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Beauty Tips and Tricks from Legendary Starlets

Updated on May 14, 2012
Vintage ad
Vintage ad | Source
Sophia Loren Credit: Kate Gabrielle.
Sophia Loren Credit: Kate Gabrielle. | Source
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn | Source
Joan Crawford Credit: Kate Gabrielle
Joan Crawford Credit: Kate Gabrielle | Source
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe | Source

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.

Sophia Loren

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.

Audrey Hepburn

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.

Joan Crawford

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

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.



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    • Ilona1 profile image

      Ilona 4 years ago from Ohio

      Loved the beauty tips from e of my favorite actresses.

    • maryhoneybee profile image

      maryhoneybee 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Thank you, mizjo! I love Audrey Hepburn, too, she was beautiful and talented. But I couldn't believe her fondness of cigarettes! Ick! Still, she aged very gracefully.

      Thanks for the lovely comment and fan mail!

    • mizjo profile image

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Very nice hub, Maryhoneybee. Audrey Hepburn is my all time favorite star, the epitome of beauty to me. Smoking is bad for your complexion though, as it constricts the superficial blood vessels that supply oxygen to the skin.

      Like Sophia Loren, I believe in olive oil - I rub a little onto my lips to keep them moist and soft. They dry easily in winter.

      Good tips from the beauties of yesteryear, thanks, and welcome to Hubpages.

    • maryhoneybee profile image

      maryhoneybee 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Margarita, I'm glad you enjoyed! I had a lot of fun writing this hub, and so appreciate the positive comments it's gotten.

      Amber, I think we can only hope to look half as good as Marilyn, haha. Her beauty was one-of-a-kind. Thanks for the comment!

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 5 years ago

      i must admit I'm a Nivea fan too but unfortunately I don't look as good as Marilyn!!

    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 5 years ago from Oregon

      Love Sophiea Loren, thank you for sharing her beauty secrets!

    • maryhoneybee profile image

      maryhoneybee 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Thank you very much, Skarlet! I appreciate your nice comment. =)

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      What a brilliant hub! These women are so beautiful and timeless, its great to get their advice. I love the photos you have included too. Voted up!

    • maryhoneybee profile image

      maryhoneybee 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Thank you, wwolfs! Needless to say, I've added olive oil to my grocery list. Haha. Thank you for the comment!

    • profile image

      wwolfs 5 years ago

      Welcome to HubPages. Some very interesting tips from the legendary starlets. Olive oil has so many great uses. The red lipstick trick reminded me of my mother. She would do that if she felt she needed color, and before they started putting creamy blush out in a tube. Thanks for sharing. Nice hub.

      Voted up and interesting!