Here is a little history, I call this category Maquillage because I knew I made it in my career after going to France for the first time. I was a Francophile and I was teaching myself how to speak French. My goal was to do <makeup>… Maquillage for Fashion Week in Paris with Pat McGrath.

I had just lost my grandmother and I took the little money she left me and bought a one-way ticket to Europe with a layover in NYC for fashion week.  Beyond my wildest dreams, I secured a spot on the team of Pat McGrath for the Vogue Fashion Night Out show in 2010.  From there, I was booked by her agent to work more shows in Paris.

The privilege of being a part of the Givenchy, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton shows on her team, to this day still gives me butterflies. I learned how to apply lipstick with my finger perfectly and I saw how having a positive attitude kept you booked for the next show.

There is definitely more to that story but I’ll save that for another post if you want to hear more!

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I could go on and on and on and on about my makeup mother, Ms. Pat McGrath. Never has an artist inspired me more from the day I first heard her name.  Do you know why she is referred to as mother?  Because she’s caring, affectionate, mentors and knows everything that is happening around her and even when she’s not looking, she has eyes in the back of her head!

As a young makeup artist, Tumblr was my go-to for inspiration before Instagram.  I would always find amazing images, then I would have them printed at Costco and then I placed them on my visualization board.  It wasn’t until I noticed a consistency in the artistry I was gravitating to, that it was all the work of the same person…a British Jamaican named Pat McGrath.  Well…once I figured that out, you couldn’t keep me from following everything she did.

I try to keep a balance of what I want to do in my career in comparison to other things that are very important to me.  Therefore, I truly live vicariously through every post, article and launch she does, is mentioned in and releases.

I haven’t purchased everything from Pat McGrath Labs, usually because it sells out and honestly, I would go bankrupt!  However, I did make a splurge on these 3 Vicious Venoms. I don’t even want to use them on anyone except myself.  I just want to be selfish and hoard them.  Trust me you will too!

I actually want more than one set –Then I can put them in a glass enclosure — Like a prophetic museum artifact that will last me into the new system when the earth is a paradise — Strutting through the universe in a blue-red Elson lip is definitely on my list…that is, once it’s back in stock!

Pat McGrath Matte Trance Lipstick Illustration la femme jojo

Illustration: La Femme JoJo


In an article on Vogue, Ms. McGrath stated, “Another tip I have is for lipstick application. Before the lipstick goes anywhere near the lips I like to apply a tiny amount of foundation or concealer to create a really great base. This then makes it easier to guide the bullet of the lipstick along the lip outline. I like to go over the lips lightly at first to establish the shape of the lips and then go over them again applying a couple of layers to create a really strong colour.”

However, the best way to apply lipstick as instructed by Mother Pat I saw firsthand in Paris.  She used her index finger.  In an interview for The Cut it’s noted:

McGrath was careful to emphasize that her makeup is for real life and editorial, not for Instagram. “It doesn’t look like concrete, like the look du jour for the matte lip,” she explained, adding that the fingers are necessary to avoid the overly lined, dead-looking yet inflated Instagram lip. “When you have digital photography, imagine applying your lip with a hard pencil. It works against your personality. When you apply with the fingers, it serves the natural contours of your lip. You can even push slightly over the lip and make it bigger, but naturally.”

la femme jojo illustration pat mcgrath


Johanna Armstrong and I met when she came on board as an art director where I was working as a makeup artist and I loved her illustrations.  Therefore, there was no doubt in my mind that when I started this blog, I had to collaborate with her and feature her exceptional artistry.  Besides, designing my logo, I had to have her show her skills for Pat McGrath also!  Check out more of her work here.

la femme jojo illustration pat mcgrath gif

Finger Lust

Doesn’t that blow your mind???  Aren’t you lusting to perfect the finger pout? How do you apply your lipstick?  Have you ever tried using your index finger?  I suggest you go for it and tell me how it works out for you in the comments below!



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