It has been 20 years since the heartbreaking death of Princess Diana, and she left behind a lasting legacy that includes her iconic beauty, style, and grace.
Reflecting back on the late ’80s and early ’90s, one might remember Princess Di’s polished fashion ensembles. Another impeccable detail: her equally perfected make-up looks. During most of her time in the spotlight, the royal wore very clean and classic makeup. However, many people may have missed the bold blue eyeliner moments that set off her big, dreamy eyes.
Princess Diana’s blue eyeliner was an electrifying scene stealer, but maybe not the most ideal choice for someone who isn’t necessarily a celebrity, musician, or artist of sorts, according to her make-up artist, Mary Greenwell.
“She was someone who was in the public eye presenting herself all the time to the public,” Greenwell exclusively tells Yahoo Beauty. “It isn’t particularly appropriate to go on changing your look every five seconds. She did change her make-up a bit. It’s just that it wasn’t changed dramatically. I think dramatic change is not really something for somebody who’s in the White House or in office or in a royal family, as it’s just not really appropriate.”
Princess Diana trusted the insight of her go-to make-up artist at the time, and eventually began wearing softer hues, which evolved into her signature aesthetic.
Regarding her decision to encourage Diana to give up blue eyeliner, Greenwell says, “I think beiges and browns are just so much prettier. Simple as that.” Even though the blue eyeliner was out, there was still a heavy play on eyes when it came to the princess’s makeup. “She felt no need to be showy, so she kept her make-up subtle and appropriate for the occasion,” says Greenwell. “She loved to exaggerate her gorgeous eyes and wear loads of mascara.”
It’s true. Princess Diana had an amazing artist on call for special appearances, but she also was really into make-up and would sometimes even try her own hands at creating looks on herself. “She loved make-up and loved experimenting,” Greenwell says. “It wasn’t to the point of going from green eyeshadow to blue eyeshadow, but just experimenting with ways to bring her eyes out more. It was just much more about really getting her to look absolutely beautiful all the time.”
Greenwell took her job of beautifying the Princess of Wales seriously but absolutely adored being in her company because of her kindred spirit. Greenwell remembers her as “charming, delightful, and friendly” as well as “always present,” thus making it really easy to be in her company.
The celebrity make-up artist, who has worked with everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Naomi Campbell, recently honoured the late royal by sharing a vintage photo on Instagram with a caption that included the line, “Her beauty and sincerity touched us all.”
During the dazzling days of Diana, one could only sit back and imagine how to copy her iconic makeup looks. Luckily now, we have platforms such as YouTube to witness firsthand all the best techniques and tips.
Check out the video below created by makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, which features Greenwell breaking down exactly how to master Princess Diana’s classic makeup.
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