If you’re a member of the royal family, it seems that you can never be snapped having a low-maintenance day. Seriously, have you ever seen Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle in sweatpants and unbrushed hair? Well, you most likely never will. That’s because the royals undoubtedly keep strict beauty routines. And over the years some of their best hacks and secrets have leaked out. So here’s how to achieve that shiny royal look.
40. Moisturize twice a day
Princess Diana had lovely skin and is considered one of the most attractive women of her era. Yet one of her secrets was, apparently, very simple: just moisturize a lot. “Diana was very aware of her beauty regime, cleansing, toning and moisturising twice a day,” makeup artist Mary Greenwell told Stylist in 2012. But Greenwell did also give credit to the princess’ “family genes.”
39. Tea tree oil is your friend
In 2014 Meghan Markle shared a secret with Allure magazine. “The one thing that I cannot live without when I’m traveling is a small container of tea tree oil,” she said. “It’s not the most glamorous thing, but if you get a cut, a mosquito bite, a small breakout, no matter what it is, it’s my little cure-all.” It’s cheap too.
38. Have a good sturdy hairbrush
When you’re part of the monarchy, you can afford to have the very best hairbrushes. So the royals reportedly don’t use just any old brush on their always-perfect locks. No, they have high-quality, hand-produced Kent Brushes. “Kent has held a Royal Warrant for nine Royal reigns,” the 1777-founded manufacturer states on its website.
37. Find a good lip treatment
Before Meghan was the wife of Prince Harry, she was sharing beauty ideas. For instance, she told the website Beauty Banter what she used for her lips. “Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment with SPF 15,” she said. “I have searched high and low and tried every kind of lip balm, but this is the very best. Soft, kissable, buttery lips. I swear by it.”
36. Use three steps for eyeshadow
Kate Middleton’s eyeshadow looked great on her wedding day, and some of that was down to Bobbi Brown makeup artist Hannah Martin. It turned out that the key to applying this eyeshadow was doing it in three steps. So Kate reportedly had Ivory eyeshadow from Bobbi Brown placed on her eyelids first, then Slate in the creases of her eyes, and Rockstar on the lower parts of the lids.
35. Don’t erase good features
In 2014 Meghan discussed foundation with Birchbox. “Only apply foundation to the spots you need [to] and spread it with a beautyblender,” she said. “I never want to cover my freckles, so we just do a ‘wash’ of foundation in certain sections instead of over the entire face.” A good call, as Meghan’s freckles are lovely.
34. Use rollers
Hair rollers may seem old fashioned now, but Kate Middleton apparently uses them, so maybe they’re due a comeback. According to Alex Schulman, the ex-editor-in-chief of Vogue, Kate once even arrived for a photoshoot still with rollers in her hair. She’d been doing it right, though, because the longer you leave rollers in, the better the result.
33. Wear a natural look
Royals tend to appear more natural rather than all made-up. Fans rarely even get a glimpse of colored nail varnish. Zara Tindall, for example, wore only minimal makeup and a nude lip color when she attended the wedding of her cousin Princess Eugenie. And Meghan had a fresh-faced look when she married Harry.
32. Have pale pink lipstick to hand
Bright lipsticks are almost never seen on members of the royal family. But you have to have some bold colors in your makeup box, right? Well, it seems that some of Britain’s royals get around this by wearing pale pink lipsticks. In fact, Meghan and Kate have both been spotted wearing this impactful color.
31. Carry a compact mirror with you
When you’re a royal, your days can be very busy. You could be, for instance, attending events and dinners as well as greeting and talking to people. Yet your makeup has to be perfect while you do it. So a compact mirror is, according to one report, a vital component of Kate’s royal handbag. After all, the last thing you’d want is to be photographed with lipstick on your teeth.
30. Always use primer
Meghan’s skin always looks gorgeous, and part of that is down to good primer. Speaking to the website Beauty Banter, she recommended Laura Mercier Illuminating Primer. “I don’t wear foundation unless I’m filming, so this is what I put on every day after moisturizer to give my skin a dewy glow,” she said. “It’s not sparkly, it’s true to its name: ‘illuminating.’”
29. Use good hairspray
Kate has lusciously long hair that needs to stay perfectly in place for royal occasions. And in 2018 hairstylist Amanda Cook Tyler revealed on Instagram the brand of hairspray that Kate uses to achieve the right look. It turns out that it’s L’Oreal Elnett Satin. And yes, as you may have expected, Tyler subsequently deleted her account on the social media site.
28. Only wear two elements at a time
Queen Victoria, the ancestor of the modern royals, reportedly hated makeup and called it “vulgar.” Maybe she would have changed her mind if she’d known the ways that it could be toned down. Diana’s makeup artist Mary Greenwell summed it up nicely to Stylist magazine in 2012. “You never, ever do a full lip, eye and blush,” she said. You apparently just pick two of those elements.
27. Use a good setting for hairdrying
Anyone who has long hair knows that it can be a nightmare to dry it. But Kate’s wedding hairstylist is here to help out. So according to James Pryce, you really just need serum and a hairdryer. His favorite dryer is the Dyson Supersonic, and you apparently need to set it to high heat but low speed.
26. Combine shampoo and conditioner
Many hardcore hair aficionados aren’t too keen on shampoo and conditioner combinations. But the concept may have its best spokesperson yet in the form of Kate. According to her hairstylist Richard Ward, you see, that’s what she uses. He believes, in fact, that Kate uses Cleanse and Condition from the Chelsea Collection – and there’s no denying that it works.
25. Exercise first thing in the morning
Many of us can’t imagine rising early to exercise, but Princess Eugenie is happy to do it. “I get up around 6:45 a.m. to start exercising by 7:00 a.m.,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in 2016. “I do circuits, which I love because they’re quick: burpees, squat jumps, lunges, the whole lot.”
24. Keep your eyes sparkling
As a former actress, Meghan is used to long hours and late nights. So when she married into royalty, she already had some makeup hacks up her sleeves. “To open up your eyes, apply a highlighter like Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat in the inner corner,” she told subscription service Birchbox.
23. Have a custom lipstick
One of the many benefits of being a queen is that companies are happy to make new products just for you. When Elizabeth II was coronated in 1953, for instance, Clarins made her a new shade of lipstick to match her robes. The event was televized in color, after all, making these things even more important. These days, though, it’s actually quite easy to get your own custom shade.
22. Exercise your face
Meghan has an unusual beauty hack. “I do facial exercises from one of my favorite aestheticians, Nicola Joss, who basically has you sculpt your face from the inside out. I swear it works, as silly as you may feel,” she told Birchbox. “On the days I do it, my cheekbones and jawline are way more sculpted.” Fair enough.
21. Keep a good tan
In his book A Royal Duty, Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell pointed out that she had a sunbed at her residence. He said she used it multiple times every week. These days, though, sunbeds are considered health hazards, so if you want the same tanned glow that Diana had, try a bottle instead.
20. Get to the roots of your lashes
Diana wasn’t born with beauty skills; she reportedly had to learn them. “I always taught her to make sure when applying mascara by herself that she covered the roots of the lashes too,” makeup artist Mary Greenwell told Stylist magazine in 2012. And before long, she said, the young royal “realized the power of hair and makeup.”
19. Wear waterproof mascara
The big problem with mascara is that in moments of high emotions – such as weddings – it can let you down. So royals reportedly use a simple trick: put regular mascara on first and then cover it with its waterproof variant. It’s rumored that Princess Eugenie did this for her wedding.
18. Use a toothbrush for hair
It seems that toothbrushes aren’t just for teeth. “For my flyaways, I spray hairspray on a small boar bristle toothbrush – a regular toothbrush also works great – to lightly brush them down or smooth the hairline,” Meghan told Birchbox. “This is especially good for a sleek bun when I am off-camera.”
17. Use sunblock
Diana visited a lot of hot places. And although she apparently liked to sunbathe, she was reportedly very careful to apply sunblock first. In 1992 the magazine Longevity even commented that Diana “is scrupulous about using an SPF-8 sunblock.”
16. Use texturizing spray
Meghan talked enthusiastically about hair care to Birchbox. She said, “There is nothing like a hair flip. When my hair is feeling a little weighted, Suanne, my hair artist on set, has me bend forward, and she sprays a little Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray… and then has me ‘flip back hard’ to give my hair a little extra bounce.”
15. Purchase some eyelash curlers
Meghan carries a secret in her purse: eyelash curlers. She has even credited them with helping her look good at all times of the day. When she gave an interview to Beauty Banter, in fact, Meghan recommended a Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler as a “can’t-live-without product” because “it makes you look instantly awake.”
14. Use hairnets
Kate’s hair is positively jealousy inducing. In many photos of her, in fact, she barely has a strand out of place. Well, it turns out that there could be a good reason for that: she evidently wears hairnets. But they’re almost invisible in some images, leaving you with a feeling that maybe her hair is so good that it just does that on its own.
13. Use sulphate-free shampoo
Sulphate-free shampoo is growing in popularity. And according to hairstylist Paul Edmonds, sulphates can create dryness and remove natural oils. So it’s probably not a big surprise that Kate’s shampoo is reportedly a sulphate-free one. Stylist Richard Ward apparently created one for her that also features green tea.
12. Don’t match eyeliner to eyes
If you look at old pictures of Diana, you may notice that she seemed to like blue eyeliner, which went with her eyes. But her stylist apparently talked her into using better colors. “The thing I changed most about Diana’s look was moving away from the blue liner, which was very aging for her,” Mary Greenwell told Lisa Eldridge in 2017.
11. Use body lotion
When talking to Beauty Banter, Meghan listed Nivea Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion as one of her top products. “It’s honestly my favorite lotion on the market. It’s so affordable and makes my skin look and feel amazing,” she said. “I would buy a case of this at a time if I could find it.”
10. Use different accessories
Royals are often faced with the problem of reusing clothes. They obviously can’t buy something and wear it just once – yet people will notice if they wear the same thing often. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, seemingly gets around this by adding different accessories to her dresses. Something as simple as a new belt can make all the difference.
9. Avoid the sun
How does the Queen continue to have such good-looking skin? According to celebrity skincare expert Stuart Miles, it’s because she avoids sunlight. “When abroad on foreign trips, she has always worn a hat or carried a parasol, which has protected her skin from the effects of the sun,” he told Hello magazine in 2018.
8. Always use perfume
Diana was a big fan of perfume, according to stylist Mary Greenwell. “She always, always, always wore fragrance,” Greenwell told ABC News in 2018. “It’s kind of the final touch of beauty, walking out smelling divine and chic and individual.” Apparently, the princess usually wore the expensive Hermès 24 Faubourg scent, but for her wedding day she used Quelques Fleurs instead.
7. Put perfume on your gloves
One of the niftiest tricks involving royal scents comes from the foreboding historical figure of Queen Victoria. She reportedly kept herself sweet-smelling by putting rose oil on her gloves. Interestingly, perfume house Creed became an appointed provider of fragrance to Queen Victoria after it sent her grandfather King George III a pair of perfumed gloves.
6. Use a Q-tip for eyeshadow
Mary Greenwell was seemingly devoted to making Princess Diana’s eyes look perfect. “I wanted to have her with a very soft eye, a very workable eye – but never too much,” she told Lisa Eldridge. And she also informed Harrods that Q-tips were “a makeup artist’s best friend.”
5. Keep your face washed
Meghan explained to Beauty Banter what product she bought in bulk. “Biore Cleansing Cloths for the face,” she said. “They’re great to keep in the car and on your nightstand when you have those horribly lazy nights that the thought of getting up to actually wash your face seems unbearable.”
4. Don’t drink too much
A little alcohol is fine, but royals should be careful not to drink to excess. “[Diana] cut back on drinking so her skin was 100 percent,” makeup artist Mary Greenwell told Stylist in 2014. “Women today need to take care of themselves the same way.”
3. Don’t be afraid of venom
Some of the royals reportedly use bee venom. “I started treating the Duchess of Cornwall with samples of it about a year and half before anyone knew it existed,” British skin guru Deborah Mitchell told Town and Country in 2017. And she once gifted Kate some too.
2. Use elastic to keep hats on
One underappreciated facet of royal life: you have to wear a lot of hats. So you need to learn how to keep them on – or face dire embarrassment. Luckily, there’s an easy way of doing this: elastic. And if it’s the exact same color as the hat wearer’s hair, it’s rendered almost invisible. The Queen, though, reportedly uses a hatpin.
1. Always take makeup off
What with everything that happens in the life of a royal, it’s surprising that they have time for anything. But making time to carefully remove makeup is vital. “Diana was very sensible when it came to her skin,” Mary Greenwell told Stylist in 2012. “She would always make sure she took her makeup off at the end of the day.”