Patrick Ta: Getting fired, working with Gigi Hadid and ditching heavy make-up

All the way from the Los Angeles, celebrity make-up artist Patrick Ta joined us at the IMAGE Beauty Festival for his first ever Irish masterclass. While creating a red carpet look, he shared stories about getting fired from MAC, working with Gigi Hadid and discovering natural-look make-up...

Patrick Ta is one of the most prolific make-up artists in Hollywood; working his magic on stars such as Gigi Hadid, Shay Mitchell, Chrissy Teigen, Blake Lively and Rosie Huntington Whiteley (to name but a few).

Taking to the stage at the jam-packed Samsung Beauty Theatre at this year's IMAGE Beauty Festival, he walked out to huge cheer and applause. "I'm so excited to be in Dublin," he said. "This is my first time here."

"I'm going to be showing you guys a make-up look that I'm obsessed with; one that most of my clients love." The look involves natural-looking skin, bronze eyes and a bold, red lip.


Ditching heavy make-up

Speaking to the crowd about natural-look make-up, Patrick Ta said he's only been doing make-up like this since moving to Los Angeles.

"Coming from Arizona, I thought heavy make-up was the most beautiful. When I moved to Los Angeles, I got a call from Joan Smalls, a supermodel, to do her make-up for the MTV awards.

Audience members enjoy the Patrick Ta masterclass at IMAGE Beauty Festival 2019 Audience members applaud Patrick Ta at the IMAGE Beauty Festival 2019

"I went to the store and got a foundation that was super light. Halfway through the look, she wanted to look in the mirror, and she starts freaking out; saying it's too much make-up. She started taking her fingers trying to blend it out.

"And I was like, 'wow, this is the most natural make-up I've ever done in my life!'


"That really opened my eyes," he said. "I started trying to learn about natural skin and different make-up types. Skin that is luminous; that's what most of my clients are looking for and I think that's what sets me apart from other artists in the industry."

Natural-look make-up

Patrick Ta then showed the audience at the Samsung Beauty Theatre how to achieve celebrity-quality, natural-look make-up.

"I'm going to start with skin prep," he said. "I use La Mer Renewal Oil, €185; I normally don't use a primer. I use a Kat Von D make-up brush to apply the moisturiser; I do a lot of moisturising because I want the skin to look super plump."

"I also use the La Mer Lip Balm, €60," Patrick said.

Once the skin was prepped, Patrick used a blend of Fenty foundation and Armani Designer Lift foundation. "I like using a small amount of full coverage foundation and blending them out with oils. They last longer."


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Getting fired

It's hard to imagine anyone firing someone as talented as Patrick Ta – but that's exactly what happened to him in Arizona. "I started doing make-up about seven or eight years ago," Patrick said. "I started at a MAC make-up counter in Arizona – and then I got fired.

"I was what MAC calls a 'diva artist'. It means I take a really long time. They wanted the looks done in 30 minutes, but whenever I would do make-up, I would take at least an hour or two. This is my work. I have to take my time.

Fear not though; Patrick says he and his then-manager still get along. "We're still friends, we still love each other."

Patrick Ta and model pose at the IMAGE Beauty Festival 2019 after his first Irish masterclass Patrick Ta and model pose at the IMAGE Beauty Festival 2019 after his first Irish masterclass

"I moved to LA shortly after that and started posting the looks I did on Instagram," Patrick said. "I started DMing models being like, 'Hey, can I do your make-up? Half the time no one would answer; but half the time, they did.'

"I think the best advice for aspiring make-up artists is to reach out. Don't be afraid."

Now that he lives in LA, Patrick can take as long as he needs to complete a celebrity's look. "Two years ago, I was doing make-up for the MET Gala," he said, "I was given five hours – and I ran late. But we were also chatting. Usually, a celebrity will book you for three hours."

Gigi Hadid

One such celebrity is model Gigi Hadid. "I met Gigi at a birthday party and I was introduced to her by her step-mom. I thought she was beautiful, but nothing really came from that.

"A month later, I was in Miami doing make-up for a wedding, when I got a phone call from her being like, 'Hey Patrick, can you do my make-up for the MTV music awards tomorrow?' So I told the bride, 'I'm so sorry, I have to do your make-up a little bit earlier so I can catch a flight'.

"I ended up doing both Gigi's hair and make-up look; and to this day, she still says it was her favourite look she's ever had – but I can't remember how I did it."


Audience members enjoy the Patrick Ta masterclass at IMAGE Beauty Festival 2019 Audience members enjoy the Patrick Ta masterclass at IMAGE Beauty Festival 2019

Keep up with all our behind-the-scenes beauty updates (including more from Jennifer Rock) by following us on Instagram or by searching the hashtag #IMAGEbeautyfest on Instagram and Twitter

Photos: IMAGE Media

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