Saturday, November 26, 2016

What I'm Not Buying: Pat McGrath Labs Metalmorphosis 005 Everything Kit

Renounced makeup artist Pat McGrath has expanded her cosmetics line to include cream and metallic pigments in the Metalmorphosis Everything Kit. 

And I won't be buying. 

As I mentioned in my post about Pat McGrath Labs Lipstick Kits, I think because Pat McGrath is so respected in the makeup industry, it allows for her products to have an incredibly high price tag. And because the products are so hyped, they sell out quickly and people get the "hype anxiety" and think they need to get their hands on it. 

And while I think the concept of Pat McGrath Labs is really cool and interesting, I don't think they translate practically into everyday life. 

The Metalmorphosis 005 kit contains:
  • 4 metallic pigments in Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Copper
  • 4 cream pigments in Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Copper
  • Dual-ended marker in black
  • Mehran mixing liquid

And it costs a whopping $165. For four cream shadows, four pigments, an eyeliner, and mixing medium. Even for mid-range products (Pat McGrath Labs's cheap packaging keeps me from putting them fully in the luxury category), I think this kit is about $100 overpriced depending on how you look at it. Hear me out. 

In talking about price, it is worth noting that the metallic and cream pigments each contain 0.14 ounces of product. That's a TON of product. For the size, these pigments are comparable to other shadows that cost around $20 each. And when looking at it through that lens, the price point is pretty fair. 

But the reason I think the kit is overpriced is because the cream and metallic pigments are paired together. So you are not getting eight unique shades. And I think the amount of product included is actually a negative rather than a positive. Because of the entire concept of the kit, I think the average consumer will use a very small amount of product. Therefore hiking the price because of product size won't really work out in most people's favor.

The images associated with the Metalmorphosis kit, like all Pat McGrath images, are pretty stunning:

But like most Pat McGrath Labs items, unless you are an editorial makeup artist or really want to make yourself look like C-3PO, I don't really see the practicality. 

The kit works by applying a base of the cream pigment first followed by applying a layer of the metallic pigment mixed with the Mehran mixing liquid. I imagine the cream and metallic pigments can also be used alone, but the effect will be similar to most eyeshadows. 

The Pat McGrath pigment kits can be used as eyeshadow:


Lip color:

And face/body art:

And again, these images are so cool, and I would love to have them framed as art on my wall, but the product is just not at all practical in everyday life. 

To put things into perspective, I'd like to talk about the pigments themselves. 

As I've mentioned before, I like to look at pigments outside of their packaging to really get a grasp on the colors and not be sucked in to the presentation and group attractiveness effect. And yes, the metallic pigments are really stunning. But it's also important to realize that while they are beautiful, they are not unique colors whatsoever. They are gold, silver, bronze, and copper. Most people will have at least two, if not all, of these colors already. 

As for swatches, I've gotten used to being mesmerized by the incredible ones shown on the Pat McGrath Labs Instagram:

But seeing the pigments under regular, non-deceptive lighting shows an entirely different color payoff:

The colors are still beautiful, absolutely, but they look much more like regular foiled eyeshadows (like those from Makeup Geek) that can be purchased for less than half the price:

Going back to price, as I mentioned in my other Pat McGrath Labs post, the reason I always get hung up on price is because you can achieve the same or similar effect for significantly cheaper with other products. There are numerous online tutorials that show how you can achieve the "liquid metal" look of the Pat McGrath kits by mixing clear gloss or a mixing medium and a pigment. And the look is achieved at a fraction of the cost of the Metalmorphosis kit. 

My overall feeling on Pat McGrath Labs is complicated. On one hand, I really respect Pat McGrath as an artist and absolutely adore all the promotional/editorial photos that show her products. But on the other hand, the products are so avant-garde that they are not practical for every day use. And then they have an enormous price tag slapped onto them. And while I can appreciate that her products are generally innovative compared to what most popular brands are releasing, it's not as though they are so innovative—so unique—that the same effect cannot be achieved for significantly less money. Because of that, I don't really understand this brand. Based on their products, my assumption is that their target audience is solely editorial makeup artists, but some of their marketing directly opposes that. No average makeup-obsessed consumer (please note that I said "average makeup-obsessed consumer" and not "average makeup consumer") is ever going to use up 0.14 ounces of this kind of product (times 2), let alone use up that product in four different colors. The majority of the product is likely to get wasted (especially since part of it is cream and it will dry up/go bad), and for $165, that is a huge waste of money. 

Personally, I have plenty of beautiful eyeshadows in a number of finishes, including metallic, that I love. For special occasions and parties, like New Year's Eve, I can see this kit being a lot of fun. And if I was a person who loved to do avant-garde looks on myself and post them onto Instagram, I can see this being a product I would love and probably use often. But I'm just a woman who likes to wear makeup. I have plenty of foiled eyeshadows that give significant drama, and I don't need to spend a ridiculous amount of money to make my eyes look just a little bit more foiled. I like my eyeliner to be a very basic thin black line, so I would have no use for this product as a metallic eyeliner. I would never want metallic gold, silver, copper, or bronze lips, even though they look really cool in editorial photographs. And I won't ever create face/body art on myself. So for me, the Metalmorphosis kit would really only be used for eyeshadow. And as I said, I have plenty of shadows that already do the job perfectly well. The Metalmorphosis kit is therefore an easy pass for me, and I won't be buying. 

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