MECCA MUSE

Hollywood’s hottest makeup artist: Patrick Ta on success, iso-beauty and Gigi Hadid

We have absolutely no doubt that regardless of whether you know his name or not, you have seen Patrick Ta’s work. He’s the artist behind Hollywood’s glowiest faces, including Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell, Adriana Lima, and most famously, one of his closest friends, Gigi Hadid. For four years now, Ta has been an ambassador for La Mer—one of our most coveted brands, and the industry secret behind the enviable complexions of his star-studded portfolio. In a break between trialling his collection of sheet masks, coating his entire body in The Treatment Lotion and Crème De La Mer and landscaping his garden while in isolation at his new LA home, Ta kindly invited us into his home (and his closet, wardrobe and shower) via Zoom to talk about his success, landing a La Mer ambassadorship, and how we can transform into supermodels, too.

“I DIDN’T REALLY DABBLE IN MAKEUP GROWING UP.”

Although he had already catapulted to success in his early 20s, the acclaimed and admired artist’s fascination with beauty came about “on the later end,” while assisting a photographer on a shoot in his hometown of Arizona. Ta attributes it to being able to come out and “fully embrace” who he was around the age of 22. “When I came out I was just more comfortable with myself and allowed the world and the people around me to really understand who I was as a person, and what I wanted to be—that’s when I fully embraced makeup.”

Ta couldn’t speak highly enough of the women in his life, who enabled him to be his true self. “I started doing bridal makeup, and doing makeup for my friends,” he shared. “And it was initially just a reason to hang out with my girlfriends because they were the ones who allowed me to feel comfortable.”

Prior to exploring the world of artistry, Ta actually saw himself as a chef, enrolling in culinary school as the result of an obsession with the Food Network; “I think it’s the whole aesthetic of start to finish,” he started, “whether that’s makeup, food, landscaping, interior design… I just love anything that I can transform and bring to life.”

“I TOLD MY MOM ‘OMG MY LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE.’”

“When I moved to LA I was just turning 22, and that was when social media was just starting to blow up,” recalled the artist labelled by the media as ‘selfie-made’. ‘I remember just reaching out to new faces that I thought were beautiful that I really wanted to showcase my work with, whether it was through social media or through my friends.”

With those networking skills, Ta met—and made up—Mitchell and Hadid about two months after moving to LA. “They have both completely changed my life,” he shared. “Back then they were just starting their careers as well, I think Gigi had like 200k followers and Shay had maybe 500k followers.” For the record, Hadid now has almost 54 million and Mitchell, 28 million. “I was a huge fan of the Real Housewives and Pretty Little Liars, so for me coming from Arizona not knowing anything about this industry or how it worked, it was crazy. I told my mum ‘oh my god my life is about to change’, and it did.”

Along with the hustle, Ta admits he did experience backlash on his way to the top. “A lot of other people in the industry didn’t take photos with their clients and I got a lot of hate for that,” he revealed. “But now it’s just the norm, and I owe a lot of my success to social media, and definitely to the people around me.”

“BACK THEN I WAS JUST SO HUNGRY TO TOUCH FACES AND DO THE NEXT BIG PERSON, I WAS JUST SO HUNGRY TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL.”

There’s the fame, the followers and the celebrity friends that has come along with his career, but like so many of us, Ta’s measure of success is the pride of his family. “As much as I want to make myself proud,” the artist speaks of his success, “I feel like there’s no better feeling than making your parents proud. Mine have done so much for me.”

On making himself proud, it has only been now, in this period of slowing down and isolation, that Ta has been able to really see and feel his immense success. “I just moved into my own house and I feel like I was doing all these amazing things but I would always come home to like a ten-by-ten room that I was sharing with people, so I had never really felt my success,” he shared. “I had my career, my brand, and my ambassadorship with La Mer, but I was living in a shoe box, buried in my clothes and products, and now that I’ve moved into my house I finally feel like everything has a place and that I’m successful.”

“I HAD ALWAYS THOUGHT OF LA MER AS THIS BRAND LIKE ‘OH MY GOD J. LO PUTS THIS ON HER WHOLE BODY.’”

Even with an ambassadorship of over four years for the luxury skincare brand, Ta still pinches himself when he thinks about his relationship with La Mer. “I was jaw dropped that they even were thinking about me!” he exclaimed. “I had always thought of La Mer as this brand like ‘oh my god J. Lo puts this on her whole body’. I wanted to be there, and I wanted to touch and use that product, so just to be able to have that brand be the first brand I did anything for and the first brand that I’m the ambassador for… there was no reason not to say yes.”

Obsessed with his—and his clients’—skin, Ta’s La Mer-filled shower proves his obsession with the brand’s coveted miracle-broth infused formulations. As for his favourites, the artist raves about his “holy grail” Treatment Lotion, and its “levelled-up” reiteration, the golden Infused Lotion. Ta also obsesses over the brand’s Lip Balm and Renewal Oil, which “makes foundation look that much more natural and real,” especially on the high points and the dry points of your face.

… SO HOW DO WE LOOK LIKE GIGI, SHAY AND ADRIANA?

“Skin is so in,” said the artist, about to spill some insider tips in achieving a look worthy of a Hollywood actress or Victoria’s Secret model. “Focus on your skin first, because your skin makes up most of your face.” Ta recommends going in with the Renewal Oil, followed by the Treatment Lotion, and then “focusing the foundation only where you really need it,” with the aim of building on your natural glow within, not covering it up. When it comes to powdering, assess the situation. “I know some people feel like they have to powder,” he says, “but I personally only powder in the T-zone and areas that tend to move.”

As for right now, in the context of us spending most of our time at home with our social interactions via screen, Ta’s approach remains; “people are doing masks like every day, so focus more on skincare and then use just a little foundation and a nice blush. Keep it simple.”

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