how to get expensive looking skin

The Secret to Expensive-Looking Skin, According to Patrick Ta

The makeup artist reveals how to get the most luminous skin of your life.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but we all wish we could roll out of bed looking like a million bucks. Despite the good-natured lies my boyfriend tells me, I do not, in fact, look like the loveliest, most luminous version of myself on any given morning. And despite my dedication to all things beauty and skin care, sometimes I need an expert to help take my skin from a dehydrated dumpster fire to a pilates-and-eight-glasses-of-water-daily glow. That’s the beauty of makeup, after all. Who better to guide my inner glow journey than celebrity makeup artist and new Global Color Artist for Shiseido, Patrick Ta?

When I was recently in L.A. to preview Shiseido’s new makeup collection, Ta revealed his go-to technique for expensive-looking skin. Since, at that moment, I was considerably jet-lagged and my skin was still reeling from six hours of recycled air, I couldn’t wait to hear exactly what this beauty look entailed. “Skin that is luminous; skin that is fresh, glowy, and looks young,” he explained backstage after a masterclass. His model (none other than Jordyn Woods) looked as if she had a pearlescent spotlight permanently pointed her direction after Ta was finished with her, so I sat up and began to take notes.

I inquired if he had any tricks for looking more awake if you’re applying makeup in the morning before work. “I like to put highlight in the inner corner of the eyes, the high points of the cheekbones, the peak of the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, and on the Cupid’s bow. I put it right on top of the blush.” As someone who is still unsure of the correct blush application after years of trial and error, I asked what he prefers for creating a sculpted cheek. “I don’t like to go too far in [towards the nose] with blush, because if you go too far into the front of your cheeks, it makes your cheeks look rounder. Put the blush where you would apply the contour, but just a little bit higher. It brings a little life and color to the face.”

And what about his favorite highlighters at the moment? “The Aura Dew. It’s like diamonds in that little jar. It’s a multi-dimensional highlighter that has a transparent base, so again, it can be used on many different shades of skin. It can be used as a topper, a highlighter, or just a bit on your lips for some glow. And when light reflects onto it, it makes the pearls inside seem wet, so your skin looks super glowy and dewy. Again, that expensive skin that I love.”

But is there such a thing as too much shine? Ta concedes that, yes, you need to be strategic with where you embrace your dewy look and where to keep skin matte. “The areas I put powder on are the peak of the forehead, a little under the eyes, the smile lines, and the chin. Leave the rest of the face nice and natural and dewy.”

To keep that glow going all day long, he recommends using a setting spray around the perimeter of the face. “It further accentuates that glow. It basically melts any product that is on that area, [so] your skin becomes one instead of just product going on top of your skin.” Essentially, don’t be afraid of that three-o’clock shine, but keep a powder on hand to keep your smile lines and chin from becoming too oily. As Ta says, “When you have more of that natural oil or glow, when the light hits, it further accentuates everything and it looks like the shine is coming from within the skin, rather than laying on top of it.” So on even the most exhausting of days, those of us without an American Express black card can look like our skin is worth a small fortune. Inner glow, here I come.

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