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14 Effective Old-School Beauty Tips We Need to Bring Back

Each period in history is characterized by its own beauty standards. For example, Marie Antoinette and the rest of the European aristocracy of the time used arsenic-based powders to achieve snow-white skin, which, in hindsight, wasn’t such a great idea since we all know today that arsenic is extremely toxic and potentially deadly.
But by far not all of the old beauty secrets are strange or dangerous. In fact, many of them really work, and we think it’s a real shame that we as a society have forgotten all about them. Here we feature 14 vintage beauty and self-care tips that are actually really effective. Best of all, nearly all of these tips use items you likely already have at home.

1. Always wear gloves when you’re doing housework

effective vintage beauty tips woman in gloves cleaning the house
Our wise grandmothers knew that protection is key when it comes to the preservation of beauty and a youthful appearance. That's why they always used sun hats and gloves when going outside, and protective gloves when they were cleaning the house.
Today, we have successfully replaced sun hats and gloves with sunscreen, which offers even better sun protection, but when dealing with harsh cleaning agents and scrubbing, you should always wear gloves to keep your hands and nails in good shape. 

2. Amp up your eyelashes without mascara

effective vintage beauty tips hairdryer and eyelash curler
Image Source: Maria Rantanen/ Flickr (right)
Mascara is one of the most essential makeup items, but it can be quite tricky to take off, smudging all around the eyes and leaving unsightly gray stains behind, which is why it's a hassle to put on every day. Instead, you can simply try using an eyelash curler to lift your eyelashes and visually open up the eyes.
If your lashes don't stay curled and separated when you're only using an eyelash curler and you need a bit more staying power, simply heat up the eyelash curler a little with a hairdryer and then use it. This trick ensures you have lifted and wispy lashes all day long.

3. Mix in rosemary oil into your shampoo to promote hair growth

effective vintage beauty tips rosemary oil
Rosemary is widely known to have hair benefits, and simply adding a few drops of rosemary essential oil to your shampoo will help you have healthier, thicker, and more luscious hair for longer. An old way to incorporate rosemary into haircare is to simply steep rosemary leaves in shampoo for a week or so, which reportedly works just as well as the oil.
Interestingly, the hair growth effect of rosemary has been recently proven experimentally, with scientists showing that rosemary oil was just as effective as minoxidil (an ingredient in hair growing serums, such as Rogaine) for men with alopecia. 

4. Reduce the redness of a pimple with eye drops

effective vintage beauty tips woman applying acne treatment
Who said anti-redness eye drops, such as Visine, are only there to make your eyes less red? In fact, women have used these eye drops to reduce the redness of particularly annoying red pimples for decades. Simply soak a cotton swab with the eye drops and hold the cotton swab directly on the blemish for a minute or two, et voila, your pimple is guaranteed to become less red and visible.
This is because the eye drops shrink the blood vessels on the skin, decreasing the inflammation and redness of the blemish. 

5. Use a satin pillowcase to make your hair less frizzy and prevent wrinkles

effective vintage beauty tips bedroom
Bedhead is such a common issue that many of us actually end up thinking that waking up with frizzy, staticky, and misshapen hair is the norm. The truth is that it doesn't have to be that way, and the simple solution lies in your pillowcase. Switch to a silk or satin pillowcase to get rid of all that frizz and static that is created as a result of friction between a normal pillowcase and your hair.
A very pleasant bonus is that a satin or silk pillowcases are also useful for preventing your skin from creasing after a night of sleep. This way, it can protect you from those pesky fine lines and wrinkles, at least to some extent.

6. Use clear bar soap to set your eyebrows in place

effective vintage beauty tips bar soap
Brow products, such as brow gels, brow pencils, and pomades are a fairly recent invention, but nice looking brows certainly aren't. So, what did women do to shape and set their brows in place instead of those products? Some clear bar soap and a clean old mascara wand is the answer (you can also use a clean spoolie brush).
To take advantage of this trick, simply dampen the mascara wand with water, and then brush it through a bar of soap, coating the bristles with a thin layer of soap. After that, simply brush through and shape your eyebrows, and you're done - you'll have perfectly looking feathery brows all day long.

7.  Use white or beige eyeliner to visually open your eyes

effective vintage beauty tips sophia loren
Image Source: Film Star Vintage/ Flickr, cropped
Black or brown eyeliner has its uses, but using it in the waterline (the line on the inside of the eyes) is not for everyone, as dark-colored eye pencils make your eyes look smaller and generally don't suit mature women. However, this doesn't mean you should stop lining your waterline altogether if you're not in your teens or twenties, or if you have smaller eyes.
The trick lies in the color of the eye pencil. Opt for beige or white eyeliner in your waterline to make your eyes appear bigger and more awake. After all, Sophia Loren does this trick all the time, and she is known for her mesmerizing and beautiful eyes even today at age 85.

8. Do an avocado mask to hydrate dry skin

effective vintage beauty tips avocado sliced in half
Avocado is great on toast, but few people know that it can also moisturize your skin and help you get rid of dry skin when used as a mask. ​As a matter of fact, avocado had been used by Aztecs as a skin moisturizer for centuries. You can either use avocado oil on targeted dry areas applied on clean skin or do a simple avocado mask.
To do the mask, just mash up some leftover avocado into a paste and apply a thin layer on any spot of your skin that is dry, be it your cheeks, nose, or elbows. Keep this mask on for 20 minutes, and then wash off. Your skin should feel supple and soft after using the mask.

9. Use baby oil or olive oil instead of body lotion and a hair mask

effective vintage beauty tips olive oil
Speaking of oils, women from the previous generations, be it Roman women and their olive oil, or women in the 1950s and their baby oil, all loved to apply them all over their body instead of lotion. Not only will moisturization prevent the development of crepey skin and wrinkles, but it will also make your skin appear glowy and feel softer.
Using natural oils, such as olive oil or avocado oil, can likewise protect your skin (and hair) from aging because these oils are very high in anti-oxidants. Coconut oil is also good for your hair and body, but we wouldn't recommend to use it on your face since it can be comedogenic and cause pimples and clogged pores in some people.

10. Instead of an expensive toner, simply use rosewater

effective vintage beauty tips
Hydrating toners can be crazy expensive, $20 and up for a small bottle of liquid that can be easily replaced by a much cheaper bottle of rose water. This beautiful and inexpensive product can soothe redness, reduce acne, heal small cuts and burns, and even prevent skin aging. Simply soak a cotton pad with rose water and apply on clean skin before your moisturizer, and you're done.

11. Rinse your face with green tea for younger and softer skin

effective vintage beauty tips teapot with green tea
An ice-cold green tea rinse is a traditional recipe used by Japanese and Korean women for centuries. This method is said to tone and brighten the skin, and also to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation in the skin, all of which collectively are supposed to have an anti-aging effect. Given the many health benefits of antioxidant-rich green tea, we understand why that is the case.
To use this method, prepare strong green tea, let it cool in a bowl, and then add a few ice cubes into the bowl. After you cleanse your skin, splash the ice-cold green tea onto your face and then start gently patting in the liquid that is on your face with your hands. The more often you repeat this method, the longer you will be able to retain a youthful and soft appearance to your skin, they say.

12. Brush your hair with a boar bristle brush to make it less oily

effective vintage beauty tips hairbrush
Natural hair brushes, such as a boar bristle brush, are all the rage once again, and for good reason. For centuries, women have used these brushes to condition, smoothe, and de-frizz their hair the natural way by carefully brushing it through dozens of times every evening.
Using a brush with natural bristles is said to distribute the natural oils from your scalp throughout the hair, making the roots of the hair less oily and simultaneously conditioning the ends. Keep in mind that women used to wash their hair once in a few weeks in the past, and a natural hair brush certainly made it possible for their hair to stay beautiful, shiny, and clean for days and weeks on end.

13. Depuff your eyes by using ice cubes wrapped in cloth

effective vintage beauty tips model holding ice cubes
While we know that ice-cold water isn't really capable of tightening your pores for more than a few minutes, it doesn't mean that ice should not be used in a beauty routine. In fact, one clever old way to use ice is to depuff your face or your eyes. Puffy eyes or face in the morning are an awfully common concern and one that definitely feels quite uncomfortable and impairs your confidence.
Luckily, a simple ice cube wrapped in a small towel, washcloth, or a piece of muslin cloth is an excellent fix for that concern. Avoid applying the ice directly onto the skin, as this can be irritating and promote redness. Simply hold the ice cube on different areas of the eyes or face for a few minutes, and you should see a significant reduction in puffiness.

14. Use a lighter to soften your eyeliner

effective vintage beauty tips liner and lighter
Image Source: Lip Monthly/ Twitter
Is your eye pencil is quite old and dried up, or maybe, it simply isn't rich enough in color, we have a vintage quick fix for you. Take a lighter and bring the pencil close to it so that the oils in the pencil loosen up and it becomes softer and creamier, resulting in a more intense application. Be careful and don't burn your pencil or hold it over the fire for too long, as this can make it melt away completely and you'll have to resharpen it and start from scratch.
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