12 retro beauty tips - and how to update them

12 retro beauty tips - and how to update them
  • Sea salt in the bath 

Sea salt is your skin’s best friend, it can flush away infections and leave skin silky soft. Ladies of the past used to bathe in the exfoliant to get a glowing complexion.
Update it: Try using scented bath salts with a sea salt base, this way you’ll get all the benefits without smelling like chips!

  • Baking soda for white teeth

Back before we had super advanced toothpastes, baking soda was used to get sparkling pearly whites. Big in the 1960s, vintage beauties would rub baking soda onto their teeth then rinse.
Update it: To make the taste a bit more bearable, try adding lemon and peppermint oil to create a paste then use once or twice a week.

  • Strawberries for a cleaner face

Now we have access to all kinds of face washes but English roses in the swinging sixties would blitz strawberries in a blender to use as a cleanser. The pink colouring of the fruit added a natural glow as well as smelling gorgeous.
 Update it: Try adding strawberries to a mixture of mashed banana and honey and apply as a facemask.

  • White eyeliner

Using a white pencil to line the inner water line of the eye is a well-known trick of the trade from Marilyn Monroe.  The Hollywood starlet loved her signature sultry eye look to make her blue eyes pop.
 Update it: Try dabbing a smudge of pale eyeshadow into the inner corner of your eyes to make them look brighter and wide awake.

  • Spraying perfume onto your hairbrush

Coco Chanel famously said that women should wear perfume wherever they would like to be kissed. Having a feminine smell was extremely important in those days so women would spritz their hairbrushes with perfume to carry their scent with every swish of their locks.
Update it: Try investing in a perfume designed specifically for hair that will nourish it as well as smelling good.  

  • Using petroleum jelly on eyelids  

The vintage look is all about having dramatic eye make-up. Women would apply thin layer of petroleum jelly over eyelids and then cover with neutral skin toned powder all the way up to their brow line and blending a darker shade into crease for theatrical deep crease impact.
Update it: Use an eyelid primer instead of petroleum jelly for long-lasting vintage peepers.

  • Cold water treatment

Joan Crawford famously told how she splashed her face with ice cold water 25 times every morning to keep her legendary face smooth and taut.
Update it: If you can’t bear dousing yourself with freezing water, try mixing together sugar, warm water and lemon juice to cleanse your face for a fresh complexion.

  • Olive oil on hair

A favourite trick of auburn-locked Rita Hayworth, to keep hair looking lustrous, she would shampoo hair then apply olive oil to the ends and wrap up in towel for 15 minutes, After, she would rinse with hot water, cleanser and lemon juice to get rid of any residue.
 Update it: If you haven’t got time for all this in the morning, try using an oil-based serum on wet hair then leave wrapped in a towel whilst you do your make-up. The serum will absorb into your hair without needing to rinse.

  • Crushing rose petals or beetroot to tint cheeks

Back in the days of old school romance, a lady’s gentleman caller would always present her with a bouquet of roses. Before they withered, these blushing dames would rub the petals together until they produced liquid then dab this onto cheeks and lips for a rosy glow.
Update it: Try mixing the petal liquid with a cheer lip gloss to create a natural colour with some extra shimmer to take you through the night.

  • Homemade rollers  

In the fifties, having thick curly hair was all the rage but hot rollers were expensive and uncomfortable to sleep it. Pioneering vintage beauties worked around this by rolling damp hair around pieces of fabric, tying off and leaving overnight.
Update it: Use the same trick but spritz your hair with sea salt spray once in the ‘rollers’ for a more tousled, bedhead look.

  • Beer shampoo

Rinsing hair with beer is an old wives’ tale that some still swear by today. After the liquid evaporates from the hair, a residue of hops and barley is left giving hair more body and weight.
Update it: If you don’t fancy smelling like a brewery, try using a deep-conditioning treatment on your hair once a week to keep it thick and well maintained.

  • Talcum powder

Even retro beauties suffered from greasy roots! Their saviour came in form of talcum powder, which they shook onto hair then ruffled up.
Update it: This tip only works well for blondes. Nowadays we have dry shampoo for locks in need of a boost.



  • Tips from online hair and beauty retailer Hairtrade.com
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