Pat McGrath Labs (referred to in this post as “PMGL”) is a relatively new makeup brand created by world-renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath. If you’re up on beauty news or are connected to any major influencers on IG or YouTube, you’ll know that this brand carries a lot of clout and prestige in the beauty world. You’ll also be aware that all of the products from Pat’s line are incredibly luxurious and expensive. Her 10-pan Mothership Eyeshadow Palettes, the most iconic products thus far from the line, retail for $125 alone just to give you a sense of the elevated price.
Back in early March 2018, PMGL launched three limited edition eye shadow palettes (along with a liquid eyeliner I believe) that have a smaller curation of shades for a much smaller price tag. For the sake of completeness, the palettes in this collection are:
- MTHRSHP Sublime Bronze Ambition Palette; 6 shadows for $55.00 (12 g.)
- MTHRSHP Subliminal Platinum Bronze Palette; 6 shadows for $55.00 (12 g.)
- MTHRSHP Subversive Le Vie En Rose Palette; 6 shadows for $55.00 (12 g.)
I will be speaking exclusively about the Bronze Ambition Palette in this post since I have not tried any of the other palettes in the collection. Actually this is the first time I’ve used any PMGL product, so this experience was doubly exciting for me.
Pat McGrath refers to these smaller palettes as “mini-arsenals” and “compact couture,” that are extensions or little sisters of the larger Mothership Palettes. The packaging is less intimidating and much easier to throw in your makeup or travel bag. The Bronze Ambition Palette is super compact with very lightweight cardboard packaging that folds up nicely to protect the shadows and the mirror inside. (Don’t be fooled, this is hardly cheap cardboard packaging. Somehow they’ve managed to still make it feel luxurious.) I would imagine that PMGL released such a collection to offer a more economic way to sample their revered eye shadow formula.
Let’s get into some detail on the shadows themselves, followed by some photos and swatches. (Just a note on the swatches, I used my fingers this time and did about 3-4 passes per swatch. No primer was used.)
- Gilt Trip – champagne shimmer with moderate fall-down; adheres beautifully to eye;
- Bronze Struck – bronze shimmer with moderate fall-down; adheres beautifully to eye although it is a tad bit drier to the touch;
- Copperized – copper shimmer with extra intense color & moderate fall-down; adheres beautifully to eye;
- Illicit – dark brown shimmer with gold glitter; this one can be a bit crumbly with more fall-down, but it still adheres beautifully to eye;
- Throwing Shade – warm orangey-brown matte with almost no fall-down; a little tricky with application, so do not apply over a sticky primer or the shadow can catch and become somewhat patchy;
- Gold Rush – yellowy gold shimmer with extra intense color & moderate fall-down, but it still adheres beautifully to eye.
I have to say I love nearly everything about this palette. It is truly beautiful both in color and texture. I’ve done a few different looks with it recently and every single time I was blown away by the quality of the pigments in these shadows.
Look #1 featuring Copperized on the lids, Throwing Shade in the crease & Bronze Struck under the lower lash line:
Look #2 featuring Gilt Trip on the lid, Throwing Shade in the crease, Illicit smudged along the upper lash line, & Bronze Struck underneath the eyes:
- Smooth, soft texture
- Easy application with brushes or even fingers with slight exception of 1 shade
- High color saturation
- No fading of color throughout the day
- No creasing with primer underneath (I did not test on the eye with no primer)
- Non-bulky packaging
- Slightly tricky application of Throwing Shade (matte shadow)
- Skewed mattes to shimmers ratio of 1:5 (I would have loved one more matte personally)
- High price tag (this may or may not be an issue for some)
I now understand the hype with PMGL after experimenting with this palette. I would recommend this palette if you’re looking to treat yourself to something luxurious. The quality is definitely top-notch, and the shadows are very user-friendly. I’ve brought up the issue I had with Throwing Shade, but actually it was easily rectifiable. After the choppiness I experienced the first time I used it, I took one extra step before my next application. I laid down my primer and then set it with a matte shadow close to my skin tone; Throwing Shade just glided over top and blended absolutely perfectly. So just keep that in mind in case you buy this palette. I still included it in my ‘Palette Cons’ list in case that’s a deal-breaker for some of you (considering the price tag).
I could not find anywhere online when these palettes will be discontinued considering that they’re limited edition, so if anyone knows or can find that information please leave it in the comments below. Right now you can still order from either Sephora.com or patmcgrath.com. I would get on it quickly if you’re intrigued!
If you can’t afford a palette at this price, or would rather not spend that much on one purchase, I’d definitely recommend the Makeup Geek Wish Palette that’s now available at Target. It is by no means a dupe, but it has a similar color story to the Bronze Ambition Palette. The Wish Palette pulls more red, while the Bronze Ambition pulls more orange. Instead of 6 shadows, you’re getting 4: one duo-chrome (I’m Peachless), one shimmer (Roulette) & 2 mattes (Cocoa Bear, Dark Roast) for $21.99. The shadows are lovely quality, and you can go quite natural or smokey.
Same note here with the swatches as above. I used my fingers with no primer underneath, but this time I really had to build up the mattes in order for them to show. However, when you apply on the eye over a primer all the shadows perform very well (and that’s what matters most).
What do you think of the Bronze Ambition Palette? Will you be getting it? Let me know in the comments below!
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Gorgeous palette. The colors are simply beautiful and the quality of Pat Mc Grath shadows are definitely worth the price tag. It is nice that she has done these smaller limited editions as well because they are great travel sized palettes !
I totally agree!