Home Beauty Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation Review, Swatches, Before & After Photos from 3 Different Days

Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation Review, Swatches, Before & After Photos from 3 Different Days

by Tavia

Hello beauties!

After more than two weeks of wearing this foundation on and off, I’m finally ready to share with you my Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation Review. I hope you are sitting comfortable and have time to read this post because it’s going to be a very long and detailed review. I’ve included before and after photos from 3 different days, taking shots every few hours so you can see how this foundation behaves when is paired with different products.

U.S. / UK & International – 26 July 2019 at Pat McGrath, Selfridges

Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation Review

As you all know by now Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation ($60.00 / £52.00 for 35 ml / 1.18 fl oz) comes in 36 shades and it was released along with Sublime Perfection Primer and Setting Powder. There is a great variations of shades for each skin color so it would be impossible not to find your shade. It really impressed me there were so many shades for fair skin, which usually doesn’t happen to be honest. Not to mention the entire range is very well tailored for different skin tones and undertones like warm, neutral, yellow or cool tones.

RELATED: Pat McGrath Sublime Foundation, Primer & Loose Powder

Once I heard the first rumor of Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation being released I knew I will buy it. Don’t think that this purchase decision came easy, because I never spent so much on a foundation in my entire life to be honest. I knew it will be a luxury price, or damn expensive if you want to, but I also had high expectations. Therefore when the new Pat McGrath range launched, I went straight to Selfridges so I can have a MUA match my color and apply it along with the primer and setting powder.

The entire experience was great and I’m happy I choose to go to the counter instead of trying to guess my shade online. Which btw I’m Light 5 and I would have never picked out this color online, thinking it is too dark for me. I was happy to try out and have all the new Pat McGrath products applied on my face so this way I can compare the results with the other products that I’ve used ever since.


Are you seeing any resemblance between Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation and Estee Lauder Double Wear in the packaging? To me they look so similar, as both have this thick glass bottle and shape but of course Pat choose the black cap with golden rims. Nothing wrong here but I felt like I should mention the similarities. Other than that the two foundations don’t have much in common to be honest.

Formula, Texture & Finish

The texture is thin and liquidy so be careful when you press the pump and apply the product onto your skin. I prefer to apply it on my hand and dot it across my face or just apply it directly onto the beauty blender. The formula is nourishing and feels super lightweight and comfortable on the skin. Nothing of that mask feeling or tightening sensation. This brings me to my next recommendation.

If you are looking for a full coverage foundation that will completely erase your face and give you a high coverage then stay away from Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation. You will never achieve that full coverage no matter how much you are willing to build it up. This doesn’t mean is not buildable and it won’t hide your skin imperfections.

It’s buildable and two layers were perfect for me even though there are days when one layer does the job. Why Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation has rapidly became one of my top 3 go to foundations? Because it’s a self-setting foundation, that allows the skin to breathe without covering too much while covering enough to keep skin looking as skin and not a mask.

You know that even though my skin is oily I don’t like super matte foundations or even a full coverage. I want a foundation that can conceal my imperfections, even out my skin and still allows me to look as natural as possible while wearing makeup.

Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation gives you the best version of your complexion while you are wearing makeup. It conceals small skin imperfections, covers redness, evens out your skin color while it self-sets into a sublime satin finish. I feel like the finish is satin once you apply it but after 2-3 minutes you can see the foundation setting down towards a soft matte. It’s something in between satin and a soft matte to be honest and my skin really likes it.

The fact that even with 2 layers of foundation my skin can look natural and breathe without seeing any traces of cakiness and heavy product is just ideal for me.

Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation formula is crafted with a Vita-Serum Complex designed to help fight the formation of wrinkles by preserving the hydrolipidic film barrier of the skin. This complex boosts hydration by activating the natural production of hyaluronic acid and ceramides. So yes my skin never feels dry while wearing it, feels super comfortable and I can laugh or make faces 🙂 forgetting that I’m wearing a foundation actually…this second skin feeling. 🙂

If you have sexy freckles, this foundation will not cover them completely which I think is pretty cool as they will still show a little bit. 🙂

One thing I’d like to mention before I get on with the application tips and day by day review. The bottle having 35 ml / 1.18 fl oz is bigger than the average foundation bottle (30 ml/ 1.0 fl oz) and the formula being so liquidy and not full coverage, it will still last you a long time. You don’t have to use too much product to be honest. For me two pumps are more than enough to build it in two layers.

Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation is a gorgeous luxurious foundation that will give your skin its best version while maintaining a natural look but I wouldn’t say is perfect.

Like always I will mention the cons as well, which luckily there are only 2 for me. I will get more into details bellow when I’m explaining how the foundation performed throughout the day with different primers and loose powders and which one is my favorite.

Now the major downsize of this foundation, at least for an oily skin like me is that you can’t count on it for more than 8 hours. While it performs great throughout the day, once it hits 8 hours the oiliness starts to be visible. At this point in order to make it last longer just for the sake of review I used a bloating tissue to remove the excess oil. After the clock hit 10 hours, the foundation started to break apart so there were zones on my complexion (my nose, the chin and across the jaw line) were the foundation was barely visible.

Therefore I can’t call it a long lasting foundation and as an oily skin I wouldn’t count for it for a full day, especially if you are going to spend your day outside especially under the sun, humid places or any weather conditions that will make this foundation break faster.

Keep on checking how Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation performed in days 1, 2 and 3 while I used different products and outside where different temperatures.

Brush Application vs Beauty Blender vs Fingertips / Application Tips

I’ve tried all the possible techniques and methods and this is one of the reasons why I took this long to post this review. The first time it was the Beauty Blender as the MUA applied it like this at Selfridges. Pretty good medium coverage, flawless finish, fresh and youthful looking skin. I tried the same method myself afterwards and even though the beauty blender drinks a lot of product, especially having such a liquidy texture, it still gets the medium coverage (in 2 layers). This is still my favorite method of application, the one I’ve used the most.

I did try the brush application using a dense brush like Huda Beauty Face, Buff & Blend Brush (review). This brush helped me get more coverage even in one layer and the foundation still applied and blended easily. I reached out for this brush a few times when I wanted just a single layer. For me is easier to buff and blend this foundation with a beauty blender and that’s why I’m hooked on it.

Fingertips application…oh it used to be my favorite back in the days when beauty blender was not a thing and brushes were too expensive for me. 🙂 Memories from my 20’s. I do tend to use my fingertips now and then (when I don’t have any clean brushes or sponges around) but this method doesn’t really work with all foundations.

Luckily it does with Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation and works quite well as your fingertips will warm up the product and blend it easily. The only downsize is that even though the application is much faster (time saver when I’m in a hurry) I do have to use more product.

Day 1: Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation, Primer & Loose Powder

FACTS: Hot sunny day in London (spent 2 hours in the park under the sun), wore the foundation for about 12 hours.

I took this photos right at Pat McGrath counter once my makeup was done. The MUA applied first the Sublime Perfection Primer which really felt smooth and velvety on my skin, not to mention quite hydrating. It’s not a primer that will dry down completely matte as it has hydrating hyaluronic acid in its composition, that helps preserve skin’s most youthful qualities, including suppleness, elasticity and tone.

My skin looked fresh and alive while the primer was easily drying to a velvety matte. After that it came the foundation and Sublime Perfection Powder (I’m shade: Light 1) which had a super fine texture, that visibly smooth out my skin and set a velvety matte finish all over. I may have to thank to this powder for the long wearing results I had this day but I would have been curious to try the combo with another primer.

To be honest the foundation tends to emphasize my under eye fine lines so I’m careful not to apply to much powder. Baking is out of the question for me as it overloads my under eye area with powder, but I do admit I tried it as my makeup lasted longer. I’m not looking usually looking for my foundation to last more than 8 hours so for me Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation is awesome, but if I were I would definitely use another foundation.

For those who have dry skin, this combination of all 3 Pat McGrath products may be too much, just because of the powder. There’s definitely a totally different result as I understand those with dry skin feel the powders dries out their complexion too much. Since for me it managed to keep my makeup in place even though I spend 2 hours in the park under bright sun and went out again for quite a few hours in the afternoon, it’s a sign that it’s an oily friendly powder, but maybe too much for dry skin.

 Bellow you have another photo of me after I left the park and just before I got home so this means 6 hours wear. I had just a bit of shine on my T-zone, but nothing that I would worry about. I didn’t even bother to use a bloating paper as the foundation was still looking good and this subtle glow was natural.

For this makeup I was just wearing the 3 Pat McGrath products, primer, foundation and loose powder so there wasn’t any highlighter, blush, contour powder or bronzer applied. I did my brows and applied mascara before I left home in case you notice that as well.

This is my after 10 hours wear, late in the night where the oil was pretty visible and I should have used a bloating paper but for review purposes I didn’t as I was already home. My complexion was pretty shiny and I noticed the signs of foundation breaking apart. I did keep it on for 2 more hours just so I could hit the 12 hours wear line but it definitely didn’t hold up well till then.

Day 2: Pat McGrath Foundation, Hylamide HA Blur Primer, MustaeV Silky Cotton Loose Powder

FACTS: Partly sunny and cloudy day, warm temperatures so definitely and ideal day for London, which I spent going in and out of the house several times. It was not hot outside as the previous day so this is something worth mentioning as I felt it was more Spring than Summer. I wore the foundation for about 11 hours.

I’m promising myself that I’ll be reviewing Hylamide HA Blur (£19.00) for years now but I always postpone it. This is the holy grail of primers for oily and combination skin types if you want to have a matte canvas and keep those oils in place all day long. It had the same effect on Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation and kept my complexion shine free almost till the end.

I used just a bit of MustaeV Silky Cotton Loose Powder (review) because I knew I had the best mattifying primer in the world underneath that foundation and I didn’t want to emphasize those fine lines underneath my eye area. I’ve applied blusher and highlighter but everything held into place much better than in the first day. Actually I took these 2 photos about 3 hours after I applied the foundation. I was in a hurry that morning so I didn’t have time for photos when I left the house.

So the entire makeup was still looking perfect, no signs of shine yet. Sun was going in and out and on this day so it felt mostly like Spring.

Once I got home, 4 and a half hours later I took a photo right by the window (sun was shining) so that’s why the intense light. My makeup was still looking awesome but with slightly visible shine. I can’t even call it shine, it was like a soft sheen starting to show off on my T-zone.

Once again it wasn’t the case of using bloating papers so I left my makeup untouched. I was a bit bothered by the fine lines underneath my eyes showing off but the rest of the face was looking flawlees.

Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation managed to sink into my fine lines just underneath my eyes so this was and still is my only concern. I’m still trying for the perfect combo and getting better each day. For me is just the fact that I’m going through a lot of primers and powders (updating this post with new daily testing products) to find the perfect combination.

This one could already be a perfect combo for those with oily or combination skin but with less visible under eye wrinkles than me. I’ll be 38 years old later this year so I can’t afford a heavy makeup, full coverage foundation and I need to be careful how much loose powder I’m applying.

Here you have my last photo after 8 hours wear when I did use a bloating paper to make sure the foundation will still be there and my makeup will still be decent after 10 hours wear. I’m pretty happy with this combination and I will keep trying it with different loose powders.

Day 3: Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation, MustaeV Lustrous Cream Base, La Mer Powder

FACT: Mostly cloudy day and windy so it felt a bit cold, no sun at all which really helped my makeup stay in place beautifully.

So extremely rare it happens for me to stray away from Hylamide HA Blur primer but in this day I did. I barely got any sleep and I was looking beyond tired and my face was showing it. So the only option was a luminous, shine from within and natural makeup look. Over the years whenever I was tired and wanted to achieve that face like I was sleeping for 12 hours, I always reached out to MustaeV products.

MustaeV Lustrous Cream Base (review, swatches) is a primer that I don’t reach out very often just because of my oily skin, but in those days when I need extra hydration, plumping, moisture and all the effects that can make me look fresh with minimum sleep, MustaeV is always the answer. I new it will be a cloudy day so I said to myself I should be safe with this primer for a few hours. For the finishing touches I used La Mer Powder (review) just slightly pressed all over my face.

Compared to day 1 & 2, here I was wearing Dior Coral Pop Diorskin Nude Luminizer Blush (review, swatches) and BECCA Parisian Lights Shimmering Skin Perfector (review, swatches)

I’ve mentioned the other products I’ve used for this look on my Instagram so you can go and check the highlights section for MOTD. The result was indeed a fresh and youthful looking skin, very natural makeup and I could succesfully hide from everyone my lack of sleep.

I was even smiling at the compliments I received from several men in this day when they complimented my makeup look. Even my bf who knows I’m switching from one foundation to another depending on the day, had to ask me which one I’m wearing because my skin and entire makeup look so good. He likes it when my skin looks more like skin and I’m wearing as less makeup as possible if the situation doesn’t require a full glam. 🙂

I was so pleased with this look and how well it held throughout the day that I’ll be using MustaeV Lustrous Cream Base more often now. As I’m aging I tend to give a second chance to products that were not keeping my oils in place so well a few years ago.

So here’s me after 11 hours wear. I told you I really appreciated the simplicity, freshess and youthfulness of this makeup look so I decided to keep it on for the entire day even when I got home.

Of course my complexion was shining, my oils were breaking through the foundation and it was time to remove my makeup. I impressed on how this entire makeup look held together throughout the day so I was expecting to be extremely shiny after 8 hours. It didn’t happen that much but definitely pushing it to 11 hours wear was not something I’d recommend, unless you are home, no visitors and you I’ll be removing your makeup shortly to call it a day.

NOTE: I’ll be updating this post in the future with Day 4, 5, 6 and so on to show you how the foundation performed with different products.

So if you are interested don’t forget to bookmark this page and check back often. You can always leave your impressions in the comments as I would very much like to hear what do you think of this foundation.

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Jasmin Blüte January 7, 2020 - 10:49 am

Hi Tavia,

thanks for the thorough review! I love this foundation, too. Even though I’m more on the oily side as well and usually avoid alcohol in cosmetics. I’m 41 now and prefer a dewy finish over a matte one. I think, my skin looks plumper and juicier that way.
I’m curious: which are the other two foundations in your Top 3? Mine are the Sisleya le Teint and the Surratt Dew Drop foundation. For a quick makeup, I love Tom Ford’s traceless foundation stick.

Greetings from Germany!

Tavia January 7, 2020 - 11:58 am

Hi Jasmin! Thank you for sharing your impression on this foundation. I do love it but like I mentioned it’s not going to be for everyone. I’m almost hitting 40 so I also like a soft dewy finish and to be honest even though I’m combination skin I never liked a flat matte finish. My other 2 loves are MustaeV Skinny Tint Foundation (review) and Diorskin Forever Perfect Mousse (review) which is discontinued now so I replaced with the perfect dupe for this Pat foundation which is (even I was amazed….upcoming review) The Ordinary Serum Foundation Lightweight Formula. 🙂

Jasmin Blüte January 7, 2020 - 1:01 pm

Thanks for your answer!
I used to love the Ordinary’s serum foundation. Particularly because the colour range offers quite many options. But on my skin it didn’t hold very well. It looked good for 4 hours and then just disappeared. The PMG foundation has Isododecane in it, which is an ingredient that gives products this typical velvety finish (see e.g. Chanel’s Ultra le Teint = formerly Perfection Lumière Velvet. It has Isododecane as second ingredient which is why it has a very strong velvet-matte finish). I think that’s the reason, why the PMG foundation stays a bit longer on my face (but similar to you, not longer than 8 hours)

Jennifer March 6, 2021 - 6:27 pm

Thank you for the in depth review! I’ve been thinking about trying this foundation. Can I ask what eye shadow you’re using on Day 2? Beautiful!

Tavia March 10, 2021 - 1:26 pm

Hi! If I didn’t mention it back then honestly I cannot remember as it’s been a few years since I wrote this review. 🙂


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