It’s the 'glow in a bottle' beloved by every Oscar-attending A-lister, including GTG favourite Jennifer Coolidge. Here’s why Pat McGrath Labs Divine Skin Rose The Essence is the cult skincare product you need to know about
Every so often a beauty product comes along that is a true game changer - meet Pat McGrath Labs Divine Skin Rose 001 The Essence, £81, the first skincare product from makeup guru Dame Pat McGrath, which launched last year. It has a host of celebrity fans and was this week notably used as skin prep for woman of the moment Jennifer Coolidge, for her red carpet appearance at the Oscars 2023 Vanity Fair party.
Now, we are obsessed with Jennifer Coolidge makeup looks here at GTG and her Oscars appearance is no exception. Her makeup artist Lilly Keys created Ms Coolidge’s trademark sex bomb glam look using the full repertoire of Pat McGrath products, with Divine Skin the base from which everything else followed.
For the uninitiated, here's a bit of background on McGrath. Nicknamed 'Mother' by the industry, not only is the 52-year-old Brit the first makeup artist to be awarded a damehood (for services to the fashion and beauty industry and diversity) but she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2019. She was the natural MUA choice for the 'colour-blind' casting of the Bridgerton TV series, which gave rise to the best beauty collaboration of 2021/2 the Pat McGrath Labs Bridgerton Makeup Collection Series. And did we mention she also makes one of our favourite highlighters, Skin Fetish Divine Glow, £45 as well? We could go on but we're not actually here to talk makeup, rather how she achieves the canvas that underpins it all: great skin.
The Essence took years to formulate and was tested in secret, backstage at shows. McGrath tried it on all the top supermodels, as well as celebrities at New York's Met Gala before launching it. But it wasn't just A-listers who were used as guinea pigs, McGrath enlisted her friends and family to try it out too because this is very much a product for the people - admittedly one with a fairly significant price tag. She wanted to make sure that this product would work on every skin tone, and people of every age and be a one-stop-shop for creating plump, hydrated glowy skin, simply and effectively. As a makeup artist, she works with all types of skin. Creating a 'one-and-done' product that delivers every time makes her life easier.
Its fans read like a who's who of Hollywood. Naomi Campbell says, “I wouldn’t use anything else. The glow, the luminosity, the hydration, it’s unparalleled. It’s perfection.” It is the product actor Timothée Chalamet wore on the first ever Vogue cover to feature a man and was used to prep supermodel Linda Evangelista’s skin for her ‘comeback’ cover for the same magazine. Celebrity makeup artist, Wendy Rowe used it on Olivia Wilde's skin at the Venice Film Festival and when Paris Hilton walked a Versace catwalk show, The Essence was behind her glowy complexion.
What is Pat McGrath Labs Divine Skin Rose 001 The Essence?
This bi-phase lotion is an essence by name but, we think, so much more by nature. Essences are very much a key skincare step in Korean 'K Beauty'. They are very light liquids, essentially waters, used after cleansing and before any other skincare and prep the skin and help other products be absorbed more effectively. However, this one is veering on the consistency of a serum, as it transforms into a milky solution when you shake the bottle to combine the two layers. It glides onto the skin and gives it an instant glowy plumpness.
It contains a clever ingredient called HydraSphere 18, which is a molecule that combines oils, lipids and skin-soothing vitamin E to soften and hydrate the skin and its been clinically proven to boost the moisture levels in the skin. And then there’s also a rose extract that not only gives it an amazing scent - that’s not overpowering by the way - but also drenches the skin in protective antioxidants and phytonutrients to feed the skin.
How to use Pat McGrath Labs Divine Skin Rose 001 The Essence
It's been designed to be used on clean, dry skin before any other skincare. Some skin types might find that they can use it as a stand-alone moisturiser and primer for their makeup. Drier skin may still want to layer up with serums and moisturisers. Shake a few drops into the palm of your hand and then massage and press it into the skin and watch some serious glow appear. On good skin days, this may be all you and your skin need, but it makes the perfect base for anything else you want to put on top too. Pat's top for extra hydration and glow throughout the day, is to press into the face, décolletage, shoulders and body, too.
Pat McGrath Labs Divine Skin Rose 001 The Essence: our verdict
Victoria Woodhall, Get The Gloss Editorial Director: "When I met Pat McGrath recently and heard her explain just how hands-on and utterly perfectionist she'd been in the creation of The Essence – down to finding roses picked at dawn when they were at their most potent – I had to give it a try. She revealed that among the raft of celebrities, she'd also given it to her 'nail lady' to use and when she saw her skin transformation six weeks later, she asked her what she'd done. It surprised even Pat that the lady's glow-up was down to her own product.
"It's Dame Pat's first and only skincare product and she may as well retire, because it may well be the only one you need, outside of your actives. I have dry skin and can almost go without moisturiser with this. At its heart, it's oil and water (skin barrier supporting oil squalane, almond oil and rosewater) which are the fundamentals of a bouncy complexion. It also has ceramides, which my older skin desperately needs and a calming, nourishing rose-biotic plant complex. Consumer testers reported high levels of hydration, smoothness, glow and evenness and my testing so far completely backs that up. Morning and evening, I can't wait to reach for this jewel of a bottle, that's as pretty to look at as it's divine to use.
"Is it worth £81 though? If you think that a standard moisturiser is 50ml, and serum is 30ml, this 100ml bottle delivers quantity as well as quality – and you really don't need much. If it's within your budget it's a low-risk, high-joy glow-up to brighten your skin and your day."
Buy Pat McGrath Labs Divine Skin Rose 001 The Essence, £81