The Bridgerton Glow-Up Effect: Season 3 Edition


Dearest gentle readers,

This social season, the ton is abuzz with the enchanting phenomenon of the “Bridgerton glow-up,” and all eyes are drawn to a scintilating romance between Miss Penelope Featherington and Mr. Colin Bridgerton. As this author dives headfirst into the preliminary part of season 3, she can see that the “diamond of the season” effect is in full swing— gone are the demure pastels that dictated characters’ identities with Penelope’s canary-yellow gowns (as lady danbury says an “eye-burning yellow) replaced by gorgeous hues, less ostentatious jewellery, and intricate textiles and her hairstyles are looser and more elegant, with her radiating brighter than ever before. This author overheard Nicola Coughlan herself call this her ‘Pretty Woman’ moment.

Prepare yourselves, dear readers, for a spectacle unlike any other, complete with glamorous outfits brimming with romance and intrigue. Aside from tales of love and lust, keen observers have remarked upon their sumptuous shift in appearance. Bridgerton has masterfully woven beauty and makeup into the storytelling of both their leading characters for this social season. Here is more on this:

Penelope Featherington


Each social season has told a story, with perfect nods to the Regency era in clothes, jewellery, hair, and makeup, and these facets have in turn shown the development of each character. In the previous season, it was clear who was a Featherington and who was a Bridgerton, but now since the audience knows each character better, there appears to be more room to experiment with their appearances as they evolve emotionally. Every season brings in new leading characters, including Miss Penelope Featherington—her ‘glow up’ appears to be part of a transformation of her childish cadence from previous seasons. Let’s break it down:

Penelope Featherington in Season 1


Penelope is a young girl, a child, and this is very well reflected in season one; all of her round features, particularly her eyes, are highlighted. Everything was round, with over-rouged cheeks and tight curls. She is supposed to be the wallflower who literally falls into the wall, so you can’t see her and that was very well achieved.

Penelope Featherington in Season 2


Then, in season two, she tries to become a woman. Some things work, while others don’t, such as the process of becoming a confident woman. There are attempts to make her look slightly older and more sophisticated by changing her hairstyle; instead of tightly-bound curls, we see Penelope’s curls becoming looser over time representative of her growing into her character and revealing herself as Lady Whistledown. It’s the epitome of coming-of-age hair, but her clothes stayed in the same pastel colour palette, and her makeup remained rosy.

Penelope Featherington in Season 3


In this season, after being under her mother’s thumb and potentially proving something to everyone and Colin, she realises she needs to do something to get out of the house. So, she seeks assistance from the modiste because she desires to seduce someone in order to marry and to get away, and this is where she undergoes her transformation instead of solely haphazard splash of colour onscreen, we see deep greens and gorgeous baby blues.

It appears that her makeup artists have made the angles around her eyes more siren-like, as if they are attempting to snatch and lift her up to appear less innocent, and it appears that they have succeeded. They also used all the lines to “lift cheekbones up to God.” Penelope plays around with her appearance, and tries to find her own version of glamour. So, throughout the season, she evolves visually as she seeks to discover herself and secure her future.

Minor spoilers ahead so if you haven’t watched yet, skip this—

There is a scene where Penelope has rhinestones in the corner of her eyes. It’s a simple beauty trick; she’s hoping to find a husband and that he’ll notice a glint in her eye. Though a minor detail, it is all part of Penelope’s slightly clumsy seduction game to find her husband.

Much like the chrysalis stage of a butterfly’s life cycle, Penelope experiences moments of growth and introspection, hidden from the world’s gaze in season 2. Her intellect, wit, and resilience gradually emerge, transforming her into a confident and formidable individual. Finally, in season 3, she emerges from her cocoon of self-doubt, Penelope unfurls her wings, and blossoms into a vibrant and empowered woman, capable of standing on her own and shaping her destiny and the ‘glow-up’ is reflective of exactly that.

Colin Bridgerton


Colin Bridgerton’s transformation from peripheral character to leading man has resulted in what fans of the show refer to as the “Bridgerton” leading-man glow-up. Earlier seasons found him plucky and boyish, dressed in jaunty pastels and he had a “boy-ish” haircut that represented his youth, but in Season 3, we see Colin transition from a boy to a man as he returns from his summer travels across Europe. He comes back a new man, with a darker palette reflecting a new worldliness with an element of “swagger.” The internet has buzzed this look the “sexy pirate” and we agree.

Yours Truly,


- Intern, Elle India

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