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How Princess Diana broke royal protocol with her manicure

School yourself in the fashion icon’s beauty tricks

Carla Challis
Carla ChallisCommerce Partnerships Editor
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From her 80s satin poufball dresses to that so-called revenge dress, Princess Diana was a true fashion icon, adored by not just the public but fashion insiders too. Style aside, Princess Diana’s hairstyle and makeup made a permanent mark on the beauty world too with her look being one of the most iconic, even to this day. So what lessons can we learn from her beauty routines? Here’s a few to steal:

Invest in your skin

princess diana skin

Skin is always in, and Princess Diana was religious with her skincare regime. Diana’s former make-up artist Mary Greenwell has revealed over the years how Diana always cleansed, toned and moisturised, and always removed her make-up at the end of the day. Diana’s routine might seem simple by today’s standards but you don’t have to have an 11-step programme to achieve healthy, happy skin – make like Diana and go down the basic but effective skincare route. 

WATCH: Princess Diana's enduring fashion legacy

Don’t forget your fragrance

princess diana beauty fragrance

Princess Diana is said to have always worn fragrance, and never left the house without a spritz of Hermes 24 Faubourg. Mix it up depending on your mood or the occasion or find your signature scent and stick to it – there's nothing quite as chic, is there?

Find what suits your hair, rather than following the trends

princess diana beauty hair

Princess Diana’s hairstyle was the Rachel from Friends cut in her day – women went crazy for her textured pixie ‘do. While it wasn’t in fashion at the time (everyone was sporting long, puffy 80s hair) her cut soon became iconic because it suited her so well. The lesson here? Follow what suits your face not what's in vogue.

Never match your eyeliner to your eye colour

princess diana beauty eyeliner

Princess Di was a big fan of blue eyeliner – until she met make-up artist Mary Greenwell, who discouraged the bleu and steered the princess towards using black liner - sparingly - and plenty of mascara. "Blue eyes should never wear blue pencil or shadow–it dulls your eyes!” Mary explained.

Break the rules with your manicure

princess diana beauty nails

While the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex stick to nude or pale-toned manicures, Princess Diana was a rebel with hers, often choosing red nails for important events which was considered against royal protocol. Do a Diana and extend your personality to your nails.

Remember to blush and bronze

princess diana beauty blush

Diana’s healthy glow is probably down to her DNA and a super healthy diet, but it could also be down to her love of blushing and bronzing; she’d apply blush to the apples of her cheeks (try a creamy formula for a natural finish) and dust bronzer along the outside of her face. Follow her cue for an easy, breezy, fresh flush.

SEE: All the times Kate Middleton pays homeage to Princess Diana

Find the fun in exercise

princess diana exercise

As well as jogging around Kensington Park Gardens and popping to Chelsea Harbour Club, an exclusive gym, skiing and dancing were big loves of Princess Diana’s; part-exercise, part hobbies, they surely helped to maintain her trim figure. Finding a fun workout means you’re less likely to skip it. Try workout trends like mini-trampolining, Beyonce and Britney dance workouts or indoor rowing, dubbed the new spin, to keep things interesting.

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