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Meghan Markle's complete beauty evolution in pictures

Meghan Markle's complete beauty evolution in pictures

The All-American British Royal

Text: Redzhanna Jazmin

We chronicled the Duchess of Sussex's beauty moments, from her beginnings in Hollywood to present day

Meghan Markle is the first of her kind. The LA-based girl got a rough start in Hollywood, taking calligraphy gigs in between acting jobs to pay the bills until her big break in Suits sent her rising up the ranks of Hollywood. A few years, a mutual friend, and a prince later, the actress found herself at the centre of a well-publicised marriage into the British Royal Family. A few years on from that (and a scandalous departure from said family), Markle has once again found herself in the papers, following her surprising tell-all interview with Oprah. All in all, the Duchess of Sussex has had a colourful career.

An outspoken feminist and humanitarian, Markle has been nothing but consistent with her advocacy throughout her career, solidifying her reputation as one of the Most Influential People in the World, according to Time Magazine in 2018. Further, she has gone on to use her platform to advocate for the BLM movement and the mental health crisis, all whilst struggling with her own internal turmoil at the hands of the demands of Royal life and the arguably-racist invasive British Tabloids.

Since being shot into mega-fame, she has garnered as much support as she has criticism. That said, however you feel about the former royal, there is no denying that she has become a renowned beauty and style icon. So, we've decided to take a trip down memory lane and recap some of our favourite looks. 

Pre-Hollywood

Young Meghan

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Here's a rare glimpse at Meghan's natural hair texture: Tight ringlets and coils! She looks fresh-faced and almost unrecognisable—if not for that signature smile, that is.

Foreshadowing 101

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This shot from 1996 shows Meghan posing outside Buckingham Palace as a tourist—also known as her future residence.

Graduating High School

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Pursuing her Communications Major at Northwestern University

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2006

The early days in show business

Deal or no deal

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Here she is, radiant as ever. The eyes are smouldering, the hair is expertly curled and she is positively glowing.

Breaking into Hollywood

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The smokey blue liner and too-light under eye concealer shows us that even the future Royal wasn't immune to the beauty blunders of the 2000s. That said, she still looks dewy and radiant here.

2007

The Big Break

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Markle sports straightened, tousled hair and a deep, smokey eye—this is the makings of her signature look. 

2010

Moving up...

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Meghan switches it up for a hot minute and embraces summer-chic with honey highlights and a couple of face-framing layers. Her makeup is lighter than it has been in previous years.

2011

Meghan Suits Up

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Indisputably her most notable role as an actress, Markle's character Rachel Zane called for her most office-appropriate beauty moments to date.

2012

Meghan's hair game gets experimental

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These shiny, voluminous ringlets are probably thanks to the help of extensions. Plus, Meghan goes a tad redder with her locks while staying true to her classic big-lashes-nude-lip combo.

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Meghan hops on the slicked back pony trend, pairing it with a dark grey smokey eye and a nude lip to accentuate the edgier look.

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The then-actress goes 70's chic with her centre-parted waves and earthy bronze shadow.

2013

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Markle foreshadowed to her signature regal style with this messy chignon at the Golden Globes afterparty.

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Meghan channels Old Hollywood with this polished, side parted sweep.

2014

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Meghan serves pure fire with her sleek straight hair, bronzed glow and signature big, fluttery lashes.

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Meghan dresses for her regal future at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Enduring Vision Benefit—she embraces the bold-brow life while keeping the rest of her look low-key and neutral.

2015

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Meghan sports a braid for the first and only time—and, of course, it was for a Miu Miu event. It's one of the heavier looks she'll sport in her time, and her blue eyeshadow and nude lip combo is such a winner.

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Her voluminous hair is achieved with the help of her stylist. She previously shared her hair secrets with Birchbox, saying "There is nothing like a hair flip! When my hair is feeling a little weighted, Suanne, my hair artist on set, has me bend forward and she sprays a little Oribe Dry Texturising Spray or nothing at all, and then has me 'flip back hard' to give my hair a little extra bounce."

2016

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Markle amps up the drama with this look, going bold on brows, eyes and lips all at once. It won't be the last time we see her sport a berry lip, though.

Hello, Prince Charming

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Here's a lesson in Power Dressing: These polished waves and statement bold red lip are one of our favourite looks of hers of all time. 

2017:

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Her first public appearance as 'Prince Harry's Girlfriend' saw her champion her signature minimalist makeup, complete with some gentle waves. 

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Sleek buns paired with understated makeup soon became her official uniform.

Announcing the engagement

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A big announcement calls for even bigger hair. Meghan flaunts the blow-out of our dreams with this perfect 'do. 

2018:

Royal duties call for notoriously funny hats

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Berets, statement hats—Meghan isn't shy to try them. However, when she does, she does it right: she balances out the look with voluminous locks.

A Royal Wedding

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Significantly less glam than the royal bridal looks that came before her, the messy chignon and understated makeup made Markle's look the most requested bridal look of that year (and many following).

Pregnancy glow

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The Duchess keeps to the royal dress code with her slicked back bun, but glams up her makeup look for the event with a heavier smokey eye.

2019

Top-tier top knots

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This look marks one of the biggest switch-ups in her style since her royal days. The top knot accentuates her best features while maintaining her polished demeanour.

Post-natal glow

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The new mother looked positively radiant after the birth of her son, Archie, in May. Despite having just been through labour, it seems her hair and makeup (and her cadence) are as flawless as can be.

Prim and Proper Christening

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The Duchess opted for dewy skin, a sleek bun under her fascinator and her classic understated makeup for the official portrait following Archie's christening.

2020

Harry and Meghan announce 'Megxit'–that they are stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family

The couple's first public appearance since the announcement

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The Duchess certainly looked a bit more disheveled than her usual polished, regal self while stepping off a flight. Of course, we're speaking in relative terms—she still looks unfathomably put together considering.

The Duchess' last royal events as senior members

Meghan attending the Endeavour Fund Awards, the first royal event after the announcement

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Meghan attending the Mountbatten Festival of Music 

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The last royal event, the Commonwealth Day service in March

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Markle's last few events as a senior member of the Royal Family has seen her go more dramatic with her makeup than, possibly, ever before. Not to say she's pairing red eyeshadow with green mascara (she's still representing the Royals, duh), but her signature your-face-but-better makeup look was sidelined for a heavy copper eye and a berry lip. Both, may we add, were welcome switch-ups in her otherwise consistent beauty routine. 

2021

Harry and Meghan on the Oprah Interview of the century

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In the Duchess' latest appearance, she opts to stay true to her beauty roots as she gets candid about her experiences as a member of the Royal Family and explains her decision to leave for California. Here we see her flaunt her classic deep, smokey eye and nude lip combo. Her lashes are fluttery, her cheeks are rouged with a warm peach and her hair is expertly styled into a low chignon with trendy face-framing pieces set aside. 

What was your favourite look?

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