Gone are the days we make fun of the absolute diva beauty regimens touted by our favorite historical beauties. Why? Because we are a generation known to do THE MOST when it comes to skincare, makeup, and wellness, and without shame. All in the name of self-care and longevity, right?
Because every and any average Jane, our team included, is out there yoni steaming, vampire facialing, LED infrared sauna-ing, lymphatic massaging, and much, much more, we thought we’d harken back to some of our most iconic beauty queens and their maintenance rituals for a little bit of old-school inspiration.
Marilyn Monroe’s figure is world famous. It’s a full, curvaceous, almost cartoonishly perfect hourglass; not at all the waify-thin look of modern runway glamour. To maintain her curves, she relied on fat and protein. Her strict morning regimen? Before her bright and early shower, she would warm up a cup of milk, break two raw eggs into it, whip it all up with a fork, then drink it while she finished getting ready. Not for the faint of heart.
Cleopatra is iconic for so many reasons. She was obsessed with the goddess mystique and would make grand entrances dressed as Aphrodite to feed the illusion. It is said that she liked to play up some of her more masculine features to communicate her power and strength, but she was always known for ethereal, unique, and charming magnetism, and her beautiful glowing skin. She bathed as often as possible in warm milk and honey with rose petals. The honey worked as an antimicrobial, while the lactic acid from the milk lightly exfoliated and moisturized. The rose petals helped to prevent aging and heal dark spots, so she was always luminous.
Diana Ross is the queen of glam. What comes to mind are neon dresses, lots of skin showing, beautiful and natural fluffy hair with incredible volume, and feather boas to match her big personality. But her biggest beauty must? A signature scent. It’s important to her to smell the way she envisions herself, and not just a popular fragrance that everyone else wears. To her, music and scent are so aligned. She even famously said that they both contained “notes, chords, and harmony.” So she created her own scent, a fragrance called Diamond Diana, which she says smells like “a fresh breeze.”
Sophia Loren makes living life to the fullest cool again. We love the images of her shamelessly (and very sexily) hovering her beautiful bod over a plate of pasta and diving in. The world is meant to be experienced. The pasta is meant to be enjoyed. Sophia and her full figure were on board with this, and so are we. But she kept her skin silky soft and ultra-hydrated at all times. Because water can be drying on the skin alone, Sophia Loren would take olive oil baths to lock in her skin’s moisture. That’s a lot of EVOO.
This carefree beauty pulls off the totally effortless French look, and for good reason. She’s a jeans and T-shirt kinda woman, despite the astronomically expensive namesake bag … and she enjoys a more natural look. She always swore by splashing cold water on her face several times each morning for a rosy glow. She also used to swear by eye patches to soothe puffiness, but then later admitted she stopped because she rather liked the look of puffy sleepy morning eyes, thinking it sweet and sexy.
Aretha’s signature looks were classic and glam, but always to the beat of her own drum. She wasn’t set on trends; she wanted what she wanted, and demanded the look she was envisioning. She always wanted the opposite of what was trending. When matte makeup and neutral tones were in, Aretha wanted glitter and high shine. When it was Valentine’s Day, she skipped the red and pink and wore turquoise or yellow. She successfully always stood out, even though she already cleared a room of competing talent with her voice and presence.
Unbeknownst to many, Grace Kelly might just be the OG of contour. To sculpt and highlight her already exquisite cheekbones, she would use two different colors of blush to deepen and highlight. She did this technique not only to embolden her cheekbones but to downplay her jaw, which she was self-conscious about. Contour isn’t novel, the products are just evolving.
Jane Fonda’s beauty routine has transformed and evolved in a major way over the years. A natural beauty, at 83 she’s had a little help from modern technology and yet manages to look absolutely stunning as opposed to preserved. Her claim to long-lasting beauty is making sure you have love in your life and taking care of your body. To this day, she still makes time to exercise. While she’s managed to do this all her life, her modern beauty and anti-aging hack is blue LED light.
A truly timeless icon, Cher is one of the most self-aware beauties in the game. She knows what she looks like, and instead of trying to fit whatever the status quo of the decade is, she’s always done what feels right for her. Isn’t that what makes someone iconic to begin with? At 75, she still looks amazing, and she credits it all to health. Of course, she’s open about a number of procedures, but looking and feeling your best starts on the inside. She has said, “The most important thing is to give yourself a fighting chance. I quit smoking. I don’t do drugs. I never drink coffee, and almost never drink alcohol or eat red meat, so I’m way ahead of the game.”
This beauty icon is a legend for her iconic looks. While she wasn’t one to dish on her beauty secrets, she did always make sure to preserve certain statements that would always tie back to her. She always, always accessorized with diamonds and florals, and encouraged women to never underestimate the power of a red lip and nail combo.
The ultimate Hamptons goddess is known for a few signature looks, e.g. her strong brows, preppy-chic outfits, frosty pink lips, and above all, her signature blowouts. To preserve these as long as possible and look perfectly coiffed upon waking, she made sure to always sleep on a silk pillowcase and wrap her hair in a silk scarf. Not only does it preserve the style, but it prevents breakage, frizz, and dry strands.