MAKUP founder Veronica McAleer is an internationally acclaimed, Oscar nominated and Emmy award winning Makeup and Hair Designer.

Veronica McAleer

Veronica McAleer


Every makeup artist I know loves these palettes – myself included.

Pros for professional artists:

  • Cost effective, a myriad of essential colours in just one palette
  • Small, which is perfect for your on-set kit bags
  • Less strain on those poor shoulders, than carrying big palettes or bottles!
  • Great variety of colours which can be mixed to match every individual skin tone
  • Can be used neat or thinned down with its own mixer to suit all complexions from complete cover to a thin wash
  • Variance in texture makes it ideal for men and women
  • Palettes range from flesh shades to dirt, death, SFX and cosmetic colours

Cons – The shells are plastic so they can crack; handle with care.

I have been fortunate to have won several awards, in part for my character makeup and transformations. The makeup you use for these is vitally important, as it needs to be lightweight and transparent enough that it sinks into the skin, creating the effect that it is coming from underneath.

I adore this palette and it has helped me to create some of the most iconic looks that I designed for my client, actor Paul Bettany. I worked with Paul when he played Silas in ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Charles Darwin in ‘Darwin’ and Lord Melbourne in ‘The Young Victoria’. I also used it to create well as over 20 transformations for actor Geoffrey Rush in ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellars’, for which I won an Emmy.

For this reason, my all-time, can’t live without palette is Maqpro Paris 10 Colour Slimline Palette – PP.SUR1

I find that you have all the colours you need in this little palette to achieve realistic character makeup that compliments any existing natural shadows.

The combination of numbers 4, 7, 8 and 9  make a great starting point to create natural-looking shading colours around the eyes, and the addition of the mixer helps to sink it into the skin even more.

Top Tip: Most of the colours in this palette can be found in the skin, you just have to look carefully for which colours exist and enhance them with the appropriate shade from your palette. Don’t ever invent colours, as they won’t work – they will sit on the skin rather than sink into it.

My next favourite palette is Maqpro Paris 10 Colour Palette – PP.33 – this little palette is essential for skin correcting. No 8 is fabulous for neutralising dark brown/grey areas of dark skin tones and the other colours work well for light skin tones.

Top Tip: Flesh tones are not enough to correct dark blue/brown shadows under the eye, so reach for the warm peach shades 1, 2 & 4 instead. These will neutralise the shadows without you having to apply huge amounts. Then gently pat in a flesh tone mixed with a little of your foundation to blend in with the rest of the skin.

The best dirt palette out there is the Maqpro Paris 6 Colour Palette – Texturising

There are a great variety of colours here, not just dirt colours like numbers 5 & 6, but the grey shades are ideal if you just want to take the clean look off the skin around the neck area, for instance it is ideal for those Victorian scullery maids!!

You might think why a yellow? This is essential if you want to knock out red tones when creating an unhealthy look.

Top Tip: Try using yellow to neutralise reds from now on, the traditional use of green does not work for me. Green is not naturally found in your skin tone, but yellow is! So it will blend in much better with the rest of the skin.

Top Tip: For dirtying down at speed, use a one and a half inch chip brush, it will fly over hands and necks, and then just soften off any hard edges into the skin with a wet wipe, for an ingrained effect.

The MAKUP Academy offers exceptional yet affordable training in all aspects of hair design and makeup. All students receive personal attention from Veronica McAleer, who is still very much active in the industry. MAKUP boasts an incredible track record as all graduates to date have received extensive work experience in TV, Film and Theatre.

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