The elegant television sensation Downton Abbey, focuses on the Crawley family and their servants. Ironically, Lady Mary Crawley is the eldest daughter – I am also the eldest Crawley daughter. While we have many similarities, I live in entirely a different era; but enough about me and back to Downton Abbey beauty secrets and tips.
Natural Beauty – the Crawley women would have used crushed berries and lemon juice for their makeup. Yes, makeup styles have drastically changed over the past decade.
The most important trick for maintaining an even-toned Edwardian complexion, has nothing to do with makeup…yes, seriously. Every day, sunny or not, wear sunscreen with SPF 30. Edwardian-era women were well fed and groomed with plenty of country walks. They would spend countless hours at their mirrored vanities, as loyal maids would brush out their hair and help them prepare for dances and other events.
To achieve that subtle, lit-from-within glow translated to illuminating foundations to promote your “phenomenal lightness”. Try a find layer or light reflective pink primer, followed by a layer of foundation. The radiance of the pink will glow through the foundation very subtly, giving the girls that fresh, healthy, porcelain complexion. Never powder, it deadens the skin.
For doe eyes, simply apply a matte pale pink all over your eyelids, then use a matte brown and blend it into the socket line in a round shape (this was ideal in the twenties) and finish off with a mid-tone under the lower lashes. On the set of Downton Abbey, all of the actresses were asked not to pluck their eyebrows from the day they were casted. Historically, women of that era weren’t introduced too much to today’s cosmetic line – for example, mascara was forbidden from the set. Brows were left soft and natural, eyelashes mascara free.
For rose-bud lips, apply a sheer stain in matte red.
If you’re aiming for a particular look of one of the three Crawley sisters, remember that they each have their own beauty personality, but yet still fit in the era.
Lady Mary (the eldest sister) has a soft and serene, yet powerful and strong makeup look. Lady Mary’s look differs from her sisters with her strong brows and soft pink lips. She always looks a little more polished and groomed. You can achieve this look with tinted moisturizer, natural looking matte lip stain and a hint of cream blush.
Sybil Crawley (the youngest sister) has a very young, fresh, and romantic look. She is unknowingly sexy and demure without screaming “look at me.” Her makeup is different from her sisters in that there is a more youthful rosy flush to her cheeks and lips. This look can be achieved with a little bit of concealer in the areas that are needed (under eyes, blemishes, etc), a curl to the lashes to give you that “doll-eyed” effect, then use a multi-function cheek and lip stain in a rosy hue.
Edith Crawley (the middle sister) has a very natural and minimal look. She is classic beauty without trying too hard or even realizing her own unique beauty. The best way to achieve this look is to remember to keep it MINIMAL! Spot coverage with concealer where needed, brush brows up, and use a tinted lip balm.