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.

The Complexion

After the Rococo era of thickly-painted white faces, heavy rouge, and artificial beauty spots, the Regency era was a breath of fresh air when it came to beauty.

Women enjoyed a little more freedom than their maternal ancestors were afforded. Ladies were encouraged to “take in the air,” with walking, horseback riding, and riding out in open carriages (all of which were favorite activities of Jane Austen’s heroines). For this reason, rosy, naturally-healthy-looking complexions were favored.

Pale skin was still deemed the epitome of attractiveness, as tanned skin would insinuate that you have to labor away outside to earn a living, and therefore meant that you were of lower class.

In order to replicate a Regency complexion, use a tinted moisturizer to achieve, a light, fresh look. I love to create my own, bespoke tinted moisturizer, by mixing Lush Cosmetic’s Color Supplement in Light Yellow with my daily moisturizer.

In order to achieve a natural, rosy complexion, apply a very light peach or pink blush to your cheeks. Instead of contouring or applying color to the apples of the cheeks, focus more upon the area that is directly below your pupil. This doll-like pinch of color will create a natural, flushed look.

The Eyes and Lips

To add subtle definition to the eyes, use a fairly narrow eyeshadow brush to smudge matte brown eyeshadow very close to your eyelash line. Add a matte, cream-colored eyeshadow to your brow bone in order to add dimension to your eye area. I adore Makeup Academy’s Ever After palette for this look, as it’s full of timeless, natural matte shades, which are perfect for creating a subtle and pretty eyeshadow aesthetic.

To get romantic, yet natural, rosebud-like lips, use a lip stain to add color and definition.

Do you have any suggestions or requests for future make-up and hair tutorials? Did you love this look? Send me your pictures and comments on Twitter at @chloe_cmpbll.