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Isn’t it bizarre when a movie star seems to become more and more attractive with each passing year? Celebrities are afforded with the tools and tips for maintaining, and even improving, physical beauty as they age that laypeople such as ourselves could never afford or acquire. It is a finely tuned formula consisting of surgery, consultation, products, exercise and rest, and it all adds up to create a face that seems to defy the rules of natural aging. But for the original stars of Hollywood, the technology wasn’t nearly what it is today, so methods were more rudimentary, and almost the stuff of urban legends. We’ve compiled a list of past stars eternal beauty secrets, different products and techniques used by the stars of yesteryear that contributed to the illusion they’d discovered the forever-elusive fountain of youth. Take a look at some of their secrets.
The secret is out on this one today, as everyone in the public eye makes a common practice of contouring with different shades of blush to ensure that their cheekbones pop. While it’s a dime a dozen these days, it was actually popularized by Grace Kelly, an American actress who, after her 1956 marriage, became Princess of Monaco. Grace applied one color of blush underneath her cheekbones, then contrasted that with a darker sort on the sides of her face. The effect came to be known, naturally, as contouring, and is a not-so-secret technique of any and everyone today.
Weightlifting and Lots of Protein
Okay, so this isn’t some sort of revolutionary technique, but it does wonders for the physique. You’d be willing to believe this was the practice of one of Hollywood’s male heartthrobs, no? Perhaps a big, burly muscle man known for his ability to lift three men with one finger. But the answer might surprise you: this method was patented by none other than Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was the envy of Hollywood for having flawless curves, but being extremely physically fit. In addition to a stringent routine of consistent gym workouts, her secret ingredient was this little concoction: warm milk with two eggs whipped up inside of it. Sounds pretty darn tasty, no? Gross, Marilyn!
This is another one of those that everyone’s familiar with these days. Coconut oil has become all the rage, from a healthy alternative to butter in cooking to a beneficial addition for one’s hair. Long before it was the all-purpose product of choice for the “nouveau riche”, 1930s actress Mae West used it to keep her skin healthy and moisturized. Coconut oil has properties that make it a perfect natural moisturizer that can revitalize one’s skin by helping retain the existing moisture, and replenishing any dryness with its moisturizing properties. In addition, Mae West was particularly fond of the aesthetic effect the oil had on her skin, claiming that it helped her achieve a radiant glow.
Olives and feta cheese have been favorites of gourmands for years, and the Mediterranean region has had highly touted cuisine offerings for some time. Back in the day, Italian actress Sophia Loren, who starred in many films throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, swore by it, eating a diet consisting almost exclusively of Mediterranean food. She was even known to retrieve from her purse mid-meal a small bottle of olive oil to complement whatever meal she was having at the time. The oil wasn’t limited to her meals—Loren would even warm small amounts of olive oil and then distribute it throughout her gorgeous dark locks for a silky sheen and healthy scalp.
Cucumbers and Petroleum Jelly
This technique has an unintentional resemblance to the previously mentioned Mediterranean cuisine, although the cucumbers involved here aren’t for consumption. Bette Davis—who may have had the most famous eyes Hollywood has ever “seen”—made this technique a popular trend for a short while. Every night before she went to sleep, Bette Davis would place two freshly sliced cucumber wedges over her eyes to combat the general puffiness the toll her undoubted hectic days took on them. It certainly can’t be easy having the most recognizable eyes in Hollywood! In the morning, if there was still any lingering puffiness, Bette would apply a small amount of petroleum jelly around her eyes to cover any imperfections. A small price to pay to have eyes that will be admired eternally.
What Else? Beauty Rest!
While Marilyn’s calling card—for better or worse—was her flawless body, Elizabeth Taylor was known for her stunning eyes, which were a shade of light violet. Today, color contact lenses can give anyone the illusion of a similar shade, but Taylor’s were truly god-given. Even more impressive than the genetic blessing she received when it came to the color of her eyes was the way that Elizabeth Taylor always managed to look completely rested. Her secret? She was! Taylor insisted on getting, at the very least, eight hours of sleep every night in order to make her eyes truly pop and bring out her maximum level of beauty. She swore by the technique. There must be something to the whole notion of beauty rest, after all.
Today’s stars, while perhaps almost as beautiful as those of yesteryear, aren’t nearly as ingenious in the techniques they use to maintain their beauty. As we can see, it’s all been done before. The true trailblazers were these gorgeous Hollywood stars of the screen in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Today’s elite are turning to more artificial methods, but it still is nice, and refreshing to see some of the ones listed here employed by current A-Listers.
Sure, these techniques aren’t particularly revolutionary, and they don’t involve having to schedule a consultation with your local plastic surgeon or making a daytrip to Rodeo Drive. Most of these are just common-sense techniques that will help you look your best day in and day out. Hey, if drinking warm milk with two eggs worked for Marilyn Monroe, it’s worth a shot, right?