Would You Pay $125 For Eyeshadow?

A Guest Post By Seth Barton Roberts, Professional Makeup Artist

As any beauty-obsessed diva knows, matte has been a long-running trend in the cosmetics industry. From lipstick to foundation to eyeshadow, flat, non-reflective textures have been the finish of choice for the past few years. When Pat McGrath (yes, THE Pat McGrath, famous for her decades of work on the runway designing makeup looks for the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, and for publications like Vogue) announced via social media she was releasing her own line of cosmetics, I was intrigued - but cautiously so. Being a trend-based artist, I expected her line to mimic the ongoing trend of flat, matte (and, yes, let’s say it--boring) colors and finishes. That’s what’s been on the runway and that’s what sells.

Well, I should have guessed I wouldn’t have to worry- she is a genius after all. Google her work and I promise you won’t be anything short of speechless. She released some small capsule collections back in 2015-2016, but nothing could prepare the internet for her eyeshadow palette release this past fall. Lovingly titled “Mothership” (btw, Pat refers to herself as Mother to her fans), this collection of three palettes turned both beauty addicts and their expectations on their heads.

 Mothership III Eyeshadow Palette - Subversive

Mothership III Eyeshadow Palette - Subversive

Let's talk palettes.

Each Palette has decidedly different tones but similar finishes. Each comes loaded with ten jumbo shadows: three mattes (because yes, they are still necessary), three shimmers, and four glitter pigments that dazzle and gleam with every shift in light. 'Subliminal' is a classic mix of subdued cool tones with a beaming cobalt blue thrown in for good measure, 'Sublime' - the decided favorite in the beauty community, yet the only one I didn’t pick up - is an on-trend mix of warm, rusty shadows with an emerald green glitter that is as beguiling as a jewel, and 'Subversive', my personal favorite with bronzes, purples, and quite possibly the prettiest olive gold you’ve ever seen. These shadows, with names like Lazarus, Astral Ghost Orchid, and Night Creature are as sexy and alluring as they sound.

Pat McGrath Palette

Let's talk price.

At a jaw-dropping $125 per palette, you may be wondering if these shadows are worth the investment. From one makeup junkie to another, I can promise you they are. The mattes are smooth and creamy, the shimmers are refined and elegant, and the glitters are every bit as glittery and luxe as your inner ‘70s discotheque queen could desire. The fact that every palette is housed in a weighty black lacquered case complete with a gold plate adorning the back is the cherry on top - these palettes honestly look like they would be right at home in any Kardashian or Hilton’s boudoir. As Pat would say in her delicious British accent, “Major!”.


Seth is a makeup artist in the Philadelphia area specializing in bridal and event makeup for the past eight years. He has worked with multiple brands in his earlier years in the industry, including MAC, Giorgio Armani, and Make Up For Ever, but now focuses his talent around his freelance work with clients in Center City and along the Main Line. A firm believer in natural beauty, Seth prides himself in accenting features instead of overpowering them. 

You can follow Seth's work on IG at @seth_bartonroberts.