Monday, May 28, 2012

               Today's celebrities are maintained by Botox, hair extensions, straightening irons and spray tans galore ... and that's just justin Bieber.

But before we start going cray-cray about the good ol' days when men looked like James Dean and women didn't leave their panties in your fiances glove compartment, let's not forget that the movie stars of Old Hollywood weren't exactly "natural beauties" either. In fact, as this little trip down memory lane will attest, many of these bizarre old-school beauty tricks would make even Joan Rivers wince. If she could. 
Marilyn Monroe was as famed for her radiant Hollywood glow as she was for her flirtatious on-screen presence. However, she used an odd technique to maintain her glowing complextion – hormone cream. The actress would layer Active pHelityl Cream and a powder foundation on top of each other to create a radiant base that shimmered and shined on camera. The downside was that she grew a fine layer of peachy-blonde hair over her face due to the active hormones in the face cream. She was encouraged to shave it off, but refused because of the glow it gave her in photographs.  Audrey Hepburn was an incredibly dainty Hollywood beauty, who pioneered the baby doll look with a slick of liquid kohl and a super-fine layer of mascara on the upper lashes. Rumour has it that she got her lashes so plush and natural-looking by pain-stakingly separating them with a pin after each layer of mascara she applied.

German actress Marlene Dietrich is considered to be one of the greatest actresses of all time, but was also highly prized for her sculptured glamour. She believed in accentuating the natural lines of her face with shading, shaping and contouring. One of her most startling features were her perfectly shaped brows. She achieved this look by shaving them off and drawing them on with a brow pencil, as was the fashion in the 1930s. She also never used mascara on her lower lashes, as she believed it cast a shadow below the eyes and made her look tired. 

American actress Joan Crawford didn’t use fancy products to keep her legendary face smooth and taut – She chewed gum in the belief that it firmed up her jaw and helped to drain the toxins out from under her chin. She was also religious about her cleansing regime, and would splash her face 25 times with ice cold water after every wash.

There’s a reason Kim Carnes wrote a song about Bette Davis’s eyes – they were enviably huge, bright and line-free. How did she keep them that way? Simple – cucumbers on the eyelids every night before bed and a layer of petroleum jelly under the eyes at night to protect against puffiness and dark circles. 

Ever wondered where the phrase ‘blonde bombshell’ originated from? Look no further than platinum-haired 1930s starlet, Jean Harlow. Although, she had a rather unorthodox method of obtaining her baby blonde locks – she lightened her hair with a potent mixture of peroxide, ammonia and Lux Flakes (an old fashioned washing powder).

Italian screen siren Sophia Loren was stunningly beautiful in her 1960s hay-day, and still is now. Her secret? Olive oil. Sophia’s Mediterranean diet ensured that she was able to include at least two tablespoons of the stuff in her food every day, while routinely rubbing a small amount into her skin kept her complexion glossy and moisturized. She even added a few capfuls into a hot bath for a nourishing skin soak.

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