Beauty Tips and Tricks from Legendary Starlets
Our idea of beauty has changed drastically over the years. Gone are the days when a girl's best friend was her pencil skirt, and she didn't leave the house until she perfected her pin-curls. But, some looks are still strived for, and that includes the flawless skin and hourglass figures of stars past. They recognized good old-fashioned exercise and healthy eating as key, but here's some tips and tricks from them you may not have known.
You can tally it up to good genes, but Sophia Loren knows what she's doing. At almost eighty years old, she's still drop dead gorgeous.
Sophia Loren has written the book on beauty--literally. She penned Women and Beauty, published in 1984, and a cookbook called Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories in 1998. She once said, "Everything you see I owe to spaghetti." If that's true, I know what I'm eating for dinner tonight.
Another of her beauty secrets is olive oil. Sophia’s Mediterranean diet ensured that she was able to include at least two tablespoons of the stuff in her food every day, while routinely rubbing a small amount into her skin kept her complexion glossy and moisturized. She even added a few capfuls into a hot bath for a nourishing skin soak.
Although she was a lifelong smoker, Audrey Hepburn aged beautifully and gracefully. How did she do it? "I love to walk, so I do get lots of air... lots and lots of oxygen."
Audrey also said, "I've a tremendously good appetite--I eat everything, everything--but as soon as I'm satisfied, a little hatch closes and I stop." Sounds like good advice! Portion control is key in maintaining a healthy weight, and it's clear Audrey knew that. At 5'7" she weighed a lean 115 pounds.
Another beauty secret of Audrey's was a little someone named Dr. Erno Laszlo. I'd never heard of him, either, but apparently he was the go-to guy for many of Hollywood's starlets, including Grace Kelly. Audrey is quoted as saying, "I owe 50% of my beauty to my mother and 50% to Erno Laszlo." Lucky for us, Erno is still in the business of making beauty products fit for the starlets.
I'm a believer in the powers of gum. Evidently, Joan Crawford was, too. She didn’t use fancy products to keep her legendary face smooth and taut – she chewed gum in the belief that it firmed up her jaw and helped to drain the toxins out from under her chin. She was also religious about her cleansing regime, and would splash her face 25 times with ice cold water after every wash. This far surpasses Marilyn Monroe's 15 (more on her soon).
She did more than rinse her face with cold water, however. She also demanded that it be cold, almost freezing, on the sets of all her pictures. She felt this helped with her makeup and her skin clarity. I don't know about all that, but clearly she was doing something right. Joan maintained a strong, striking beauty all her own.
Marilyn Monroe, arguably the pinnacle of female beauty. Decades after her death, women--and men--still admire her looks. She was one of a kind, but she left us with some of her beauty tips and tricks.
Marilyn may have been on to something with her ice cold baths, seeing as this reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. It's even recommended to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Rumor has it Marilyn would add a drop of her favorite perfume, Chanel No. 5, into the freezing tub.
When not wearing makeup, she would apply lanolin or olive oil to her face as a protecting agent, and she once told photographer Bert Stern in 1962 that she always used Nivea Skin Moisturizing Lotion.
Last but not least, Marilyn, like Sophia Loren, was a pasta eater. This goes against what I've heard almost everywhere else, but the proof is in the pudding! Or in this case, pasta.
Other tips and tricks from the retro era:
For a homemade mask to soothe rough, dry skin, mix a half a cup of buttermilk and add just enough cornmeal to make a stiff paste. Apply the paste to the neck and face with your fingertip, working it in well. Leave on for twenty minutes, then wash away with warm water.
Oh, the benefits of olive oil. I keep getting hit with them, and the more I hear, the more I'm intrigued. Back in the day, olive oil or petroleum jelly was applied on top to make the brows shine. (That's when women didn't shave off their eyebrows completely and pencil them in with charcoal.)
Red lipstick had more uses than perfecting the pout. Women would rub a little of their lipstick onto a rag and then rub in circular motions onto the cheek. Beats pinching your cheeks every few minutes to keep them rosy!
I'm game for most of these tips and tricks, but one thing I can't wrap my head around? College classes on how to properly wash your face. No, I'm not kidding. Have a look.