While Kate Middleton is unlikely to ever divulge the secrets of her daily routine (though we’re convinced that an Into The Gloss-style Top Shelf exposé would probably break what’s left of the Internet), the Duchess has certainly fine-tuned her signature beauty look to perfection since joining the royal family. There’s the glossy brunette blow out, dried with a slight wave and plenty of volume, the glowing complexion (reportedly thanks to Trilogy’s cult favourite – and budget-friendly – Rosehip Oil), strong brows and a subtle smokey eye. It’s a classic look, and one that’s worthy of one of the most photographed women in the world.
Just as it’s rare for us to see the Duchess testing out a bold red lip instead of the neutral pink she favours, Kate similarly steers clear of bright shades on her nails: in fact, she’s never been photographed at a public engagement sporting anything other than a barely-there manicure in the lightest shade of blush (though she sometimes plays things a little less safe – shock horror – when it comes to her pedicures). The reason? As with many of those niggling questions about royal behaviour, it’s all a simple matter of etiquette.
Just as the royals have to ensure that their outfits obey a strict set of sartorial rules, their beauty choices are similarly dictated by protocol. According to OK!, certain well-placed sources have let slip that wearing fake nails or coloured nail polish is considered ‘vulgar’ for royal engagements.
Instead of bright colours, the royals are encouraged to favour a neutral hue on the nails. The Queen has famously favoured Essie’s pale pink Ballet Slippers polish since 1989 (her hairdresser reportedly described it as ‘the only colour Her Majesty would wear’); for her wedding day in 2011, Kate took her cues from her grandmother-in-law, opting to wear the same shade when she tied the knot with William. Since then, she’s stuck close to the same formula: a neat manicure in a barely-there colour.
WATCH NOW: Prince William and Kate Middleton's Relationship Timeline
Now Read: Kate Middleton's Best Style Moments
Kate Middleton's Best Fashion Moments
When Kate and William announced their engagement in 2010, Kate wore a sapphire blue Issa dress.
During the President's visit in 2011, Kate greeted the First Lady, Michelle Obama, wearing a nude Reiss dress.
Kate wowed in a Jenny Packham dress and LK Bennett heels when she attended the ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) gala dinner in 2011.
On April 29th 2011, Kate married Prince William and became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. She wore an Alexander McQueen dress, designed by Sarah Burton.
The couple visited Belfast in 2011, and Kate wore a Burberry coat and Marvin K boots.
At the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in 2011, Kate opted for an Alexander McQueen coat.
At Wimbledon in 2011 Kate wore a dress by Temperley London.
Kate looked stunning during the Canadian Royal Tour in 2011, wearing a white Reiss dress.
During the Royal Tour in Canada, 2011, the Duchess wore an Alice by Temperley blouse with Goldsign jeans.
During their Canadian Royal Tour, Kate boarded a plane in a pale yellow Jenny Packham dress.
On the final day of the Canadian Royal Tour in 2011, Kate wore a Catherine Walker dress with LK Bennett heels.
in 2011 Kate visited Copenhagen's Unicef centre wearing a red coat by LK Bennett.
On Remembrance Day in 2011, Kate wore a Diane von Furstenberg coat.
Kate was stunning when she attended the premiere of War Horse in 2012, wearing a Temperley London black lace gown.
in 2012 Kate boarded the Diamond Jubilee flotilla wearing a scarlet red Alexander McQueen dress.
In 2012 Kate wore Zara jeans with a Burberry shirt to visit the Widehorizons Margaret McMillan House.
Kate wore an Emilia Wickstead coat dress at the Thistle Service in Edinburgh in 2012.
During the Diamond Jubilee tour of South East Asia, Kate wore a Jenny Packham dress and LK Bennett heels to visit Singapore's Botanical Gardens.
Pregnant Kate was glowing at the National Review of the Queen's Scouts in 2013, wearing a Mulberry mint green coat and LK Bennett heels.
Pregnant Kate attended the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation in June 2013, wearing a bespoke Jenny Packham lace dress with a peach jacket.
On July 23rd 2013 Kate and William introduced their son, Prince George, to the world's press. Kate looked lovely in a blue polka dot Jenny Packham dress.
At the christening of Prince George in October 2013, Kate wore a pale Alexander McQueen dress.
In April 2013 Kate, along with William and George, landed in Wellington Airport, New Zealand. Kate looked amazing in a scarlet red Catherine Walker coat.
When visiting Whenuapai, near Auckland, Kate wore a striped Breton top with a Zara blazer and J Brand jeans.
Kate arrived at Dunedin International Airport wearing an Emilia Wickstead pleated dress.
The couple visited Winmalee in 2014 to meet victims of the bush fires in the area, and Kate wore a DVF printed dress.
At the Queen's Garden Party in 2014 Kate looked stunning in a lace Alexander McQueen dress.
Whilst pregnant with Princess Charlotte, Kate visited Portsmouth in 2015, wearing a MaxMara coat, Jimmy Choo heels and a clutch by L.K. Bennett.
Kate made her first public appearance since the birth of Princess Charlotte at the Trooping of the Colour in June 2015, wearing a Catherine Walker coat.
For the christening of her daughter, Princess Charlotte, in July 2015, Kate wore an ivory Alexander McQueen dress.
In November 2015 Kate visited Caernarfon in North Wales, and kept warm in a Reiss coat.
During the 2016 tour to India and Bhutan, Kate wore an Emilia Wickstead dress in Mumbai.
Kate wore a pale yellow Emilia Wickstead dress when she arrived in Bhutan in April 2016.
During the Canadian Royal Tour in 2016 Kate wore a scarlet Preen by Thornton Bregazzi gown at the Government of British Columbia reception.
Kate chose a powder blue suit for by Catherine Walker for her visit to the Netherlands - her first solo overseas engagement.
For an event marking World Mental Health Day in 2016, Kate chose a floral patterned dress with pleated front by Kate Spade.
Kate wore a checked Erdem coat for a visit to Manchester in October 2016
For a reception of Team GB athletes at Buckingham Palace, Kate chose a poppy print tea dress by Alexander McQueen
Kate Middleton wearing a £320 white Self Portrait dress at the Recovery Street Film Festival
The Duchess donned a Preen by Thornton Bregazzi dress to the Place2Be Wellbeing In Schools Awards.
In December 2016 Kate attended the Christmas party for volunteers at The Mix youth service.
On St. Patricks day Kate wore a green coat by Catherine Walker. She didn't have time to to change, though, as she had to board a plane to Paris that same day to meet with President Hollande.
Kate dazzled on the Paris royal tour in March 2017. She wore a sparkling Jenny Packham gown to the gala dinner.
When in Paris on the royal tour, Kate wore a pillarbox-red Carolina Herrera coat to watch the Six Nations rugby game.
When visiting the National Portrait Gallery in March 2017, Kate wowed in a forest green lace dress by Temperley London.
During the Paris royal tour, Kate wore a black Alexander McQueen gown at the British Embassy reception.
The Duchess of Cambridge made a day trip to Luxembourg, amid reports the royal family are becoming Britain's "Brexit ambassadors", opting for a chic baby blue dress coat by Emilia Wickstead.
On the first day of Royal Ascot, Kate wore a white lace dress by Alexander McQueen with a matching fascinator.
On 29 June, the Duchess of Cambridge opted for a Gucci dress to the opening of a new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
At day one of Wimbledon 2017, wearing a pretty polka dot dress.
The Duchess wore a pussybow Prada dress in scribbled poppy print for a visit to Kensington Palace's Sunken Gardens, marking the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death
Check-out Kate in this stunning houndstooth coat by Catherine Walker, which she accessorised with a Chanel bag. The Duchess donned this outfit for a royal visit to Sweden and Norway with her husband in January 2018.
Nailing BAFTA pregnancy style (always a tricky category) Kate was radiant in a Jenny Packham gown for the 2018 BAFTAs.
Who's the queen of Alexander McQueen? Kate Middleton is (obviously). The Duchess showed us all how to go about meeting Norwegian dignitaries in style in this show-stopping embellished dress.
Once again Kate delved into her limitless archive of chic coat dress for the 2018 Commonwealth Day service.
For the first pictures of Prince Louis outside of the Lindo wing on April the 23rd, Kate selected a pillar-box red Jenny Packham dress.
Kate (almost) twins with Princess Charlotte For Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding, in the palest yellow Alexander McQueen coat dress.
Tapping into the Lavender trend (as well as the extra-millennial matching tiny bag trend), Kate Middleton wears Lavender Emilia Wickstead for the Mental Health summit.
Kate wore another signature dainty polka-dot dress for a visit to the Evelina Children's hospital.
PSA: Kate Middleton has re-introduced us to the hiking boot. If this look wasn't brilliant enough already - her jeans are reportedly from Zara.
The Duchess won over fashion-editor's nationwide in this peplum Oscar De La Rent skirted suit.
For the 2019 BAFTAs Kate wore a floor-sweeping chiffon ballgown made by British designer Jenny Packham.
This delicate rose-hued gown by Gucci was another major style win for the Duchess of Cambridge as she attended the Women In Finance Gala at the V&A in February.
For her arrival in Northern Ireland Kate Middleton changed up her usual coat-dress ensemble by finishing the look with jeans and heeled boots.
Marking to first day of the Northern Ireland tour, Kate Middleton wore a periwinkle-blue caped Mulberry coat dress.
A pale blue dress was worn with her signature nude heels and a clutch as Kate attended the 50th anniversary of Prince Charles's investiture as the Prince of Wales.
Wearing a red double-breasted coat dress and matching hat for the 2019 Commonwealth Day services in March.
Kate paid tribute to the Irish for the annual visit to the Irish Guards for St. Patrick's Day. Her green coat dress marked another of the Duchess's Alexander McQueen moments.
The Duchess of Cambridge attended the Horse Guards Parade in order to take the salute at the Beating Retreat military pageant for the first time. She wore a Catherine Walker cream coat and a Mulberry clutch bag for the occasion.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Pakistan ahead of their tour of the country. Kate wore a version of the shalwar kameez - a traditional dress and trouser outfit - in beautiful aqua shades, which had been made for her by Catherine Walker.
To visit the Islamabad Model College in Pakistan, the Duchess of Cambridge wore traditional blue kurta and asymmetric dupatta by local designer Maheen Khan with shoes from – wait for it – New Look.
For a visit to meet the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, Kate wore a green tunic by Catherine Walker, white trousers by Maheen Khan, a scarf by Satrangi and earrings by Zeen.
Kate Middleton wears Emilia Wickstead for a visit to St Martins in the Fields to meet victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze in November 2019
Kate Middleton wears Missoni for a reception in Belfast. The occasion was a party in Belfast Empire Music Hall, where both Duke and Duchess celebrated the youth and their achievements in Northern Ireland.
Kate Middleton in an Alexander McQueen gown, Erdem earrings and a Jimmy Choo clutch at the Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in November 2019.
Kate Middleton attended SHOUT's crisis volunteer celebration at Troubadour White City Theatre in London, November 2019. She was wearing a Jacket by Smythson, Trousers from Joseph Fashion and heels by Gianvito Rossi.
Kate attended the 2017 Royal Variety performance in a sheer Alexander McQueen gown, a Jenny Packham clutch with pumps by Oscar de la Renta.
Kate attended the BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards wearing a £395 LK Bennett dress in October 2019
Kate mixes traditional attire with her Asprey earrings and Hampton Canvas trainers.
Whilst attending the National Monument in Pakistan for an event celebrating the best in Pakistan's culture, Kate wore a shimmering green Jenny Packham own and Silver Jimmy Choo heels.