11 Beauty Hacks To Steal From Old Hollywood
Even though nearly a decade has past since the Roaring Twenties and the original red carpet starlets, their makeup looks are proving to be timeless. There are beauty hacks to steal from Old Hollywood, no matter how many decades are between us and the iconic actresses. No matter if they were black and white film stars from the turn of the century, or popped up in technicolor in the '60s, these reigning queens can still teach us millennials a thing or two. And just looking at our current trends proves it to be true: From Marilyn Monroe's red pout to Audrey Hepburn's thickly lashed doe eyes, certain looks just don't go out of style.
But while those are obvious examples, there are some lesser-known beauty hacks these starlets subscribed to that could also be beauty routine game changers. Anna Wong from the '20s sported a manicure style that seemed to be chip proof, Sophia Loren from the '50s bathed using an unexpected oil, and Carole Lombard from the '30s could teach as a thing or two when it comes to alternative mascara colors. If you're ready to learn read ahead — these gurus have plenty of info to pass down to our generation.
1. Marilyn Monroe's Lipstick Contouring Trick
If you just fill in your lips with lip liner and then slick on your shade, then Marilyn Monroe would like to welcome you to amateur hour. According to My Sister Marilyn: A Memoir of Marilyn Monroe, the starlet would contour her iconic red pout with not only five different lipstick colors, but glosses as well. The darker reds outlined her mouth and went on the corners of her mouth, while the lighter colors filled in the center, giving her smile dimension.
Try it out yourself with the help of a lipstick brush — that way you can control the lines applied.
2. Katharine Hepburn's Homemade Face Scrub
To keep her skin clear and vibrant, Hepburn turned to her kitchen and not the department store to mix herself an evening face scrub. Byrdie reported that by using lemon and sugar, Hepburn created a gentle exfoliant that kept her skin looking fresh and rosy. You can create the same scrub yourself just by running out to the grocery store this afternoon — just careful not to get it in your eyes!
3. Rita Hayworth's Hair Masks
Rita Hayworth was another kitchen beautician, opting to keep her dyed red hair vibrant by using ingredients easily found in her pantry. In order to take care of her locks, Hayworth would smooth oil through her hair after she washed it, and then let it soak in for about 15 minutes before rinsing it out with lemon juice and running water.
You can do something similar today with coconut oil and plastic wrap — cover your hair with the natural serum, wrap you locks in the wrap to help warm your strands and activate the oil better, and then rinse it out with lemon juice.
4. Audrey Hepburn's Seperated Lashes
According to Marie Claire, Audrey Hepburn was known to separate her lashes after she slicked on mascara — but not in a way you probably assumed. Instead of using a comb, she would take a needle and separate each hair, making sure it was perfectly fanned out. If you prefer a less intimidating method, try just investing in an eye comb.
5. Anna Wong's Half Moon Manicures
It was very in vogue during the '20s to paint only a small portion of your nails, leaving the tips and moons bare. "Hollywood stars like Marlene Dietrich and Anna May Wong grew their nails long and wore the half-moon manicure in scarlet, the tips and half-moons of the nails left unpainted," Sarah Jane Downing shared in her book, Beauty and Cosmetics 1550 to 1950. In order to pull off the look yourself, try the updated half moon or negative space versions.
6. Sophia Loren's Olive Oil Bath Soaks
Instead of splurging on fancy bath salts or bubble baths, Sophia Loren had a very Italian workaround instead: She used olive oil. While the hot water was pumping into the bath, she would drizzle in olive oil and then let herself soak in the mixture, letting it nourish and soften her skin.
7. Marilyn Monroe Outlook On "Imperfections"
If you have a perceived perfection that drives you crazy, take a page out of Marilyn Monroe's book and embrace it rather than fight it. The old Hollywood icon had a thick amount of peach fuzz, but she refused to wax or shave it.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Marilyn Monroe expert Gene London explained, "She had the heaviest peach fuzz beard of any actress in Hollywood. They [studio chiefs] wanted to remove the facial hair, but Marilyn absolutely refused. She said that when the light hit the fuzz it caused her face to have a soft glow, so they didn’t have to photograph her through special lenses, lace, or Vaseline the way they did with so many stars.” Find your positives, and focus on them instead!
8. Carole Lombard's Blue Mascara
During the daytime, Gilded Age actress Carole Lombard liked to keep things natural. But when it was time to go out during the evening, her makeup routine heated up. According to Byrdie, in an interview with Reading Eagle in 1932 Lombard wrote, "At night I also use violet eyelid shadow and dark blue mascara, lengthening my eyebrows slightly with a blue pencil."
If you want to go with a dramatic purple and blue eye like that, have at it. Or if you want to focus on just tinting your lashes blue, then there are plenty of mascaras that will do just that.
9. Marilyn Monroe's White Eyeliner Trick
In order to help her blue eyes pop and give them that sultry look, Monroe would contour her eye shape with the help of white eyeliner, Marie Claire reported. Flicking a winged tip from both her upper lid and lower eye corner, she would fill in the gap between the two cat eyes with white pencil. This would help open up her eye shape and make the contrast between the two lines pop.
If you're tired of your retro winged tips, try Monroe's spin to refresh your beauty routine.
10. Sophia Loren's Mint Leaf Under-Eye Formula
Rather than messing with expensive eye creams, Loren went a more natural way when it came to clearing away dark circles. According to one story in The Daily Mail, Loren would crush mint leaves and leave the paste underneath her eyes, letting the cooling sensation alleviate her bags.
11. Greta Garbo's Petroleum Jelly Trick
Black and white film stars knew their makeup, so it's not surprise that Greta Garbo had a trick up her sleeve when it came to helping her eyes pop while on screen. Instead of just dusting on eyeshadow, she would dab on petroleum jelly first to give it a slick and sultry look. And it seems like much hasn't changed in the near 100 years — we're still doing the glossy eyelid today.
From olive oil baths and homemade face scrubs to glassy eyelids and contoured lips, these Old Hollywood stars have proved themselves timeless. Channel your inner ingenue and try one out today.