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Marilyn Monroe did WHAT to look pretty?

Shopping for vintage clothes and jewelry is a great idea, but when it comes to shopping for beauty advice, it’s better to buy new, so to speak. It was once super trendy for starlets like Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford and Christie Brinkley to write books on their secrets to beautiful skin, hair, makeup and figures. Women once took these tips as fact, but looking at them now is just plain comical.

Here are some of the best (and by best, I mean worst) vintage beauty tricks that prove some things are better left in the past.

Avoid soft chairs, advised Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford, a famous flapper and actress in the 1920s, wrote a book called My Way of Life in 1972, detailing tricks like walking around the house with pointed toes to tone the legs, and avoid sitting in soft chairs, since they “spread the hips.”

Really, Joan? I have a feeling it was all that flapping around that toned your legs and tush, not a weird way of walking and your sitting habits. (I’ll enjoy my recliner, thank you very much!)

Slather on the Vaseline, Marilyn Monroe said

Who needs wrinkle cream when you have Vaseline? Not Marilyn Monroe! This famous bombshell reportedly slathered this greasy product on her face before bed to prevent wrinkles. Would this work for you? Well, it certainly works to hydrate skin, but it might also clog your pores, make your skin greasy and cause breakouts.

Who knows how Marilyn stayed so gorgeous, but you’re better off looking for a night cream with retinol or peptides to stimulate collagen for a wrinkle-free face.

Cocaine is bad for a girl’s looks, according to Joan Collins

Thank God we had Joan Collins’ advice in the disco era. In her book, The Joan Collins Beauty Book, this divalicious actress advises women to stay away from cocaine, since it’s “bad for a girl’s looks.” Well gee whiz, if not for Joan’s expert advice we all might be druggies by now! (Kidding.) Thanks for pointing out the obvious, Joan.

She also recommends securing your wig with extra hairpins before any lovemaking sessions. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind next time I go to bed wearing my toupee!

Sweat is sunscreen? Yikes, Victoria Principal

In her book The Beauty Principal, this actress, best known as Pamela Barnes on the early-80s CBS show Dallas, says sunscreen is unnecessary if you’re sweating in the sun, since perspiration “is a type of natural sunscreen,” and instead of wiping it off, you should pat it down. Joan Collins also offered some misguided tanning advice – to slather an iodine/baby oil mixture on your skin every hour while sunbathing.

All I can say about this one is “yikes.” Let’s just say we won’t be surprised if it comes out that these lovely leading ladies get less than stellar results, considering their suntan tricks actually increase the sun’s damage by enhancing and reflecting the damaging rays. Hopefully the wised up over the years, and have taken steps to protect themselves.

Thank goodness the trend  of taking celebrity advice (with NO grain of salt, that is) ended! The ’90s brought in a whole era of advice books written by, oh you know, EXPERTS like nutritionists, dermatologists and other professionals who based their tips in fact.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing