Celebrity make-up artist Patrick Ta is behind some of the most enviably-glowing faces you've seen on Instagram and the red carpet. With clients like Gigi Hadid, Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the 'king of glowing skin', who found fame on social media, knows exactly what it takes to achieve a radiant complexion. We met with him to discover his advice, so you can get the look too...
Why do we all want to glow?
"When people see glowing skin, they think of healthy skin. It looks youthful, it looks fresh, it looks modern and healthy. Everyone wants to look as naturally beautiful, as naturally glowing, as possible."
What is a natural highlight?
"A natural highlight is that look when your skin appears dewy as the sun hits certain points. That can be from your natural oils, or sweat, or a highlighter that mimics that appearance and gives you an extra pop."
What highlighter should we use?
"I love using liquid highlighters because they look closer to a natural dewy look. Powder highlighters risk looking cheap and they can really accentuate any bumps or lines. Liquid highlighters bring your skin back to life and give your face dimension.
"I'd recommend Cover FX's Custom Enhancer Drops, as they blend really well with foundations and powders. They stay glowy too, unlike some other highlighters that look amazing at first, but just dry up on your skin."
How can we choose the right highlighter shade?
"For an everyday highlight, girls with an ivory skin tone, should look for white and pink shades. If you have golden undertones, go for gold highlighters and for darker skin, more bronze tones. It's another reason why I love Cover FX highlighters - they come in a bunch of shades, so there is one for every skin tone.
"You can play with different highlighter colours too though, as it can really tie into your lipstick colour, your eyeshadow, or your jewellery. For example, if you are wearing a pink dress you can find a highlighter with pink undertones to match, like Cover FX's Glitter Drops in Aurora. It adds a hint of pink and rose gold glitter to your eyes or cheeks."
Where should you apply highlighter?
"If you put highlighter on your entire face you'll look like a disco-ball, especially if you're going to be photographed. For glowing skin in a photograph, apply highlighter along the top of the cheekbones, otherwise it doesn't catch on camera. You want it so that when the camera flashes, or the light hits, it really glows. You can put it on the peak of your forehead, the tip of your nose and on your cupid's bow too. Those are the best areas because the natural sunlight is just going to hit your skin and make those areas shine."
How much should we apply?
"I put products like highlighter and foundation on the back of my hand first, so that I can make sure it is nice and even. It also ensures you don't over-do it, because you can tap out a little bit and always add more. Then, I take my Beauty Blender, and go over everything, to really push it into the skin."
How do we avoid looking too shiny?
"There's a huge difference between looking oily and dewy - and you want to look dewy. The areas that can make you look oily are your smile lines, chin and the centre of your forehead. Don't use any highlighter on those areas and put powder on instead. If you have applied too much highlighter, use a clean side of your beauty blender and dab off the access."
Where else can we put highlighter?
"I think a beautiful look is when you add a little bit of highlighter to the centre of your eyelids. I saw one of my girlfriends recently after a photoshoot and her eyelids were highlighted with natural oils. It looked so pretty; as if she had just woken up and her skin was glowing. To recreate it, I find oils and liquid highlighters last longer than a lot of glittering eyeshadows."
How can we prep our skin to make it glow from within?
"You need to invest in your skincare, especially a great make-up remover and moisturiser. If you have great skin to start with highlighter can be there just to make it even better.
"Before applying any make-up, prep your skin with moisturiser, under-eye cream and lip balm. Then wait, five to ten minutes before applying foundation, to let it soak in. I love using La Mer - which I've been doing for the past four years - including on my own skin. The Moisturizing Cream, is so rich and it leaves the skin fresh and plump. That means when you are applying foundation, everything goes on really smooth, and having smooth skin is the most important thing for a natural finish."
What foundation should we use to add radiance to our skin?
"As an ambassador for La Mer, I've had the opportunity to try their Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation. It looks like skin, but gives you buildable medium-to-full coverage. It also photographs true to skin, so you can put on as much as you need and it doesn't start to look thick.”
What about concealer?
"I use concealer to highlight and bring light to the areas that tend to be sallow, such as under your eyes. I would apply a shade that is one to two shades lighter than your actual foundation shade, so that it gives your face dimension."
Do we need special brushes or tools?
"I apply foundation with a brush, so you can evenly disperse it into your skin. I prefer a dense brush, so you can really buff the product in, especially the IT Cosmetics' Heavenly Luxe Buffing Foundation Brush, or the Cover FX Blending Brush, £32, because the bristles are so soft."
How can we look radiant when battling breakouts?
"Instead of caking on lots and lots of make-up, use the same amount you would normally and then just spot-treat the breakout areas. If you have a breakout on your cheekbones, I probably wouldn't highlight there and just focus on other areas. That way you'll still look fresh, healthy and natural, rather than ending up with very heavy coverage all over your face."
How do we balance highlighting and contouring?
"I like to contour prior to highlighting, using contouring colours that are a nice warm shade, so it looks natural. I'd recommend Tom Ford's Shade and Illuminate, as the formula is really buildable and it's easy to work with. It's forgiving too, so if you apply too much, or if you want more time to blend it out, it doesn't dry."
Can we tie in our lipstick?
"If I'm focusing on glowing skin, I like to do more of a matte lip, using a suede or velvet textured lipstick. I love Pat McGrath's lipsticks [you can get her full kit on Net-a-porter], as they are so matte but they still have so much moisture. I like using bold red or orange colours and then I pick a highlighter that can be tied in, so it all looks like it was done with a purpose.”
What's the best way of removing heavy make-up?
"Most face washes can't get rid of the make-up that brands are now creating, so I'd recommend using a make-up wipe, like Burt's Bees White Tea Facial Wipe, before your cleanser. If you have a lot of eye make-up on, you need an eye make-up remover that has an oil in it to breakdown the mascara and eyeliner, like La Mer's The Cleansing Oil. Then, apply your toner, moisturiser and under-eye cream before you go to bed so your skin gets a chance to soak up nutrients. That way you'll wake up with plump, fresh skin for your next make-up application."
Who should be our inspiration?
"Angelina Jolie's skin is always so beautiful and fresh. She never wears too much foundation and she lets her natural beauty shine through. I love when I do looks for Chrissy Teigen too, as her skin is so beautiful and glowing and Gigi [Hadid] just loves make-up. She loves to look fresh and dewy and to get that model-off-duty look. In fact, she's probably taught me as much as I've taught her, as she gets her make-up done by the best of the best."