What Pippa Middleton's Real Skin Looks Like Without Makeup

It's rare to see the royal family's leading ladies without makeup, and there was a time that throne-adjacent Pippa Middleton really seemed to pile it on. However, she doesn't always crown her pores with a generous helping of bronze goop.

While Pippa is no princess like her sister, Kate Middleton, she was famously christened with the title "Her Royal Hotness" by the press after serving as Kate's maid of honor at her 2011 wedding. On that joyous occasion, everyone seemed too distracted by the view of the back of Pippa's pristine white dress to pay much attention to her beauty look, which included a generous amount of dark, matte foundation. However, eyes eventually drifted upward, and with Pippa's newfound notoriety came scrutiny of her appearance. 

Vanity Fair observed that Pippa's deep tan was "the color of caramel cake frosting," and of her heavy-handed eyeliner use, HuffPost wrote that it was similar to Elizabeth Taylor portraying Cleopatra. StyleCaster, meanwhile, observed that both Middleton sisters shared their eyeliner obsession with their mother Carole Middleton, who has been accused of plotting Kate's marriage to Prince William. There might be something to Carole's beauty trick, as one of her daughters caught the eye of royalty and the other married a billionaire. (Pippa's husband is hedge fund manager James Matthews.) 

Pippa seems to find it hard to keep her hands off the eye makeup no matter the occasion, but she will sometimes skip foundation and reveal her natural skin.

Pippa Middleton's freckles appear when she's indulging her competitive nature

Pippa Middleton is an adventurous athlete whose sports of choice call for her to spend a lot of time outdoors. She travels the globe to participate in challenges that push her body to the limit, such as the Great Wall Marathon in China, the 3,000-mile Race Across America (RAAM) cycling challenge, and Sweden's Ötillö SwimRun Championship, which consists of a 6.1-mile swim and 40.3-mile run. While putting on makeup for such grueling feats can seem a bit pointless due to the possibility of perspiration washing it all away, some sweat-resistant cosmetic formulations are impressively effective. Still, it seems that Middleton decided to skip the waterproof foundation completely when she participated in the Patrouille des Glaciers ski-mountaineering race in 2016.

The grueling endurance challenge requires competitors to complete a roughly 35-mile trek through the Alps, part of which requires skiing. Middleton looked shockingly fresh-faced after completing the race, and her shimmery eye makeup had even remained intact. Her skin, however, looked totally bare, providing a rare look at her smattering of freckles.

The bronze glow that Middleton was once known for was also nowhere in sight. In 2011, Really on Freeview conducted a study and found that she had the "most desirable" celebrity tan in the U.K. Per the Daily Mail, Middleton's sun-kissed skin tone was dubbed "Royal Mocha." However, not everyone was a fan of her dark tan.

Pippa Middleton was praised for toning down her tan

Pippa Middleton made Radar's list of the "Worst And Fakest Celebrity Tans Of All Time" for once sporting an unnatural orange hue. It looked like she had borrowed some of Donald Trump's makeup, and it was not making her skin look great again. Sometimes, Middleton's skin had that tell-tale self-tanner tinge of marmalade, but there was also speculation that she was spending too much time letting the sunshine dry roast her dermis. "Some experts have blamed sun damage for her leathery-looking skin," the Daily Mail wrote in 2018. At least we do know that she wears sunscreen; James Matthews was photographed applying it to her back in 2018. It's also a good thing that she possesses the mental equivalent of retinol. After getting engaged to Matthews in 2016, Middleton told the Daily Mail, "I have had a few years of being in the public eye and I have developed something of a thick skin."

Middleton may also be capable of reading criticism of her looks and taking it constructively. When she got married in 2017, some outlets gushed that she had shaved years from her appearance by skipping the dark bronzer. Her skin was also much lighter than it once was. "Pippa appears to have started wearing more SPF in recent years which has restored her youthful, glowing complexion," makeup expert Raihana Valu told the Daily Mail. Valu also observed that Middleton had toned down her beloved eyeliner, which was another marked improvement.