When you’re royalty like Kate Middleton, more formally known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, there’s really no such thing as a day off. Even if she does manage to snag a day free from public interfacing and event attending, she’s still working on her philanthropic efforts, chasing after three small children, playing wife to the future king of England, and attempting to avoid the tangles of paparazzi that stalk her every step. Living the royal life means you’re always on, and that means your hair, makeup, and skin need to be, too. Kate Middleton’s favorite beauty products certainly fit the bill, all well-loved beauty workhorses chosen for their efficacy, not price point or packaging. In fact, they’re almost a reflection of Middleton’s own aesthetic: pretty and polished but always practical.
Because she and the royal family are so notoriously private, the Duchess of Cambridge’s go-to products are discovered through a combination of inside sources, interviews with past and present members of her glam teams, and some razor-sharp observations. By the same token, her staying mum on beauty favorites only underscores how much she likes them — there’s no advertising budget in the world that could tempt Middleton to name-drop a lipgloss shade, which makes seeing her at a tennis match clutching one in hand quite literally priceless. Middleton’s fresh-faced, classic-glam hair and makeup is always worth copying, so we’ve compiled one master list of everything the queen-to-be uses for her signature looks. Scroll on for the complete list of Kate Middleton’s all-time favorite beauty products.
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When Middleton married Prince William in a globally broadcast ceremony reaching nearly 40 million people worldwide, she did make one truly unexpected step: the future queen did her own makeup. Of course, her big day glam came on the heels of private lessons with professional makeup artists Hannah Martin and Arabella Preston (and a Bobbi Brown artist stationed in the dressing room for the bridal party), but Middleton did the heavy lifting — and lining — herself. She used a collection of Bobbi Brown products for the wedding, including Skin Foundation SPF 15, Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, rosy-pink blush, and some steely gray eyeshadow. Middleton was also armed with a preplanned face chart for the event, mapping exactly where each product should go and approved by Bobbi Brown herself:
Look closely at the chart and you’ll notice a Bobbi Brown signature, a Shimmer Brick, was used for Middleton’s cheeks, this one in shade Pink Quartz. According to Us Weekly, the duchess is still a huge fan of the Shimmer Bricks in all colors and even switched over to a bronzer version of the product in lieu of regular spray tans while pregnant.
On her lips, Middleton unsurprisingly likes to keep things as fresh and natural-looking as the rest of her makeup. We know from the wedding day face chart that she’s a fan of Bobbi Brown’s Sandwash Pink Lipstick, a muted mid-toned pink that instantly sold out after the chart went viral. Middleton also loves Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector, a gently plumping gloss with plenty of sheen and subtle colors — she was even spotted clutching a tube at Wimbledon 2019.
If ever there were a Kate Middleton beauty calling card, it’s that hair. Full, thick, glossy, and always immaculately blown-out with voluminous curls, it’s like the duchess equivalent of Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck: an efficient, polished trademark that takes the guesswork out of getting ready. Over the years, she’s worked with stylists like Amanda Cook Tucker and her longtime friend-collaborator Richard Ward, who’s looked after Middleton’s hair since college. He’s dubbed her signature blowout “The Chelsea Blow Dry” and even hosts tutorials on the exact techniques used for the look. While Middleton has never confirmed which exact products go into building her hairstyles, Cook Tucker really took one for the team when she uploaded an Instagram shot of items and tools she brought along for a work trip with the duchess.
Though the photo is blurry, you can make out highlights like Kiehl’s Smoothing Crème, Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Body Booster Mousse, and L’Oreal Paris Elnett’s Supreme Hold Hairspray — that last one clocks in at just $13 for a massive can. Though it hasn’t been confirmed by quotes or photos, royal experts suspect Middleton also uses the Kérastase Nutritive Bain Oléo-Relax Shampoo For Frizzy Hair. When her hair isn’t in cascading chestnut curls, Middleton’s usually spotted in a bouncy ponytail (likely just that same blowout but hoisted up) and some elaborate updos that seem to defy gravity — key word: seem. Some eagle-eyed royal family followers noticed Middleton wearing a camouflaged hair net on occasion, keeping her buns, coils, and chignons mid-air where they belong and acting as a literal shield against wind and frizz.
Like almost everything else in her collection, Middleton’s favorite skin care is a mix of tried-and-true high-low products. It’s been widely reported that the duchess loved to apply rosehip oil while pregnant with daughter Princess Charlotte, specifically Trilogy’s all-natural version. But regardless of what she’s applying, it’s how she applies it that makes a difference, too. According to one of Middleton’s makeup artists, Arabella Preston, the duchess uses a flannel cloth for cleansing and drying her face rather than a hand towel or muslin cloth. The flannel is super soft and doesn’t tug at skin, while still lightly exfoliating, for a royal visage.
And keeping in step with her love for affordable favorites, paps captured Middleton at Boots one day loading up on Nivea Pure & Natural Day Moisturizer, which retails for around $10 a pop in USD (though sadly, it’s not available stateside). There is one Middleton-approved treatment that’d seem more at home at one of the Kardashian’s Calabasas compounds than Buckingham Palace, though — bee venom. Allegedly a suggestion from her stepmother-in-law Camilla Parker Bowles ahead of Middleton’s wedding, Heaven by Deborah Mitchell’s Silver Bee Venom Masks are described as “nature’s botox” and boast some seriously rave reviews.
In her medicine cabinet, Middleton’s said to keep a stash of Swiss-based Karin Herzog skin care products, based around restoring oxygen to troubled skin. She’s reportedly a longtime user of the line’s moisturizer, cleansing gel, and best-selling Oxygen Face cream. Alongside the Karin Herzog goods, Middleton is said to horde three bottles of Beuti Skincare’s Beauty Sleep Elixir on her nightstand at any given time. The $65 oil is said to combat irritation, inflammation, and signs of aging while producing a serious glow. And judging by Middleton’s unchanged face, still as upbeat and radiant as the day she became a (very luxurious) public servant 10 years ago, it’s safe to say it more than likely works.