If you think today's stars go to great lengths for beauty, it's nothing compared to what the screen sirens of yore did for vanity's sake. With their glowing skin, tumbling curls and perfect pouts, vintage beauties like Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn are still the envy of women today! But just how did they manage to look so classically beautiful without the plethora of makeup products available to the ladies of 2016?
Let’s take a step back in time and discover the super-sneaky beauty secrets of Hollywood's golden age.
There’s definitely something to be said for the fact that we’re still obsessed with the classic beauty of yester-years!
We still admire the simplistic elegance of Grace Kelly and continue to recreate the retro glamour of Marilyn Monroe! There just seems to be something effortless and undeniably feminine about the old Hollywood actresses, something refreshing about living in an age where making an effort and looking your best at all times was a way of life!
So, let’s see just how to create the beautiful vintage look in 2016 using a combination of some beauty tricks from back in the day with some up-to-date cosmetics!
A flawless complexion is the most vital part of creating the vintage look and We're not talking about covering your imperfections with foundation! It’s about taking great care of the skin that is of paramount importance – but without all these modern day face creams and cleansers, just how did they do it? Simple: cold water!
Joan Crawford famously used to splash her face with ice cold water over 20 times to tighten her pores and keep her skin taut! Now that’s an inexpensive trick we can all try out!
It’s worth mentioning that using cold water on your hair to keep it shiny was also part of the old beauty routines!
Image Credit of Joan Crawford: condenast.co.uk
Exfoliating rejuvenates the skin, rids it of dead cells and helps clear acne so needless to say, it is a vital step in creating the perfect complexion!
Even Katharine Hepburn made her own exfoliant using lemon juice, a little water and granulated sugar! Give this homemade version a go by all means or opt for a current product such as B.liv Glow and Shine Mask.
You can take things one step further like Elizabeth Taylor or Cleopatra by shaving your face. This habit removes the fine baby hairs and the surface layer of skin cells giving your skin a facial-like glow.
Image Credit of Elizabeth Taylor: comicvine.com
Hydrated skin is healthy skin but far from using expensive moisturisers, Sophia Loren famously used to put olive oil in the bath to make her skin supple and her hair shiny!
Vintage beauties used Petroleum Jelly (or Vaseline) religiously under the eyes to prevent puffiness and dark circles! This combined with good old-fashioned cucumber slices really worked to keep puffiness at bay!
Like Bette Davis, we are still raving over her eyes. She kept them looking bright by applying cucumbers to her lids at night and petroleum jelly under the eye to combat dark eye circles.
Greta Garbo saw the importance of priming her eyelids before applying eyeshadow or liner. She used to put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on her eyelids followed by a dark eye shadow to give her a more theatrical look. She also lined her eyes with a mixture of jelly and charcoal pigment.
Did you know that ladies used to crush rose petals and beetroot to get that beautiful rosy flush? Try that out or use NARS Blush - your choice!
Image Credit of Greta Garbo: neitshade5.files.wordpress.com
No More Sun Baths Unlike today, tanned skin was actually once undesirable and associated with the lower classes! It was rather porcelain skin that was considered elegant and high class; so much so that women of yesteryear made a point to stay out of the sun! So embrace your natural skin tone and put the sun lounger and tanning mitt away!
Add Some Glow
If putting maximum effort in to your skin routine still isn’t giving you the Hollywood radiance you desire, then try mixing a primer like Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Good Morning Retexturizing Primer in with your foundation to really make your skin glow! Marilyn Monroe famously used to layer on hormone cream, petroleum jelly and powder so she positively beamed on camera, but consequently grew a layer of blonde hair on her face.
Image Credit of Marilyn Monroe: rantichic.com
Contrary to popular belief, countering is not a new makeup trick nor was it invented by Kim Kardashian. It was actually used way back in the day by Grace Kelly – the original queen of contouring!
The Princess of Monaco used two different shades of blush to create her beautiful high cheekbones; a darker blush just underneath her cheekbone and a lighter blush dusted on the apples of her cheeks!
Image Credit of Grace Kelly: cdni.condenast.co.uk
Far from a complex multi-toned smokey eye you’re likely to see on a modern day runway, women back in the day simply applied a darker colour such as a soft brown in the crease to define the eye! A neutral skin toned colour was then applied all the way up to the brow bone to give lift! A simple trick with fabulous results!
The secret to Audrey Hepburn’s long Bambi lashes? After applying mascara, she’s famous for spending a ridiculous amount of time separating her lashes with a pin to create the full lashed effect! Thankfully we don’t have to resort to such painstaking measures as we now have access to lengthening and volumising mascaras like Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Baby Doll! Plus, false lashes can be found everywhere!
Image Credit of Audrey Hepburn: claphamstudiohire.com
Pout Your Red Lips
Wearing red lipstick can be daunting, but if you truly want to recreate the retro glamour look then ditch the fear! Be it raspberry, cherry or wine, there’s a red lipstick to suit everyone so find your shade and simply blot it to make it velvety matte!
To make it even more poutalicious, use a lip liner to define your lips and accentuate your cupid’s bow with a little gloss like M.A.C Lipglass to the centre and smudge! Marilyn Monroe used to have her makeup artist apply 5 different shades lipstick and gloss to create dimensions. Darker reds on the outer corners and lighter shades were blended from the middle of her lips.
Vivien Leigh on the other hand used to compensate your thin bottom lip by using a liner to draw outside her natural lip, giving the illusion of a larger pout.
Image Credit of Vivien Leigh: deviantart.net
Matching Nails and Lips
Did you know that something as simple as matching your nails to your lipstick screams vintage?! Revlon introduced the notion and began selling lipstick and matching nail polish sets in the 40s; some of the colours can still be bought to this day!
Half Moon Manicure
The unpainted half moon nail trend is very fashionable but this trend was first seen back in the 30s! That’s right, women like Marlene Dietrich used to leave the half moon of their nail bare because it meant the re-growth didn’t show as fast and the manicure lasted longer! Practical and stylish!
Image Credit of Marlene Dietrich: glossariofashion.com
You don’t get much more vintage than pairing beautiful tumbling curls with your red lipstick! No electric gadgets are needed for this girls so put away your Babyliss crimping iron and use good old-fashioned rollers to achieve optimum bounce instead!
Rita Hayworth used to apply oil to her hair after every wash, wrap it up in a towel and leave it on for 15 minutes. She’d then wash it out with hot water and some lemon juice to remove any leftover residue.
Image Credit of Rita Hayworth: cheekbonesandcouture.files.wordpress.com
Be it 1920 or 2016, eyebrows are a big deal! The brows of the 20s and 30s were thin and straight, while the 40s saw the birth of the fashionable thick and gently arched brow! So tweeze, comb and treat your eyebrow pencil as your best friend to get dark and defined vintage brows!
I definitely suggest going over your brows with a damp angle brush to soften them up at the end though!
Vintage beauties didn’t just stop at their faces. Oh no! They were so meticulous about looking after their skin that hand cream was also an integral part of the daily beauty routine!
Nothing says timeless beauty and femininity more than a good ol’ vintage accessory, so accessorise your look with an elegant vintage headband or a simple string of lustrous pearls to instantly brighten your complexion!
Scent was (and still is) a major part of a woman’s beauty and elegance so choose a vintage fragrance like the classic Chanel Mademoiselle to feel truly glamorous!
Beauty routines may have come a long way, but I think we’ll always look back and want to recreate a little of the old Hollywood Glamour from time to time! Luckily with a little historical know-how and a few modern cosmetics, we can look and feel like the beauties of yesteryear in 2016 and years to come!
Tags:UOB | Byredo | Diptyque | Chanel | La Mer | Jo Malone