They’re royal, but they’re not superhuman. Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton and other members of the British royal family have relied on their own beauty wits (and their makeup artists!) to look like total perfection every time they make an appearance. Luckily, the first step of picture perfect skincare can start at Amazon, Sephora and beyond for royal-looking beauty on a surprisingly affordable budget: no tiara required.
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
Pump out 15 reps of … smiling? “I do facial exercises from one of my favorite aestheticians, Nicola Joss, who basically has you sculpt your face from the inside out,” Meghan Markle told Birchbox in 2014.
“I swear it works, as silly as you may feel. On the days I do it, my cheekbones and jawline are waaaay more sculpted.”
Apply three neutral shadows for the perfect natural makeup look.
Stick to classic nude nail polish.
Queen Elizabeth wore Essie’s sheer pick hue Ballet Slippers since the ’80s, and the other royal women followed her lead. Kate Middleton opted for a combination of two (since discontinued) neutral hues on her wedding day, her manicurist told the Daily Mail: Bourjois Laque Ultra Shine in Rose Lounge, and Essie’s Allure.
Blend eyeliner with a Q-tip for a softer look.
Keep eyeliner soft and diffused by smudging it gently with a cotton bud, advises Princess Diana’s makeup artist Mary Greenwell. “I wanted her to have a very soft eye, a very workable eye — but never too much,” she revealed of Princess Diana’s look.
She also suggests staying away from matching your eyeliner to your eye color. Princess Diana initially favored bold blue pencils to rim her eyes, but Greenwell steered her toward softer beige and brown eyeliners after meeting her at a Vogue photoshoot in 1991. “The thing that I changed most about Princess Diana’s look was actually moving away from the blue liner, which was very aging for her,” Greenwell said.
Stock up on cult favorites.
Markle has clearly learned a thing or two from the makeup artists on set. She named the iconic NARS Blush in Orgasm as one of her top five, can’t-live-without products in an interview with Beauty Banter, calling it “a perfect rosy flush tone that brightens the face.”
Another Markle must-have: Bioré Daily Cleansing Cloths.”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,” Markle shared.
Use a hairnet for a perfect bun.
The Princess of Wales stole a tip out of the ballerina playbook for her flawless updos. Look closely and you’ll see her elaborately coiffed styles stay in place with the help of a near-invisible hairnet.
The Duchess of Sussex also likes to sport loose buns, but her tighter chignons look super sleek thanks to this quick tip. “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,” she told Birchbox. “This is especially good for a sleek bun when I am off-camera.”
Curl lashes and use highlighter to look more awake.
This picture was taken at dawn; we repeat, at dawn. Meghan has twice credited her Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler with helping her cheat sleep. “Even if you don’t have a stitch of makeup on,” she told Birchbox, “you suddenly look a bit more alive.” She also credits a trick from her Suits days to help appear well-rested: “To open up your eyes, apply a highlighter like Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat in the inner corner,” she said. “This trick was especially good when we were filming at 3 a.m. and I needed to look bright eyed and bushy tailed.”
Create your own lip color.
One perk of being the Queen: custom lipstick. Clarins created a special shade for the Queen in 1952 to match her coronation robes. She didn’t wear blue-red hues very often, but the good news is you don’t need a title to make your own anymore. Brands like Lip Lab currently offer bespoke shades for surprisingly non-royal prices.
Go light on foundation and elimate shine with finishing powder.
“Only apply foundation to the spots you need it,” Markle advised Birchbox. I never want to cover my freckles, so we just do a ‘wash’ of foundation in certain sections instead of over the entire face.” And don’t use your brush (or your fingers) to apply it. Markle prefers a sponge-like Beautyblender for a streak-free application.
On days she’s not wearing foundation, Laura Mercier Primer is Markle’s go-to. “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,” Markle revealed to Beauty Banter. “It’s not sparkly, it’s true to its name … illuminating.”
WATCH: 10 Things You Missed About Meghan Markle’s Wedding Dresses
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below