REVIEW | Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Foundation in Medium 15

Pat McGrath foundation Medium 15

I’ve been enamoured with the Pat McGrath line ever since she launched her product line in full force. Could it be the marketing filled with lo-fi, sparkly goodness? Possibly. Could it be her aesthetically pleasing packaging? It probably helps. Regardless, whatever she comes out with, I’m more than willing to try. Combine that with my never-ending search for the perfect foundation, you can only imagine my joy when she announced her line of complexion products. It took me a while, but I managed to snag the Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation at a decent price when there was a sale on her website. So what are my thoughts? You all know the drill…

Overview

  • The Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation is on the higher end of the price scale, at a regular price of $90 CAD for 35 ml (slightly over 1 fl. oz)
  • I picked up the shade Medium 15, which is described as “medium with yellow tones”. I don’t know why I didn’t go with Medium 14 instead, as that would have been a better match for my current skin tone. Medium 14 is described as “light medium with neutral/olive undertones”.
  • The packaging is beautiful – a definite upgrade from the last Pat McGrath product I reviewed on this blog a few years ago. Of course, her makeup line has changed significantly since then, but it was an issue I had back then with her products.
  • The foundation is described as having a long-lasting, natural finish with buildable, medium coverage.

Formula

Pat McGrath foundation

The formula was more thin and runny than I expected. It’s similar to the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation or the Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation – quite watery. It also dried quickly once applied to the skin. I didn’t notice any oxidation, however the shade I purchased was darker than my current skin tone to begin with so it was difficult to tell.

Application & Wear

I’ve applied the foundation in the following ways:

  • Using a wet beauty sponge (Beauty Blender rip-off from Amazon)
  • A dense, synthetic-hair brush (Zoeva 102 Silk Finish)
  • Fingers

Long story short, I didn’t see any significant differences when applying the foundation with different tools. Of course, for lighter coverage and for quicker application I always recommend using a wet sponge, but this foundation was really easy to use and could be easily manipulated regardless of how you apply it. Blending and layering was a breeze. I found that it could definitely be built up to medium coverage with 2 layers.

As for wear, this foundation is long-lasting, but based on my experience, it doesn’t look great in person past the 4 hour mark, specifically if wearing more than 1 light layer. I’ve worn the foundation for as little as 5 hours and up to 10 hours. If I apply it more heavily, it looks worse the longer I wear it.  The finish is initially skin-like, but definitely leans more matte. Currently, my skin is on the dryer side since it is still winter where I live, but it can get a bit oily towards the end of the day. I moisturize my skin using heavier products intended for dry skin, for obvious reasons, so when trying this foundation out, my skin was more hydrated than usual. Despite this type of skin prep, the foundation always ended up looking a bit dry. It looked nice when freshly applied, but the foundation slowly started to emphasize my skin texture and fine lines. My skin also felt tight and dry the longer I wore it. It’s possible that once the weather gets warmer, this foundation will work better for me since my skin leans more oily in the summer.

Pat McGrath foundation
Bare skin with moisturizer
Pat McGrath foundation Medium 15
One layer of Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation in Medium 15; applied with damp sponge
Pat McGrath foundation
CLOSE UP: One layer of Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation in Medium 15; applied with damp sponge
Pat McGrath foundation
Two layers of Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation in Medium 15; applied with damp sponge
Pat McGrath foundation
CLOSE UP: Two layers of Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation in Medium 15; applied with damp sponge
Pat McGrath foundation Medium 15
Finished look after two layers of Pat McGrath Foundation in Medium 15
Pat McGrath foundation
CLOSE UP: Finished look after two layers of Pat McGrath Foundation in Medium 15
Pat McGrath foundation
5 hours after finished application (eek @ that shade mismatch tho..)
Pat McGrath foundation
CLOSE UP: 5 hours after finished application

As you can see in the last 2 images, my skin was not looking so great after a few hours of wear. Wearing the wrong shade probably didn’t help!! But, it’s clear that my skin looked much more textured and worn. My skin also looked a bit more shiny, but this is typically what happens whenever I wear any foundation, so I wouldn’t fault this product for that.

Swatches

Pat McGrath foundation Medium 15 vs fenty 290 vs NARS stromboli vs giorgio armani luminous silk 6 vs dior backstage 3WO
Pat McGrath Foundation in Medium 15; Fenty Pro Filt’r Matte Foundation in 290; Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6; NARS Natural Radiant Foundation in Stromboli; Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation in 3 Warm Olive

PSA: if your skin tone is best described as “medium with yellow/olive undertones”, don’t buy the shade Medium 15 in this foundation! Get Medium 14 instead. Don’t make the same mistake I did! Now that that’s out of the way, I obviously made a big boo-boo when picking out the right shade. I’d say Medium 15 is a closer match to NC42 in MAC products, which translates to a warm medium-tan shade with yellow undertones.

Final Thoughts

  • Best suited for people with normal to slightly oily skin types. People with drier skin will need some heavy skin prep or should just skip this foundation entirely.
  • If you’re looking for full, flawless coverage, this isn’t the foundation for you.
  • If you’re looking for a dewy foundation, this isn’t the foundation for you – not even close.
  • If you want a foundation that will look and feel like skin all day, this may not be the foundation for you. I find that this foundation looks best (i.e. natural and skin-like)  when applied in one thin layer.
  • With all that said, despite the shade blunder, I like the look of this foundation. Am I going to rush out and buy a more appropriate shade for my skin? No, but only because I have many other products that I’d like to try before I shell out another $70 on a second bottle.

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