3 Contouring Secrets From Celebrity Makeup Artist Patrick Ta

The pro behind Bella and Gigi Hadid’s expertly contoured complexions shares his tips for sculpted skin — sans a trip to the plastic surgeon’s office.
Expert Opinion
Written by Meg Storm
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3 Contouring Secrets From Celebrity Makeup Artist Patrick TaAndrea Raffin/Shutterstock

As the man behind #flawless faces like Gigi and Bella Hadid, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Shay Mitchell (to name a few!), celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta knows a thing or two about creating radiant and sculpted complexions — without a trip to the plastic surgeon’s office.

While Ta is known for giving his clients an otherworldly contoured glow, he doesn’t rely on highlighter alone. “Good skin is the key to a good makeup application,” he says. “And skin prep is probably the most important step in the entire glam process.”

It should come as no surprise then that Ta, who launched his own Patrick Ta Beauty collection earlier this year, teamed up with Clarisonic as its first-ever consulting makeup artist, and he’s had the brand’s new Mia Smart device (which can be used to cleanse, exfoliate, massage, and apply makeup) in his kit ever since.

So, what are Ta’s tips for crafting an expertly contoured complexion at home? Here, he shares three of his skin-sculpting secrets.

1. When In Doubt, Exfoliate

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Even the best makeup application in the world can only do so much to conceal dry, dull skin, which is why Ta recommends gently exfoliating before you even think about applying skincare, primer, or a base. For poreless skin like Gigi, Ta says it’s “so important to remove any texture, when possible” because “it allows for a smoother base for foundation.”

2. Give Yourself a Facial Massage

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If you’re looking for sky-high cheekbones, lifted brows, or an ultra-defined jawline like Huntington-Whiteley, a quick massage can have you on your way to model-worthy facial features. The Mia Smart has a Firming Massage Head and Sonic Awakening Eye Massager that helps to lift and firm the face, while de-puffing the under eye area.

“I spend time massaging the face and under eyes to get the blood circulating for an instant lift and natural glow,” Ta explains. “It’s gentle on my clients’ skin but gets the job done — leaving the skin looking tighter and firmer.”

He likes to spend “a little extra time” massaging the cheekbones and jaw for “instant” lift and contour. Spending a couple minutes massaging your favorite face cream or oil into the skin with a gua sha, jade roller, or even your fingers can have a similarly sculpting effect.

3. Swap Your Contour For Concealer

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While Ta first uses Clarisonic’s Sonic Foundation Blender to apply foundation (read our guide to the best of the season HERE) all over the face because “the pulsating bristles work the foundation into the skin for a flawless undetectable finish” in “under one minute,” he then switches to a combo of concealer and highlighter to create depth and dimension à la Mitchell.

“Highlight the areas you want to bring forward and contour the area you want to appear less obvious,” he recommends. “I apply a concealer one to two shades lighter than the foundation to the under eyes, chin, and center of the forehead. The more angular you are with your concealer/contour, the more lifted the face will appear.”

Consider that a #ProTip for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to have the makeup maestro in our glam squad.

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MEG STORMis the editorial & content director at AEDIT.

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