9 Beauty Tricks From History That Really Work

Recent technological advancements in the beauty industry are changing the average beauty routine in major ways. High-tech products and expansive rituals are popping up at a rapid pace, taking simple techniques and complicating them into oblivion. Sometimes this is for the best, but often simple beauty tricks from history can get the job done just fine. From livening up dull skin to creating the perfect curl, there are dozens of new products that could be used to get the job done, but a quick search throughout history will reveal a cheap, quick, and easy solution using items you probably already have around the house. To ensure these quick fixes don't get lost to history, here is a list of some of the very best old school tricks.

If you’re doubtful that method these simple will do you much good, I personally attest to their usefulness. Most were passed down to me from my mother and grandmothers, who all believed that DIY was usually the safest, easiest, and most cost-effective way to target any beauty-related woes. Don’t just take my word for it, however. With tips this simple and all-natural ingredients, you’ve got nothing to lose from giving them a shot. 

1. Mix sugar and honey for an all-natural facial scrub.

This mixture is a surefire way to achieve silky smooth skin. The sugar gently sloughs off dead skin cells, while the honey — a natural humectant, meaning it captures and retains moisture — will leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. The combo is so effective, reports of its use date back to 65 A.D. when it is said that Poppea Sabina — the wife of Nero, the 5th Emperor of the Roman Empire — opted for the use of a mixture of sugar, honey, and facial lotion up to seven times a day. 

Note that some add lemon to this mixture in an effort to reduce dark marks and redness, but lemon is actually a big skincare no-no, as its harshly acidity dries out your skin and increases your chances of sunburn. 

2. Use olive oil as an overnight moisturizer.

Sure, those $100+ night serums leave your skin feeling supple, but an even better solution to dull, dry skin can be picked up at any grocery store. Olive oil is 100 percent natural, non-comedogenic, and chock full of antioxidants, meaning that it is a safe and effective path to supple skin. Hey, if it's good enough for the Ancient Greeks, it's good enough for you!

3. Use witch hazel to depuff eyes.

Witch hazel is sourced from a (pretty crazy-looking, tbh) flower that grows across North America and is one of the world's most effective anti-inflammatories. Because it is also eye-safe, the astringent can be dabbed under the eyes to quickly reduce puffiness and discoloration. Can't find pure witch hazel? You might want to check around for, well, hemorrhoid cream, which usually contain a large amount of witch hazel (and might be a bit easier to apply!).

4. Try coconut oil to cut down on frizz.

The people of Papua New Guinea have been using coconut oil to tame their locks for centuries, having discovered its power as a natural, lightweight conditioner. It is also said that conditioning with coconut oil will not only leave your hair looking shiny and manageable, but it will also help control dandruff and help scalp ailments like psoriasis or eczema.

5. Use eggs to strengthen your hair.

It seems strange to say the least, but eggs have been used as a hair treatment since at least the 1940s. The yolk is full of vitamin A, which increases your hair's ability to create moisture, making it perfect for dry hair. Egg whites, on the other hand, are perfect for oily hair as they contain bacteria-eating enzymes that remove excess oil. Normal hair can see benefits from the entire egg, with is full of helpful proteins and vitamins that increase the strength of your hair. Using either the yolk, whites, or both depending on your hair type, apply the mixture to dry hair and let sit for 30 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as normal. The protein in the egg will leave your hair strong and less prone to breakage. 

Oh, and make sure you rinse with cold water, or you might end up with scrambled eggs on your head! 

6. Curl your hair without heat using only an old t-shirt.

In a passage from Laura Ingalls Wilder's famous novel Little House In The Big Woods, she described the process now famously known as rag curls:

"That night, though it was the middle of the week, Ma bathed Laura and Mary all over, and she put up their hair. She divided their long hair into wisps, combed each wisp with a wet comb and wound it tightly on a bit of rag. There were knobby little bumps all over their heads, which-ever way they turned on their pillows. In the morning their hair would be curly."

If the imagery in that passage isn't strong enough for you, there are plenty of tutorials online. The fabric strips are much more comfortable than sponge rollers, and produce a much more natural-looking curl. Best of all, the look is achieved without damaging heat.

7. Heat up your eyelash curler with a hair dryer for a more intense curl.

Just as heat can curl your hair, it can curl your lashes. Sure, there are a number of heated eyelash curlers on the market, but from my personal experience, they're not nearly as effective as this old-school trick. Simply run your eyelash curler under your blow drier for a few seconds before curling your lashes, resulting in a more dramatic and longer-lasting curl. Make sure you test the heat of the curler on the back of your hand before using on your eye to ensure it is at a safe temperature.

8. Dab some Vaseline on your cheekbones for a dewy sheen.

I don't necessarily recommend eating it, but a tiny amount of Vaseline can give you the same strobing effect as any high-end highlighting product. Not only that, but this classic technique is even preferred over the pricy stuff for many makeup artists on runway shows and photoshoots. The most glowing endorsement of the technique? Marilyn Monroe, who used Vaseline not only as a highlighter, but a makeup primer. 

9. Keep your lipstick on all day using a tissue and loose powder.

We've all been told time and time again that blotting your lipstick is the way to go, but this technique takes that a step further to ensure your lip color is definitely sticking around for the day. Simply place a single-ply tissue over your lips and dust over it with loose powder. This removes excess product that will be prone to smudging, as well as setting the product into your skin. This is also a quick and easy way to make your glossy lipcolors have a matte finish, just simply add an extra dusting of powder.

With tricks like these, who needs all those newfangled gadgets?!

Images: Courtesy Brands

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