Pat McGrath becomes first makeup artist to receive damehood by the Queen

'My mother’s obsession with beauty and fashion ignited my passion for this amazing industry.'

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Legendary beauty maverick Pat McGrath has become the first makeup artist to receive a damehood by Queen Elizabeth II.

McGrath has overseen the beauty looks for hundreds of shoots and fashion shows. She is also known for her groundbreaking editorial work with photographer Steven Meisel, as well as runway collaborations with iconic designers John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, and Miuccia Prada. Since 2017, she has served as British Vogue’s Beauty Editor-at-Large, and has worked on every cover of Italian Vogue for 20 years. 

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“I am beyond humbled that I have been awarded a Damehood in the Queen’s New Year 2021 Honours List as a D.B.E – Dame of the British Empire for Services to the Fashion and Beauty Industry and Diversity,” said McGrath in a statement, per PEOPLE. “My mother’s obsession with beauty and fashion ignited my passion for this amazing industry, and I feel blessed to have the privilege of working with some of the most extraordinary people throughout my career.”

McGrath was born in 1970 in London and raised by her mother Jean McGrath, a dressmaker and first-generation Jamaican immigran. Pat’s journey in the fashion and beauty industry began in the 1980s. In the decades since, she has become the most celebrated editorial and runway makeup artist in the world. In 2019 she was included in Time’s 100 most influential people list. 

McGrath launched her makeup line Pat McGrath Labs in 2015, and last May, she turned to supermodel and “chosen sister” Naomi Campbell to serve as the first-ever global face of the massively successful brand.

“Working with Pat McGrath is an honor and I’m so grateful and blessed. I understand Pat’s drive and I’m proud of her. She’s not just a makeup artist, she’s an artist,” said Campbell in a statement at the time.

“[McGrath] has made makeup fun again,” she added. “I don’t ever weigh in [creatively] when I work with Pat. I don’t have to because I trust her.”

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In an Instagram post on Wednesday acknowledging receipt of the honor, McGrath wrote, “Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that one day Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II would recognize me to be amongst the incredible recipients of this honour both past and present.”

She continued, “When I first launched my brand, PAT McGRATH LABS, it was designed to inspire self-expression and individuality. I dedicate this honour in tribute to Makeup Artists everywhere, I adore each and every one of you. Never give up on your dreams – with hard work, creativity and perseverance anything is possible.”

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