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The surprising beauty secrets of Hollywood’s Golden Age actresses

Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor.
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What did Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor do to look so naturally radiant?

Do you think the female celebrities of the past (Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and more) were more beautiful than the starlets today? I admit it: I’m one of the people who believe this. So, I set out to investigate the beauty routines of some of these great actresses, who always looked amazingly beautiful—without needing tons of products, and seemingly without a whole lot of effort.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, 1959. Mirisch Company | MoviestillsDB.com

This stunning blonde attracted everyone’s eye with her curvaceous figure. To maintain that look, she trained with weights and followed a high-protein diet. One of her tips, as she confided to Pageant magazine in 1952, was to heat up a glass of milk, add two raw eggs, stir it up with a fork, and then drink this sort of milkshake while getting dressed in the mornings. As for makeup: to help her eyes stand out, she always used white eyeliner on her bottom eyelids to highlight the color of her irises and to make her eyes look bigger.

Grace Kelly

This actress and princess of Monaco always kept her hands well hydrated, because she felt that they always betray a woman’s age; to this end, she applied moisturizing cream several times a day. To keep her face looking fresh and her cheeks well delineated, she used two tones of blush: a lighter one for the area of the apples of her cheeks, and another slightly darker (but complementary) tone for the area of the cheekbone … Yes, almost like a sort of contour (which the Kardashians did not invent by the way), but with rouge.

Rita Hayworth

To keep her iconic red hair healthy and shiny, the star of Gilda always applied a little bit of olive oil to the tips of her hair after shampooing, and wrapped it in a towel for about 15 minutes; then, she rinsed it well with hot water and a squeeze of lemon to eliminate any residue.

Audrey Hepburn

This actress always wore very neutral makeup, but she liked to emphasize her eyes with thick (but well manicured) eyebrows and stand-out eyelashes. To achieve the latter, she didn’t simply apply several layers of mascara; afterwards, she separated them with a lot of attention to detail—and extreme care—using a pin.

Elizabeth Taylor

The woman of the violet eyes said that there was nothing you could do to look radiant if you didn’t sleep well. Besides that, here’s one regimen you probably haven’t tried: she used to shave her face to eliminate the so-called “baby hairs” and the superficial layer of dead skin cells, for an instant glow. (That process is back in spas today — it’s called dermaplaning.)

Sophia Loren

Even today, at the age of 82, this Italian actress is amazingly well-preserved. Her secret? She grinds up mint leaves and place them under her eyes to fight against dark circles and always to look awake and healthy. Also, every time she takes a bath, she adds a few drops of olive oil to the water in order to hydrate her skin well.

However, in recent interviews she has said that the best beauty treatment is simply to live a good life and be happy, because that is something that radiates from the inside.

This article was originally published in the Spanish edition of Aleteia.

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