The 6 Brit-Girl Beauty Rules Every Woman Should Follow

Updated 11/15/19

When it comes to beauty, I may be biased, but I think British women do it best. Why? Because we are fearless, whether that means being brave enough to try something different, making a classic look our own or being confident enough to take the less-is-more approach. We also have some brilliant beauty icons to look to for inspiration (well, we never copy), from Kate Moss's rocker hair to Adele's signature liner to Grace Jones's complete fearlessness when it comes to using beauty to make a statement. Essentially, Brit women have it right because they're confident enough to wear a look their way and own it.

Here are six lessons we've learned from these very British icons.

Rule #1: Don't Try Too Hard

british beauty icons - Kate Moss
Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Kate Moss is the queen of the less-is-more approach. From her affinity for an easy smoky eye (that you know she only used a kohl pencil to create) to her deliberately messy rocker hair that says I'm having too much fun to locate my hairbrush, Kate Moss is living proof that you should stay true to yourself.

Re-create Moss's textured waves with Lee Stafford Lived in Spray ($8).

Rule #2: Never Copy

british beauty icons - Alexa Chung
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock; Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

Alexa Chung's beauty vibe is almost always retro, whether it's a nod to the '40s or a twist on the '60s. But as you'll see, she wears it her way. On the left, she mussed those classic retro waves and bronzed up her skin (rather than wearing it pale). On the right, you can spy a nod to a '60s back-combed crown complete with a retro long-parted fringe. But the whole look is super modern thanks to the textured ends and no sign of a '60s liner flick or full-on lashes. It's all about balance.

Rule #3: Find Your Signature

Finding a signature beauty look and sticking to it is far from boring, just take Adele, Naomi Campbell, and the late Amy Winehouse as examples. Sure, Campbell dabbled with textured hair, but this London model has been wearing it sleek and straight way before Kim Kardashian West even knew what straighteners were, while Adele and Winehouse put retro liner back on the beauty map.

british beauty icons - Adele
Jim Smeal/REX/Shutterstock
british beauty icons - Naomi Campbell
JK/KEYSTONE USA/REX/Shutterstock; Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock
british beauty icons - Amy Winehouse
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Rule #4: Be Unexpected

british beauty icons - Cara Delevingne
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

You may think I'm about to talk about Cara Delevingne's brows (I mean, they are great), but no, it's that black line running down her décolletage that piqued my interest. Delevingne kept her makeup classically, well, her—bold brows and sultry smoky eye—but then flipped the script by wearing minimalistic body art on the red carpet.

Rule #5: Master Your Beauty Wardrobe

british beauty icons - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Gregory Pace/REX/Shutterstock; Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley proves that nailing a beauty wardrobe is key to owning it at any event. The Brit model is rarely without a soft brown or golden smoky eye and a little liner, but she has a wardrobe of lipsticks (nude, pink and red) that she will draw on depending on her outfit and the occasion. You may love a nude lip but enjoy playing up your eyes; in that case, find the tones and textures that suit you, and then create a wardrobe of looks. It will save you time and stress before any night out.

Get the look with Rosie for Autograph Lipstick ($13).

Rule #6: Be Brave With Beauty

british beauty icons - Grace Jones
REX/Shutterstock

Of course, it's wonderful to find your beauty signature or a wardrobe of looks you can pull from, but remember that your makeup can be washed off and those hair accessories can be packed away at the end of the day. Feeling experimental? Channel your inner Grace Jones and play around, even if it's just on holiday or at festivals. Beauty should be fun. Jones gets it.

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