Today’s celebs are maintained by a steady supply of tan in a can, hair extensions, straightening irons and mascara galore … and that’s just the Jonas Brothers.
But before we start waxing nostalgic about the good ol’ days when men looked like Cary Grant and women didn’t leave their panties in the glove compartment, let’s not forget that the silver-screen stars of Old Hollywood weren’t exactly “natural beauties” either. In fact, as this little trip down memory lane will attest, many of these bizarre old-school beauty tricks would make even Joan Rivers wince. If she could.
Marilyn Monroe – The name isn’t all that separated Norma Jean Baker from Marilyn Monroe. In addition to going from brown to blonde, the bombshell is said to have had her chin and nose surgically altered. Another beauty secret: ice baths splashed with Chanel No. 5.
Joan Crawford – Mommie Dearest once claimed her favorite beauty secret was “soap and water,” but she was reportedly no stranger to the plastic surgeon’s scalpel either. And if her film portrayal is to be believed, Crawford slept with surgical tape on her face and woke up with a round of bobbing for ice cubes.
Bette Davis – Her eyes may be the stuff of ’80s one-hit wonders, but Bette Davis’ undersized mouth needed a little help. To compensate, Davis would color outside of her lip lines with lipstick (just like Grandma!). She also relied on face-lifting tapes and cosmetic surgery later in life.
Rita Hayworth – With luscious auburn locks and killer dance moves, she made being a glamazon look easy. In truth, her natural dark brown tresses were dyed red at the command of Fox Studios, and she was made to undergo countless electrolysis treatments to raise her hairline — call it the reverse Brendan Fraser.
Greta Garbo – The notoriously private Swede remains one of Hollywood’s greatest beauties, but even she had her Ugly Betty moments. MGM head Louis B. Mayer ordered the starlet to lose weight, get her hairline straightened and have her teeth fixed before putting her in films.