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laurel charleston makeup artist ben nye palette
Photography Brian Vu, via @laurelcharleston

This make-up must-have is essential for MUAs experimenting with colour

TextLaurel CharlestonIllustrationCallum Abbott

Drag and make-up artist Laurel Charleston chooses Ben Nye’s Master Creme 12 colour palette as their Product of the Week

Dazed Beauty Community member Laurel Charleston is a non-binary MUA wildly redefining make-up art through their extremely vivid colours, extreme precision, and explosive creativity. In their spare time they conduct the Queer Urban Orchestra based in Manhattan, recreate major artworks on their face, and advocate for trans rights. Here, Laurel shares their choice for Product of the Week – a weekly round-up of the Dazed Beauty team and wider community’s must-have buys.


Brand: Ben Nye

Product: Master Creme 12 colours palette

Price: £45


I actually first discovered this brand back in high school when we would be getting ready for our annual musical and would need stage make-up. However, I didn’t properly come across this product until three years ago and since then we have both been inseparable. 

It’s quite literally exactly what it sounds like: a palette with creme colours. But what is a creme colour? It’s a grease-based paint which means it doesn’t need to be activated with water and doesn’t dry or oxidize on the skin. So, in order to set the product you have to use a powder. This is great for a couple reasons… 1) You can make mistakes and just move the colours around to correct it until you decide to set it. 2) When the product warms up a little bit on your skin it becomes very flexible and incredibly easy to work with. 

This palette promises to give you all the tools you need to experiment with colourful make-up. You have so many options to choose from and can even make your own custom shade if you want to from combining any number of them.

I love this palette because it gives you such a wide colour range at a really good price point. Compared to other grease-based paints, these are thinner and lightweight on the skin while still maintaining an opaque pigment which is really important for full-face work.

From using this product I’ve gained a whole new perspective on beauty and what beauty can look like. Beauty doesn’t have to just mean beautiful, clear skin… It can mean beautiful blue skin, or maybe a magenta or soft lavender. It has given me a whole new arsenal on how I can approach beauty and as a queer person always experimenting with my expression, that’s invaluable. 

I recommend getting one to just try it out! It’s a whole different game than foundation, but once you get used to it you’ll expand your make-up skills tenfold and begin to experiment with colour in a whole new way. 


Who would use it… Roger the Alien would be all over this palette, BOOTS.

If I could go back in time and give this product to anybody it would be... Bozo the Clown – he could’ve definitely spiced up that mug. 

If it was an astrological sign it would be… Leo. All the colours are doing the most.

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