When Kate Middleton, now 39, first met Prince William at university, her go-to makeup was a liberal application of heavy black eyeliner on her bottom lids, and plenty of bronzer.
It was no suprise that she started opting for a more polished appearance around the time of their engagement and wedding, showcasing her famous bouncy blow dry, while still remaining wedded to her beloved kohl.
However, these days she has pared back her beauty look with softer eye make-up and matte skin to create an elegant look.
From her style as a ‘youthful, fun, modern woman’ who fell for Prince William to the ‘coiffured’ Queen-in-waiting, here FEMAIL reveals how Kate’s appearance has changed during the last decade…
Since marrying into the royal family, Kate Middleton, 39, has overhauled her appearance, according to some of the UK’s leading hair and makeup experts. Pictured: Kate returning home from a nightclub, in 2007
Beauty experts revealed the Duchess of Cambridge has subtly changed her styling, including her hair and makeup, during the past 10 years. Pictured: December 2020
BEFORE 2010: CLASSIC GIRL NEXT DOOR
When 19-year-old Kate met Prince William at St Andrews University, she was ‘youthful, fun and modern’ with her glowing skin and striking eye makeup.
Award-winning celebtrity makeup artist Joy Adenuga said Kate appeared the ‘classic girl next door’ as a student and adopted many make-up trends popular with teens at the time.
She explained: ‘A barely there base, English rose blushed cheeks, with a burst of subtle black kohl liner and mascara were her staples. Her skin was sunkissed and lightly bronzed, and her natural glow shone.
Experts revealed the Duchess was the ‘classic girl next door’ during her time at St Andrews University, and, like any teenager, would often tried out different hairstyles and makeup looks (Pictured: Kate at a student fashion show in 2002)
‘This had an incredibly youthful and free-spirited finish.’
Meanwhile celebrity hairstylist Dionne Smith revealed Kate’s free-spirited and youthful lifestyle was also reflected in the way she styled her hair.
She explained: ‘When Kate first came onto the scene, her hair reflected everything that she encapsulated – a youthful, fun, modern woman.
‘Her style was very “of the moment” and could be seen on young women all over the UK.
‘It was epitomised by a full bouncy blow dry with side parting, choppy layers and side fringe. Not to mention the incredible shine.
Meanwhile they revealed Kate’s hair was epitomised by a full bouncy blow dry with side parting, choppy layers and side fringe. Pictured: At graduation in 2005
As Kate settled into life at St Andrews, Dionne said the royal pushed the boundaries of styling her locks.
She revealed: ‘Back then, Kate was much more experimental and relaxed with her style, like we seen in her St Andrews catwalk show, with her curls and braids.’
According to the founders of Mishel Makeup, Michelle Abels and Shelley Greenham, by the time the Duchess graduated in 2005, she had further embraced a more dramatic style of makeup.
Michelle revealed: ‘Kate glows at their graduation with a more luminous look but continuing with the classic feel.’
Michelle Abels and Shelley Greenham of Mishel Makeup said as the Duchess graduated and left St Andrews University in the spotlight as Prince William’s girlfriend, she began to emphasis her eyes more with dark shadow and liner. Pictured: Prince William and Kate in 2008
Meanwhile Shelley said that after leaving university life behind in the spotlight as Prince William’s girlfriend, the royal’s make-up style evolved again.
She revealed the Duchess focused more heavily on emphasising her eyes with her shadow and liner, explaining: ‘Concentrating on the eyes with a classic brown socket eyeshadow and dark liner around the eyes, just enough to show off her beautiful eyes without it looking heavy.
‘Her eyebrows becoming a little darker at this stage, just the right amount of depth to show off their lovely shape.’
2010s: SUBTLY POLISHED
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced their engagement in 2010, experts said Kate already appeared more refined than her university days.
Make-up artist Olivia Todd said Kate looked more ‘polished’ in engagement photographs taken at St James Palace to mark the occasion, and the royal continued to perfect her appearance ahead of her wedding in 2011.
Olivia revealed the images showcased the beginning of the Duchess’ infamous ‘bouncy blow-dry’ styled hair.
She explained: ‘In her engagement photos, her hair is far more polished, with the shine and shape you would only get from nourishing hair care – plus a really good blow dry.’
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced their engagement in 2010, experts said Kate already appeared more refined than her university days, with ‘more polished’ hair and a ‘softer smokier’ makeup look (Pictured: Engagement shoot in 2010)
Meanwhile the Duchess’ make-up had also taken a departure from the heavier, more dramatic style of her younger days.
Olivia explained: ‘Her eye makeup is much smokier, due to being lined with a soft, heavier kohl pencil on the upper and lower lash line.
‘Her eyebrows are fuller and more natural looking, I imagine due to using a brow pencil that you can apply in upward motions to mimic the natural hairlines.’
She also revealed the royal had also ditched the bronzed look for a lighter style to appear ‘lightly sculptured.’
She explained: ‘Her cheekbones are lightly sculpted with a bronzer that isn’t overpowering but does enough to accentuate Kate’s already chiseled cheekbones.
‘Her lips are a nude with a touch of gloss for added hydration to create a full and youthful look to the lips.’
Olivia said Kate created the illusion of full and youthful lips on her wedding day (pictured) by hydrating them with a touch of gloss
Meanwhile Olivia said the Duchess refined her style to a ‘picture perfect’ look for her royal wedding day to Prince William on April 29 2011.
Kate famously did her own makeup on her wedding day, enlisting the help of beauty guru Arabella Preston to teach her all her tips and tricks.
Olivia said the royal appeared to have been perfectly prepped for the occasion, explaining: ‘On her wedding day, Kate is picture perfect, her eyes are lightly accentuated and her cheekbones are sculpted in a subtle way that simple enhances – not masks.
‘Think well-prepped moisturised skin, complimented by light foundation, a pop of rosy blush on the apples of the cheeks, lashings of mascara, no doubt a waterproof one, and a soft wash of warm toned browns on the eyes.’
Meanwhile Michelle and Shelley agreed, saying Kate’s unusual choice to do her own make-up for the occasion was a wise decision from the bride.
Michelle explained: ‘I think it was a good move for her.
‘She had a few makeup lessons prior to her wedding, but she has always been good at her own makeup and knew how she wanted to look.’
She continued: ‘The effect was stunning. Her own natural make-up was a perfect for a bridal look, concentrating on the eyes and keeping things natural otherwise, with pinky brown blushers and lipsticks.’
EARLY YEARS OF MARRIAGE: ‘POWERFUL AND PRIMPED’
As she settled into life in The Firm, from public engagements to international tours, experts said the Duchess opted for a ‘powerful’ beauty look (Pictured: Duchess of Cambridge in 2011)
Joy said Kate slowly replaced her bronze skin for more peachy tones on the cheeks, and a matte finish and would emphasis her eyes with a strong smokey eye Pictured: Duchess of Cambridge visiting homeless charity in 2011
During her first year in the royal family, Kate began adopting a more dramatic makeup look.
As she settled into life in The Firm, from public engagements to international tours, experts said the Duchess opted for a ‘powerful’ beauty look.
Joy revealed: ‘In the years straight after her marriage to Prince William, we could see Kate adopting a much stronger, smoky eye to public events.
‘Her trusty liner and mascara became heavier, with dark brown and mauve eyeshadow which created a very powerful “she means business” look.’
Meanwhile the Duchess was also leaning away from ‘youthful beauty trends’ in order to appear more mature.
Joy explained: ‘The golden, bronzed skin was still there, but was slowly being replaced with more peachy tones on the cheeks, and a matte finish.
‘For me, this was a sign of her style maturing for her senior duties.’
Meanwhile the Duchess was also leaning away from ‘youthful beauty trends’ in order to appear more mature, sweeping her hair into preened up-dos for formal events (Pictured: Kate attending a St Patrick’s Day Parade in 2013)
Olivia agreed, saying the royal’s style subtly became more refined over the years.
She explained ‘She looks progressively more primped and preened and elegant in early marriage.
‘Her skin is nourished and radiant from beautiful skincare and her cheekbones, eyes, brows are subtly enhanced with careful placement of makeup to achieve a natural, yet polished look.’
And Dionne said the decade was the period when the Duchess became known for her iconic bouncy blow dry style.
She explained: ‘In the years preceding the marriage, Kate continued to favour her big, bouncy blow dry signature style with slick waves and curls.
‘It was all about the body, the shine, and a very “just stepped out of the salon” look.
But despite her look becoming more refined and mature, Dione suggested elements remained youthful.
She said: ‘There was never a hair out of place, but it still looked youthful thanks to its vibrancy and volume.
‘It’s also the time we started to see Kate move from a side parting to a middle parting, following popular trends and fashion, as well as subtle caramel highlights which warmed up her face beautifully.
‘At formal events, we saw a lot of half up looks, or loosely pulled up dos which retained an air of “young woman”.’
In the 2010s we started to see Kate move from a side parting to a middle parting, following popular trends and fashion, as well as subtle caramel highlights which warmed up her face beautifully
2020s: A QUEEN-IN-WAITING
As she approaches a decade in the royal family, experts suggested Kate’s look has refined further and ‘more structured.’
Joy explained: ‘Fast forward and Kate looks to have taken inspiration from senior Royals such as The Queen, and even Diana.
‘Her skin is paler, her make-up has become matte, and the eyeliner and mascara have become much heavier.
‘This can have an ageing affect at time, but Kate pulls it off as a future Queen. One thing Kate has carried through is her strong brow, which frames her face beautifully.’
Dionne said Kate’s hair is a reflection of her position within the royal family and now appears more structured. Pictured: Duchess of Cambridge at Beating Retreat Ceremony in 2019
Meanwhile Dionne said Kate’s locks have also matured from the loose-youthful styling.
She explained: ‘As the years have gone on, we have seen Kate’s hair become more structured and ‘done’ as he has matured and taken her place as a prominent senior Royal.
‘Gone are the natural, flowing locks, and instead we see more structured and intricate up dos that replicate the older generation of the family. Her hair is incredibly polished, with not a strand out of place.
‘To me, it seems like Kate’s hair is a reflection of her position within the family, it must be impeccable at all times in a public setting.’
Ondine Cowley of Nicky Clarke said Kate has grown into a regal woman who carefully chooses her look Pictured: Duchess of Cambridge at Caernarfon Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter Base in 2019
Ondine Cowley, who is a Wedding Hair Specialist at Nicky Clarke in Mayfair, said Kate has always looked like a princess, but has become more ‘regal’ throughout the years.
She explained: ‘She’s grown into a regal woman, and holds herself amazingly.
‘These days, Kate’s hair doesn’t look contrived – her carefully chosen style and look show she knows who she is and what she wants.
‘Kate looks magical and amazing at the moment, she is holding her own and knows what she wants.’
Michelle and Shelley pointed to the Duchess’ recent appearance at Prince Philip’s funeral as an elegant look that would remain iconic for years
Michelle and Shelley pointed to the Duchess’ recent appearance at Prince Philip’s funeral as a look that would remain iconic for years.
Michelle explained: ‘Kate looked so beautiful at Prince Philip’s funeral. I felt her look was just perfect a picture of elegance.
‘She accentuated her eyes with a slightly longer eyeliner, keeping it simple and wearing a stylish black face mask.
‘Her hair so beautifully styled up in a neat updo away from her face, which complimented her magnificent head piece.
‘Her makeup has changed slightly over the years, becoming like her hair more coiffured, but one can see if one goes by her make-up, she is a natural girl at heart. ‘