With an endless stream of new beauty products being launched on the market by the hour, there’s something to say about the cult classics that have passed the test of time. In addition, we can’t deny the allure that comes along with a night cream that Marilyn Monroe wore to bed every night or a hairbrush that Elizabeth Taylor swore by. Not only can you rest assured that the product itself is worth the dollar signs on its price tag, but the ingredients themselves are obviously safe, sophisticated and science-backed. So, while their peers might be off the market, or collecting dust somewhere on a vintage-shop shelf, these old Hollywood–approved favorites are still selling out left and right and leaving the next generation of women feeling more beautiful than ever.
Some of the most coveted complexions in Hollywood have been created under the careful, calculated control of Dr. Erno Laszlo. The Hungarian-born dermatologist brought his bespoke skincare philosophy to the Big Apple in 1927, where he introduced some of his best work to the likes of Greta Garbo, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. While Dr. Laszlo and many of his most famous clients are long gone, his luxury anti-aging skincare products still remain. One in particular is this intensely nourishing formula, which contains a unique blend of tamanu oil and glycosaminoglycans. The two work hand in hand to strengthen the skin, improve elasticity and alleviate redness for an overall healthier, more radiant complexion.
Hair and beauty visionaries the Carita sisters were one of the first hairstylists to come up with the concept of hydrating the hair follicles with natural oils. Since the launch of their empire in the 1960s, their products have been used in salons across the world and their dry oil, in particular, is now marketed for the entire body: face, body and hair. It promises to soften and smooth even the driest skin and frayed locks. Just remember to shake before use to achieve the perfect concentration.
Founder, beauty mogul, businesswoman and one of the first self-made female millionaires, Elizabeth Arden (whose real name was Florence Nightingale), opened her first “Red Door” salon back in 1910 and has since created a brand that’s highly recognizable even by today’s youth. Her neck-and-neck race for “best beauty brand” against fierce competitor Helena Rubinstein even inspired a hit Broadway musical, War Paint. One of her most famous launches that’s still flying off shelves today is her Eight Hour Cream, which uses a skin-soothing combination of petrolatum and vitamin E to hydrate every body part from the legs and arms to the lips and eyelids.
This is one vintage-inspired product that’s hardly changed since it launched in the 1880s—seriously. A Yorkshireman by the name of (you guessed it) Mason Pearson invented the rubber-cushion hairbrush which went on to become “the Ferrari of brushes” thanks to its use of boar nylon bristles mixed with nylon. The nylon helps manage even the toughest of tangles and the boar bristles evenly distribute natural oil (sebum) from your scalp down to the ends of your tresses giving it shine and moisture. This brush is ideal for blow-drying and adds maximum soothing, thanks to the rubber cushion pad—just be sure to point the dryer toward the ends of the hair.
This mature and heady scent has its roots all the way back in 1870s British history. Penhaligon’s originated as a hairdressing salon on Jermyn Street in London, where the former Turkish baths were located. It was founded by William Penhaligon and has since inspired many of the perfumes and aromas on the market today. You can expect to smell delicate notes of quince, rosewater, carrot seed, coriander seed and saffron that enhance, awaken and freshen your natural aroma.
One might find it surprising that the founder of this apricot-hued blush balm had the foresight to predict how popular coral and peach shades would be among modern-day, 21st-century women. And they would be correct, since this luxurious cosmetics company was only created in 2004 by artist, cosmetic historian and designer Gabriela Hernandez, who was inspired to create a luxurious cosmetics company that replicated the golden age of cinema in Los Angeles. An immigrant to the U.S. from Buenos Aires, Hernandez was always fascinated by her grandmother’s sophisticated beauty routine. Now she creates vintage-inspired makeup that adds old Hollywood charm to the average woman’s look.
This soothing and hydrating hair care brand has been treating over-bleached and over-processed brittle strands since the late 1950s. Perhaps inspired to undo the damage created by a generation of young women trying out the Hollywood trend and seeking out a Marilyn Monroe-esque ‘do, French stylist René Furterer created the first spa for hair in Paris. From there he made repairing and revitalizing hair his thing. Even today his products, especially his Rene Furterer Complexe 5 Regenerating Extract, are used at some of the most respected salons in the world.