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Make-Up Tutorial: Recreate Kate's Wedding Look + Happy Royal Engagement Day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's the 16th of November, which is a red letter day in my calendar of royal holidays. Six years ago today, after years of living out their romance under the watchful eye of press and fans alike, William and Kate finally went public about their secret engagement. Although the two like to keep their private life private, there are special days when it is only natural for them to share their joy with everyone, and the 16th of November certainly qualified as such a day. 

Once the princess of the party circuit, Kate had withdrawn from the night club scene for some months, but this sudden and dramatic exposure was all the better for the long wait.
I almost had to pinch myself to realize it was finally happening.

The extraordinary flurry of anticipation and happiness that erupted that day coincided and carried on throughout the holiday season, as Kate joined William on a goodwill tour of the U.K. to introduce the royal-fiancée to the nation.

If you want to thoroughly relive the day, in 2014 I wrote one of my Look-Back posts, which I want to share with you again, before we move to this post's primary purpose. 
The morning of November 16, 2010 dawned like any other day, but it wasn't any other day. The air was crisp with the impending winter and the capital was busy with the early buzz of holiday shoppers. Just off the Mall, Clarence House looked stately and silent from the outside, but inside was a madhouse of activity. A huge announcement was about to be made, an announcement for which the public had been waiting and hoping years. Almost a full month after their secret proposal in Kenya, William and Kate were at last ready to break the news to the waiting world. Rumors that the two were secretly engaged had been swirling for several weeks, and while engagement rumors plagued the couple since their graduation from St Andrews, this time some members of the press felt they had a little more to go on....Read the rest of the post here.
That exciting day kicked off five whirl-wind months of wedding planning and change as Kate prepared to transform from royal girlfriend to Her Royal Highness. It all culminated on April 29th at the wedding of the decade. A lot of things had to be planned very quickly, from the venue to the bridal party to the cake to the...make-up. Today I have a quasi-guest post from a make-up artist who is going to tell us how to create Kate's wedding day look! 

Maxine messaged me a few months ago suggesting a series of make-up posts. Her timing was perfect, because I had just been thinking of looking into a how-to series! Maxine is a makeup artist in Oxfordshire, England and lives "dangerously close to Kate’s favourite shopping haunt of Bicester Village."  Maxine told me she actually met Kate once at Bicester! 
She came into the store when I was working at Temperley in Bicester Village. This was well before her engagement to William and she was quite on her own and at first I didn’t realise who it was! It wasn’t until I greeted the well dressed, glossy haired woman of about my age, that I realised it was Kate! She is even more beautiful in person (really - she is truly stunning!) and she is also a lot taller than I thought! She was very polite and lovely but my heart was thumping having just met the woman who I now know will one day be our Queen Consort!
I haven't heard any reports of Kate at Bicester for a few years now, but she used to be quite a regular, even after she moved from Berkshire to Buckingham. :) I am going to let Maxine take it from here to explain to you how to repliKate the Ms. Middleton April 29th look:

We all know and love Kate’s wedding day makeup, which she famously did herself (although it is widely believed in the industry that a Bobbi Brown makeup artist was also on hand that morning - perhaps to help Pippa and Carol?) and on that day, the star which was born when Kate and William announced their engagement truly began to shine!

In this tutorial, we will look at a step by step guide to re-creating the look which Kate wore at her wedding. It is very simple and a slightly modified look of her everyday look at the time. My beautiful model is my dear friend Eleanor who is so lucky to have incredible long dark hair like Kate’s! Kate does wear her makeup quite dark - she can carry it off with her dark hair - and I have gone slightly deeper with the colours that I would have done in real life. Follow the steps and have fun with it! Jane and I would love to see your looks!

Step 1
Have you cleansed, toned and most importantly, moisturised? Then we shall begin! They key to getting your eye makeup to stick all day is to prime the eyelid. I like to use a cream eyeshadow in a soft, neutral skin colour and apply it all over the eyelid, into the crease and up to the brown bone. Taking a small brush, blend this in and then seal it using your usual face powder.

Step 2
Apply a mid brown eye shadow into the outer edge of the eye socket and through the crease. I have used one with a warmer base here:

Step 3

Now apply a darker brown shadow across the outer two thirds of the lid. I have used one here with a cooler undertone. Taking any pale, shimmery shadow, blend this into the inner corner of your eyes and the inner third of your eyelid. Blend the colours well where they meet.

Step 4
Using either a black gel eyeliner or a black eye pencil, outline your upper eye lids. You can flick this out at the outer edge slightly if you wish to elongate the eye (Kate does this from time to time). Then taking a clean tiny brush, soften this line with a little more dark eye shadow.

Step 5
We now turn to the lower lashes, and my only bug bear with this wedding look. Kate applied black eyeliner (gel or pencil will work again) all along her lower lashes and didn’t blend it in. For me, this was too harsh, although I am sure that she did it so that her eyes were defined for the cameras and also beneath her veil. I would have liked her eye to be defined more subtly, either by blending out the pencil line so that it was less hard, or by using a softer, perhaps brown, pencil for the line. As you can see, it can also drag the eye down, so if you are following this step at home, tread lightly with your kohl! If you have full brows like Eleanor, give them a quick tidy and possibly hold them in place with some clear brow gel. If you have gaps, then fill these in with a brow pencil one shade lighter than your natural brow colour. 

Step 6
We now turn to your face. Kate wears fuller coverage foundation but go with whatever you are most comfortable with. I like to apply a primer, then dab the foundation all over the face with my fingers and blend it in with a flat headed brush - don’t be afraid to work a product into your skin as it will help it last all day. This is a VERY lightly contoured and highlighted look, so apply highlight sparingly to the cheekbones only and contour beneath your cheekbones and around your forehead and jawline if required. This is where you can make the look your own! Now take a rosy pink blush and apply to the apples of your cheeks. Finally, powder to set. 

Step 7
Kate used a pinky brown lip colour on her wedding day - but select a natural pinky colour that you love already! Make sure that it is not shimmery though - her lips were modern and slightly glossy here. Now you are ready to meet you prince at the altar ladies! Do let me know if you have any questions. Next week; we look at Kate’s makeup prior to her marriage. 

Ok, it's back to Jane here. I want to thank Maxine for reaching out and creating this fun tutorial. She has a number of posts that will give us tips on how to recreate Kate's look. Because we are rushing into the Thanksgiving and Holiday season, I know there will be lots of office parties and friends and neighbors festive gatherings, so I asked Maxine to switch her line-up a little and tell us about Kate's evening look next week.

If you want to connect with Maxine:
Instagram: @maxinewilsonmakeupartist
Facebook: @maxinewilsonMUA
Snapchat: @memgw
Pinterest: maxinewilsonMUA
Kate's lovely model Eleanor is a bit of a traveller and can be found on Instagram: @eleanorherring


  1. It was a really good idea to recreate her wedding look. But I am not sure there is a person who would like to have such a strong eyeliner on her wedding day. She should have chosen a professional make up person, I think. Anyway this strong eye make up runs in her family, not 100% that does any good to any of the ladies though.

    I remember seeing them on telly, I had such high hopes and expectations, especially after watching the joint interview. I think in the fist two years they did a decent job, since then I am pretty let down by both of them.

    I really hope Meghan will join the family and bring some changes.

    1. She took lessons from a professional make up artist. I like the fact she did it by herself. It reflects her normality. She was gorgeous on her wedding day!

      Their first priority now is their little family. But I'm sure they will be an amazing king and queen.

      If Harry marries Meghan it wil enormously boost the RF. They have more charisma and Meghan is independent, succesfull and a rolemodel. I expect she will take more fashion risks than the save choices of Kate.

      Both couples are very interesting to follow.

    2. I hope Piers Morgan becomes the new press secretary for KP.
      Her ring looks different here to me.

    3. What part of their private life is private? Honeymoon and Wales walks on the beach?
      pregnancy and illness? French vacation, outings to parks with Mum and Nanny, petting zoo trips with Granny, waving good-bye to Auntie Anne and Mummy and Dad, cost of her clothing, type of foundation garment?

    4. Anon 8.55

      I appreciate the fact that she took lessons, but it didn't make her a pro. And looking at her make up since then, well, she should rely on a person whose job is actually make up. In my humble opinion:)

    5. Privacy will always be an issue. The press is always been very rude on Kate in her Middelton days so I think thats the reason they are so strict these days. Meghan will experience the harrasement now. But I think she is a very strong woman and I hope Kate will support her.

    6. I have to disagree that people don't want a strong eyeliner on their wedding day. Most professional make-up artists will tell you to wear your make-up darker because you don't want to be washed out in the pictures. They are the lifetime memory of your big day. Now add about 100 times more pressure to it with the fact that not only are your wedding pictures your special memory but they are actually a piece of history. Kate looked stunning in the photos and on TV where she never once looked washed out by the bright lights or the flash of a camera.

    7. Robin, I agree. Even more so given the scale factor. Just consider some of the long distance shots on the way to the Abbey, in the Abbey, and in BP. Not exactly the typical bride's experience.

  2. What a fun post! Thank you Jane and Maxine for a pleasant surprise as I sip my morning coffee. Also so fun to see William with so much hair!

  3. I remember that day so well. . . I was at the gym, running on the tread mill, and all the morning news shows had it on. I remember thinking, "Score one for the brown-haired girls!"

  4. Not at all on topic, but Canada's CBC television carried a documentary on the charitable activities of Philip, Charles, Harry and William (and a bit of Kate) on their Passionate Eye program this past weekend. Don't know if you can view it outside of Canada, but here is the link. It was a very good piece.

  5. I'll never forget the day they announced their engagement! I was three days post-partum with my first child and was spending time snug in bed and just oozing with love for everyone and everything. I think it's part of the reason I've enjoyed following Kate, especially in the beginning of their public life together, her love story was unfolding at a time I was in love with the whole world. It still feels like a magical time when I think back on it.
    Thanks for a fun post

    1. You had a lovely story to share. Thanks for that!

    2. Thanks for sharing that Anon 10.53! What a lovely story !

  6. Fun post but I am not a fan of that style of lining the eyes. It may be fine for certain photo shoots but in my opinion does not open up or bring attention to the eyes. You can line the eyes but with a different technique where it does not look like a circle around the eye but brings intensity to the lashes and can open up and subtly help shape the eyes. ali

  7. Interesting post! I have the same coloring as Kate and I do pretty much the same thing with my make-up - except I use a dark brown liner. When I was younger I used the black but one moves past that when it's time - about 5 years ago in my case.

    1. Me too RobinfromCA

      I use mainly a dark brown or a dark plum these days. I am auburn with green eyes but not fair or dark and the black eyeliner is too much for my face. Now I refuse to give up my black mascara! Never!!!!

    2. I am (dark)blonde, with blue-green eyes and very pale, so I cannot use black eyeliner or I will look like someone from a horror movie ;) If I want to go more bold with my makeup, I use either grey or brown liner.

    3. Sonja what kind of grey eyeliner do you wear? I have not found one here that I like. It is either too dark or too light.

    4. I definitely wear the black mascara too, Diane! It's essential! I've noticed that my mother's generation would never walk out the door without lipstick on. For our generation I think it's mascara!

  8. That's how I do my eyes. I enjoy the strong eyeliner. And I will say that when I don't wear it, people think I'm tired or drawn.

  9. A great tutorial by Maxine :) I look forward to hearing more from you. The harsh dark black liner Kate used for her lower lashline bothered me a bit, too. But Kate still looked gorgeous, and she can definitely pull it off with her dark hair! As a blonde, I can only dream of that ;)

  10. Personally I love how Kate always does a strong eye with a nude lip. So classic and polished looking!

  11. I didn't like her wedding day makeup. The eyeliner and blush were overdone imo.


  12. I agree with comments saying that wedding makeup may need to be stronger for pictures. That's especially true if pictures are the primary consideration. For Kate, whether she liked it or not, pictures WERE ultra-important because of who she was marrying. At other weddings though it seems pictures are more important than the event itself! (Haven't we all felt that at a wedding we've attended?) I don't really understand wearing heavier makeup than ever before so that during the vows, the groom may be gazing into eyes don't feel all that familiar.  But I guess my age is showing.

    It seems to me Kate's wedding hair color was quite dark. When her hair color has been discussed here before some have pointed out it changes depending on the light. I agree but it looked very dark on the wedding day no matter the light source. Her eye makeup seemed in close balance with that hair color. Since then though, the heavy liner UNDER her eyes has seemed harsh to me. It's not a matter of heavy eye makeup or the color of liner or the lack of smudging... its the strong underlining There have been some events in the last year where the underliner did not look so dark. I do think that less defined, more mascara and less solid liner underneath opened up her eyes, made her look more rested, and overall was more attractive. But since Carole and Pippa wear heavy underliner too, Kate may have been wearing for so long she might be uncomfortable without it. And it is her face!

    1. Yes, Kate's hair was darker for the wedding. Madeleine of Sweden also dyed her hair darker than she usually does for the wedding. It is just for a better contrast between the white dress and dark hair I believe.

  13. Very nice and cool tutorial!
    It really looks exactly like the make-up she wears
    Good job! :)


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