Royal tours may well be designed to boost international relations, but for us it’s the new hairstyles, make-up looks, and outfits that have us anticipating these trips with bated breath.
While the Queen is rarely seen without a statement lipstick, and even more exuberantly hued clothing, Duchess’s Catherine and Meghan have got nude make-up down to a fine art.
Anything but boring, the latest incarnation of nude beauty combines invisible make-up techniques with buttery finishes and shimmery accents for the ultimate in grown-up chic.
Proving there is a nude make-up palette that looks equally chic on pale and deeper skin tones, the Duchess of Cambridge serves as the perfect example of how to enhance an English rose complexion, while Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's olive toned skin is rarely seen without her signature sunkissed glow.
“Bare-faced make-up and nude beauty are not one and the same,” says Mac Cosmetics senior make-up artist, Debbie Finnegan.
“Nude doesn't mean bland or beige; colour is not off limits, it’s simply subtle and much of the colour palette is made up of variations of the tones found naturally in the skin,” explains Finnegan.
Both Duchesses opt for a sheer base
Both Duchesses follow the same beauty commandments when it comes to their base - second skin like, sheer and dewy. A light coverage foundation like Mac Studio Face and Body Foundation, from £27, blurs redness, camouflages discolouration, and offers just the right amount of coverage women post 30 need. All without hiding the beautiful nuances of the face like Meghan’s freckles or Kate's rosy cheeks.
The Duchess of Sussex's all-year-round radiance
Never without bronzer, the Duchess of Sussex sports an all year round sun-kissed glow. “Rather than simply sweeping over the face where the sun would naturally hit the skin, Meghan employs the art of brontouring,” says Finnegan.
That’s using a a classic bronzer like Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer, £33.40, to warm her complexion and add definition by contouring the hollows of the cheeks, either side of the nose (rather than down the middle), along the jawline for added definition and hugging the hairline across the forehead.
A trick that can be extremely youthful as it not only imparts a warm, healthy glow, it gives the face more structure.
Cream textures give the Duchess's a modern, youthful glow
Visions of cream eyeshadows, blushers, and highlighters settling within lines and wrinkles, has seen women past a certain age shun them for fear they will highlight all the signs of ageing they are attempting to conceal. “You’re missing a trick,” says Finnegan, as creamy textures offer the most natural finish and the newest offerings don’t budge, a fact not gone unnoticed by the Duchesses.
Said to be a fan of the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink, £22.50, we suspect the Duchess of Cambridge's oh so subtle signature flush is thanks to this cream blush. Finnegan says when looking for the right shade, lighter skin tones should choose one that emulates your natural flush. While Meghan’s veil like highlighter hugs the top of her cheeks in the way only a cream can. We’re big fans of Mac Strobe Cream, £25, to get the job done as they come in 5 different shades so everyone is covered.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge serves the perfect nude smoky eyes
Colour is not off limits and we well and truly coveted the rose gold eyeshadow the Duchess of Cambridge wore with a dazzling emerald green Jenny Packham gown in Pakistan last week. What’s more, this shade suits all skin tones and looks beautiful when swept over the eye as a wash of colour and blended into the sockets as seen here.
To finish, she lined the eyes with a deep chocolate eyeshadow pushed into the upper lash line to create depth, that makes her rose gold shadow pop. The Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Nude Medium, £27, has both shades and many more.
You can employ the same smoky lash line trick when emulating Megan’s take on nude too, but swap chocolate for black and smudge with a blending brush to a smoky grey.
Follow by curling eyelashes to open the eyes and apply a lengthening mascara such as Shiseido ImperialLash MascaraInk, £25. “Sweep your wand from root to tip, let mascara dry then go in again, but only coat the roots to middle lengths leaving the tips of the lashes feathery and clump free,” shares Finnegan.