Kate Middleton has a budget beauty trick that's “quite necessary”

Posted by
Anna Pollitt
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

There’s no denying, Kate Middleton gives good face. Clear, smooth skin has been her thing since she first came to our attention in her uni days and her subtle, rosy glow still grabs the attention of beauty editors.

‘Well, she’s a bloomin’ duchess’, you may cry (the more cynical adding, ‘we’re probably paying for her to get bathed in Creme de la Mer’). But apparently, that’s not the case.

Remember how Kate did her own bridal make-up? The woman who taught her how to apply that smoky eyeliner, Arabella Preston, has indicated that our future queen’s expensive-looking visage is not the result of a super-premium skincare routine - but a nan’s favourite.

And the surprising secret behind Kate’s flawless complexion is … a basic flannel. Yes, she likely scrubs up using square towel off-cuts that cost about a quid in the likes of Wilko and Poundland, or £4.95 if you want to splash out on the Harrods branded variety.

One of the few beauty cupboard relics the luxury skincare industry hasn’t bothered to rebrand, just the word “flannel” conjures up images of rock hard soap on a rope, pungent Vosene bottles and mud coloured bathroom suites - complete with bidet. Flannels belong in a yesteryear world of dishcloths, peg bags and ornaments that require Brasso cleaner.

That’s all assuming you were born before 1990 – do young millenials even know what a flannel is?

We now have the option of “professional cleansing cloths” made from muslin and coming in at 15 times the price of the good old flannel - but that’s not what our Kate’s all about.

Kathleen Hou, a beauty journalist who interviewed Kate’s make-up artist for US website The Cut, declares flannels, or washcloths as they are known across the pond, are “not really an American thing”. She goes on to explain to readers that they are “a towel with firm but soft fibres”.

Kate Middleton's make-up artist Arabella Preston says flannels are "quite necessary"

“I associate face towels with bacteria and gross little brothers,” she tells Preston. “I’ve used muslin clothes, thanks to the Eve Lom cleanser, but not a washcloth.”

“Oh, but it’s quite necessary,” Preston told her.

Why? Essentially it washes your face “properly” by removing make-up and dirt, while gently exfoliating at the same time.

After two weeks flanneling, Hou is a convert. She declared her skin “looks clearer and better than ever” and said people have even complimented her on her regal glow.

Images: Rex Features, Instagram


Share this article


Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant.