29 March 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Five Minutes With… ‘Deception’ Makeup Artist Roisin Derrane
14 Jan 2013 : By Eva Hall
Leigh Arnold & Conor Mullen star in 'Deception', airing on TV3 tonight
Makeup artist Roisin Derrane has painted the faces of some of Ireland’s most successful actors and actresses, including Colin Farrell in ‘Intermission’, the cast of ‘King Arthur’, which starred Keira Knightley and Clive Owen, and Iain Glen, star of ‘Jack Taylor’.

Last summer, Derrane was the chief makeup artist on TV3’s first scripted drama, ‘Deception’. The six-part series filmed in Spiddal in Galway last year, with Leigh Arnold, Jim Norton, Conor Mullen and Cora Fenton all starring.

IFTN caught up with the makeup artist, who also specialises in visual effects makeup, on the set of ‘Deception’, where she shared some industry tips on how to cover blemishes on skin, why working with a good DoP is essential, and just why you’re always red-faced in your holiday snaps…

Roisin, you’ve worked on big budget feature films as well as low-budget TV series. How do they compare when it comes to makeup? Completely different. In this industry there’s things called dailies, you’re either working full time or you’re doing dailies. On ‘Intermission’ and ‘King Arthur’ I did dailies on both. ‘King Arthur' was really hectic and there’s millions of extras and there’s loads of different units going on at the same time.

As a team we were doing a lot of the tattooing and all of that, the warriors had to have certain tattoos for different tribes. So it’s really different compared to that, you’re very much briefed before you start, you get the scripts down, you discuss with the director and producer what all the different actors are going to go through throughout the whole thing so you basically stick to that religiously.

‘Deception’ is only filming for three weeks, so that means less time to do any reshoots, continuity shots etc. How on the ball do you have to be as the makeup artists on set? Continuity is a total pain! It really is, you just photograph everything. We try and keep most of the actors looking as similar as possible, and it’s pretty close to realise, but I think most women have a certain look and you stick with that. You wear your hair a certain way and then some other days you wear it a different way, but you don’t really venture too much past that. You wear the same kind of eye makeup; so many women I’ve spoken to have said the same.

You make small changes like with lead actress Leigh Arnold. She’s changed her lipstick every now and again from one really bright pink to another full on Bridget Bardot beige. With a lot of the other actresses there was quite a bit of special effects. There are a few different scenes where people get bloodied.

What can you tell us about working with men and makeup on set? A lot of them hate makeup, and some of them are into it and they know how important it is. There’s a huge difference with shooting interior with exterior; most people shine really bad in interior. Then there’s things like you can’t use an spf, there’s loads of people that don’t know this, if you go on holidays and you come back and you see your holiday photos and you’re really red-faced, that’s basically the sun protection factor. When a camera is on a film set, when you bounce the light back, it’s going to leave nothing, you always have to make sure you cleanse the men before they go.

For exteriors they’re actually quite laid back, generally with men we just use a MAC blotting powder with a tiny bit of colour in it and just concealer, because foundations shine too much as long. As they’re balanced skin wise with the females it’s cool.

How closely do you work with the director of photography on set? I’ve worked with Neil before he’s an amazing cameraman, his lighting is always brilliant. I’ve worked with both of the guys, Liam and Neil, I know how their work is and they always look good anyway, we all look good in good light.

It does help that all the actors are pretty good looking! They’re all amazing looking and they’ve all got really good skin.

What if an actor doesn’t have great skin, are you as the makeup artists responsible for the end result or can they rely in post-production? You can’t post much when it’s in movement, you can really only post photography. So yeah it’s up to us. You can get [good cover up makeup] in lots of different places, you can get it in Makeup Forever in Dublin, it’s excellent it’s called Derma Pallete by Kryolan. It’s basically a wax-based product that’s got most of the balance for your skin so it works really really well for actors. You just use a small amount so it doesn’t shine as much as other ones and it works really well.

What tips can you share with budding makeup artists looking to break into the film industry? Dun Laoghaire college in Dublin is probably the only place in Ireland that does courses in film and TV making, but there’s some really specialised courses in the UK.

If you Google ‘makeup artists in film and television’ and email them and let them know that you’re available for work, most people will get back to you. It’s worth doing that, it’s definitely worth getting in touch. It’s all about working on set as a trainee, that’s where you learn things.

'Deception' airs on TV3 Monday nights at 10pm. Read interviews with cast and additional crew here.

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