This Eye-Makeup Trend Is Going To Be Huge — & It's SO Easy To Copy

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock.
This story was originally published August 5, 2016.

Patrick Ta
is the new makeup artist to watch in Hollywood. Since arriving in L.A. from Arizona just three years ago — with no formal training and only a stint working at a MAC counter under his belt — he's stacked his client roster with Gigi and Bella Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba, Kylie Jenner, Shay Mitchell, Joan Smalls, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Kourtney Kardashian, and many more.

Lightning-fast success like this is far from common, but in Ta's case it makes complete sense once you see his work. Think: creamy lip colors you can't help but covet, lashes that don't quit, and glowing complexions that make highlighter seem non-negotiable. But, as they say, the eyes have it — and a striking gaze has quickly become Ta's signature.

This includes cat-eyes made modern with the thinnest flicks you've ever seen, impactful smoked-out lids with no harsh lines, and soft smudges of taupe awakened with strategic strikes of white liner. It's pure Belle de Jourand Hollywood's most influential red-carpet mainstays can't get enough.

Luckily, you can cop all the tricks behind his je ne sais quoi without a one-way ticket to L.A. Ahead, Ta shares the products he relies on for nearly every eye look, the liner trends his clients are requesting the most, and the makeup techniques he's loving now.
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Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Ta.
The Trick: Go thin — no, like, really thin.

"The most popular look right now, and the one that all my clients want, is a super-thin line," Ta says. "So thin it's almost like it isn't even there, but it still has the cat-eye effect."

His signature thin flick can be seen here on Olivia Munn and in the majority of the slides ahead, and for good reason: It opens the eyes and brings attention upward. All you need to copy it at home is a skinny, angled brush with synthetic fibers — we like Smith Cosmetics' 203 Micro Angled Liner Brush — and your favorite shadow, he says. For a more dramatic line, try Ta's favorite gel: Tarte's Tarteist Clay Paint Liner. "It's my all-time favorite because it doesn't dry out, it's water-resistant, and it never creases," he tells us.
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Photo: Via @Patrickta.
The Trick: Keep your liner on the outer third.

Unlike a traditional cat-eye, which stretches across the entire upper lashline, Ta suggests limiting this ultra-thin, ultra-soft liner trend to just the outside third or half of the lid. Here, he gave Gigi Hadid a taupe version for the Met Gala. "Just start the line in the middle of your eyeball and go outwards," he says.
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Photo: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock.
The Trick: No-makeup makeup gets a flick, too.

Look closely and you can see this trick on Bella Hadid, too. The line is just thick enough to pop her gaze, but is unnoticeable unless you're looking for it.

Bonus: Ta used Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette to give Bella her sculpted and glowing complexion.
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Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Ta.
The Trick: Have (the right) direction.

"I have been doing a smudgy, winged liner look recently, which is great when you want that cat-eye effect without a strict cat-eye," Ta says. The most important thing to keep in mind? Direction is crucial, as demonstrated here on Shay Mitchell.

"Here's my tracing trick: Pretend like you’re holding a paper from the bottom waterline to the end of the eyebrow line," Ta says. Fret not if you make a mistake: "An angled brush dipped in a bit of makeup remover is the best way to clean up," he says.
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Photo: Via @Patrickta.
The Trick: Priming is paramount.

Instead of using a traditional eye-makeup primer, Ta opts for a three-step cocktail. First, he smooths on whatever face primer he's selected for his client's skin, and then he layers on a coat of MAC's Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre. "I finish by powdering the lid, so it's dry and oil-free," he says. We're loving this soft look on Camila Alves from last week.
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Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Ta.
The Trick: Highlighter works as shadow, too.

Another one of Ta's go-tos is the glowing lid he gave Joan Smalls last week. For a similar effect, prime your lids with his favorite all-purpose shadow from the previous slide, then dab highlighter from the lashline all the way to the browbone. For balance, don't forget to top off your cheekbones with some shimmer, too.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock.
The Trick: White out your waterline.

Perhaps Ta's most innovative and recognizable trick is a bright-white waterline — seen here on Gigi Hadid — which opens the eyes and makes the whites appear even brighter. Make Up For Ever's Kohl Pencil in Matte White 2K and Nyx's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk both glide on easily and stay put.
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Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Ta.
The Trick: Layer strategically.

For a dramatic effect, like he gave Smalls, layer, layer, and layer some more. "Start with a bit of shadow, then add a bit of gel liner going in the same direction along your top lashline," Ta explains. "Then, go back in with more shadow." Repeat until smoldering.
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Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Ta.
The Trick: Follow the waterline.

Directing even your smudgiest liner — not just your prim-and-precise ones — to the tail ends of your brows is clutch when sporting a lash-heavy look like the one Ta gave Smalls here. "When I apply a flick, I want it to go with the waterline," he says.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock.
The Trick: A single extra line makes things super-graphic.

Graphic shapes are also a Ta favorite — just don't let them get too complex or they won't feel wearable, he says. To replicate this Gigi look, pop your waterline with white liner, then smudge thick lines onto your upper and lower lashlines to define your eyes and provide balance. Then, place a third line just above the crease.

"Everyone’s eye shape is different, so it’s easiest to do the first two lines at the lashline, then once the eye is open follow along the top to place the third floating line," Ta says.


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Photo: Via @Patrickta.
The Trick: White liner balances bright color.

Further proof it's time to whiten your waterline? Bright smudges of colorful shadow are enlivened with strategically placed white liner. Copy Munn's elegantly colorful look with a quick swipe of white and a super-subtle burgundy smudge.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock.
The Trick: Powder before gel.

When creating a classic cat-eye, Ta starts with shadow and an angled brush, like he did here on Alessandra Ambrosio. "You really need to trace a cat-eye before using a gel liner," he says. "I always trace my cat-eyes with a dark powder before I go in with the [more] permanent stuff."
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