The Pat McGrath Valuation Trap

Pat McGrath makeup
Everyone in the industry roots for McGrath: There are few people, if any at all, who have been able to replicate her uniquely viral, culture-redefining moments. Photo: Fairchild Archive/Penske Media/Getty Images)
Rachel Strugatz
July 3, 2024

The past decade was a boon for celebrity makeup artists launching their own brands. Charlotte Tilbury’s namesake made Hollywood glam attainable. Gucci Westman introduced the elegant and understated Westman Atelier. But it was Dame Pat McGrath, widely considered the most talented makeup artist of her generation, who truly shook the industry with her own label in 2015. 

Pat McGrath Labs was an immediate sensation and sold out in minutes via limited-edition drops. Plus, of course, there was McGrath herself, who has a preternatural knack for creating viral moments at runway shows—from the gold lips she painted onto Prada’s models in 2016, to the fantastically spooky, porcelain doll look she conceived for John Galliano’s Margiela couture show this past January. In 2018, Eurazeo Brands, a U.S. division of the publicly traded, Paris-based private equity shop Eurazeo, made a $60 million investment in the company at an eye-popping $1 billion valuation.