I'm in My Elizabeth Bennet Era—16 Products I'm Using to Re-Create Her Look

1x1_Listing Image
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As someone who recently reentered her Elizabeth Bennet era, I'm finally appreciating long hemlines and cracking open the books that have been collecting dust on my nightstand. I've always admired how the influence of Jane Austen's 1813 romantic novel Pride and Prejudice has withstood the test of time and feel just as strongly about Joe Wright's 2005 film adaptation. The film stars Keira Knightley as the novel's lovable yet prideful protagonist and Matthew Macfadyen as her tortured love interest. Nearly 20 years later, it maintains its popularity among a new generation of viewers, particularly when it comes to discussions about its aesthetic.

It was no surprise to me that the movie's signature "no makeup" makeup currently has my generation's attention. However, it should be noted that the film's lead makeup artist Fae Hammond has maintained that there was no makeup used, perhaps raising more questions than answers. In February, a TikTok video questioning the cosmetic products used to create the famed look went viral. "I will forever be haunted about the makeup products/lip combo that happens in Pride and Prejudice, specifically for Keira Knightley, because there are claims that there was no makeup on that set," said the video's creator, Sam. "Every time I rewatch this movie, I think about it. It's flawless. It's perfect. … That's what I want." Of course, with how gorgeous Knightley looked in that movie, who wouldn't want to pull off something similar?

The Products Behind the Look, Revealed

On March 2, one of the film's stars—Jena Malone, who played the spirited Lydia Bennet—stitched Sam's video to shed some light on the celebrated makeup. "I think that film has such a beauty to it, you know, in the way it was art-designed and the production design and the cinematography. Looking back on that, it just feels so special," stated the actress in her "get ready with me" video. Malone then acknowledged the platform's newfound interest in the movie's on-set makeup, drawing a comparison between the film's approach to the "no makeup" makeup look and the influence of TikTok makeup tutorials on modern-day beauty trends.

She continued to discuss the role of makeup in Pride and Prejudice as she applied foundation to her face. "It's such a big part of the world now, getting ready and looking filtered perfect," she said. "I love that people respond to that film and the 'no makeup' look." She then confirmed the lineup of cosmetic products used by Hammond on set: sunscreen, eyebrow makeup, lash curlers, and beetroot. Using Malone's ID'd products as guidance, I've compiled 16 additional ones that can deliver a makeup look Elizabeth would love if she lived today.

For the Radiant Complexion

Pride and Prejudice 2005 Beauty

(Image credit: Alex Bailey/Shutterstock)

After introducing the heavily debated subject, Malone addresses the topic of the seemingly flawless complexions sported by the Bennet sisters, especially that of the film's protagonist. Contrary to popular belief, Malone claims that the makeup artist on set opted out of modern-day complexion products in favor of sunscreen. While it remains unconfirmed if the sunscreen used was tinted, it's easy to create a similar look with tinted serums and moisturizers that provide buildable coverage.

For the Naturally Flushed Cheeks

Pride and Prejudice 2005 Beauty

(Image credit: Alex Bailey/Shutterstock)

Whether we saw Knightley's Elizabeth dancing a duet with the esteemed Mr. Darcy, questioning her life's choices on a cliff's edge, or spending quality time with her sisters in the parlor, she was never spotted without rosy cheeks. According to Malone, this was created using something that could be found in the gardens of many 18th century English countryside homes: beetroot. If you don't have beetroot on hand, consider giving one of the juicy blushes below a try.

For the Groomed Eyebrows and Eyelashes

Pride and Prejudice 2005 Beauty

(Image credit: Working Title/Shutterstock)

According to Malone, the cast wore their natural brows with a little makeup to keep them groomed and tidy for when they stepped in front of the camera. Elizabeth's bold, full brows perfectly frame her expressive brown eyes, allowing viewers to experience every motion of our beloved protagonist. Opt for an eyebrow pencil to fill in any sparse areas and give your eyelashes a nice curl to re-create the look.

For the "Just Kissed" Lips

Pride and Prejudice 2005 Makeup

(Image credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock)

While Malone states that beetroot alone was used on the lips of the Pride and Prejudice cast for a little bit of added color, it's safe to assume that there may have also been some lip balm in play to keep lips soft and healthy for their close-ups. Below are four lip balms and treatments I swear by that provide a rose-colored tint while also nourishing, smoothing, and plumping them.

Maya Thomas
Assistant Beauty Editor
Maya Thomas is Who What Wear's assistant beauty editor based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Her strong love for all things beauty and fashion stems from a strong childhood interest in the fine arts. During a gap year spent in Paris studying the history of French fashion, she shifted her focus to English literature and journalism as a student at Loyola Marymount University with the goal of one day pursuing a career in fashion. After graduating in May 2021, Maya began freelancing for Parade.com as a contributing commerce writer while also building a following on her lifestyle blog, Itsmayalala.com. When she's not writing, Maya spends her free time catching up on reading, perusing art galleries, and enjoying a night out at the ballet every now and then.