When you think of royals, you probably don’t picture someone going au naturel in the makeup department. But more and more women are choosing to go without makeup these days. Even celebrities who are well known for their glam makeup — ahem, Christina Aguilera — are bearing their bare faces on the covers of magazines. Alicia Keys has been absolutely rocking the look, even showing up on the red carpet sans foundation.
Keys, who has fully committed to the #NoMakeup movement for years now, told Allure her philosophy on beauty, saying, "Beauty is from the inside out. My mother always said, ‘Beauty is as beauty does.’" Keys also admonished readers to define beauty for themselves, explaining, "It’s your choice." That may be true but, does that notion apply to members of the royal family?
You may never see a photo of Queen Elizabeth without her makeup — sorry — but many royal women do actually go out in public without being dolled up. Need proof? Keep reading.
A rare makeup-free glimpse at Kate Middleton
Although Kate Middleton is not one to sport winged eyeliner and false lashes — that would be amazing, though — she is normally seen out and about looking fresh-faced with the help of some foundation, blush, and eyeliner. Even while touring freezing cold Scandinavian countries, while also pregnant with her third child, Middleton is committed to her makeup. As is often the case with beauty products, her makeup proved it wasn’t as committed to her.
A long day of official royal business in Oslo, most of which was outside, seemed to wreak havoc on Middleton’s usual glow. Of course, Middleton still looked amazing (per usual) and she didn’t seem to mind much. According to People, she even threw some snowballs at her husband, Prince William, which you’d have to imagine was the most adorable snowball fight ever. Could Middleton have taken a break to reapply her makeup? Probably. But, it’s pretty cool that she didn’t seem to care. The show must go on, right?
Camilla Parker Bowles in her mistress years
While many have come around to Camilla Parker Bowles, it’s hard to forget how she came onto the royal scene: as Prince Charles’ mistress. As NBC News explained, she wasn’t exactly beloved back in those days.
Despite the obstacles in front of her, Bowles, who is now married to Charles, has been working for nearly two decades to transform the public’s perception of her. According to NBC News, she fulfilled 221 public engagements in just one year. Only her now-husband Charles and the Queen participated in more. Not only that but Bowles has quite literally transformed.
Hello! magazine reported that the Bowles of the 1990s was much different than the Bowles of today. Back then, the paparazzi were more likely to find her wearing "loafers and old, patterned socks," which was a stark contrast from Diana’s glitz and glamour.
Hello! also reported that one British newspaper in 1992 had the audacity to write, "She always looks as if she had just stepped off a horse. She never wears make-up and doesn’t care too much about clothes." Ouch. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bare-faced Bowles these days but she has never commented on why she made the change.
Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson: Prince Andrew era
As pictures prove, Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson — much like Bowles — was not always the lover of makeup she is today. The similarities between her and Bowles don’t end there, either. Ferguson was caught up in multiple controversies, including money troubles, a royal affair while married to Prince Andrew, and even her weight — not cool, people, not cool. It was during this tumultuous time in her life that Ferguson seemed to eschew makeup. Still, Ferguson has a good outlook on the past. In an interview with Swedish magazine Svenskdam (via People), she said, "If I could turn back time, I still wouldn’t change anything."
While married to Andrew, Ferguson had two children — Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. Not afraid to toot her own horn, Ferguson told the magazine, "I am very proud of my beautiful girls and we have a good relationship. They’re evidence of good parenting, I’d say." Ferguson is frequently seen with her daughters, although now she’s rarely without makeup.
Just a smidge of eyeliner for Princess Eugenie of York
Princess Eugenie is a royal with style. Although she’s usually all made up — not unlike her mother these days — she occasionally braves the world without one bit of concealer. When completing an overnight 63 mile-long charity bike ride, she opted for only a little eyeliner and mascara, it seems. Can you blame her? A grueling ride like that would no doubt have taken her makeup off anyway.
By the end of the ride, Express reported that the princess raised nearly £10,000 ($14,080) for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London — a cause dear to Eugenie’s heart. Just ten years earlier, Eugenie underwent a seven-hour spinal surgery to correct her severe scoliosis.
Imagine having had 8-inch rods in your spine, over inch-long screws in your neck, and then going on to ride over 60 miles — overnight — on a bicycle. And to look great doing so? Impressive doesn’t even begin to describe her remarkable feat.
Princess Beatrice of York is Plain Jane for a day
Princess Beatrice, the oldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson — and therefore seventh in line for the throne (until the next wee royal is born) — shares a passion for fashion much like her sister, Eugenie. At times, however, that has led to bullying.
"Growing up in the public eye," Beatrice began when speaking at a charity event (via Express), "means that every embarrassing, slightly awkward growth spurt, or hilarious fashion moment are published around the world." Growing up royal may not be a problem many of us have, but almost everyone either knows firsthand, or can imagine, the effect bullying has on one’s self-esteem.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop Beatrice — or her sister — from going out in public donning untraditional outfits. In fact, the royal sisters are often photographed together, both sporting amazing dresses and tasteful makeup. When attending the 2012 Olympics, however, both sisters decided to forgo foundation. While Eugenie wore a hoodie and large sunglasses, Beatrice looked confident with her hair pulled back and no makeup. The girls cheered on their cousin, Zara Tindall, while she participated in the equestrian competition.
The Queen’s granddaughter lives and breathes the #NoMakeup movement
Could Olympian Zara Tindall’s ability to rock the no makeup look have inspired Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice to attend the 2012 games dressed down? It’s hard to say but it’s definitely not beyond the realm of possibilities.
Although she does not have an official royal title, Tindall is the Queen’s granddaughter, which also makes her the cousin of Prince Harry and Prince William. Despite being of the royal bloodline, Tindall has made a name for herself in quite a different way: as an equestrian — an Olympic equestrian. Pretty amazing.
Although you will see Tindall looking glamorous from time to time — her wedding for example — she seems equally comfortable going about her days with her hair pulled back into a simple bun and without any makeup on her face. And why shouldn’t she? Her skin looks absolutely healthy and radiant. That said, please share your skincare secrets with us, Zara! We must know.
Lady Kitty Spencer’s selfies are the real deal
If you happen to follow Princess Diana’s niece, Lady Kitty Spencer, on Instagram, you’ll know she loves the glam life and look. At just 27, Spencer began modeling for Dolce & Gabbana and she’s seen with heavy makeup in many of their advertisements. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, she isn’t always dressed to the nines and sporting smoky eyes, contoured cheeks, and red lipstick.
In one post, Spencer shared a selfie while on vacation in Royal Malewane, a safari lodge in South Africa, without worrying about being bare-faced. One Instagram user even commented, "You are so beautiful without make up!" while others told the royal she looked gorgeous.
She has also shared other photos of herself without makeup, including one en route to Perth and one while at the beach with friends. Spencer doesn’t have to share her no makeup selfies with the world, of course, but it’s pretty cool that she does.
Meghan Markle wants you to see her freckles
In May 2018, Meghan Markle will officially become royalty — after marrying Prince Harry, that is. It would difficult to find an unflattering image of Markle on the web — not that you should try, of course. She seems to have a constant glow, whether she’s wearing a full face of makeup or none at all.
These days, you’ll notice Markle with a bit of makeup but she never goes overboard, which we’re sure Queen Elizabeth appreciates. There’s a reason Markle prefers the barely-there or even no makeup look: her freckles. "To this day," she explained in an interview with Refinery29, "my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out."
Markle’s former hairstylist and makeup artist, Lydia F. Sellers, agreed, telling Refinery29 in another interview, "Every time I’d do her makeup, she’d say, ‘Can we just make sure my freckles are peeking through? I don’t want a ton of foundation.’" Way to embrace what you’ve got, Megs!