The Secrets Behind Keke Palmer’s No-Makeup Makeup in ‘Nope’

Photo credit: Everett

Photo credit: Everett

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Typically, sci-fi movies with aliens and UFOs conjure images of green face makeup and obscure special effects. But Jordan Peele’s new release, Nope, a follow-up to his award-winning films Get Out and Us, is anything but your average alien film.

Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, the film follows Otis and Emerald, siblings who see a mysterious UFO in the sky. (The rest is, well, hard to put into words.) The movie has received praise for Peele’s uniquely complex, sci-fi-thriller tone, and the makeup feels just as novel—especially for Palmer’s character.

“We wanted to take away the Keke that everyone knows to make her Emerald,” Tym Buacharern, the film’s makeup artist, tells “We still gave her a little contour here and there, because it’s pretty. But we needed her to look as natural as possible for this character. It’s a nice departure from what people see of her. Keke loved it so much, she continued the natural makeup even after we filmed the movie.”

Ahead, find out more about how makeup helped develop the characters in one of the biggest films of the year.

Skin Prep Was Key

Ironically, achieving the no-makeup makeup look requires a lot of prep and products, and it took about 45 minutes each day. Making sure the skin has a hydrated, smooth canvas is a critical first step. Palmer has been vocal about her struggles with acne, so Buacharern used the CurrentBody LED Light Mask, which kills bacteria and has anti-inflammatory healing properties, to help the actress keep her breakouts at bay.

“Our filming location was in California, so we were in the midst of dust, rain,

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