wait to hear about what are sure to be eye-popping stats from Rihanna's Fenty Beauty whose fab lipgloss Fenty Glow I've been wearing and loving all summer!

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  Pat McGrath Labs

Pat McGrath Labs

  Christian Dior Spring 2004   "A not-so-common Tutankhamun, executed with 18 hours of marathon makeup in mesmerizing metallics," says McGrath of the extravagant look.  Allure Magazine

Christian Dior Spring 2004

"A not-so-common Tutankhamun, executed with 18 hours of marathon makeup in mesmerizing metallics," says McGrath of the extravagant look. Allure Magazine

  Christian Dior Fall 2009    "This was an exploration of 1920’s Geisha glamour with an homage à Poiret with bold eyes, thin brows, and a degradé lip," says McGrath.  Allure Magazine; Phorography - Chris Moore

Christian Dior Fall 2009 

"This was an exploration of 1920’s Geisha glamour with an homage à Poiret with bold eyes, thin brows, and a degradé lip," says McGrath. Allure Magazine; Phorography - Chris Moore

  Givenchy Spring 2010 Couture   Back when everyone was telling you to only ever play up one feature at a time, McGrath, per usual, was breaking the rules, pairing red lips with glossy-and-glittery smoky eyes. In 2017 lingo, it's the definition of "extra."  Allure Magazine: Photography Dominic Charriou

Givenchy Spring 2010 Couture

Back when everyone was telling you to only ever play up one feature at a time, McGrath, per usual, was breaking the rules, pairing red lips with glossy-and-glittery smoky eyes. In 2017 lingo, it's the definition of "extra." Allure Magazine: Photography Dominic Charriou

  Givenchy Spring 2012   Proof that you don't need a lot to make a major statement. For Givenchy's water-inspired collection, McGrath cut a piece of sequins in half and glued it along the center of the top and bottom lashes. "It was hyper-minimal major-ness," McGrath says of the look.  Allure Magazine: Photography - Pascal le Segretain

Givenchy Spring 2012

Proof that you don't need a lot to make a major statement. For Givenchy's water-inspired collection, McGrath cut a piece of sequins in half and glued it along the center of the top and bottom lashes. "It was hyper-minimal major-ness," McGrath says of the look. Allure Magazine: Photography - Pascal le Segretain

  Christian Dior Spring 2013 Couture    Long before McGrath sparked the glittery lip trend with her  Lust 004 kit , she was topping the lips at Dior Couture with red-and-pink Swarovski crystals.  Allure Magazine: Photography - Julian M Hekemian

Christian Dior Spring 2013 Couture 

Long before McGrath sparked the glittery lip trend with her Lust 004 kit, she was topping the lips at Dior Couture with red-and-pink Swarovski crystals. Allure Magazine: Photography - Julian M Hekemian

  Maison Margiela Spring 2016 Couture   Not soon after the iconic singer passed away, McGrath paid homage to David Bowie with this embellished look at Margiela's couture show. "It was celestial couture meets intergalactic glamour, with a touch of Bowie's 'Space Oddity' brought to life with 3D metallic stars and a structured, gothic mouth with a touch of scarlet on the lower lip," she says.  Allure Magazine: Photography - Francois Durand

Maison Margiela Spring 2016 Couture

Not soon after the iconic singer passed away, McGrath paid homage to David Bowie with this embellished look at Margiela's couture show. "It was celestial couture meets intergalactic glamour, with a touch of Bowie's 'Space Oddity' brought to life with 3D metallic stars and a structured, gothic mouth with a touch of scarlet on the lower lip," she says. Allure Magazine: Photography - Francois Durand

  McGrath with Edward Enninful, 2009. Photograph: Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

 McGrath with Edward Enninful, 2009. Photograph: Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images