The real reason Kate Middleton only wears nude nail polish - and how to recreate her manicure at home

Kate Middleton's nude nails have become a signature look. Apparently this is the reason the Duchess shuns bright colours...

Kate Middleton's nude nails
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(Image credit: Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge reacts as she arrives to visit to Baby Basics baby bank in Sheffield, northern England on August 4, 2020. - Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. In the UK, they are powered primarily by volunteers and typically run on professional referral from services such as health visitors, midwives and social workers. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images))

Royal etiquette is apparently the reason behind Kate Middleton's nude nails.

As one of the most photographed women in the world, the Duchess of Cambridge has fine-tuned her signature beauty looks since joining The Royal Family - there’s the smoky eye, the glossy blow out and the glowing complexion (reportedly courtesy of Trilogy’s Organic Rosehip Oil).

All of which are dialled up or down depending on the official engagement. The Duchess is also not afraid to experiment with new looks as her recent dabble with caramel highlights and Disney-esque ringlets proves. 

But the perennial favourite for her nails remains a barely-there manicure. It's reported that Royal protocol recommends steering clear of bright shades on the nails; in fact, Kate Middleton has never been photographed at a public engagement donning anything other than a neutral hue.

Royal-approved nude nail polish shades

Manicurists champion a clean nude nail as it is not only a timeless classic but also elongates the fingers. The Queen has famously favoured Essie’s pale pink Ballet Slippers polish since 1989. For her wedding day in 2011, Kate Middleton - per her manicurist Marina Sandoval - opted for a mix of “Bourjois So Laque Nail Enamel in Rose Lounge and Essie Nail Polish.”

 Since then, the Duchess has stayed loyal to the same blush shade range.

How to recreate Kate Middleton's manicure

The beauty of Bourjois So Laque Nail Enamel in Rose Lounge is that it is chip-resistant and opaque after just one coat.

We don't know the exact shade of Essie polish the Duchess wore on her wedding day - rumours are rife that it was either Ballet Slippers or Allure - but both shades fit the neutral theme perfectly.

Bourjois So Laque Nail Enamel in Rose Lounge, £6.99, Amazon

Kate Middleton's nude nails, Bourjois So Laque Nail Enamel in Rose Lounge, £6.99, Amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

Essie Nail Colour in Ballet Slippers, £7.99, Feelunique

Kate Middleton's nude nails, Essie Nail Colour in Ballet Slippers, £7.99, Feelunique

(Image credit: Feelunique)

Essie Nail Colour in Allure, £7.99, Boots

Kate Middleton's nude nails, Essie Nail Colour in Allure, £7.99, Boots

(Image credit: Boots)

Trim your nails into a short square shape, then round the edges with a file before applying your chosen polish. Finish with a top coat (Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat is a favourite among manicurists) to add a high-shine and long-lasting finish.

Well, if a £7.99 nail polish is good enough for the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge...*runs to nearest Boots to stock up on the royal-approved Essie colours*.

Fiona Embleton is a beauty writer who is now Acting Beauty Editor at Stylist. She is obsessed with Isabel Marant and cats.