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Which Pat McGrath lipstick is best?

The first makeup artist to be made a British dame, Pat McGrath has had an impressive career. Her lipstick lines showcase her creativity and innovations, offering richly pigmented formulas, unique colors and options for every skin type and color. Whether you need a nude shade, a deep plum or a bright lavender, you’ll find something you like. The best Pat McGrath lipstick is the MatteTrance Lipstick.

What to know before you buy a Pat McGrath lipstick


Pat McGrath lipsticks are considered at the upper end of mid-tier makeup. A full-size tube costs nearly twice as much as drugstore brands. They have excellent quality and come in gorgeous packaging, so the price is understandable, but depending on your makeup budget they might have to be an occasional splurge rather than a regular purchase. However, they are so beautiful and thoughtfully designed that they will easily stand out on any vanity.

Shade range

If you’re interested in trying shades you haven’t seen before, the MatteTrance line in particular has an impressive range of 28 options. New versions are also released periodically and often in limited editions, which makes them extra special — everything from nude shades to dramatic, mysterious hues that look gorgeous on anyone.


For anyone wanting to support more Black-owned businesses, especially in makeup, Pat McGrath is a great option.  

What to look for in a quality Pat McGrath lipstick


If you are able to swatch these lipsticks in person, you absolutely should. This is especially true if you are fairly new to lipstick, because even when the shades are swatched on a variety of skin tones online, there’s no way to be sure how it will look on yours. It’s also a good way to see how you like the finish of a specific lipstick, and gauge how comfortable it might be to wear. Different lipsticks, even from the same company, are going to feel different depending on their formulas.

Limited edition

A lot of makeup brands offer limited-edition collections with lipsticks that are only available for a brief time and won’t be remade. These can include unusual or special shades, finishes and packaging. Often the formulas are unusual, too, which means if you like the formula of a special-edition lipstick, you should probably buy a backup for when it runs out.


Most of Pat McGrath’s lipsticks come in a standard bullet form, but she also has a limited range of liquid lipsticks. This will mostly come down to a matter of preference, as some people find bullet lipsticks easier to apply or more enjoyable to wear, and other people feel the same way about liquid lipsticks. Both have their own learning curves, and if you’re new to lipstick it’s worth experimenting to see which feels more natural to you.

How much you can expect to spend on a Pat McGrath lipstick

A Pat McGrath lipstick will cost about $30-$38.

Pat McGrath lipstick FAQ

Who is Pat McGrath?

A. She’s a British make-up artist considered incredibly influential. She rose to prominence during the 1990s and 2000s and finally launched her own makeup line in 2015. She uses unusual, innovative techniques, bold colors and mixed media in her makeup looks. Her creativity carries into her makeup line and her lipsticks in particular are known for their unique colors and beautiful depth.

Do I need a lip liner or primer?

A. It’s generally a good idea to have either lip liner or primer before applying any lipstick, but everyone is different. You might find either or both unnecessary, or you might really enjoy what they add to your lipstick-wearing experience.

Lip primer will keep your lips moisturized so you don’t have to worry as much about your lipstick drying your mouth out. It’ll also smooth out the lines of your lips to make it easier to apply the lipstick. Lip liner helps prevent feathering and makes it easy to trace the outline of your lips before the lipstick goes on.

What’s the best Pat McGrath lipstick to buy?

Top Pat McGrath lipstick

Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick

Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick

What you need to know: This richly pigmented line of lipsticks offers incredible quality and gorgeous shades.

What you’ll love: If you like matte lipstick, you’ll love the MatteTrance line. Featuring McGrath’s signature lip design on the tube, they look like works of art. The shade range is superior and the lipsticks are comfortable to wear.

What you should consider: Some customers have reported issues with the lipstick being improperly packaged.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Top Pat McGrath lipstick for the money

Pat McGrath Labs Liquilust-: Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick

Pat McGrath Labs Liquilust-: Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick

What you need to know: Non-drying and with good staying power, these liquid lipsticks are a great, affordable option.

What you’ll love: With a matte finish, the Liquilust line provides highly pigmented colors that feel light on the lips. They don’t transfer easily, which is part of how they last so long. You can easily apply less for more of a stained look.

What you should consider: This line has a smaller shade range than other options.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Worth checking out

Pat McGrath Labs BlitzTrance Lipstick

Pat McGrath Labs BlitzTrance Lipstick

What you need to know: This gorgeous line features glitter and shimmer finish options.

What you’ll love: The sparkly tube with the signature lips is a thing of beauty by itself. You can choose between glitter or shimmer finishes depending on what tickles your fancy. These also contain Brazil nut oil, which contains nutrients for your lips.

What you should consider: The shade range is limited and the colors are particularly difficult to discern from photos online.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora


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Eve Jones writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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