When it comes to makeup, Kate Middleton is no risk taker. She is faithful to her signature kohl-rimmed eyes. Her eyebrows are impeccably groomed and clearly defined. Her cheeks are either rosy or peachy, depending on the occasion, and her lips are usually gently dabbed with gloss. But where she does have a little fun is in the hair department. While she was still “Waity Katie,” Kate Middleton’s bouncy mane began a salon frenzy known as “the Kate Middleton blowout.” This year, while staying true to her English Rose style, the freshly minted Duchess got playful with her long brunette locks with five distinctly gorgeous looks.

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1. The blowout
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On her first visit to the United States, the Duchess of Cambridge attended a British Academy of Film and Television Arts event in Los Angeles in July. Wearing a dreamy lilac Alexander McQueen silk chiffon gown, she let her hair down in classic Kate side-swept style, with lustrous, bouncy waves. She kept her face natural and clean, opting for her usual palette of rosy cheeks and lips, stealing spotlight from even the brightest of Hollywood stars. Check out more of Kate’s looks form her North American tour here.

2. The side ponytail

Mere months before she became the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate sported an adorable side ponytail topped with a Vivien Sheriff Millinery pheasant feather and brown felt fascinator for her first public engagement with Prince William in Anglesey. With her cheeks perfectly sculpted in a peachy tint, Kate was all smiles as the wind eventually swept away her curly hair in all directions. The earthy tones of this look made her appear very warm and approachable, winning the hearts of everyone in sight.

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3. The half-up updo

Last April, the whole world watched as Kate walked down the aisle in her stunning Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen lace gown to marry her Prince. She also famously, and masterfully, did her own makeup, perhaps being the only royal bride in history to do so. But her longtime hairstylist, Richard Ward, was responsible for her classic half-up, half-down coif, with glossy cascading ringlets. Kate wanted for William to recognize her when she walked into Westminster Abbey, wishing to appear as natural as possible under the circumstances. This look certainly inspired many brides to ditch the updo and take a more relaxed direction.

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More covetable beauty looks from Kate Middleton on the next page …

4. The chignon

Fresh off her honeymoon, she attended the Epsom Derby to cheer on the Queen’s famous horse, Carlton House. For this hot summer day, Kate pulled her hair back with a loose chignon that sat at the nape of her long neck. She topped it off with a weather-appropriate straw cappuccino coloured fascinator by Whiteley. This prim and proper look is one of Kate’s most sophisticated of the year, and is hopefully one of many chignons we’ll see on her.

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5. The classic ponytail

Looking very nautical in a cream cable-knit dress by Alexander McQueen while visiting the Province House in Charlottetown, PEI, Kate sported a classic ponytail sans fascinator, a rare occurrence. Since the dress was sportier than the usual shift dresses she usually dons, the ponytail was an ideal choice. Pulling her hair away from her face allows for her immaculate complexion and incredibly high rosy cheekbones to shine for the cameras.

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