Celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin talks about his new Tatcha partnership and shares his lockdown beauty tips

By Heather Cichowski

Celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin has been appointed the first-ever Global Director of Artistry and Education at Tatcha. Daniel, who has worked with celebrity clients including Priyanka Chopra, Gemma Chan, Nina Dobrev, Elisabeth Moss and Olivia Palermo, and did Duchess Meghan's makeup for her wedding to Prince Harry, was announced in his new role as Tatcha celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

From July 1, 2020, the legendary makeup artist will be working with Tatcha founder Vicky Tsai on new product development, editorial content, education and more thrilling things. To celebrate the news, Daniel and Tatcha have collaborated on a 10th anniversary redesign of the original Aburatorigami Blotting Papers ($16), Tatcha's first product and something that quickly became a staple in Daniel's makeup kit.

HELLO! Canada spoke with Daniel in a video call to hear about his exciting new role, his favourite Tatcha products and how he is dealing with COVID-19 and social distancing measures. The legendary makeup artist also shared plenty of tips and tricks!

HELLO! Canada: Congrats on the Tatcha partnership! It's hard to choose favourites, but is there anything from the current line that are your absolute favourites?

Daniel Martin: Thank you! Right now, I'm obsessed with The Serum Stick ($62) because I'm really lazy. [laughs] I have one in every bag and I actually have one in the fridge. It feels really good on when it's cold because it's just hyaluronic acid.

I've been a big fan of the Indigo franchise with the brand because I have mild eczema, so it has been really helpful for me to really calm that down.

But, The Water Creams ($89) are my favourites. I’ve had the Dewy Skin Mist ($26) in my kits and in my personal use forever.

The Tatcha Serum Stick for easy hydration and anti-aging. Photo: © Courtesy of Tatcha

I don't think I would have been able to partner with the brand had I not been a fan of it in the first place...I love the brand. I love Vicky Tsai. Vicky and I have become great friends over the past 10 years.

I'm excited to work with them in such a closer capacity, for me, always, as a Creative Director, taking what Vicky built and really merging the understanding of Japanese artisanship and heritage and into new technology that is happening in cosmetics now, starting from the creation of this Silk Canvas Protective Primer ($68) and now this Liquid Silk Canvas ($68). I feel like that, taking bits from skincare and merging it into makeup for us, because so much of my work is based on good skincare practices.

People really associate you with skin and makeup, and not covering up the face.

Exactly. I was a huge anti-primer person and when Vicky came out with this Liquid Silk Canvas, I was like, 'Okay, what would make this any different?' And then I realized if you incorporate this as part of your skincare, it's just another component to achieving that beautiful skin.

So, after I moisturize – I tend to do a massage with moisturizer on my client – I'll do one pump on the Liquid Silk Canvas and incorporate that into the practice so the foundation that I use automatically locks onto that product. So it’s more like a makeup magnet than a primer.

There are so many interpretations of a primer. Some people use it to correct, this one really integrates, our primer as a foundation magnet.

MORE: Celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin collaborates on face mask collection during coronavirus pandemic

Would you say the Liquid Silk Canvas is one of the products you use the most during awards season?

Yeah, especially now because we’re getting into that warmer climate and this is perfect for somebody with combination, oily skin. And also, too, it's really comfortable on the skin as you integrate into your skincare practice.

Because I feel like if you use a product, I know a lot of people, other artists who use primer with a sponge or a brush, that automatically turns that product into makeup. So, you have this disconnect between skincare and makeup once you start integrating the tools into it.

So, I like to tell my clients that if you use your hands with certain products, you sort of counteract the idea that this is a makeup product. This is a skincare product, because you use your hands with skincare.

I think if you use your products differently, the notion of what you're using it for changes. When I used to assist [makeup artist] Pat McGrath, she had us always do foundation with our hands. There's just something about warming foundation up with your hands and pushing it into the skin to warm it up for everything to melt together. And once you do that, you really see how makeup lays on the skin.

Sometimes there's a disconnect with a makeup brush or sponge because you just keep putting it on. And next thing you know, you're in full drag and you don't realize how much makeup you have on your face. [Laughs]

It’s almost literally like painting when you use a brush and your face is the canvas.

Yeah. There's something about warming up the skin with your hands that feels really sensual but always really good. Knowing that you can do your base, your foundation, with your hands and not make it look like foundation is a game-changer for a lot of people.

Were there any other products in your kit that were on heavy rotation in the last awards season?

For me, I think it’s about finding products that are longwear. Dior's Full-coverage foundation, Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation ($64) is great, because depending on the skin type, I'll even do a swipe of the [Tatcha] Water Cream and a pump of foundation and meld that together to put it into the skin.

The Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask is a non-sticky jelly treatment formulated with Japanese peach and olive-derived squalane. Photo: © Courtesy of Tatcha

Concealers, actually I love using the lip mask, [ Tatcha The Kissu Lip Mask ($36)], for lipstick. Sometimes, when you put an emollient, like a chap stick or any kind of lip balm, it kind of sits and when you go to put lipstick on, it kind of breaks up because of that petroleum that's underneath it. The lip mask, because of its consistency, gives you that all-day hydration and it doesn’t interrupt with liquid lipsticks.

I don't wind up using too many products in terms of complexion because my goal is for longevity. And I feel that if you do too much with the skin and they don't keep it up, two hours in, you're going to start seeing this break up that starts to happen. So, I will spend more time with skincare than with complexion products on the day of.

You mentioned mixing the Tatcha The Water Cream with foundation. What kind of finish does that give off in photos?

It gives a bit of a radiance to the foundation, but also because it's water it dissipates quickly on the skin. So, once it's on you get the hydration but you don't get that weighty feeling of two products on the face. Because sometimes you see that.

So, I try to stay away from any kind of oil-based, silicone-based moisturizers just because of that reason.

Do you want to talk more about your philosophy for skin and makeup?

I actually started my career as an aesthetician [working at Aveda beginning in 1996] so having that background understanding skin has been really helpful in creating my point of view with my work. So much is it is about embracing someone's natural beauty and just kind of enhancing it.

Whether it's focusing on one thing. Like, Olivia Palermo loves her eyes. It's always got to be a dark smokey eye with her.

Gorgeous! Nina Dobrev sporting a pretty pink makeup look for the 2020 Golden Globes InStyle Party on Jan 5, 2020. Photo: © Courtesy of Daniel Martin

Chloë Sevigny is always in a red lip. Or, I have these certain actresses who just have these one thing and they love enhancing it. So, when I'm working with someone, that is kind of where I'm starting at. From there, we can kind of build out their makeup.

So, Nina Dobrev loves makeup. Nina loves to try out different things, different looks, but it's always her, her makeup never not looks like her. That's the fine line that you have. You have to really understand the essence of that person and really kind of pull out what is their best feature and what they want to enhance the most.

Has there been a favourite or a standout look that you’ve done? Either red carpet or editorial.

Oh my goodness. That's a really great question because I've been so lucky to play around with so many different looks on so many different girls.

I saw Nina for Golden Globes InStyle party, where I did a very soft look, it's this monochromatic pink eye and pink lip. Then a couple of weeks later, I went on tour with Elisabeth Moss for the Independent Spirit Awards. And I did a different version of Nina's look.

Pretty in pink! Elisabeth Moss wearing a beautiful makeup look from Daniel Martin to the 2020 SAG Awards on Jan. 19, 2020. Photo: © Courtesy of Daniel Martin

For about a month-and-a-half, I got into this pink monochromatic thing. I just loved the way pink lip, pink eye, pink cheek looked. There was just something really cool about using pink as a monochromatic colour. But, depending on the skin tone, it would look completely different. So I took a look that I did on Nina on Elisabeth Moss. And because Elisabeth is fair with blue eyes and Nina is dark and dark eyes, the makeup looked completely different but it was the same makeup.

So, it was taking that and just making it more about a fun colour, rather than 'This is a smokey eye' and 'This is a glossy lip.' I feel like we were hitting that moment, especially now that it’s spring, with experimenting with colour, and seeing it more abstract than just a navy blue contour or a navy blue smokey eye. It was more art school, a bit more crafty, a bit more broken down.

I would say that playing around with pink, because people don’t really think about pink as something they really want to put on their eye.

Was there something that inspired the pink phase?

I love Japanese anime and I found this Instagram account. And there was this character, who I can’t remember the name of, and their makeup was always pink. It was always pink and red. And I love pink and red. No one ever thinks about putting pink and red together, but the colour combo in fashion is beautiful. So I was like, 'How can I do pink and red together that wasn’t geisha, but was still modern?' So, it was like using it as a colour wash.

The Tatcha Water Cream is a favourite in Daniel Martin's makeup kit. Photo: © Courtesy of Tatcha

Back in the '90s, Prada did this show where the top lip was red and the bottom lip was pink. And it was like the most beautiful thing on the runway. Everything was pulled back, there was nothing on the face. But, when you saw the lip, it looked like gradation. So, to me in my head, I loved that gradation of pink going into red.

All these tulips in the city are popping up, and I have been taking photos of this deep, deep purple up against red because there's something really beautiful about those two colours together but you don’t necessarily think to put together.

What bridal beauty trends do you see emerging for brides who might go ahead with virtual ceremonies, socially distanced ones or potentially full ceremonies later in the year?

I think what I've really noticed right now is people really taking ownership of learning how to do their own makeup, hair colouring, eyebrows, lash extensions, because they've had all this time on their hands and 'I'm going to invest this time and really figure out how I can really keep up my brows instead of having that stand-in appointment every six weeks of whatever.' I feel like a lot of my girlfriends are learning how to do that. They're doing these at-home lash extensions kits that you can order online to do your own lash extensions, hair colour, because all of this stuff you can order online.

The Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist provides hydration thanks to Okinawa red algae and hyaluronic acid without disturbing makeup. Photo: © Courtesy of Tatcha

So, I feel like that has turned into a trend in of itself that people are taking the time and investing in doing stuff on their own. So, that has been really interesting to see. I wonder if there has been a spike in YouTube viewership on how to do certain things. I'm just curious because I know that so many of my friends, you know, 'I went on YouTube and learned how to do this' and '…I learned how to do that.'

If anything, I think people are learning how to take care of themselves on their own rather than relying on anybody else.

In terms of bridal, I had an [Instagram] Live with a friend of mine who actually has a store in Toronto. It was really interesting to hear her perspective, because she's dealing with them on the dress end, and I had three friends who were going to get married this summer, but ended up postponing their weddings.

So, I think it just depends on the spectacle that you want to have, whether you're doing just a small family gathering with Zoom, with just the officiator, the officiant and close family. I feel like you know, these brides learning how to do their own makeup and hair really enables them to feel like 'I can do this if I just have to slip on the dress.'

I feel like, if anything, it's understanding how to do your own hair and makeup, because we've had all this time on our hands over the last two months.

What would you recommend for readers who are isolating who want to play around with their makeup? What are your tips?

Going back to what we said we were talking about before, a lot of women are getting inspired to do things on their own. I have a lot of girlfriends who wore lash extensions. And now since they couldn't go [to appointments] they're learning how to do them on their own, but also still having that liberty, you can take different lengths that you want and basically do what they’re doing but on yourself. So, I like people learning to do things on their own is a great tip.

Also, taking care of their skin. Doing more masks, wearing a mask while you're cleaning your house or the dishes. Or, really understanding how and why things work rather than, 'Oh, this is trendy' and try to figure it out, and try it.

With all this time, I think people are really learning how to take care of themselves rather than it be just a one-off.

For people who want to enhance their skin when applying foundation, would you suggest they use their hands when applying products?

Now we're getting into this sanitation-hygiene situation. Moving forward, especially with my line of work, what’s the protocol, what are we morally and ethically responsible when we start working with our clients again? I feel like we went from this movement of having all these brushes and all this product to achieve what we thought was, you know 'beauty next level,' thinking we need to contour and highlight. I think it's gonna be a slow process to get back into makeup because so many people have not worn makeup for the last two months.

So, for them to go into, 'Okay, I need to get myself ready, to do something, to go back to work' is going to be a process in of itself. But, I feel like people are going to want to use their hands. 'Okay, I don't want to have to spend the time, even though I've had all this time,' they're going to figure out their own shortcuts. And I think understanding the type of coverage they want versus what they need is going to be the question. Women are going to feel a bit more liberated with how much they want to wear. So, whether it's just foundation or they need more coverage, and they'll do concealer afterwards.

I tend to tell my clients to use that rule of thumb because sometimes foundation can knock out what you need it to do with just using a brush. They don't need to do all the concealer swiping and all of that they see on YouTube because they end up basically wearing a mask. So, I think that women are using this time to decide what coverage means to them and how much they need to do.

So, stop, before you pick up that brush, think about what you need and what you want to achieve?

Yeah. Because I tend to use a brush to lay down makeup but then I'll use a sponge to blend it all out whereas some people will use the five pumps [of foundation] and the sponge, and they'll take that sponge and go directly to their face. And they've instantly blocked out any kind of dimension. And they're going back in and bringing that all back. If you can completely minimize all that, by all means, by doing your foundation first and then seeing how much concealer you need to conceal with afterwards.

Some of the products in the Tatcha Indigo range. Photo: © Courtesy of Tatcha

What tips do you have for people choosing the right foundation colour, especially now with seasons changing?

What I tend to tell my clients is to look at your neck, and if your neck is lighter than your face, are you wearing low-cut-neck shirts or are you going to continue wearing turtleneck shirts? For me always, I want this [points to face] to match with this [points to neck]. This needs to look the same. And if there is any discolouration, redness in the centre of the face, that’s where you start and work your way out. And that has always been my rule of thumb.

When I was doing editorial, I was taught to have the model lift up their shirt and look at their stomach because if the model gets on the dress where all of this is exposed and their face doesn't match their body, you have to go back and fix that. But, it's just easier to know if she doesn't have her clothes on and you're matching her stomach to her face, then you know that's going to be seamless no matter what she puts on.

That has always been my rule of thumb to match this up with this [points to face and body].

Especially, like you said, as we’re going into warmer weather and the weather is changing, you might not have the right makeup, you can always warm the skin up with bronzer or blush, it just looks different if you go warmer in the face and you don't take care of your neck.

In this challenging time, it’s really hard to be separated from family and friends. It’s also a time when everyone needs a beautiful escape. Here at Hello! Canada, we’re still busy creating the magazine you know and love, to spread positivity and provide some entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the hard news. And with our new special offer for subscribers, there’s never been a better time to have Hello! delivered directly to your front door. Why not treat yourself, or someone you love, today?

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!