When Naomi Campbell tells you to do something, you do it right then and there. We're speaking on Zoom, specifically about Pat McGrath Labs’ (the makeup line created by the eponymous, legendary makeup artist) first foray into skincare, DIVINE SKIN: Rose 001™ The Essence, and Campbell wouldn’t let me get away with anything. I had the product, but in my rush to prepare for our call, I misplaced it in my room, and she was insistent I find it. Immediately, I flew into search mode, looking for the light-pink box I had truly just opened. It’s the minute you need something that you can’t find it. Readers, I did not find it, but given Campbell’s excitement about this new essence, as soon as our call was over, I knew I had to try it out.
I kind of buried the lede in the opening, so let’s go back: Pat McGrath Labs is finally bringing the McGrath Glow to the market with the new complexion-perfecting DIVINE SKIN: Rose 001™ The Essence. As of today, the secret to McGrath’s pore-less and sparkly complexions is officially out. Campbell was made the global face for the brand, and it was thrilling to get the time to speak with her about this huge deal in the beauty space.
Campbell directed me to try the product immediately after our call ended, and I am a girl who always does what she’s told.
Using breakthrough bi-phase technology and formulated with Rose Biotic and HydraSphere 18, the new essence promises to illuminate, soften and smooth instantly, and is clinically proven to boost skin's moisture. Oh, it’s also made with 97% naturally-derived ingredients, so it’s suitable for all skin types — Pat McGrath Labs claims results in four weeks of use.
As a liquid essence, it can be layered into your skin-care routine, right where you'd put a toner (after cleansing, before a weightier serum or moisturiser). Or, it can even applied over makeup to add an additional layer of hydration. Because it's a bi-phase solution, you shake the luxurious, light-pink glass bottle to combine the white emulsion with the pink rosewater solution, to unlock the “Divine Moisture Memory” of the product and then apply to the skin, either directly with your hands or on a cotton pad. (I’m very pro-hands with this product, tbh, it feels like you’re getting it more absorbed into your skin.)
“Pat knows, I love anything that hydrates, and she knows what I love about this — it's not trying to paint a coat glow on my skin, it's really bringing out my glow," Campbell shares, "and anyone [who] puts it on, the skin feels revitalised, it feels replenished, it feels plumped, it feels smooth, and you can put makeup on easier." She says after testing the product for nearly a year, she’s actually using less makeup — no foundation, only concealer. And as a concealer-only gal myself, that endorsement resonated.
I’ve been using the product pretty consistently for a little over a week. I’ll add it into my skin-care routine, or, for hydration purposes, when I already have makeup on — my primer routine is rigorous and extensive. I kind of wish it came in a mist form, but that’s personal preference, because I just love spraying my face with liquids. But this essence is full of ingredients I already use in my skin-care routine: vitamin E, squalane, sweet almond, sea buckthorn, and macadamia nut oils, so I just feel like it’s boosting what I’ve already got going on. But with the rise of skin-care-as-makeup trend, this essence fits squarely in that little bucket of glow-boosting products. Trends are fun, but Campbell and I both agree that with products, efficacy is important.
"For me, it's all about what works. I'm not into just trends of things that don't work, that look good, and don't do what they say," Campbell tells me. "As a consumer, I want to buy something that says it's going to do what it's going to do." Essences aren’t new to the beauty industry, but they’re not all that widely-known outside of those in the know with K-Beauty — and maybe, just maybe, Pat McGrath is the one to make it ubiquitous (at least, amongst those who can afford £66 skincare).
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