You have hand-wringing theories on Vera Bates’ suspicious passing. (It was Sir Richard, with a pie, in the scullery.) You know what it feels like when errant maids burst into luncheon clutching the issue of a dead major from the Great War. You’ve been known to query “What is a week-end?” for obvious reasons.
You are a Downton Abbey fanatic, a woman who dreams of flawless skin tone, marcelled waves of hair, and the perfect fit of a lady’s maid cap. Whether you are found upstairs, downstairs, or in flagrante delitco (Edith), your Downton beauty dreams can be realized. Hide your dress shirts—here’s our guide to the best Dowager Countess-approved beauty products for a Downton Abbey glow.
Countess Cora’s Complexion of Cream
Hail Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, American ex-pat, wearer of excellent necklaces. Brought to us by Elizabeth McGovern, one of our favorite faces from the 1980s, lovely Liz has managed the decades without bothering to age. Lucky for us, the Countess Cora glow is attainable for all. Try Josie Maran’s Argan Illuminizer ($28), a skin brightener which makes you look like you’re traveling with your very own English lighting crew. Suitable for all skin tones, it’s free of cosmetics nasties like parabens and fragrance.
Lady Sybil’s Lustrous Locks
Lady Sybil eschews titles, covets harem pants, and runs off with angry Irish chauffeurs—all the while sporting hair so shiny and thick that you wonder if she’s really just Kate Middleton in disguise. How can the rest of us achieve the flowing mane of this aristocrat of the people? Try Yarok’s Hair and Scalp Serum, Feed Your Youth ($26). Containing a blend of avocado and yarrow oil, this fragrant essential oil concoction leaves your hair feeling healthy and conditioned. Just add chauffeur.
Anna Bates’ Nude Lip of Truth
Lady’s maid Anna Bates (nee Smith) is the trusted loyal friend to both Crawley and crew. Not only does she know how to arrange an heirloom tiara on your bangs, she can be counted on to drag your lover out by his heels after he collapses on top of you, dead. Know how else Anna Bates rocks? She’s reminded us that a nude lip works perfectly on a natural face, especially when one is trying to free her imprisoned husband from a life behind bars. For Anna’s honest pout, try Nobody’s Baby from Ilia Beauty ($24). This lipstick is made from 85% certified organic botanicals, which act as an intense moisturizer. Ilia Beauty offers several natural shades suitable for all skin tones.
Lady Mary’s Eyebrows of Magnificence
As the Dowager Countess informs us, “Nothing succeeds like excess.” Obviously, she’s referring to Lady Mary’s eyebrows, which are so perfectly groomed that she need only raise them ever-so-slightly for eloquence. (Or to leap off her face to punch Matthew while when he’s hemming and hawing over accepting an inheritance.)
For the less-bionic eyebrows of the world, there is still hope. Jane Iredale’s Bitty Brow Kit ($27) includes three brushes, a transparent botanical brow wax, and pigmented brow powder which works on all complexions. This cruelty-free product is also vegan and free of gluten.
Dear Daisy’s Youthful Glow
Yes, there’s much talk about skin tone with the ladies of Downton, but an English skin isn’t famous the world over for nothing. It’s Daisy Mason, our kitchen maid, who scores the win for the best peaches-and-cream complexion below stairs. (Apparently, laboring over a hot stove renders the widow Mason inexplicably apple-cheeked.) For Daisy-rific skin tone, try the Bearberry Skin Balancing and Toning Mist from John Masters Organics ($20.00). It offers up a pH balancing toning solution to tighten pores and nourish the skin. Made with certified organic ingredients, it is also cruelty-free—just don’t tell Thomas or O’Brien.
Images courtesy of PBS.