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5 Vintage DIYs to Beauty

Gina Tolleson

Creating home beauty remedies is ages old. Way back when, women used whatever they had on hand to make themselves not just look but feel more attractive. Mayonnaise in the hair for shine, lemons on the elbows to keep them bright and beautiful, honey on the lips to keep them moist — yes, honey — all came from homegrown ingenuity and necessity.


Gorgeous starts from within. Eating right, exercising, getting good rest, and self-care are all those things that make us feel our best, inside out. I guarantee we’ll talk about that sooner or later in our time together, however, our skin, nails, hair, and overall visage rely on us to treat them right, and some of the oldest, most tried and true beauty remedies are the best.


With a nod to some of the greatest beauties of all-time, here are 6 easy ways to turn some things around your home into rejuvenating, pampering must-haves, and a bonus overnight remedy.

(One) Budget Friendly Facial and Pedicure

Scrubbing away dead skin reveals a smooth, glowing tone underneath that makes you feel and look refreshed. It’s just as important on your entire body as it is on your face. Something as simple and relaxing as a barefoot walk on the beach is a natural, gentle pedicure (as well as a great way to calm yourself). The coarse grains of sand can buff your feet same as a pumice stone or a professional manicurist.


When it comes to your face, try some fresh lemon juice mixed with water — you can replace water with olive or coconut oil, as well — then, add granulated sugar until it becomes a paste. Massage it gently onto your face with circular motions and rinse with warm water. This was a Kate Hepburn favorite and leaves you with dewy, smooth skin.

(Two) Humble Oils to Soften

Sophia Loren swears by olive oil to moisturize her skin. She swallows a couple of tablespoons every morning and adds some to her bath water in the evening. It is a natural lubricant and does wonders for elasticity, as the great Italian actress can attest. However, another tried and true home remedy for intense moisture is petroleum jelly. In the evening, apply an even layer to your face, then sleep with it on overnight. In the morning, most if not all will have been absorbed. Gently wipe off any residue with a soft, dry cloth then go about your usual beauty regimen. This was a favorite of Marilyn Monroe and one of the Sleep Club editors’ moms who lived into her 80s without a wrinkle.

(*Note: If you are acne prone, this tip could cause breakouts. This works best for normal to dry skin.)

(Three) The Puffy-Relieving Secret Behind Those Eyes

Bette Davis swore by cucumber slices and petroleum jelly to keep her famous eyes famously riveting. The cooling combination draws out puffiness as well as moisturizes the delicate skin under the eyes.

(Four) Shiny Hair Worthy of a Pinup

If you wash your hair in hot water, apply olive oil to the wet ends. Wrap your hair in a towel for 15 minutes, then rinse it with lemon juice diluted in water. You’ll have shiny, sleek hair like siren Rita Hayworth.

(Five) Golden Age Natural Skin Tightener

Ice cold water is notorious for shrinking skin and closing pores. Splash your skin consistently with super cold water and you’ll notice a natural tightening of your face, decreased inflammation and a lessening of wrinkles. (Grace Kelly was a fan of this quick and invigorating fix, as were iconic lookers — at any age — Paul Newman and Cary Grant.)

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