When marrying into the royal family, one is expected to make some serious changes to one's lifestyle. No more late night outings, more conservative clothes, and absolutely no bright makeup. Luckily, the latest addition to the Firm hasn't had to make any drastic alterations. In fact, some beauty experts argue that Meghan Markle's makeup look hasn't changed very dramatically at all, though if you look through the archives, she has made some subtle tweaks.
Throughout her career, Markle has always favoured a natural look over a more colourful makeup look. I can't say what her teenage years were like but from her first appearance in TV drama Suits in 2011, Markle has routinely appeared fresh-faced in public.
The Duchess of Sussex's former makeup artist Spencer Barnes told ET that his client has "kept that understated, refined, sophisticated quality" — making her the perfect poster girl for the royal beauty rulebook. Barnes also revealed that Markle isn't "a person who naturally wants or needs or feels like she has to put on a lot."
This sentiment is clear when you take one look at Markle's skin. Although showing off your freckles is becoming more common, celebrities still tend to do everything they can to give the impression that their skin is nothing short of flawless. But Markle has always let her freckles take centre stage, opting for a lightweight base rather than thick-set foundation.
Models Own's head of artistry and product innovation, Vianney Dinnall-Sadler, tells me that Markle's look is "effortless yet perfect. Her regime focuses on super hydrated skin first before any makeup." Peggie Bruce, a makeup artist at Disguise Yourself Pretty, also describes "the Markle look" in a similar way, explaining it to me as "nude lips (berry-toned at most), a soft contour and breathable skin. This look hasn't changed for Meghan herself as she's kept it for years."
However, Bruce notes that there have been a few alterations to Markle's beauty regime since joining the royal family. "Pre-Harry, we did see a smoky eye creep in or a dramatic red lipstick," she says, adding: "I doubt we'll be seeing this again anytime soon although, as it was a rarity, I doubt anyone will notice."
It's clear that natural is still Markle's preferred look. However, as Bruce states, any bold lipsticks and colourful eyeshadows will have been banned to the bottom of her makeup bag.
In her early Suits years, the 36-year-old was occasionally spotted flaunting an obvious smoky eye and purple eyeshadow alongside a full set of fake lashes. A bright lip was a rare event for the former actress but she was photographed wearing bright pink lipstick and a deeper red colour as recently as 2016.
"We did [a red lip] once on a red carpet," Barnes mentioned to ET. "It was really fun and she got a lot of attention for it, but typically, she'll wear nude or a peachy nude."
This is still the case post-royal wedding. Markle has been spotted out and about several times since becoming a Duchess. Each and every time, her lips are glossed with a subtle pink hue and her cheeks are highlighted with a glowing rosy shade. Pro tip: To copy Markle's glow, apply Models Own's #ThisIsLife Super Elixir Oil in areas including the cheekbones, Cupid's bow, and brow bones. Then mix a sheer tinted moisturiser with their illuminating drops.
Eye-wise, Markle appears to have kept her faux lashes and smoky eye, toning it down by using earthy shadows and a slick of jet black eyeliner instead of a heavier look.
According to Bruce, Markle's au naturel style is influencing women: "This time last year, almost every other client directly or indirectly requested a look that was heavily influenced by the Kardashian/Jenner clan. As soon as Harry and Meghan announced their engagement, clients were wanting to obtain a more muted look. They were noting that it looked more youthful and was timeless."
It's easy to say that Markle's makeup preferences haven't changed much over the past few months, but this may simply be because she was an all-natural gal in the first place. Whether she'll continue to experiment with her more experimental moments remains to be seen, but a dewy complexion and penchant for toned-down shades is the perfect royal look after all.
Maybe Meghan Markle really was destined for a spot in the palace.
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