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SKIN FETISH Collection by Pat McGrath LABS, Review

skin fetish collection pat mcgrath review

"Glow at your own risk and beam beyond the spectrum", - Pat McGrath.

I had a feeling Mother was cooking something special for us this summer and when SKIN FETISH collection first popped up in my Instagram feed, I knew I had to review it for you guys. In this post we are going to dive into the world of Pat McGrath splendiferous highlighters, so if you are curious - please keep on scrolling!

About the Collection

SKIN FETISH is a Summer '18 launch from Pat McGrath. This collection includes a highlighting palette, highlighting duos, sparkly lip balms and the brand's very first Buffer 003 Brush. A few products here are a re-launch; for example shades like Iridescent Pink 003 and Fine Gold 003 made their debut back in 2016 as a limited edition release. These bad boys have graced everything fromValentino runways all the way to pages of Vogue (things couldn't get more boujee) and are every highlighter junkie's wildest dream [pretty much].

pat mcgrath skin fetish collection review

Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duo

This little guy used to be Pat McGrath top backstage secret for many (many) years and now, fast-forward to 2018, us mortals can finally enjoy it just as much as supermodels and Hollywood divas do. This is basically a dual ended chubby highlighting stick: you get a cream highlighter on one side and glossy clear balm on the other.

Price: 48 USD (for 3.5g/ .12oz + 3g/ .11oz); Made in Italy

Claims: runway radiance/ luminosity/ iconic illumination/ luxurious dewy finish/ lit from within gleam

pat mcgrath skin fetish highlighter balm duo review

Colours: available in Nude, Golden, Bronze. Featured here is shade Bronze; it is a bit deep for my skintone (I have a light-neutral N2 complexion), so I often wear it as an eyeshadow base or luminizing bronzer instead. If you have a deeper complexion, Bronze will look gorgeous on you; same as Nude and Golden will suit light or medium complexions accordingly.

Packaging: as you can tell, this upgraded 2018 packaging is pure luxury. I love the combination of white and gold, with the brand's prominent logo right in the center. The duo has a nice "high-end" weight to it too and is compact enough to fit into the smallest travel makeup bag.

Formula: now, both highlighter and balm have a completely different feel. Although very smooth, highlighter itself does not feel balmy or creamy; I would describe it as satin in feel and pearlescent in finish. It is not very blinding either (great news for "natural" highlight lovers), but should act as a great base for other (powder) products that can be layered right on top of it. While this jojoba oil-enriched highlighter doesn't smell like anything, the balm does have a subdued vanilla scent (which is something I adore; think MAC lipsticks). It is 100% transparent and does look like a proper, hydrating balm/gel with a very nice glossy finish. However, unlike most balms that look similar, this Pat McGrath creation doesn't feel sticky/gloppy/greasy or anything like that. I believe "sophisticated" would be a proper adjective here; balm is infused with a blend of aloe, argan oil and hyaluronic acid to both nourish and illuminate the skin.

Shade: Bronze

As per this site's tradition, all of my swatches are "raw" and unedited. What you see is what you get.

Application: there are at least five ways you can enjoy your Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duo. You can wear both sides on their own, mix them together or create a little [blinding] concoction with a sprinkle of your favourite powder highlighter. [Example above]. Additionally, you can wear the balm on your lids and lips too for that editorial "wet skin" look.

My favourite way is to layer balm first and then add either cream or powder highlighter on top of it. I would probably mix all three if I was going to a lavish party or for photography; but on a day-to-day basis I just wear the balm on its own to achieve that youthful and hydrated skin look. My key tip: unless you are not wearing any base, do not apply this product straight from the bullet. I like to dab it with my fingertips in order to not disrupt my foundation.

Wear: considering this is a cream formula, it won't be just as long-lasting as your beloved powder highlighters (unless you choose to layer). On me the highlighter lasts for up to 4-5 hours, before starting to fade gracefully. Since the balm does not really get absorbed by the skin, it will keep your complexion nice and glowy for a longer period of time; minimum 5-6 hours. These little guys don't slide around/bleed, so you can rely on them 24/7.

pat mcgrath skin fetish highlighter balm duo review


Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duo is a very special possession in my highlighter collection and it is safe to say that I don't own anything quite like it. To me personally, the standout/star product here is Pat's iconic balm. I often see how people use things like vaseline on high-points of their faces to theoretically "achieve" a similar wet skin look, however, they do turn into a glazed donut instead (ok, now I am hungry) whereas this formula manages to give you that runway gloss without making you look oily/shiny/sweaty. From my experience, it works best on its own or as a primer for powder highlighters. Who will love it the most? If you want a sublte glow and are not into blinding/metallic/holographic highlighter bonanza, then might find your BFF here. The highlighter creates that subtle "lit-from-within", effortless model off duty look; while the balm is a great mixing medium. You can