Blowouts, Blush, & Royal Buns: Kate Middleton's Best Beauty Looks

There's a royal phenomenon that's been dissected and discussed for years known as the "Kate Middleton effect" — that is, the Duchess of Cambridge's unique ability to instill retail fever in adoring fans around the globe. It's been almost two decades since Middleton stepped into the public eye and she's continued to sell out dozens of items, from the Reiss dress she wore to meet the Obamas to the Zara coat she wore out and about in London.

"The Kate Effect may be worth £1 billion to the U.K. fashion industry," Newsweek reported back in 2012. Clearly, the international public wants a slice of the royal pie — or at least the look. However, while all eyes have been on the Duchess' wardrobe, we've turned to analyzing her beauty signatures.


After all, Middleton has been known to accessorize everything from gowns to casual riding ensembles with the same glam: barrel curls, nude lip color, and heavily-rouged cheeks, but it goes a lot deeper than that. For one, she never wears a sharp hair part, always has her bottom lashes lined, and we've yet to find a picture of her signature bun positioned above her ears. It's calculated, to say the least.

Middleton takes this look and adds her own flair. We've rounded up five things she always does so that you, too, can get that royal glow.

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Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.

The Princess Mullet

What's sleek up top and barrel curled on the bottom? Middleton's perfectly polished blowout. Middleton doesn't subscribe to the Hollywood hair trends. Instead, she opts for styles that are always smooth above her ears, but voluminous below.
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Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.
Even on a quick visit to the Scouts' headquarters at Gilwell Park, the Duchess of Cambridge manages to keep her blowout styled just so.
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Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage.
Sadly, getting Middleton's sleek barrel curls isn't as easy as rolling out of bed and misting your hair with salt or shine spray. If you have long hair like Middleton's, start by blowing out damp hair using a blow dryer and a round brush — and don't forget to prep your strands with a heat protector suited for your texture. Once your hair is sufficiently sleek, use a 1.5-inch iron to create curls through the bottom ends of your hair. And whatever you do, don't brush them out!
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Photo: Indigo/Getty Images.

Diffused Bottom Liner

Rather than reach for bold colors or sharp lines, Middleton always opts for makeup that softly defines her eyes — and always wears liner on the bottom. A diffused wash of color tends to adorn her top lid while a thick, yet smudged, line of classic black color always lines her bottom lashes. The result? A soft, daytime appropriate smoky eye that flatters any ensemble.
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Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage.
This part of Middleton's beauty look couldn't be easier to do at home. In fact, all you need is a trusty black eyeliner pencil and a dense smudge brush.
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Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.
Even for special occasions, Middleton tends to keep the eyeliner minimal. At this year's British Academy Film Awards, however, she did try a new trend to brighten up her usual look: inner corner strobing.
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Photo: Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage.

Soft Hair Parts

Seriously, just try to find an image of Middleton with a crisp hair part. Go ahead — we'll wait. Now you see what we're talking about. Middleton isn't a fan of crisp lines, whether they're on her eyes or in her hair. To complement her bouncy curls, Middleton employs soft hair parts that are just jagged enough to make the hair look casual and soft.
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Photo: Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage.
The shape of one's part doesn't seem like it would make a big difference to an overall look, but having a sharp part has a tendency to give hair looks additional structure. Luckily, you can score the effortless look pretty easily: put down the brush, flip your head over, and part hair with your fingers for an imperfect finish.
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Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.
If anyone could convince you to ditch your center part, it's Middleton and her imperfect princess part.
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Photo: Chris Jackson/Pool/Getty Images.

Low Buns, Chignons, & Ponytails

When Middleton isn't wearing her hair in her standard barrel curls, she's usually wearing it in a sleek, low chignon or classic ponytail. You've probably spotted the Duchess rocking this 'do at countless events, but look closer and you'll learn that all her looks — no matter how her hair is pulled back — are positioned below the top of her ears. Perhaps it's just what she likes, or it's what some secret royal council has decided is best, but she rarely strays.
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Photo: Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage.
Middleton's classic chignon is an incredibly versatile hairstyle. Want to create the chignon of your dreams? All you'll need is a comb, hair elastics, and some bobby pins.
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Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.
Nothing goes better with a royal bun than a matching fascinator.
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Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

A Healthy Dose Of Blush

Heavy contouring isn't exactly Middleton's cup of tea. Instead, Middleton uses blush to subtly lift her cheekbones and brighten her complexion. Her go to shades? Variations of rose and pink.
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Photo: Justin Tallis/WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Middleton tends to concentrate her blush on the apples of her cheeks, sweeping the color outward toward her hairline. Try tapping cream blush onto your cheeks with your fingers to create a natural glow that looks like it's coming from within the skin, rather than sitting on top of it.
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Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.
The Duchess of Cambridge always breaks out the blush for fancy gala dinners. Mixed with a generous wash of highlighter, Middleton proves that a healthy glow is the perfect accessory to any formal look.
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Watch one woman try on three iconic Kate Middleton looks in this transformation video.
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