It’s the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middleton’s secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nails

Kate Middleton wedding

Did you get up at the crack of dawn to watch the royal wedding? Le sigh… even if you’re not a “wedding person,” you have to admit that Kate looked absolutely beautiful in her Sarah Burton dress. (OH at Westminster Abbey: William telling her those exact words as well!) I’m a huge fan of lace, as well as sleeves, so seeing the lacey sleeves made me very, very happy. (Can we PLEASE make this a trend instead of all those heavy-on-the-cleavage, nightclub-appropriate wedding gowns that were popular in the ’00s?)

Keeping with the understated theme, of course, were Kate’s rather excellent choices in hair, makeup and nails. Setting an example for brides everywhere, she hasn’t gone for anything outrageous—like an elaborate updo or heavier-than-usual makeup—she just looks like herself, only better.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Here are five fun facts to know about Kate’s big day:

1. She did her own makeup.

Kate Middleton wedding 3 Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nails

That’s right! I’d heard before that she was a bit of an artiste, and had actually done it for her engagement announcement as well (after washing off the makeup artist’s first attempt). Gurrrrl, I so identify—with maybe a handful of exceptions, I rarely am happy with professional makeup jobs, so I tend to do my own as well. After all, you know your own face best.

There’s speculation that the prodz are Bobbi Brown, since Kate was spotted just days before the wedding purchasing eye makeup and other basics. I LOVE her defined brows, rosy cheeks (so important for that English rose look!) and soft pink lips. What I might have done differently: lighten up on the under-eye pencil. I liked it for the engagement, but prefer my wedding makeup a tad more subtle. I would’ve probably just kept the liner to the upper lash line. But, you know, that’s just me being nit-picky—she still looks amazing!

2. Her hairstyle is called a “demi-chignon.”

Kate Middleton wedding 4 Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nails

I think I had a dream last night where I was really worried that Kate would wear her hair up. I’m serious. So what a relief it was to see her with it worn long and loose, which is her signature. (I don’t think we’ve ever seen her with it up—have we?) I really wish more brides would consider their day-to-day hairstyle, because not only are most bridal updos quite cringey (see here), but they might not even be the bride’s most flattering look. Then you end up with photos that don’t even look like YOU.

This style—a “demi-chignon”—was fashioned by hairstylists James Pryce and Richard Ward of the Richard Ward salon in London, designed specifically to complement the diamond Cartier tiara (!!). It’s the perfect upgrade from her usual style: long with soft waves, but pulled back around the face. Gorge!

PS: Kate’s also a big fan of Kérastase in-salon hair treatments—I’m guessing she likes this one.

3. Oxygen is the secret to her radiant skin.

Kate Middleton wedding 5 Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nails

And oh, maybe some good genetics as well. But rumour has it, Kate had an oxygen facial prior to her big day. If you’ve never tried one, they are an incredible treat—Madonna apparently loves the Intraceuticals treatments so much that she bought several machines for her personal use. Although the results only last a few days, having your skin infused with oxygen makes it look supremely plump, hydrated and glowy. (If you want to learn more, check out this ELLE Canada story I wrote about the trend a few years back.) Lots of derms and medispas offer them, so definitely keep that trick up your sleeve if you’ve got an upcoming wedding or special event of your own.

You can also use oxygen skincare: Kate apparently uses the Karin Herzog line, specifically the Professional Cleanser, the Vita-A-Kombi 1, the Vita-A-Kombi 3 Spot Zapper and the Oxygen Face Cream. I’m a fan of the Ling Oxygen Plasma Potion—it’s great for all skin types.

4. She wore Bourjois Paris and Essie polishes on her nails.

Kate Middleton wedding 7 Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nails

No surprises here that Kate went for an understated, almost-nude nail. (Can you imagine if she wore an actual colour? It would be shocking. The Queen would probably faint.) This non-colour is actually a blend of two polishes: Essie’s Allure, a sheer, beige-pink…

essie allure Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nails

…and Bourjois Paris Rose Lounge, a light, milky pink:

SOLAQUE ULTRA 28 Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nailsAll the better to show off that ring, right? (Was it just me or was he really struggling to get it on?)

5. We can get in on the royal beauty action!

As you may have noticed, tons and tons of royal-themed beauty prodz have recently arrived—and they’re a MUCH better way to celebrate than investing in a boring old mug or plate with their faces on it, yes?

Here are a few of my faves:

Butter London’s No More Waity, Katey nail polish:

butter london no more waity katie nail polish Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nailsVera Wang Preppy Princess fragrance:

Vera Wang Preppy Princess Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nails

Bath & Body Works Royal Lip Glosses:

Bath Body Works Royal lip glosses Its the royal wedding beauty scoop! Find out Kate Middletons secrets for makeup, hair, skin and nails

Did you watch the royal wedding?
What did you think of Kate’s wedding-day beauty look?
Would you do (or have you done) your own makeup on your wedding day?

44 Comments

Mylène
Friday, April 29/2011 at 1:07 pm

Her dress choice was absolutely appropriate and fit for a royal wedding. As for her makeup, I have to credit the new Duchess for opting to do it herself. However,I also thought the black khol was a little heavy with the overall romantic and soft look of the dress – but the liner is part of her signature look. I’m sure it won’t be long until we see her appear on covers of magazines and am sure we will then see her adopting a softened-up makeup look.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:03 am

Hi Mylene! Agreed – I’m fine with the liner for any other occasion – just feel like bridal makeup needs to be soft, soft, soft.

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Elaine
Friday, April 29/2011 at 1:20 pm

I am totally going to do my own makeup on the big day. I’ve had my makeup done by professionals many times before, and every single time I have washed it off and redone it myself :s

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:06 am

Yep I realized this very quickly as a beauty editor! I need to blog about the time a Cle de Peau makeup artist spent 1.5 hours and probably $1000 worth of products giving me these crazy green and gold eyelids and foundation so caked on it gave me wrinkles! That was for TIFF a few years ago – had to immediately go home and re-do.

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Nomadic D
Friday, April 29/2011 at 1:25 pm

I actually didn’t watch the wedding at all, just checked online to see the dress, and when I saw how insanely gorgeous it was I was relieved and felt like I didn’t need to see anymore. I know, weird, what can I say. As for her makeup, it’s fine, I agree about the liner being a little heavy for her, and the brows might be a tad too cool of a brown, but mostly she looks beautiful. What really cracked me up? The ‘no more waity katey’ nail polish!

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

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Kat
Friday, April 29/2011 at 5:48 pm

Not that weird, I totally did the same thing! I went to check the dress on my lunch break, sent a text to a friend cuz none of my co-workers really care for me fawning over a dress.. But that was enough for me. Might check it later online or something, but it was mostly the dress.. ;)

Also very much agree about the brows, the eye makeup was heavy, but it was really the brows that had me going “hm.. not hot”. I find it ages her terribly.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:08 am

Do you mean the fullness of the brows or just the shade? Because I have to say, I am a full-brow fan.

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Nomadic D
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:27 am

I’m a full-brow fan myself, the bigger the better, and in my family, believe me they’re pretty big. But something about the darkness and the shade just looks a little charcoal-y to me, a tad too dark, a tad too grey, a tad too cool? I can’t quite put my finger on it.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 12:32 pm

Ok, I just figured out the problem. Probably warrants a blog post. When you have dark hair your brows should actually be 1-2 shades lighter… whereas light hair needs brows 1-2 shades darker. She probably used a dark pencil to emphasize them, and either should have used a slightly lighter, more taupey one – or none at all.

Thomas
Friday, April 29/2011 at 1:32 pm

I actually live in England so I was watching the Royal Wedding all day! I loved Kate’s dress the most – she looked absolutely stunning. In fact, it was very similar to my mother’s wedding dress (although she made her’s herself). The lace was so beautiful against her not-exactly-tanned-but-stil-sort-of-glowy skin. Absolute success! But I had no idea she did her own makeup! Although I do agree about the eyeliner being slightly heavy for a wedding, I expect it was so her eyes would be clear and stand out in all the photos/video.

Huge fan, fellow blonderexic Thomas xx

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:12 am

Lucky you to have a mom with such good taste! I loved the lace too – it was both modern and traditional (since I assume you have to wear sleeves in Westminster Abbey). Wasn’t so crazy about the bottom part of the dress but then I am a fan of more column-style silhouettes.

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Nicky Bromow
Friday, April 29/2011 at 2:50 pm

Her Makeup is ok, her dress too I guess, I would like to see a better pic of the tiara though, I’ll look it up

There is NO WAY someone will even touch my face on the big day. (which is coming soon!) I think I’ll have my hair done though. But I’ll be experiencing with makeup and a camera several days prior to the wedding to make sure to have the better flawless look possible.

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Kat
Friday, April 29/2011 at 5:52 pm

Haha, you were traumatized by the HD powder thing poor dear! :D

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:14 am

Oh yeah! Good idea Nicky to take photos with your makeup especially if you use HD powder… we need to give Kate credit for that as well!

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Emilie
Friday, April 29/2011 at 3:49 pm

I am SO happy she went for lace SLEEVES! So sick of back-fat inducing boob-tube dresses! ( also that’s what I have always wanted for my dress, and at present is very hard to find, so it’s awesome we’ll get that option now because of the Kate-effect!)
And it was also lovely that her bridal look was similar to what she always does, as you said. Elegant, timeless and understated are never a bad thing!
I guess I’d like to see her with a lighter, more tawny-bronzy eyeshadow for a change at some point, I thing it would do great things for her green eyes!
I loved watching the wedding and it was quite special for me as I went to St Andrews Uni like Will and Kate, only my first year was their last year there… Used to see them do their grocery shopping!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:16 am

THIS. I too am so over the strapless. (I don’t think I ever liked it actually.) Now hopefully we get lots of lace options – both bridal and otherwise!

That’s SO cool you went to their uni – wow!

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Marina(Makeup4All)
Friday, April 29/2011 at 6:46 pm

I LOVE the dress and pretty much everything. I’ve been tweeting all day while watching the Wedding so not sure if I have anything else to say :) Agree about the liner but she still looks gorgeous. Btw, I actually read that she took some lessons from a MUA and that she was seen buying Lancome not BB. Wish she would tell us the products she used x

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:19 am

Did a quick Google and you’re right, there’s mention of both brands… I guess every makeup company is jumping at the bit to be associated with her! :-)

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Jennifer Wilcox
Friday, April 29/2011 at 8:25 pm

I think she looked very pretty. I was however disappointed with how plain everything was. I thought a younger modern bride would have had some more creative touches. Especially since she had her choice of designers. I honestly thought her bridesmaid dress was prettier! I guess it all suites her style though as she is very pretty regardless.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:21 am

Well, plain is her style really – I’ve never seen her wear anything that’s not super conservative. I’m actually glad she didn’t go out of character for her wedding day – some brides end up looking like totally different human beings!

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Alexandra
Friday, April 29/2011 at 11:38 pm

“Was it just me or was (William) really struggling to get it on?”
Fun fact: Kate’s fingers actually swelled! Apparently it was very hot Westminster. The same thing happens to me: the joints in my fingers swell when it’s hot!
Btw, I LOVE the bronzed/copper eyeliner — it’s definately a look I’ll have to try soon.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:22 am

Ahhh ok! That makes sense!

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Makeup Morsels
Friday, April 29/2011 at 11:48 pm

I agree, the eye makeup looked a bit overdone to me up-close, although I think it looked perfectly fine from a normal viewing distance. I lovee her dress! Super duper gorgeous :)

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Gina
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 1:09 am

Adored her dress. Reminded me a lot of Grace Kelly’s!

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pria
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 2:01 am

im loving the thick brows and light makeup! usually i see all brides with pencil skinny eyebrows on their big day i always wonder why? and her sister also looked amazing they both have such slim figures.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:23 am

Yes, skinny brows are never appropriate, wedding day or not! :-)

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CC
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 9:23 am

I love, love, love that she did her own makeup! Makes me like her even more – she is a real person!!! I hope we find out what makeup she was wearing.

Thank you for sharing the franken polish details! I totally want to run out and grab them. I think that will be my keepsake from their wedding day ;)

Thanks for sharing this article – loved it!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 11:24 am

Aw thanks! Will update if I get any more details – the press releases will be flying in fast and furious next week, I’m sure!

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skybluesky
Saturday, April 30/2011 at 12:43 pm

I thought she was so, so perfectly beautiful. It was very ballsy to do her own makeup, and she looked great! I personally would’ve gone softer with the liner–maybe even brown? But it’s part of her style and it works for her. Her veil, her dress…sigh.

My only gripe is that her cheeks were too contoured with blush, but whatever, I’ll let it slide!

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Ashley Michèlle
Sunday, May 1/2011 at 8:39 am

The eye makeup was a bit too harsh for my taste, and the brows were a bit too dark, albeit nicely defined. Over all though, I must say it was very nice to see the overall beautiful wedding attire that was displayed. And the bridesmaid dress style – love.

Admittedly, I do like the strapless gowns ala Vera Wang, but the lace sleeves definitely were more romantic (not to mention appropriate) for the occasion, as it should be.

A beautiful wedding to set the basis of a beautiful marriage.
10 years… my goodness, that’s perseverance.

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Jennifer Wilcox
Sunday, May 1/2011 at 5:12 pm

Ok, after looking at the dresses and watching more and more about everything royal wedding..I really do think she had a beautiful dress. On screen it seemed very plain. But over the past few days I’ve watched a ton of royal stuff. The detail in her dress was very pretty and I think she picked a great dress. I’m sooooo over the strapless dress look. I don’t think its flattering on everyone, yet everyone seems to wear them. She looked very sophisticated.

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Kharina
Sunday, May 1/2011 at 6:12 pm

I thought it was a good attempt makeup wise, however she did manage to “age” herself. The colours were too cold and harsh, not to mention the blush contouring. Softer colours on the warmer side of things, and a little radiance would have made her look herself, but ultra polished and luminous. The black kohl, especially on the bottom lid should have been smudged to softness.
The dress was faultless. It was a masterpiece. Just concerned that she looked so skinny – her ribs in her chest area were very prominent.

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Elaine
Monday, May 2/2011 at 2:29 am

What I’ve heard is that the stress from dealing with the wedding caused her to lose a lot of weight, poor girl :(

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:56 pm

Totally agree with your recos Kharina! Her makeup was a bit aging and it would’ve been so nice to see her following the Carmindy thing – ADDING highlights/radiance instead of contouring and harsh lines.

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Sarhana
Monday, May 2/2011 at 11:12 am

I thought she really looked fabulous. I cannot imagine the stress that she must have been under, so it really is that much more impressive. Agree with a few others above – I would REALLY like to hear what makeup prodz she used. Finally, since this is my first comment here, I have to tell you, Michelle, I LOVE the blog. You are my only must-read beauty blog. :-)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:59 pm

Aww thank you! Glad you are here! xo

PS – I think this is as much of a confirmation as we’re likely to get re: products used: http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2011/05/05/kate-middleton-wedding-makeup/?xid=rss-topheadlines

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Vivian
Monday, May 2/2011 at 9:30 pm

loved loved loved everything about her look that day. the dress was so classic and simple, just like her. as for her makeup, i agree that i would personally prefer a the eye look sans lower lash lining but maybe she wants to make sure her eyes stand out? i think it ends up doing the opposite by making them smaller but it seems to be a usual look for her so to each their own. also, bobbi brown did release a statement via facebook saying that they had a mua there on site to do the bridal party’s makeup and a face chart to recreate kate’s look
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150244297105539&set=a.130720320538.136364.101100400538&type=1&comments

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Sarhana
Monday, May 2/2011 at 9:54 pm

Awesome. Thank you, Vivian! I thought some of the colors looked like BB — I will be purchasing that lipstick. :-)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:59 pm

Oh even better! I just linked to that but the Facebook page has more detail. Thanks!!

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Stephanie
Tuesday, May 3/2011 at 7:59 am

I was there to see them parade and loved it! She looked so nice, and everybody else as well! But of course, she was the star of the day!

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Jane
Tuesday, May 3/2011 at 10:29 am
Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, May 12/2011 at 12:01 am

Ohhhhh I want very much. Coconut and gardenia and jasmine? So many of my favourite things.

By the way – have you tried Monyette Paris, Jane? Just dug it out the other day (I have a roller ball thingie) and it’s gorgeous. Think you would like.

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Cathy from ChickAdvisor
Tuesday, May 3/2011 at 1:13 pm

I loved her nails. I admit I went to Shoppers to try and purchase the Bourjois polish she wore and figures…it was already sold out!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, May 12/2011 at 12:02 am

Wow really? Impressive!

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