— The Beauty Files

Jane Austen-inspired hair and makeup tutorial

The passionate, headstrong, and naturally beautiful heroines of Jane Austen’s works still resonate with audiences more than 200 years after their creation. Austen’s females positively bounce off the page, and embody the Regency period’s classic beauty standards.

I’ve created an easy, Regency-inspired hair and makeup guide. This pretty-yet-minimal makeup look is perfect for blustery, autumnal days. It keeps your hair neat and away from your face, and the makeup is virtually smudge-proof!

The Hair

“She looks very well, and her hair is done up with an elegance to do credit to any education.”

Jane Austen, 1813

It’s easy to replicate a Regency-esque hairstyle. Section off the top half of your hair and create a soft bun. Using a hair donut will add volume and help create a nice, neat shape. If you wish to add volume and create a more texture and modern look, lightly backcomb your hair before styling it into a bun.

Take the remaining, lower section of the hair and create braids. Vary the thickness of the braids for a more modern look. Wrap one braid around the base of the bun, and fix the rest across the crown of your head, so that they resemble hair bands. Secure with bobby pins and hair spray.

Pull down some tendrils and lightly curl them for a romantic look!


The Face

Though the ladies of the Regency era favored the ‘no make-up’ look, you can achieve a fresh and flawless Jane Austen-inspired look by using certain techniques and products.

The Eyebrows

Ladies would not have plucked/waxed/threaded their eyebrows in the Regency era. In fact, in the early 1700s, ladies would use mouse fur to add volume and definition to sparse eyebrows!

Matthew Prior alluded to this practice in a 1718 poem:

“Depends our human joy or sorrow;

If we don’t catch a mouse to-night,

Alas! no eyebrows for to-morrow.”

However, professionally speaking, I don’t recommend this method. Instead, use an angled brush and brow powder, or an eyebrow pencil, to define your brows. Rather than drawing one, long line through your brows, I recommend employing short, natural strokes in order to replicate your eyebrow’s natural texture and shape.

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