It may have been quite a few decades since the Old Hollywood school of beauty had its heyday, but we're still appreciating the tips and tricks it taught us to this day. People still want to get that classic red lip, that perfectly-flicked eyeliner, and Audrey Hepburn's incredible thick eyebrows. We'd love to have curls as perfect as Marilyn Monroe's, and who wouldn't want to have Bette Davis' eyes? The icons of the mid-20th century are still influencing fashion and beauty trends to this day- and for good reason. Their looks appeared effortlessly and timelessly stunning.
If you're a modern-day makeup fan who's looking to replicate the glitz and glamour of Old Hollywood, fear not: it's actually pretty easy to do! All you need is a bit of instruction, the right cosmetics and tools, and a whole lot of petroleum jelly. Since Old Hollywood's beauty trends were almost exclusively pretty natural and neutral, they're easy to achieve even if you're a total makeup beginner.
Even if you still find the whole process a bit daunting, don't worry: we've compiled a tutorial for you! Here are twenty of the tips, tricks, hacks, and methods you'll need to go from an inhabitant of 2018 to an Old Hollywood superstar in no time at all.
20 Use Rollers On Wet Hair For That Soft, Wavy Look
We all know that waves and curls were most definitely in fashion in the Old Hollywood days. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Rita Hayworth sported perfectly groomed and coifed curls!
While you can replicate this look using a hot curling iron, it's far gentler on your hair if you go old-school and use a set of rollers.
You can experiment with different sized rollers to see which type of curl or wave suits you best. As Refinery29 notes, it's best to pop your hair into rollers while it's a little bit damp rather than bone-dry: this will help your finish curls to hold their shape.
19 For A More 1920s-Style Hairdo, Try Some Glamorous Finger Waves
If you're looking for a slightly more complex vintage hairdo to rock, why not give finger waves a try? According to hairdressing experts Behind The Chair, this look is actually back in style! As you might have guessed from the name of this hairstyle, the most important tool you'll need is your fingers.
Your hair has to be totally saturated for this to work, too, so get your head under the shower! Use your fingers to mold your hair into this wavy style, keeping your finished locks in place with clips or grips until they're fully dry. Before you know it, you'll have that 1920s flapper vibe down to a T!
18 Using Oils To Maintain Hair Shine Was A Frequent Trick In Old Hollywood
While using hair oils is still a pretty common practice in the 21st century, it was truly all the rage in the Old Hollywood era.
As Dermstore notes, oils were used to keep starlets' hair smooth and hydrated- this was an essential step of their beauty routine!
Take a cue from Rita Hayward: according to Glamour, this actress would totally saturate her locks with oil and leave it in for 15 minutes. Olive oil was a popular product used for this purpose back in the Old Hollywood days, but don't worry, Argan or Moroccan oils are a perfectly good substitute.
17 If You've Gone For The Blonde Bombshell Look, Make Sure To Take Care Of Your Colored Hair
To be honest, this Old Hollywood haircare tip is relevant for anyone who's colored their hair- although the peroxide blonde babes of this world should maybe pay a bit more notice than others! Now, the actual trick that a lot of classic "blonde bombshell" stars used is a bit, shall we say, unconventional.
According to Glamour, Jean Harlow used to use pure-white washing powder to keep her dyed blonde hair bright! In place of this questionable method, we'd suggest picking up some hair care products that will maintain your particular dyed shade. There are plenty of products out there for unnatural brunettes, blondes, redheads, and anything-else-heads!
16 Make Sure To Moisturize Both Your Face And Body
Now, we all know that moisturizing our faces is an integral part of our skincare routine. It's been hammered home to us for long enough. However, it's not just your face that's covered in skin, you know!
Follow the lead of some of Old Hollywood's most famous stars, and make sure to moisturize your entire body with a lotion or body butter.
As Connected Women notes, using oil is also an option; Sophia Loren became infamous for the routine of pouring olive oil into her baths! However, you can just as easily use a less messy option. And what is it with Old Hollywood and olive oil?
15 Exfoliating Is Also A Must To Bring Smoothness And Softness To Your Face
Yep- even back in the days of Old Hollywood, it was well-known that exfoliation was the way forward in your skincare routine. Once or twice a week, it's beneficial to use a facial product that will remove all of your dead skin and smooth out any drier patches.
CBC reports that superstar Katharine Hepburn used to create her own exfoliant using lemon juice, sugar, and warm water. To be fair, it does the job pretty well! Still, for those of us who don't really have the time to whip up our own batches of beauty products, there are plenty of great exfoliants out there for you to purchase.
14 Pick A Foundation That's Not Too Heavy-Duty But Still Gives Your Face A Bit Of A Glow
It's time to move on to Old Hollywood makeup. To start with, let's talk about foundation!
According to E! Online, the perfect Old Hollywood look requires your skin to have a "dewy" and "fresh" appearance.
If this isn't something that you can achieve naturally, make sure to pick a foundation that will help you get the look- a matte product probably isn't the best option in this case. If you do choose to use foundation, only use a thin layer or a light-coverage product. The "natural" look was all the rage in Old Hollywood, and caking on your foundation will totally spoil the illusion.
13 Even Hollywood Legends Contoured - Try Grace Kelly's Double-Blush Trick
You might be surprised to learn that contouring isn't exactly a new makeup phenomenon! It's been going in and out of style for years and was most definitely "in" during the Old Hollywood era. However, to achieve a vintage-style contour, you might want to avoid using lots of heavy cream products.
Hollywood starlets would use simple, subtle tricks to change the appearance of their faces. For example, according to Glamour, Grace Kelly would use two shades of blush to give her face extra dimension. She'd use a lighter tone on her bony areas, and darker shades in her dimples and crevices! It's simple, yet effective.
12 Well-Shaped And Defined Brows Are A Must
Back in the Old Hollywood era, eyebrow grooming was a serious business. The range of looks that various actresses sported was pretty sensational! But if you want to recreate a classic eyebrow style in the modern day, it might be best to avoid the Marlene Dietrich method. According to The Huffington Post, she would totally shave her brows off and pencil fake, very thin ones in.
Instead, go for the perfectly groomed, thick-and-shapely Audrey Hepburn look.
Harper's Bazaar recently reported that even Meghan Markle takes inspiration from Hepburn's brows! If this look is good enough for the super-stylish Duchess of Sussex, it's more than good enough for us.
11 To Get Bette Davis Eyes, Make Sure To Protect Your Under-Eye Area
Considering Bette Davis had eyes so beautiful that an actual song was written about them, it's natural to want to know some of her beauty secrets! According to Glamour, one of the main ways in which Davis kept her eyes looking so bright and clear was to look after her under-eye area. Puffiness was nowhere to be seen when it came to her skin!
Thankfully, Bette's methods were simple: she would regularly wear cucumbers on her eyelids and would smear petroleum jelly on her under-eye area each night. While you could invest in some eye serums that'll have basically the same effect, why not try Bette's cheap-and-cheerful approach? It clearly worked!
10 Make Sure To Prime Your Eyes - Even With Something As Simple As Petroleum Jelly
Never underestimate the power of using primer on your eyelids. Something as easy and simple as slicking a bit of this product on your lids before going in with eyeshadow could have a huge effect on your finished eye makeup look!
Using a primer will stop powder from collecting in the crease of your lid, keep any smudging from taking place, and make your eyeshadow look generally brighter and better.
According to FashionLady, in Old Hollywood, petroleum jelly was used as a cheap and effective primer. Further proof that you really don't have to break the bank to master all these vintage tricks!
9 Neutral, Natural-Looking Eyeshadow Is The Way Forward - Not Bold Colors
As beautiful as bold and bright eyeshadow colors can be, if you're going for that traditional Old Hollywood look it's probably best to avoid them. Back in the day, the most famous starlets were all about neutral, natural-looking eye makeup, and the eyeshadow shades that they used reflected this.
According to FashionLady, it was commonplace for women to simply apply a dark brown shade in their crease to create definition and otherwise coat their eyelids in a totally neutral nude tone! This is an especially good idea if you're planning on wearing a bold lip color; anything other than neutral eyes would serve as a distraction.
8 Only Use A Thin Slick Of Eyeliner If You Want To Focus On Your Lips
If you're planning on using a bright lip color to finish off your Old Hollywood look, it's best to keep things simple in the eyeliner department.
While the cat-eye was undoubtedly popular in the 1950s and 1960s, it can be a bit much if you truly want everyone to focus on your stunning bold lipstick!
If this is your planned look, opt for nothing more than a thin slick of eyeliner on your upper lid, close to your lash line. This was apparently the favored look of Greta Garbo who, according to Glamour, would mix charcoal pigment with petroleum jelly to create her own liner!
7 Use A White Pencil Eyeliner On Your Lower Lash Line To Make Your Eyes Pop
It's time to turn to a makeup trick that Marilyn Monroe herself used on a regular basis. According to Marie Claire, Monroe's makeup artist Allan "Whitey" Snyder used a range of different eyeliner colors when bringing together the star's classic look. This included a white liner pencil, which was used to define her eyes in various ways.
First, Snyder would use a dash of white liner on Monroe's lower waterline to make her eyes look bigger. Likewise, he would draw a tiny triangle of white on the outer corner of her eye, again to give the illusion of wide eyes. It's worth a try if you're after an Old Hollywood look!
6 Make Sure To Use A Non-Clumping Mascara, Or Just Use The Audrey Hepburn Method
One of the most crucial components of an Old Hollywood makeup look is having voluminous, fluttering lashes. It's important to use a mascara that's not only lengthening and volumizing but good-quality.
A truly glamorous Hollywood star would never have been seen with clumpy eyelashes!
The legend of Audrey Hepburn's eye makeup routine only proves this. According to The Huffington Post, after applying Hepburn's mascara, her makeup artist would grab a safety pin and use it to separate every single lash individually. I mean, you can take that route if you want, but getting a non-clumping mascara will be easier- and probably safer!
5 A Red Lip Will Never Go Out Of Style
The Old Hollywood red lip look is so famous, even Taylor Swift has sung about the fact it'll never go out of style. If you've opted for a simple eye makeup look, you're good to go with a bold red lip! This color can be very difficult to apply effectively without smudging, overlining, or getting it all over your teeth, so it might be a good idea to use a lip brush rather than going straight in with the lipstick.
Likewise, using a faint lipliner will make it a lot easier for you to color within the lines, so to speak! When applied with care, a red lip truly does look stunning.
4 Use Multiple Shades Of Lipstick And Gloss To Make Your Lips Look Fuller
If only using one shade of red on your lips just isn't enough for you, it's time for you to read up on Marilyn Monroe's lip contouring method!
According to Marie Claire, Monroe would use five separate shades of red in one lip look in order to give her pout a bit more depth and volume.
Sure, it's a lot of effort, but the results are truly stunning! Monroe used a base matte shade of red all over, darker colors on her outer lips, and lighter shades on her inner lips. Plus, she made sure to highlight her cupid's bow to give her lips the illusion of added fullness.
3 Only Line Your Top Lip - And Then Only Lightly
While we did mention earlier that using lip liner is a good idea if you find it tricky to "stay within the lines" when applying lipstick, try not to go too overboard. While in the modern world having huge, overlined lips is on-trend- for now, at least- this just wasn't the case in Old Hollywood.
Beauty regimes in this past era were all about working with what you had and enhancing your natural beauty, rather than drawing yourself a new pair of Kylie-Jenner-with-fillers lips. Go in light with any lip liner you do use, and try to limit it to your top lip only.
2 If You Want To Go For A More Natural Lip Look, Make Your Eyes Pop With Cat-Eye Liner
If rocking a red lip isn't really on your makeup agenda right now, we have good news- you can go a bit more bold with your Old Hollywood eye makeup! Wearing a neutral lip color (or no lip color at all) means that your eyes will be the main focus of your look.
Of course, there's nothing more quintessentially Old Hollywood than classic cat-eye liner!
Getting your flicks even and "just right" can be a bit of an ordeal even if you're a seasoned eyeliner expert, but don't worry: we all suffer the same struggle. As FashionLady notes, taking things slow and steady when drawing on your wing is the best way to avoid disaster.
1 Match Your Nail Color To Your Lip Color - It's Simple, Yet Effective
Your hair is perfectly waved, your skin is cleansed and exfoliated, and you've nailed your makeup look: what finishing touches does your Old Hollywood look need? Honestly, you're already good to go! However, if you want to add something a bit extra to your look, it's time to crack out the nail polish.
According to FashionLady, in the 1940s Revlon began to popularize the idea of matching your nail color to your lip color! If you've gone for that bold red lip, you know exactly what to do- red nails all the way! If not, opt for a peachy, nude color on your nails.