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Pat McGrath used cocoa powder as makeup for dark skin


PAT MCGRATH Labs is without a doubt one of the most popular beauty brands out right now. The multi-million pound line founded by the veteran makeup guru is admired by many, and she recently expanded the business by opening her first physical store in London’s Selfridges.

In a new interview with Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, McGrath opened up about her upbringing in 1970s Northampton, where she first became interested in the cosmetics industry through her mother who used to bring her to stores.

McGrath notes how she loved to visit department stores in search of make-up on a weekly basis, even though “back then there wasn’t the colours that was right for dark skin”.

It was then that her mother taught her an important lesson: “If you can’t find it, you can’t buy it, make it.”

McGrath even recalls a time that she and her mother used an unlikely product to combat the lack of cosmetics for darker shades. “She [McGrath’s mother] even used cocoa powder, she came in from the kitchen with cocoa powder all over her face, and she was like: 'This is the right tone of powder,’” the 49-year-old said. “And she had dusted it on her face and she looked amazing.

This resourcefulness was instilled in McGrath from an early age, as she made her first product - a moisturiser for her dolls - as a child. "I mixed oil and water together, whipped it, put it in the fridge and it looked like a cream. I celebrated for months with my own cream that I had made. I packed that over my face and I was shining like a Belisha beacon for months."

Listen to the full interview here:

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