Patrick Ta’s Biggest Lesson Has Nothing To Do With Makeup

Ta opens up to Refinery29 about finding happiness in the face of a high-stress job.

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It was three years ago when Patrick Ta's life-changing journey began. While still working full-time as a makeup artist for top celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Adriana Lima, and Joan Smalls, he made his dream of launching a makeup brand a reality: Patrick Ta Beauty, a four-product range called Major Glow rolled out at US beauty store Sephora this spring.
It all ended with a massive LA launch party set to punctuate what he expected to be the biggest week of his life. Instead, it left him feeling isolated from the people that mattered most to him. "I didn't get to really live in the moment," Ta explained to me while thinking back to the launch party. "I went home that night and thought, 'What just happened?'."
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Most of us would likely assume that achieving your wildest professional dreams would make anyone insanely happy — especially when it's as sought after as becoming a celebrity makeup artist and founding your own cosmetics brand all before turning 30. Still, Ta says he walked away from his first launch feeling the opposite. "I got so much love from all of my friends, family, and clients that I felt so supported, but I also felt empty," he says.
Ta isn't alone. According to experts, expecting to reach long-lasting happiness after a big work accomplishment is called arrival fallacy, a term coined by Harvard-trained positive psychology expert Tal Ben-Shahar. He says that true happiness comes from nurturing our personal relationships, which Ta says he had all but paused.

"I got so much love from all of my friends, family, and clients that I felt so supported, but I also felt empty..."

Patrick Ta, celebrity makeup artist
It didn't help that everyone around him also thought he should be elated at his accomplishment. “People think you're so successful, but it takes a lot of work and it's a lot of pressure," he says. "When you have your identity and investors, there's this pressure that you build within yourself that you have to sell out...it's really nerve-racking and stressful."
After the Major Glow launch, Ta decided to go back home to Arizona to reconnect with his hometown friends, who had continuously followed his career journey. "I didn't really know anything about their lives. I got so caught up in what I was doing, in my own success and doing my own thing," he says. Ta still recalls missing one of his best friend's weddings two years ago for a job he swore would shape his career. "Now, I don't even remember what job it was," he says.

That's when he decided to take his happiness into his own hands. Ta finally took time out of his work schedule — the first time in his career — to take a three-week holiday around the world. Reconnecting with family and friends in Arizona, paired with his Eat, Pray, Love-moment, left him inspired to return to work — but this time things would be different.
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Ta reconnected with his sister, father, and mother in Arizona earlier this year..
Ta decided that his next collection would reflect his new outlook on life and celebrate the supportive women surrounding him. "Monochrome Moment is bringing it back to how I'm feeling right now, which is wanting amazing people around me, wanting to do better in my career, and being authentic," he says.
The new line is vastly different from his first, which was all about glowing, from a highlighting mist to a body oil. This new lineup is a lot more subtle, yet still on-brand for the pro, whose Instagram is packed with monochromatic looks. "When we launched Major Glow, it was all about the red carpet with super-extra, high-glam moments," he says. "This is me wanting to bring it back to your everyday, real life."
Ta's second collection was inspired by the women in his life.
The names of the products reflect this significance, too. "I really wanted to name these after the woman in my life that have brought me strength, excite me, motivate me, and just make me a better person," he says. To wit: The Velvet Blush in "She's Adorable," a golden peach, is inspired by Hadid, who is both his client and friend.
With his new mindset, Ta looks more refreshed than ever and remains excited for what's next. "We have a few other launches coming out," he says. "I just hope that people like [the collection], and see how much like time and work went into it." And as for his outlook? He has a whole new priority. "Seeing my friends and my family and the time that I have with them, it's so much more worth it than all the other things."

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