How to look regal by the experts the royals rely on
Tinned mackerel for youthful skin, walking through a mist of hairspray: How to look regal by the experts the royals rely on
- The hairdresser famous for Kate’s luscious locks, Richard Ward, has gives his tips
- READ MORE: Beauty experts share the ideal foundation for every decade
If anyone knows the tips and tricks you need to look like a princess – or, indeed, a queen – it’s the retinue of beauty professionals who treat the royals.
We asked the make-up artists, facialists and hairstylists who tend to these most regal of faces to share the secrets that will help you look royally gorgeous.
Tips include everything from eating tinned mackerel to walking through a cloud of hairspray.
THE QUEEN’S SUPREME HAIR COLOURIST
Described by U.S. Vogue as ‘the best tinter on the planet’ colourist supremo Jo Hansford has salons in Mayfair and Harvey Nichols, London, and looks after Queen Camilla, as well as Hollywood royalty including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. She says:
Described by U.S. Vogue as ‘the best tinter on the planet’ colourist supremo Jo Hansford has salons in Mayfair and Harvey Nichols, London, and looks after Queen Camilla
Her Majesty The Queen has been coming to the Mayfair salon since it first opened 30 years ago and I was her colourist for five years before that. I’ve changed her hair over time because everyone’s skin tone changes as they get older, so you have to soften the hair colour. It’s much warmer now, more honey than white-blonde. Her current shade really complements her skin colour.
As a rule, everyone’s natural hairline is lighter than the rest of their hair because it grows finer there, so we always keep it a shade or two lighter, as there’s nothing worse than having a horrible hard line that shouts against the skin; it’s also incredibly ageing. So it’s all about bringing light to the face.
It’s difficult to get this subtle gradation right if you’re colouring your hair at home, so I’d always recommend asking your colourist to do this in the salon.
If you want to try it at home between appointments, you can experiment with a root spray, or powder, that’s a couple of shades lighter than the rest of your hair.
PRINCESS OF WALES’S HAIR TO THE THRONE
Richard Ward is the celebrity hairdresser famous for creating the Kate’s trademark bouncy blow-dry
Richard says A smooth , glossy blow-dry is an art form and starts with the right foundation: beautifully cleansed and conditioned hair
Richard Ward is the celebrity hairdresser famous for creating the Kate’s trademark bouncy blow-dry. He says:
A smooth , glossy blow-dry is an art form and starts with the right foundation: beautifully cleansed and conditioned hair. Finding the right shampoo is essential — too heavy and conditioning, and hair will feel ‘coated’ and won’t shine.
Clients tend to think their hair is more damaged than it actually is, so ensure you find the right shampoo for your hair and remember, you may need to adapt and adjust your choice throughout the seasons.
For instance, more moisturising in the winter when hair feels brittle because of central heating. I recommend doing two shampoos before smoothing conditioner through the lengths and ends and leaving for two minutes before rinsing.
The rinsing is ultra-important. Most people rush this bit and don’t rinse as long as they should: at least one minute.
Find a dryer with a nozzle so you can direct heat downwards as the direction you hold the dryer is crucial to keeping the cuticles flat.
Cuticles (the outside layer of the hair) are like fish scales or roof tiles. What conditioner does is flatten them, and when they are smooth and flat they reflect light, making hair look glossy. We like Varis (from £240, hwsbeauty.co.uk) or Parlux driers (£109.95, parlux.co.uk).
Don’t be tempted to overlay too much product. Use only one styling product on wet hair — something with hold and moisture such as Richard Ward Salon Professional Anti-Age 10-in-1 Spritz (£8, richardward.com).
Take sections — ear to ear and fringe to nape — and work through the segments, keeping them the same size as the barrel of the round bristle brush you are using. Don’t be tempted to do too much ‘brush action’ — direct the heat down through the hair until it naturally falls off the brush.
Don’t hold the dryer too close to the hair (it will cause damage). Think of hair like skin. If you held it directly on the skin, it would burn.
Ditch the styling irons. If you want curls, set each blow-dried section in a Velcro roller to cool and, once you finish, take the rollers out, tip your head upside down and shake. Voilà!
After blow-drying, a touch of serum to keep frizz away is preferred, and a light mist of hairspray is essential — but spray ahead and walk into the mist to give the lightest hold.
STYLE ICON FOR PRINCESS DIANA
Sam McKnight MBE has worked with brands including Chanel and Burberry, and masterminded two of Princess Diana’s most headline-grabbing dos
Sam McKnight MBE has worked with brands including Chanel and Burberry, and masterminded two of Princess Diana’s most headline-grabbing dos — the side-parted slicked-back look and the pixie crop for her Vogue cover shoot. He says:
When I worked with Princess Diana on a Vogue shoot, she asked me what I’d do to her hair if I could do anything I wanted. I said I’d cut it off, make it short and start again with a minimal, short haircut. It was the era of the supermodels and Linda Evangelista’s crop. It took us a couple of years — but we got there in the end.
For me, if you want a royal finish it’s about having hair that sparkles like the Crown Jewels. And for that sort of healthy, glossy hair, you need good haircare that will boost shine, seal split ends and repair. Look for a deep treatment mask and use it weekly.
Then it’s about styling. Not every woman is going to be wearing a tiara, but if you’re wearing hair jewels and accessories, you want to create a bit of volume at the crown so that they’re silhouetted against the hair.
You need a styling spray. Mist it into the roots, then gently backcomb at the roots for some volume before smoothing the surface with a soft bristle brush. It will stay all day.
FIRST-CLASS FACIALIST IS CREATING A BUZZ
Facialist to the stars Deborah Mitchell has been working with our new Queen for years and has even been invited to pamper royals at the Palace
Facialist to the stars Deborah Mitchell has been working with our new Queen for years and has even been invited to pamper royals at the Palace. She says:
I do a bee sting facial which contains my bee venom mask as well as lots of active massage to lift the face. In between treatments, I recommend taking my Heaven Collagen drops (£55, shop.heavenskincare.com), which are great for youthful skin. (Although not many people know that tinned mackerel is a great alternative!)
I also encourage clients to massage their own faces in between treatments because the facial muscles can easily get slack.
If you’re under stress and don’t smile or laugh as much, a muscle called the depressor angulari oris can pull down the corners of your mouth, which can make you look unhappy. To fix it, you need to stimulate it by pressing hard with your forefingers just underneath the corners of your lips for three seconds. It brings the blood in and releases tension.
Another one is pinching along the eyebrows — this stimulates blood supply to the area, which can lift the lids so your eyes don’t get that slack look. The secret is to do this little and often.
MEGHAN’S WEDDING UP-DO MASTERMIND
George Northwood is the hair guru behind the Duchess of Sussex’s artfully imperfect bun for her wedding reception
George Northwood is the hair guru behind the Duchess of Sussex’s artfully imperfect bun for her wedding reception, plus the choppy bobs of Alexa Chung and Daisy Edgar-Jones. He says:
When I was working with Meghan, it was very important to be aware of the weather — that’s something everyone can do. If it’s hot or humid, you need to go with a style that’s very slick; but if the climate is more moderate, you can be more playful.
If you’re out and about and it’s blowy and you want to wear your hair down, spray some hairspray on to a Mason Pearson brush and brush the top of the hair — this seals down flyaways that can make the hair look a bit frizzy.
If it’s windy, you are better off going with an up-do because there’s nothing worse than getting hair in your face. You can do something slick such as a ponytail and use a cream, balm or spray to seal everything down, but still leave a few pieces around the face to make it look tousled. Using heated tools — irons or tongs — at 180-200c (350-400f) means you’re more likely to seal the hair in place.
If you need a quick fix, use generous amounts of product and slick the hair back, then wrap it into a bun. Use some hair balm to really smooth the hairline.
COSMETICS GURU FOR THE BIG MOMENTS
Alisia Ristevski has painted the faces of many actors, and is in Zara Tindall’s little black book. Pictured: Alisia (right) with Zara
Alisia Ristevski has painted the faces of many actors, and is in Zara Tindall’s little black book. She says:
I’ve worked with Zara for several big royal occasions, including the wedding of Harry and Meghan, the Jubilee and the Queen’s funeral. The important thing is to bookend the make-up with a proper primer and a proper finishing powder. That’s what makes it last. I like to use Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream (£52, charlotte tilbury.com) because it’s not too thick and not too oily. It seeps into the skin nice and evenly.
I’ll use a foundation brush to put it on and blend it, then I’ll let it sit for a while, while I do the eyes. I always do the eyes first. If any eye make-up falls on to the face, you can easily wipe it off as you haven’t done the foundation yet.
Then I’ll apply the foundation using a sponge — and I’ll set everything with Laura Mercier translucent loose powder (£27.20, boots.com), which keeps it looking fresh. This approach means it looks good for the photocalls, but also lasts without looking caked.
MAKE-UP PIONEER COVERS ALL BASES
Mary Greenwell created make-up looks for Princess Diana as well as the Duchess of Sussex for her Vanity Fair cover in 2017
Mary Greenwell created make-up looks for Princess Diana as well as the Duchess of Sussex for her Vanity Fair cover in 2017. Cate Blanchett doesn’t appear to step on the red carpet without seeing her first. Mary says:
When you’re doing make-up for one of the royals, unless it’s a photoshoot where you’re on hand to touch up between shots, it’s all about making it last. That starts with the skin. It can’t be too greasy or oily. You want a moisturiser that is absorbed easily — I like Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Creme (£52.20, boots.com), which I let sink in before I apply foundation.
I never put foundation on the eyelids — powder shadows won’t blend over the top and you want to use them because they don’t crease and slide. Instead, I’ll use a pale powder, or a cream-coloured powder eye shadow as the base for eye shadow.
Finally, the mascara. The last thing you want is it falling down the face, so use a semi-waterproof formula. My favourite is Sensai 38c Volumising Mascara (£28, sensai-cosmetics.com).
DIET EXPERT TO GIVE YOU A BOOST
Gabriela Peacock is the A-list nutritionist rumoured to be responsible for the pre-wedding diets of Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie
Gabriela Peacock is the A-list nutritionist rumoured to be responsible for the pre-wedding diets of Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie. She says:
Before big life events, I recommend intermittent fasting — fasting for 16 hours, then eating healthy balanced meals within an eight-hour window. It’s too stressful to be on a drastic diet plan, but this helps you feel great with lots of energy, aids sleep and keeps you feeling balanced.
For glowy skin, focus on oily fish full of omega-3 fatty acids — salmon, mackerel and sardines but also nuts and seeds give skin a glow, too.
Then focus on colours — fruit and veg of different colours contain different types of nutrients that are beneficial for skin health as well as the rest of your body.
I recommend a supplement as most people lead such busy lives, they’re often deficient in one or two nutrients. This can have a cascade effect. The first place deficiencies such is on the skin because it is low down on the list of things the body needs to keep healthy for survival.
My Beauty Blend (£43, gpnutrition.com) is based on superfoods and all about skin and hair health. It’s got high levels of vitamin B so you’ll feel an improvement in energy and sleep. In a few weeks you should see skin benefits.
NOW TRY KATE’S FAVOURITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Kate famously did her own make-up for her wedding. Over the years she has given us a peek into some of her favourite products. These include:
Clarins Natural Lip Perfector, £17.64 (clarins.co.uk)
Spotted in a between-sets make-up touch-up at Wimbledon — her shade is thought to be Rose Shimmer.
Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser, £40 (lauramercier.co.uk)
On her wedding day Kate used the now discontinued Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation but has also been seen buying this lighter base.
Lancome Hypnose Mascara, £29 (lancome.co.uk)
This cult mascara is rumoured to be a royal favourite for volume.
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact (right), £39.50 (bobbibrown.co.uk)
A Bobbi Brown make-up artist gave Kate guidance on how to do her own wedding make-up. This product is thought to be a favourite of hers.
Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics, £21.60 (urbandecay.co.uk)
Kate loved the original Urban Decay Naked palette so much she recommended it to Michelle Obama. This mini version is the latest in the series.
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