Here’s How You Can Achieve A Bewitching Glass Skin Look

A makeup masterclass reveals how one can achieve the enchanting semblance of a porcelain, glass skin look.

British makeup artist Pat McGrath has been influential in the cosmetic world. Her uncontested talent in elevating and innovating makeup trends led her to organize an esteemed project. She handled John Galliano’s Maison Margiela Artisanal Collection’s beauty direction during the recent Paris Haute Couture Week. The models she worked on looked like dolls which had showstopping glass skin or a porcelain look. 

McGrath received numerous accolades in recent years, like becoming Dame of the British Empire (DBE) from the late Queen Elizabeth II for her services in fashion and beauty. She is the first makeup artist to receive the recognition in 2020.

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Models with makeup like glass skin

The celebrated makeup artist created a canvas of breathtaking art on models’ faces during the couture show of the Maison Margiela Artisanal 2024 Collection. 

A model highlighting Pat McGrath’s glass skin makeup technique
A model highlighting Pat McGrath’s glass skin makeup technique/Photo from Instagram @patmcgrathreal 

Galliano’s collection consisted of dresses as physical expressions of emotions. McGrath said Maison Margiela’s show revealed the models gliding down the runway with their faces visibly shining like real-life porcelain

“The highlight of the look was this modern take on glass skin, which we achieved by making the models’ faces shiny and reflective,” the makeup artist said through her website.

A moonlit walk along Paris’ Seine inspired Maison Margiela’s collection. The muses, along with their glistening faces, featured varying kinds of painterly eyes with jewel, pastel, and moody charcoal tones. Their brows are bleached and replaced by pencil-thin arches. The makeup artist used cream blush on their cheeks which mimics a “doll-like flush.” Shades of blooded red and black colored the models’ lips and topped with a clear gloss. 

People revealed McGrath and her team presented 300 variations of the look to Galliano and all looks catered to Maison Margiela’s designs.

Live glass skin masterclass 

Due to public clamor, McGrath revealed her secret in a live Instagram masterclass that transpired on February 2. She disclosed in the video that she trained every member of her team before the show. The livestream showed how they recreated the models’ runway look in the video.

A viewer asked McGrath what was her thought process with planning the glass skin look. She answered that the look took weeks and weeks of trials with her models.

McGrath started prepping the models’ skins before applying the peel off-masks. She suggested preparing the skin with a product of hers, a rose essence, for a natural glass-like finish. 

Pat McGrath made use of light smoky eyes and a doll-like blush to complete the glass skin look
Pat McGrath made use of light smoky eyes and a doll-like blush to complete the glass skin look/Photo via Instagram @patmcgrathreal

She paraded the products she used, primarily consisting of distilled water-diluted peel-off masks and sachet masks. They applied the mask concoction through an airbrush. The masks were incorporated in seven to eight layers and blow-dried to set. 

“Basically, with each layer, you’ve got a real vivid brightness,” McGrath added. “Real, more intense layers of glass.” After which, they proceeded applying a skin illustrator clear gloss. This provided a “plastic sheen mannequin effect.” 

The live masterclass gave a few tricks to keep the longevity and flexibility of the glass skin look. They revealed that they apply glue to certain areas of the face to really enforce the foundation of the peel-off masks. The look needed to last for at least three hours, having the need to apply the water-based glue.

“In all of our testing, we found there’s certain key areas that you want to reinforce with a little bit of this glue,” the masterclass disclosed.

45 minutes to two hours of labor

The audience asked how long the entire process took and McGrath revealed they did it in about an hour and a half up to two hours if they “really had to.” McGrath and her team mentioned during the show they got it done as fast as they could. With two people, the process can take up to 45 minutes and with one person on the first try would take one to two hours.

The final look included ethereal smoky eyes, penciled brows, and a creamy doll-like blush.

The makeup artist answered a couple of cosmetic frequently asked questions during the live, apart from the porcelain look tutorial. 

A makeup artist’s recording of Pat McGrath’s Instagram live masterclass on the glass skin look.

Gaining popularity

People can view the products she used on the models through her website.

“What’s hysterical is that every member of my team’s phones blew up, asking what was on everyone’s face,” the acclaimed makeup artist said. “We’re so proud to see all that love.”

McGrath added she never saw the makeup look go viral and that she was proud of it. She said they used numerous products to get the ultimate glass skin look but teased she and her team are developing their own products. “It’s right there in development, and coming very soon,” she remarked.

Banner photo via Instagram @patmcgrathreal.

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