The Duchess of Cambridge joined William to chat to children of key workers, and congratulate teachers, from their home via video link last week. Looking radiant and happy, Kate was doing what so many of us are right now carrying out her meetings virtually. Wearing a cheery ochre-colored jumper with her usually salon-coiffed hair tied back into a relaxed half-ponytail, Kate delivered the perfect balance of polished and approachable for her video meeting.
Currently holed up in the couple's Norfolk estate with plenty of access to fresh, country air, her complexion appeared warmer than usual. While it's likely that Kate has been taking advantage of the recent sunshine and topping up her vitamin D levels by taking in a few rays, her healthy glow is mostly down to her natural-looking makeup.
Assuming that the Duchess is following social distancing rules and doesn't have access to a makeup artist, her DIY makeup skills are a gleaming example of what (and how much) to wear when you're taking meetings from home.
Top UK makeup artist, Mary Greenwell, who over the years has worked with everyone from William's late mother, Princess Diana, to actress Cate Blanchett, says the key to doing your make-up for video conferencing is to stay within your comfort zone. "You want to look polished, but not like you've tried too hard (you're supposed to be at home working after all)," she says. "Your makeup should be light and fresh, with some definition around eyes and lips, which is where the focus goes when you're talking."
Here's Mary’s easy at-home makeup routine for video conferencing, inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge’s latest look.
1. Skin should glow: Even though you are working from home, you should aim to maintain a certain standard of professionalism. A light foundation or tinted moisturiser will give skin a polished look without covering up your natural glow. Try Sisley Phyto-Hydra Teint Tinted Moisturiser SPF15 or Estee Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Makeup SPF 45. (Viva says in these lockdown times also consider picking up a Garnier BB cream or Maybelline Fit foundation from supermarkets). "Even if you stop there and added a slick of lipstick, it would be enough if your skin looks good, you feel good," says Mary. If you like more coverage, use your concealer directly after foundation.
2. Bronzer & blusher gives the look of health: 'It's not about hard contouring, the goal is to look healthy,' says Mary. 'Apply your bronzer softly, high up on your cheeks, on the temples, your chin, and a little on your forehead, sweeping the brush into your hair line it's a lovely way to give your face a lift, especially if you have a high forehead,' advises Mary. For Kate's rosy flush, apply a pink or apricot blusher on the apples of your cheeks. Nars Motu Tane Face Palette includes a bronzer, blush and highlighter in one. (Rimmel's Kate Moss face palettes are a supermarket option).
3. Brown eyeshadow is most youthful: Use a soft brown or taupe eyeshadow to softly define eyes. A one-step cream shadow can be applied with your finger, or invest in a brown eyeshadow palette to create multiple looks. (Mary recommends Charlotte Tilbury's new Luxury Palette in Copper Charge or Boots No. 7 Warm Nude or Rose Gold palettes, for options sold in New Zealand stores try Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Eyeshadow pots or Essential Multicolour Eyeshadow Palette or Tom Ford Eye Quad in Mink Mirage. From and in supermarkets and variety stores Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo pots and shadow palettes.
4. Emphasise lashes to look less tired: Mascara is the best tool you can use when video conferencing as it frames and opens up the eyes.
5. Define eyebrows to lift the face: Lightly filling in the tops of eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil or tinted brow mascara, like The Duchess of Cambridge, will give your face some authority and lift and frame your features. "Don't over do it, dark heavy brows can pull your face down and make you look tired, so use light and gentle strokes when drawing in," suggests Mary. Benefit Precisly, My Brow is a double-ended tool with a brush to groom and a pencil to define, allowing for subtle application. (Maybelline Ultra Slim Brow Pencil is a fitting match found in supermarkets)
6. Lipstick projects confidence: When you're talking on video conference, everyone is focusing on your mouth, so ensure lips are primed for action by wearing a nourishing lipstick in a flattering shade. "Unless people are used to seeing you in red lipstick, for instance, stick with a classic nude polished lips project confidence and give off a sense of control." For a sunny neutral, like Kate is wearing, Mary's pick is Charlotte Tilbury's K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Stoned Rose. (Try Karren Murrell's Cordovan Natural or Blushing Rose or Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipsticks).
Annabel Jones, UK Daily Telegraph Beauty Editor