Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish 003 Nude: Swatches & Review

11:06:00 AM

Pat McGrath is one of those makeup artist names you hear over and over. She's influential in so many areas. Seems she started this Pat McGrath Labs last year and has had two previous limited edition makeup launches. I wasn't into the first two as I'm not a huge yellow gold makeup lover anymore, and the bright colors of the 002 wasn't for me. This third Skin Fetish 003 limited launch has highlighters that looked so amazing, I had to grab Nude.

Per Pat McGrath's website: "This changes everything! Meet your new obsession: Skin Fetish 003, the transformative kit of backstage secrets for sinfully sublime skin. Take highlighting to the next dimension with this addictive trio." Sephora states: "Turn your skin on with Skin Fetish 003 and transcend your look. Experiment with an array of exquisite effects—from bare, to dewy, to stunning luminosity—beyond the spectrum. This kit is packed with backstage secrets so you can pull off seductive, sublime skin. Take highlighting to the next dimension with this addictive trio’s incandescent pigment, buffer brush, and dual-ended Shiny Stick™. It includes a lustrous highlighter on one end and beautifying balm on the other to amplify and accentuate your best features." The Pat McGrath Labs is available on Sephora starting May 10th.

The set retails for $72 and contains:

Iridescent Pink 003 pigment 0.14 oz.
Nude Shiny Stick highlighter + balm duo 0.26 oz.
Buffer 003 brush

 Pat McGrath's suggested application:

Turn your skin on. Experiment to achieve a range of exquisite effects, from bare, dewy divinity to stunning luminosity beyond the spectrum.
ACCENTUATE Swipe balm alone onto high points of skin for that fresh, editorial glow. Flip the stick and use highlighter solo to elevate your bone structure.
AMPLIFY Take it to the next level. Apply highlighter, followed by balm pressed on top for runway radiance.
TRANSCEND Go all the way. Buff the pigment over the Shiny Stick duo for an aliengelic gleam of otherworldly opulence.
Lavish light anywhere on the face and body. Add sumptuous sheen to eyelids and lips. Brighten brow bones, corners of eyes. Dramatize décolletage. Glorify shoulders.

Sephora's suggested application:

-Swipe balm alone onto high points of skin for a fresh glow.
-Apply highlighter, followed by balm pressed on top for runway radiance.
-Buff the pigment over the Shiny Stick duo for a surreal gleam of otherworldly opulence.
-Lavish light anywhere on the face and body, adding sumptuous sheen to eyelids and lips.
-Apply it on the browbones, corners of eyes, and the décolletage for a brightening effect.

The Iridescent Pink Pigment is a domed shaped highlighter. It's has a white looking base with pink iridescent pearl. When applied the base goes on almost clear and you see mostly pink iridescence. It's so finely milled, has a soft shimmer with no glitter at all. Very glowy, not shimmery. This is very pigmented, one swipe does it. The texture is thin and not powdery. I tested it on my cheekbones, eyes and lips. It adds a glow to all areas. It can be layered for more intensity. Use the brush for a natural glow, if you use your finger it's pretty intense. Overall it's pink, but this changes in the light. It shifts from red to purple. It almost feels like it glows a cooler, purple pink in the shade/inside light, and is a bright, warm, red pink in the sunlight. You can see pink, red and purple areas on the highlighter in the photos below. 


Shade to show the glow.

Swatches Heavy on top(one swipe), sheered out below:

Inside shows that cooler pink purple glow.

Outside shade shows the glow as well.

In the sunlight the base looks like a beige, oddly almost like a MAC Vex on steroids.

Compared with Top to Bottom: Armani Eyes to Kill 30 Rose Popilla, Pat McGrath Labs 003, Urban Decay Fireball Highlighter, Urban Decay Fireball Eyeshadow:

The highlighter end of the duo stick is a light shimmery champagne nude. It's not a gold champagne, it's more beige. The highlighter is rolled out almost all the way in the photo, I only rolled down the plastic part. It's not a huge amount of product. The cream is nice, not too slippery, greasy or emollient yet not too dry. It lasted pretty well. This was less emollient than Natasha Denona's cream highlight, and it lasted longer than hers as well.


Compared with Top to Bottom: Pat McGrath Nude Cream Highlight, Natasha Denona Face Glow Cream Shimmer Light(which is more peachy pink and darker):

The Buffer 003 Brush is a white, skinny, duo fibre/stippling brush. It's wispy and not dense at all. The long inner hairs are synthetic, the outer shorter ones could be horse or goat. But it doesn't say anywhere for sure. It's a pretty standard duo fibre/stippling brush. It doesn't have a typical engraved handle, it has a sticker that says the brush name and made in Japan. I pictured it below with my Wayne Goss #14 which is a similar length and size.

Close up of the sticker on the brush:

The balm end of the duo stick is clear and has a vanilla scent. It's thin and not sticky or greasy at all. I tried it by tapping it on my cheekbones as well as swiping it on my lips to see how it was. It was lightly hydrating to my lips and wore off fast. I so thought this would be one of those sticky, thick, really glossy balms much like MAC's Eye Gloss. It's surprisingly more wearable. It's glossy, as it's a balm, but it's not super glossy. It adds a sheen but not that over the top glossy sheen. It can be layered for a more intense effect, or you can just tap a little on top of the cream highlighter for a subtle extra oomph.

I tried this on one side of my face, over the cream and under the powder, and left the other side with just the cream and powder highlight. I found there was hardly any difference in the look it gave me because I tapped a minimal amount on. I could feel by touch one side was a touch more emollient feeling, and it looked ever so slightly dewier. After an hour the balm side looked and felt exactly the same as the other side. My skin had absorbed the balm fully leaving the other products still intact. Ultimately, I found this to be more wearable than I thought. I think you would have to heavily layer this to have it look as greasy as it did in the promo video.


This was just the cream highlighter sheered out with a dusting of the pink powder on top. Very subtle, glowy and natural.

Here I had the same sheered out cream highlighter base, I had two layers of pink powder on the top half, only one on the bottom. I also tapped on the balm before the powder on the bottom half. There's not much difference in sheen with the balm, but you can definitely see the extra pink effect on the top half.


My overall thoughts are I love the powder the most. It is the most unique and amazing. There seems to be a whole bunch of thought put into the product itself, the idea, even the packaging with the sequins. Yet the plastic packaging itself is so cheap. Drugstore cheap. It could use some work. There's a sticker label on the brush versus engraving it or even painting it on. The brush is pretty average and dupeable. The sticker on my balm/highlight stick isn't even put on well, it's wrinkled and not tight. The caps on both ends don't feel secure when on, they pop back off a little when I push them on. This would be a ton better without a sticker label and having it be painted on instead. That and more secure caps.

The product amounts are also tiny. The picture of the cream highlight shows the product almost fully rolled out. So it's kind of on the same level as Surratt, great quality product, tiny size, big price. However, this brand has terribly cheap packaging. Maybe if the set was $50 it might feel better. The potential for a really great overall item is there, it's just missing the packaging part. Now, I am one who doesn't usually care about packaging, but a lot of people do. With this set it just feels like I would like to see a bit of improvement in packaging, not like it needs to be all heavy duty luxe and such. Just painting on the text versus stickers would have been one huge improvement. Slightly more sturdy packaging would have been another really great improvement. Then I wouldn't have much to gripe about with it. I can see the cheap packaging combined with small size being most people's issues, plus the price tag associated with it.

The actual products themselves are fantastic. The pink iridescent powder is most definitely the star of the show and should be sold separately as I'm sure it'll be the first to get used up in everyone's sets. I wanted a back up powder but there's no point in buying another set and wasting money on the balm, which will get little use from me, and a second brush which is also a waste of money. I was tempted with the gold set but I really only wanted the powder. I couldn't pull the trigger for just the powder. The overall effect of this highlight look with both the cream and powder highlight is subtle, glowy and natural. I love it. I would rebuy the powder for sure and probably the cream highlight stick if they were sold separately without the balm and brush.

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