Princess Diana Was a Style Icon, But We Need to Talk About Her Beauty Looks Too

Courtney Higgs
·6-min read

There are few people in history who have been able to command the same level of widespread adoration as the late Princess Diana. Her every move outside the walls of the palace was meticulously documented by photographers, and as such, snapshots of her iconic fashion sensibilities remain a source of inspiration to this day. From her laid-back holiday style to those cool off-duty outfits including jeans and boxy blazers, her influence can still be felt via the wardrobes of everyone from Hailey Bieber to Harry Styles. While her style was certainly talked about more, there’s also no disputing that Her (former) Royal Highness could turn out some major beauty looks.

It might take you a little longer to conjure up mental images of Diana’s most awe-inspiring beauty moments than it would to think of her most enviable gown or chic outerwear looks, but trust and believe that her beauty instincts were just as strong. While most would categorise her beauty aesthetic as relatively tame, those of us with trained eyes recognize her signature blue-eyeliner phase and stunning hair transformations as anything but.

Don't believe us? Keep scrolling for Princess Diana’s 10 best beauty looks of all time, and peep the modern-day products you can use to re-create the iconic looks yourself.

Shimmery Eye Shadow

WHAT: Royal tour of Canada, 1983

WEAR: You might need to zoom way in to see it, but this subtle, shimmery eye shadow adds such a pretty pop of colour to an otherwise subdued makeup look. The shade appears to be a variation of light blue, one of the eye makeup colours HRH was frequently photographed wearing in her early days as a royal. Colourful eye makeup looks seemed to fall out of her rotation as the years went by, and she really found her signature sartorial and beauty looks, but our memories of them will live on forever.

Get the look:

Rituel de Fille Celestial Sphere Eye Soot in Pyxis (£30)

Kosas Cosmetics 10-Second Liquid Eyeshadow in Nitrogen (£26)

Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Royal (£50)

Bright Red Nail Polish

WHAT: The English National Ballet Gala Performance in Budapest, 1992

WEAR: Red manicures were among the most popular '90s nail trends, but not for British royals. The fact that Princess Di routinely wore this shade, despite the fact that it likely irked her famous fam, is one reason her beauty choices should never be categorised as basic.

Get the look:

Dior Vernis Couture Colour Gel Shine Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Massai (£22)

OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red (£13)

Nailberry 5 Free Breathable Luxury Nail Polish in Cherry Cherie (£15)

Intricate Hair Accessories

WHAT: Royal tour of Hong Kong, 1989

WEAR: The princess had gorgeous hair and a collection of top-tier accessories for every occasion. From pretty hats to coordinate with every ensemble to jewel-encrusted tiaras fit for, well, royalty, her hair-accessory game was truly unmatched.

Get the look:

Lelet NY Kiera gold-tone crystal headband (£640)

& Other Stories Pearl Embroidered Alice Headband (£16)

Jennifer Behr Bailey faux pearl-embellished satin headband (£245)

Blue Eyeliner

WHAT: Dinner with the king of Thailand in Bangkok, 1988

WEAR: Dedicated fans know that young Diana was a big fan of blue eyeliner along her waterline. She can be seen in photo after photo with shades from aqua to cyan to cerulean tightly lined along her lower lashes. Not only was this an unexpectedly fun and youthful trick to pull out of her back pocket, but it also became something of a signature look for years until the '90s when she committed to more neutral eye makeup.

Get the look:

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner in Blue Me Away (£21)

Nyx Professional Makeup Slide On Eyeliner Pencil in Azure (£6)

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Chaos (£16)

Voluminous Hair

WHAT: Cannes Film Festival in France, 1987

WEAR: Diana mostly kept her hair cropped short, but a natural-looking wave and tons of volume were never in short supply. Even when tucked under a hat or tiara, her blonde locks always looked feathery and full of life. Flat hair? Never.

Get the look:

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray (£25)

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer (£300)

Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast (£25)

Bold Lips

WHAT: American Red Cross fundraiser in Washington, 1997

WEAR: Lady Di was known to keep her makeup on the neutral side, and where lipstick was concerned, you could pretty much count on her to wear a pretty mauve or light-pink shade on any given day. On the rare occasion that she wore a bolder colour, though, it always looked divine. This glossy coral look, for example, was so beautiful.

Get the look:

YSL Beauty Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-in-Stick Lipstick in Orange Perfecto (£30)

Nars Afterglow Lip Balm in Turbo (£23)

Versed Silk Slip Tinted Lip Oil in Ruby (£10)

Bright Blonde Highlights

WHAT: Fundraiser at Christie's in New York, 1997

WEAR: Diana first stepped into the spotlight in the '80s with dark, wheat-blonde hair that never lacked in style or volume. But as the years went by, her colour brightened to the point of near platinum thanks to some expertly placed highlights. What a colour.

Get the look:

Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde/Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo (£20)

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector (£26)

Bouclème Toning Drops (£25)

Enhanced Eyelashes

WHAT: Haunted premiere in London, 1995

WEAR: Many things changed about Princess Di's beauty preferences over the years, but there's one mainstay that never waned: She loved enhancing her eyes with plenty of mascara. Cameras never captured a lifting strip that suggested that she wore falsies, but nevertheless, her lashes always looked long, dense, and dark.

Get the look:

Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Prime (£19)

Surratt Beauty Noir Lash Tint (£46)

Sweed Lashes Sweed X By Terry Tête à Tête (£16)

Dramatic Eyeliner

WHAT: United Cerebral Palsy Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year Awards in New York, 1995

WEAR: On top of her lengthened lashes, we could also count on Princess Diana to go the extra mile by defining her eyes with dark eyeliner. As she adopted a more neutral makeup aesthetic (this reportedly happened after she met makeup artist Mary Greenwell, who would become her go-to pro), the signature blue eyeliner she would often wear in her younger years gave way to rich black and brown colours smudged out around her top and bottom lashes to really make her blue eyes pop.

Get the look:

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Noir Intense (£22)

Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'N' Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Barbarella Brown (£19)

Maybelline Tattoo Studio Eyeliner Pencil in Deep Onyx (£5)

Slicked Hair

WHAT: Council of Fashion Designers of America Ball in New York, 1995

WEAR: While Diana mostly gave us feathered volume, she took a few opportunities to flex her high-fashion muscle with chic, slicked hair. She wore the look in a few editorial shoots, but it was truly a rare occasion for her to don the style in the wild, as shown above. We have to say, this sleek look really suited her.

Get the look:

Larry King Hair Care A Social Life for Your Hair (£23)

Davines Medium Hold Modeling Gel (£18)

Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray (£17)

Up next: these will be the biggest hair trends in 2021, according to the experts.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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