A Conversation With Pat McGrath and Scarlett Johansson: The Artist and the Star on Dolce & Gabbana’s Perfect Mono Eyeshadow

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Photo: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

In the cynical and critical 21st century, perfection may be hard to come by, but not if you’re world-renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath and vaunted on-screen vixen Scarlett Johansson. Incidentally, the perfection factor makes them the perfect duo to complete Dolce & Gabbana’s vision for ‘Perfect Mono’ – a creamy and versatile eyeshadow collection that comes in a rich palette and promises to revolutionize your makeup regime.

In this illuminating Q&A session, McGrath and Johansson provide personal insight into the shoot, the product, and their relationship together. Read on for their unique perspective on Dolce & Gabbana’s ‘Perfect Mono’ eyeshadow, and gain access to the kind of insider tips that only the VIPs know.

The shoot for ‘Perfect Mono’ took place in Paris. Can each of you tell us an anecdote from the day?
Scarlett: Well, we shot it in Paris, which is really like home to me now and, the more time I spend here, the more at home I feel. It was really nice to have everyone on home turf; it was lovely. It was a very easy-breezy day; we have all known each other for a very long time. The shoot was great, sort of like working on a little movie, which was unexpected, but really fun – sort of our tribute to Marilyn Monroe!
Pat: It was fantastic to be on the Euro Star at 5:40 a.m. in the morning – that was my anecdote [Laughs]! It’s great to be here at the studio. I think I haven’t worked here in about twenty years, so it’s great to be back. I’ve been in the industry for twenty years – that old!

What was the concept behind the campaign shoot?
Pat: It’s all about the ‘Mono’ eyeshadows.
Scarlett: I think the concept this time around was just a really modern and classic feel, a nod to Old Hollywood, but still keeping it really fresh.
Pat: Yes, and obviously with it being a cream shadow I think that’s what makes it really modern – because with vintage Hollywood you tend to think about powdered shadows, and the fact that it is a mono shadow is very, very modern. But what’s fantastic about it is that, when you touch it, it feels like a cream and it’s very velvety. It’s a fun collection.

How was it working with Pat McGrath again?
Scarlett: Difficult this time! She has her moments! [Laughs] I love working with Pat, because it feels like family now. We have our memories; we have worked together for enough years now that we’ve built many, many wonderful memories. And we know a lot of the same people, and we travel in the same circles, so it feels like it’s a homecoming
Pat: Yes, like a big reunion – a family reunion.

And how was it working with Scarlett again?
Pat: Always fantastic – we always look forward to seeing Scarlett and, like I said, it’s just all her crew, the familiar faces – she is such a professional and so amazing to apply makeup on. I love putting makeup on you. Scarlett, you’re major!

What is it that you love about the eyeshadow collection?
Scarlett: What I like about the collection is the versatility of the palette. You can really go from day to night with the palette, using the lighter, more iridescent colors, and just add a little mascara. And then at night, you know, you kind of play with the darker, matte tones, make a smoky eye or make a kind of smoky liner effect. It’s nice to have something that’s that easy to use.
Pat: The soft, creamy formula makes it easy to apply, and for me that’s what’s so special about it. On Scarlett’s eyes, we used the ‘Dahlia’ and ‘Gold Dust’, which I think worked really well.
Scarlett: And you can use your fingers, or you can use your brush – it’s pretty versatile.
Pat: Yes, you can. You can use a brush to apply layers to achieve a higher intensity out of the pigments, so it’s really good. I love it.

Pat, can you tell us about the creation of the ‘Perfect Mono’ eyeshadows?
Pat: Stefano and Domenico were really interested in cream shadows, because it seems to be something that women want, but are often afraid of. Some cream shadows can get really creasy and fall apart, so I think their challenge was to make a cream shadow that stays, but that also looks as sleek as a powder shadow. So, that’s how it happened. I worked with them on the colors, and that’s how we came up with this fantastic palette, such as the ‘Gold Dust’, the ‘Stromboli’, and the ‘Dahlia’. They are great tones, great colors, aren’t they?

And Scarlett, how did you feel wearing the look for the campaign that Pat created?
Scarlett: I love this product, and I think the look works really well. It’s very red-carpet “glam-y”, and I also like that this particular look that Pat created is very dewy and sensual. It’s really soft, but still has that kind of smoky mysterious look. It’s fun to wear, and it’s an easy look to wear.

And is it a product that you could wear every day?
Pat: Absolutely, yes. I think that you could wear it every day, don’t you?
Scarlett: Yes, because there are lighter, more translucent colors, and then the other matte ones you can use to make the look sort of smokier. You could use it every day, day to night, especially because it’s a cream and you don’t really need any tools to apply it.
Pat: Absolutely. For instance, if you want to just play up your lips, you can use the paler shadows. That can look lovely on the red carpet. Then, when you want to just do your eye, you can play with the dark shades, as you were saying.

How was it shooting with Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott again?
Scarlett: I love shooting with the boys, because they are like family, and I’ve shot campaigns with them in the past. I think they’ve been photographing me for almost ten years at this point. One of the first shoots I ever did was with them. They were my first foray into the fashion world, the world of glamour and beauty, and here we are, ten years later, still doing it.

Pat, how did you achieve this look with the ‘Perfect Mono’ products?
Pat: ‘Perfect Mono’ has such a creamy formula that it can be easily applied with the fingers. Even and compact, it gives the eyes a penetrating and intense look, in both the light shades and the darker matte tones. You can create an even deeper, more dramatic look by wetting the finger you’re applying it with, or using a brush dipped in water. It’s perfect by itself, although adding a lighter tone from your favorite eyeshadow, or applying a pearl shade alongside a matte one, will create extra drama.

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