Saving Face on the Plane

Posted May 15, 2018 8:15 p.m. EDT

Makeup artist Patrick Ta has a loyal following of clients that includes the Kardashians and Ariana Grande.

Based in Los Angeles, Ta spends more time traveling than at home, flying around the world to create what he calls the “selfie-look” — makeup that looks as good on camera as in real life — for his celebrity clientele.

He uses the hours on the plane to beautify. “I’ve always heard my clients or my friends telling me, ‘Oh, put on a face mask when you’re traveling,’ but obviously that’s embarrassing,” he said. “But I just got over that embarrassment and I did it. Even though it tells me to leave it on for 30 minutes, I’ll leave it on for six hours, and I’ll wake up and my skin will feel like it’s protected from that dirty airplane air. Moisturizer, plumper, whatever mask that you’re putting on, you get that full, maximum effect.”

He’s no longer concerned with looking strange on the plane. “I basically have to go straight to work and I do not want to look like I’ve been traveling all day, so I will usually put on a face mask and I honestly think it’s genius,” he said. “It does look odd, but once you get over that factor, you’re like, I’m going to look a little bit better than you when I wake up, so who cares?”

He recommends travelers bring three things in their carry-on: concealer, lipstick and eyebrow gel.

“So, basically, comb up your eyebrows, put some concealer on and put some lipstick on,” he said. “And you’ll look like you haven’t been traveling all day.”

Why eyebrows? “Eyebrows are such a big part of the face, so if you have wonky, ugly eyebrows then people just like me are going to be judging you,” he said.

Here’s what he packs for every trip:

Glasses: “I like wearing sunglasses or glasses, but not ones that are tinted, ones that are clear or that have a little bit of yellow just because I think that it looks cool. I just love glasses I can wear day or night. They’re not really protecting your eyes from the sun; it’s a statement piece to wear.”

Suitcase of Makeup: “Oh, I’m bringing way too much. My makeup kit is usually 20 pounds heavier than my regular luggage; it weighs around 70 pounds and it’s heavy. I travel with probably 150 lipsticks. Foundation, I probably have 30 different colors. Eye shadow, I have maybe six to 10 eye shadow palettes. Blushes, I probably have 50 blushes.”

Morphe 350S Eye Shadow Palette: “I have this multi-palette that I’m obsessed with and they’re super reasonably priced, and they have basically every single color you can think of. There’s probably 30 or more colors in it, so you’re basically always prepared for any eye look you want to do, or any occasion you’re going to.”

La Mer The Mist: “I have this setting spray that I’m obsessed with. When you’re changing climates so much, you just want to make sure your face is fresh and moisturized, so I have this setting spray that — I happen to take the perfect travel size, too — if your face feels dry or if your makeup has just been sitting there and caking on your face, you just spray some setting spray to kind of revitalize everything and just bring it back to life so your skin looks like skin.”

Beef Jerky: “I always bring beef jerky. I mean, it depends if I don’t want to look fat and bloated the next day, but I love beef jerky. I always bring some with me just so I can snack on it throughout the day. I like this sriracha-flavored one.”