Pat McGrath Shares Her Runway Highlighting Technique

When you let go of something that you love, it always comes back in one way or another. At least, that's what we told ourselves in 2016, when we kissed the notion of owning Pat McGrath's Skin Fetish 003 illuminators goodbye. See, they sold out before we could even click the link — but now, Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duos are back and here for good as part of Mother's permanent Pat McGrath Labs collection.
"It gives you spa-fresh skin... that's what this is," McGrath told us at the launch event in New York City yesterday, where she walked a small group of editors through the newest collection. She calls the $55 dual-ended stick her "secret weapon," noting that it has multiple uses. She uses the balm alone for a dewy finish, pats it over highlighter for an out-of-this-world glow, and uses it on eyelids for some shimmer. Plus, the stick is made with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and argan oil, which soften skin while illuminating, too.
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I'm wearing Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duo in Bronze, with Lip Fetish Lip Balm in VR Pink Astral
Aside from the stick, McGrath's excited about another launch: the Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio, which rings in at $68. And, once again, all three gel-to-powder shades (Iridescent Pink 003, Fine Gold 003, and Bronze Nectar 003) can be worn separately, or layered for a runway-ready gleam.
"It's a beautiful shimmer," she notes. "The gold is not chunky glitters — it's really like skin. You can go as strong as you want, or subliminal as you want. Do it on your cheekbones, your eyelids, Cupid's bow, your décolletage, your shoulders, inner corners of the eye... so much fun." A fan brush would do just fine to apply this formula, but she says the best results come courtesy of the brand's Buffer 003 Brush, which has a weight-balanced handle and an angled head that really works the pigment into the skin.
"You can start with a tiny amount of dew, all the way up to couture highlighting. It's about having this on, and people saying, 'What did you do with your skin? Where have you been?'" she says. "Tell them, 'I have a wand in my bag!'"
Of course, McGrath couldn't do a new collection without at least one lip product. The Lip Fetish Lip Balm was one of our favorite launches from the very beginning of the year, and now she's expanding it with four new shades: Gold Astral, Bronze Astral, VR Pink Astral, and Nude Astral ($38 each). The entire line hits patmcgrath.com on June 21, and Sephora's site on June 28, and if we've learned anything from the last few years, it's best to shop early.
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