When it comes to royal beauty looks, Meghan Markle knows what’s up. Her low bun is undeniably chic, her taste in lipstick is A+++ (she’s a Charlotte Tilbury fan), and her soft-yet-statement-making makeup will forever and always be at the top of our inspo board. So in honor of the Duchess of Sussex’s 41st birthday, we’ve taken the liberty to comb through her beauty looks of decades past and pluck out the best of the best. From her Suits era, which was marked by more laid back, low key glam, to her present day, sleek and sophisticated looks, Meghan has had quite the hair and makeup evolution since she stepped into the spotlight.
Through the years, she’s even clued us in to some of her favorite beauty products. When it comes to skincare, she mixes high and low. In interviews throughout the years (she’s spoken to Allure, Birchbox (opens in new tab), and Glamour), she’s shared her obsession with brands like Nivea, Chapstick, and Tatcha. On the makeup front? She’s a big fan of Yves Saint Laurent concealer, Nars blush, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, and of course, Charlotte Tilbury, which she wore on her wedding day. To take a walk down memory lane and reflect on the royal’s best beauty looks to date, keep scrolling.
Bring on the Blush
While royal engagements have been kept to a minimum in recent years, Meghan headed to the UK to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee earlier this year. For her main appearance, she leaned into all the pink tones—and went over-the-top (in the best way possible) with her blush.
While Meghan is a neutral-toned aficionado, she brought a pop of color to the 2020 Commonwealth Service. And the pop carried over to her pout—she wore a pinky-mauve lip for the occasion. Her hair was also more polished than her norm, and was pulled into a low chignon.
While pregnant with Archie in 2019, Markle stepped out for a royal engagement in a bun that is so perfect, it's forever ingrained in our minds. Not a hair out of place, not a flyaway in sight.
The duchess went a bit more glam for her first-ever official engagement with Queen Elizabeth. She leaned into blush and bronzer—big time.
For the Wimbledon Tennis Championship in 2018, the royal had her hair styled in her go-to messy bun. Her front pieces were tastefully tucked behind her ears, but the general vibe of it all was easy, breezy. We'd also like to take a second to give her brows a round of applause—they were expertly shaped and shaded.
Makeup artist Daniel Martin revealed that the duchess wore Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution lipstick in Very Victoria for her big day. It’s also reported he used a few products from Dior and Honest Beauty to create her very natural, barely-there look.
This is the start of her royal era. For her engagement announcement with Prince Harry in 2017, Markle went for a more sophisticated beauty look. Most notably, she ditched her side part in favor of a center part. Her hair was also on the straighter side.
For the season five premiere of Suits, the star rocked an early iteration of her now-iconic messy bun. Granted, side parts and bumb-its were all the rage at the time. On the makeup front, she played with peachy tones and, if you zoom in *really* closely, you'll notice her lash line features a little smoky gray sparkle.
Nude & Natural
While Markle typically gravitates toward pink tones, she opted for a nude lip at the 2015 CFDA Awards. She kept the rest of her makeup on the softer side—blush and contour were barely there. Her lashes however were crazy long, and it was likely thanks to her favorite Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara.
The Deep Side Part
We're throwing it back to 2013, just two years after the premiere of Suits. For a USA Network event, the former actress wore her hair in a *deep* side part. As for the texture? Markle previously revealed that the Oribe Dry Texturizing spray is her secret weapon.
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.
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