Not for the first time, my inner green-eyed monster teased at the sight of the Duchess of Cambridge last week.
This always bouncing hair dryer. That dreamy shade of brunette, oh so elegantly highlighted. And skin as smooth as golden duchy milk (does Kate even have pores?), With smoldering smoky make-up.
Why doesn't my brown hair look like this? I mumbled something. And how does she make her skin – the same shade as mine – look damp and not pale?
Kate Middleton revealed her new look with lighter hair that many envy while filming in Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum in London ahead of the virtual awards ceremony for Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Before her experience in the popular salon, Claire's hair was short and dark (left) and afterwards (right) she looked like the spitting image of the Duchess of Cambridge. Claire's blazer, £ 250, pants, £ 120, reiss.com; above, £ 20.30, karenmillen.com; Earrings, £ 145, aureejewellery.com.
The truth, of course, is that Kate has a group of trusted professionals who prepared her when she announced the Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner at the Natural History Museum last week.
But there is one man who is perhaps more associated with Kate's fabulous looks than anyone else: the barber, Richard Ward. He's been in charge of Kate's locks since her marriage to Prince William (he also styles the rest of the Middleton family) and it's he who brought her much-imitated blow-drying to life.
So could Richard's team work their magic and give me the ultimate kate-over …
ROLLERS GALORE AND 15 FEET OF EXTENSIONS
One can only wonder what Kate, her sister Pippa and their mother Carole were chatting about while having their hair washed in the Richard Ward salon just off London's King & # 39; s Road. If shampoo bottles could talk, I think …
The salon understandably protects their most famous client and is sometimes positively reluctant to use the dark arts to create this famous follicular Va Va Voom.
As she sat in the chair doing all the work to perfect Kate Middleton, Claire thought of the conversations the Duchess, her sister Pippa, and mother Carole could have if they walked into the same parlor. In the picture, Claire shows her highlights
First, the hairdressers tackled Claire's darker hair and applied a lot of paint to remove the darker tones and give it a rich lighter color, similar to Kate's (pictured).
However, it seems that Richard advises all of his customers to use vitamin supplements to give the hair an "inner" shine and strength and to protect the straighteners.
“The key to a great long hair look is making sure it's in optimal condition. When the hair is healthy, its cuticles lie flat and it reflects light and shines, ”says Richard.
“I advise all of my customers to take vitamin supplements and use styling equipment that causes minimal damage. Think about how you would treat your favorite cashmere sweater and your hair the same. "
As for Kate's slightly more blonde update, it's clear that Richard isn't afraid to make changes to even the most popular hairstyles.
“Mixing up is important. People think that long hair can't be versatile, but a subtle seasonal change in tone can really make an impact. Experimenting with layers and long / side borders allows you to be a "girl with long hair" at heart but nod on the catwalks anyway. "
To get a proper kate-over, I have to address my color first. When she married Prince William in 2011, we shared similar dark brown hair. However, today she has updated her look and softened and brightened it in flattering ways. for a lighter brown with almost golden stripes – a shade some call "bronde".
Speaking to Richard Ward, the barber who created Kate's enviable hairstyle, he told Claire that he advises all of his clients to take supplements to help their hair and use styling products that cause minimal damage
As part of the long process, Claire had several large roles on the top of her head to create the bouncy wave look while lots of people worked around her to create the ideal style (picture)
How can I get lighter without looking brassy? Richard and the colorist Thomas Simons inspect my brown color, which looks pretty flat next to Kate's. “Her hair color isn't that different from hers,” says Thomas.
"She's definitely made things a little easier lately, so we'll do the same for you." Some lighter highlights through the top of the hair adding a little variety and lightening it up. Just something gentle and soft, no harsh bleach. Don't worry, we won't make you blonde! "
He uses this lighter shade to sprinkle highlights through my hair and then wraps each section in foil. Eventually it takes on a darker shade that resembles my natural color and adds some touch-up touch to the roots to get rid of the strange gray that is showing through.
With my color sorted, it's time to work on length and volume.
Richard uses his extension technician Danielle Modlock and uses human hair extensions from Great Lengths to enable me to jump from Kate.
Does the Duchess use them? Unfortunately, there was no way they could comment on this – and as I discover, you'll need a microscope to see if this is the case as Richard makes sure that Danielle dyes my extensions to match the color of my newly dyed hair perfectly.
After they perfected their hair color, 15 feet worth of extensions (as pictured) were applied to their hair and matched exactly to the tones the color specialist had applied to their natural hair
To create Kate Bounce's signature, Richard asked his extension technician, Danielle Modlock, to work on Claire's hair with real human hair extensions from Great Lengths (pictured).
"These extensions use a strip of medicated glue to attach to your natural hair," explains Danielle. “We take two extensions at the same time and place part of your natural hair in between. They put minimal pressure on your own hair and sit perfectly flat against your head.
"The hair itself can be reused for up to a year. However, if your natural hair is growing back and the glue needs to be replaced over time, we recommend removing it and moving it up about every six weeks."
In total, Danielle used 15 inch wide extensions. Each is 12 in long. 180 inches in total – an exceptional 15 feet! – from new hair take me to kates below shoulder length.
I have the color and the volume. Now I absolutely need the jump.
Richard runs stylist Tommy Cracknell, who first sprays my entire head with voluminous spray: "Not only does it add volume, it also prevents static build-up and gives the style a little grip," he explains.
Then he wraps the entire middle section of my hair around large Velcro rollers and gives me a sort of mohawk of back-to-front rollers – which is apparently the secret of Kate's hoplock-like curls.
"This adds volume to the crown and the sinuous curve it has at the front," he promises.
The extensions they used to create the bounce are connected to the natural curls and put minimal pressure on the hair to reduce damage and sit perfectly flat on the head. In the picture, a lighter highlight is added to Claire's dark hair
To add a little variety in the hair and lighten it up, the colorist adds some lighter highlights through the top without the need for a harsh bleach. In the picture, Claire's lighter shows the drying process
As the hair wraps around the rollers, Tommy Blow dries the rest of my hair and runs the nozzle of the hair dryer along the length from root to tip so that the natural hair and extensions sit perfectly together and have a beautiful shiny sheen .
Finally, he takes heated tongs and works his way through my hair in sections, spraying it with hair lacquer before wrapping it around the tongs so that the big waves roll away from my face.
So that's how she does it.
Nine eye shades for a smoking hot look
Kate's makeup is all about the eyes – but her gaze on Monday was smokier and sexier than we've ever seen her.
While Kate is known for doing her own makeup, there is one man who sure knows what it takes to get that regal polish. The famous make-up artist Desmond Grundy takes care of Zara Phillips as well as celebrities like Monica Bellucci and Helena Christensen.
Can he blind me like a duchess? Desmond collects 18 different products – including nine eyeshadows – to continue my kate-over.
"This is definitely a more sophisticated look for Kate," says Desmond. "It's a real step up from their usual natural look outdoors."
A total of 180 extensions that are 15 inches wide by 12 inches long were used to recreate the popular look Kate wore earlier in the week. In the picture, Claire has her hair washed before all treatments
“While sticking to the same color palette that goes with her color – bronzes and browns – and the dark liner she always wears to accentuate her eyes, she has been enhanced with a smoky, dirty eye enhanced by a berry hue complements the lips. & # 39;
To restore Kate's view of me, he started with the base – a mix of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and Pixi Beauty Balm. "Kate has great skin so she doesn't need a heavy foundation, and I can see her using these types of lighter, more sheer surfaces," says Desmond.
For the eyes, he used the Mac Semi Sweet Times Nine palette, a collection of nine eyeshadows that span pale neutrals to dark browns and blacks.
"I wouldn't be surprised if Kate used the same thing, the colors are so similar," suggests Desmond.
Then a smudge of black eyeliner around the upper and lower lids and black mascara lashes.
After a little skillfully applied bronzer, blush, and highlighter to highlight those cheekbones and a combination of berry-colored lip stains and shine to give me the perfect royal pout, I'm almost done …
The last touch – a chic TUXEDO
Natasha Archer has been Kate's stylist since 2014. She is so valued that she was awarded a Royal Victorian Order last year for her services to the royal family. Typically, Natasha will evaluate upcoming trends and discuss possible styles or prints with Kate before reaching out to designers.
Last but not least, Claire paired her new hair with a chic tuxedo, just as the Duchess wore earlier this week (pictured)
If Kate is wearing a tuxedo for the first time, as she did on Monday when she wore one from Alexander McQueen, there's a good chance Natasha was involved.
And it's a perfect choice, says Amy Kester, the Mail's assistant editor: “This was an especially chic outfit for her. Tailored to perfection, this suit worked wonders.
"The tuxedo jacket is a classic style and the slightly puffed shoulders, a growing trend this year, gave it a slight edge and flattered her slim body."
My version is from Reiss, with satin trimmings. The shoulder detail helps make my waist look petite – although admittedly not quite as petite as Kate's.
CLAIRES blazer, £ 250, pants, £ 120, reiss.com; above, £ 20.30, karenmillen.com; Earrings, £ 145, aureejewellery.com.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Femail (t) Kate Middleton