When Pat McGrath Labs released its Sublime Perfection Foundation last summer, the entire beauty community’s ears perked up. Pat McGrath is a legend in the world of makeup and with this being her first (and so far only) foundation release, it got everyone’s attention.
Pat McGrath’s Skin Fetish Line is a curated collection of complexion products that are said to be years in the making. In addition to the Sublime Perfection Foundation, the line also includes a primer, loose powder, pressed powder, and concealer which I’ve already reviewed here.
Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation Overview
The Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation retails for $68 and contains 1.18 oz of product. The foundation is packaged in a frosted glass bottle and includes a pump. There are 36 shades available.
Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation Review
With a $68 price tag, you’d better believe this foundation comes with a laundry list of grandiose claims.
It’s supposed to “build weightlessly…to flawless medium coverage” and be “self-setting and long-wearing”. They also say it has a “Vita-Serum Complex” that moisturizes and that it uses “Diamond Core Powder Technology” to enhance skin’s texture and impart a filtered, soft-focus luminosity. The formula contains hyaluronic acid and is free of talc and oil.
The Sublime Perfection Foundation has a very thin, liquid-like consistency. It’s pretty runny when you first pump it out and it thins out even more as you blend it. The texture is almost more like a serum, rather than a standard foundation.
In terms of consistency, it’s slightly thinner than Chanel Vitalumiere Moisture Rich. The Jouer Essential High Coverage Foundationseems similar in the bottle but it’s much more pigmented and therefore thickens up considerably as it blends. The Nars All Day Luminousfoundation is comparable in terms of being a runny liquid but offers more coverage. It also doesn’t sink into the skin the same way that the Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection does. Estee Lauder’s now discontinuedDouble Wear Nude foundation was the most similar consistency that I could find to the Sublime Perfection Foundation.
The foundation feels reasonably hydrating and sinks quickly into the skin. It leaves behind an ever-so-slightly tacky feel once it settles down.
This foundation claims to be build-able, from a “sheer veil” to medium coverage. It definitely seems pretty sheer with just one application but it builds nicely and maxes out at a medium coverage level. It’s not going to cover major blemishes or scars but it is effective at evening out the skin tone and blurring moderate discoloration.
I’d put the finish of the Sublime Perfection Foundation somewhere between satin and radiant. It leaves a very natural skin-like look on the face with a slight glow. When worn with a light dusting of powder, the foundation quickly takes on a matte appearance.
It’s by no means the most glowy foundation I’ve tried but it does have a definite sheen to it. The finish actually reminds me a lot of the Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation. That one is thicker in the bottle than the Pat McGrath, but they both blend out with a serum-like consistency and leave similar, natural finishes to the skin. The finish is also similar to that of the Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude or the Maybelline Fit Me Dewy+Smooth.
While the foundation looked good upon initial application, I noticed it become increasingly unflattering as it wore. I could see it clinging to the skin around my nose and it looked like it was breaking down in patches on my cheeks. It also collected in my pores, even though I had applied a pore filling primer beforehand. It’s disappointing because at such a high price point I expected more than a just few hours of wear time.
The Sublime Perfection Foundation has an odd scent to it, something familiar that I can’t quite place. It’s a subtle scent and I only really detect it during application but I noticed it enough to bother me. If I sniff it in the bottle it smells faintly like alcohol with a hint of something sweet that’s maybe reminiscent of almost honey? I’m not sure, but whatever it is, I wasn’t a particular fan, however the smell dissipates pretty quickly once the foundation sets.
There are 36 shades available in the Sublime Perfection Foundation and they’re broken down into five categories: Light, Light Medium, Medium, Medium Deep, and Deep. Each category contains both cool and warm options, and I appreciate that the brand provides a description of each shade as well. There seems to be a good range of shades in terms of depth, and it is a more sheer product so I think most people should be able to find a matching shade.
I wear the shade Light Medium 13 which is listed as “light medium with yellow undertones”. It’s slightly darker than my NC30 olive toned skin but looks ok if I bronze my neck to match.
Cruelty-Free and Vegan Status
The Pat McGrath Labs website states that they do not test their products or ingredients on animals and their products are not sold in China where animal testing is required by law. The brand does not confirm whether or not their raw material suppliers test the ingredients on animals.
Pat McGrath products are not listed as Vegan.
Where to Buy the Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation
Sephora – Free shipping on all orders and free returns.
Pat McGrath – Free shipping and free returns. International shipping available.
Regardless of where you choose to purchase from, make sure to check if Rakuten (ebates) is offering cashback. Sephora offers cashback for anywhere from 2% to 8% so it’s definitely worth looking into. If you haven’t signed up for Rakuten yet, you can do so here, it only takes a minute and then you’ll earn cash back every time you shop through their link. They also have an extension which I recommend installing, that activates cashback on all eligible websites with one click. It also scans for coupons.
I don’t know, 68 bucks for sheer coverage that looks patchy after two hours? For me, this was a miss. I don’t mind expensive prices if I feel like the product works but this one really didn’t seem worth it. The coverage was ok if I built it up, and the consistency was pretty unique. However, even without the longevity issues, I didn’t find that the foundation did anything particularly flattering for my skin. I’ve got several low coverage, natural finish options that wear a lot better and cost significantly less.
If you’re desperate for a foundation that feels like a serum and you don’t want a lot of coverage, you might like this. It’s possible that it wears better without powder products on top and would, therefore, work with a minimal makeup routine. For my preferences, however, this is not a product that I’d recommend and I think there are scores of better options to choose from.
Lightweight, serum-like consistency
Leaves a natural, skin-like finish
Good shade range
Breaks down after a few hours of wear
Collects in pores and clings to dry patches
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