They may be gone but they are far from forgotten. Actors like Bette Davis, Lana Turner and Marilyn Monroe set new standards in beauty, influencing everything from skincare to make-up trends. We bring you a few old Hollywood secrets that never had to make a comeback, because they never went out of style.
Audrey Hepburn: Love those Lashes
With her naive grace and quirky acting style, Audrey Hepburn seemed anything but a diva, yet she often put her styling team through torture until her look was just right. It was all about the lashes for the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star – she would ask her beautician to separate each lash with a safety pin after applying mascara – not a job for the fainthearted.
Marilyn Monroe and her Paleo Ancestors
The later, curvier Marilyn we are accustomed to viewing in posters, ads and books belies the slimmer, more athletic Norma Jean of the early days. Marilyn kept herself lean and mean by following a diet that was rich in protein and low in carbs.
Her secret concoction was a morning raw egg cocktail, comprising two raw eggs whipped into a glass of milk. These days, studies have shown that this type of diet keeps wrinkles and flaccidity at bay, since sugar is the primary culprit for causing these conditions.
Rita Hayworth and the Power of Red
Think of Rita Hayworth and the first thing that pops into your mind is probably her long, wavy red mane. Miss Hayworth was actually a brunette, who had her hair dyed (and her hairline pushed back via electrolysis) to create a sexier look.
With her beautiful dark eyes, natural grace and tall, slim frame, we probably would have loved her just the same in any other colour though she certainly sparked a trend that brought thousands of scarlett-hued manes to starry Hollywood boulevard.
Katherine Hepburn Out with the Old, In with the New
Katherine Hepburn is known for her natural, fuss-free looks, but in her heyday, she went out of her way to keep her skin looking young, by regularly exfoliating her complexion.
Exfoliating products weren’t nearly as popular back then as they are today, however, so the Bringing up Baby star made her own skin sloughing concoction by mixing sugar with lemon juice and a bit of warm water. The old trick is still in use today by those who prefer all-natural beauty products.
Vivien Leigh and the Power of Essential Oils
Essential oils are currently used to treat everything from colds to sores, yet Vivien Leigh, the one and only Scarlett O’hara, harnessed their power to keep her complexion blemish free. Leigh was known to visit the clinic of Madame Lubatti, a legendary skincare expert who mixed creams and fragrant essential oils to treat her wealthy clients.
Coco Chanel Colour Your World
Coco Chanel always said that beauty didn’t exist per se; it had to be created through illusion, care and consistency. For her, wearing make-up daily was not a caprice, but a necessity: women should at least wear a little foundation, blush and lipstick, because it is “the polite thing to do.”
Chanel lived by her word, sticking to neutral tones and simple make-up to highlight her best features: her cheekbones and eyes. Today, women regularly use contouring to play with light and shadows, all the while appearing like they have very little make-up on, or none at all.
Betti Page When Beauty Comes from Within
Betti Page, the most famous pin-up girl in history, had a visionary outlook on beauty; as far back as the 1950s, she realised that beauty was more than about make-up and trickery. Rather, it was all about being healthy – Page worked out strenuously every day, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes.
She was not afraid to assert her individuality, wearing a short fringe that is still seen on current pin-up starlets, as well as more glamourous showgirls like Dita Von Teese.
Words Marisa Cutillas