NEW YORK – Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis tied the knot on October 20, 1968 and 53 years later, Vogue magazine featured the late Jackie O for her beauty routine.
Her “go-to professional was dermatologist-to-the-stars, Erno Laszlo, who also looked after Marilyn Monroe’s alabaster skin,” Vogue reported, adding that “much can be gleaned about Onassis’ skincare routine through archival documents from 1963 that made their way into New York’s Makeup Museum.”
“Laszlo’s advice was to avoid ‘applying more oil or creams,’ both to help prevent blackheads and pimples reappearing and simultaneously get rid of the ‘bumps’ she was suffering,” Vogue reported, noting that “two of the key products she used were Erno Laszlo’s Phelityl Oil, a pre-cleansing oil designed to dissolve make-up and the day’s grime, and the Light Controlling Lotion, a gentle exfoliating toner which she was also advised to use under her arms. Both are still available today.”
“While Jackie was religious about staying out of the sun and always wore hats on visits to Cape Cod, Laszlo controversially advised against this,” Vogue reported, adding that “instead, he extolled the benefits of the sun and told her not to fear brown spots because he could ‘make them fade in the fall’… a far cry from dermatologist advice today (wear sunscreen, people!).”
“Legendary hairstylist Kenneth Battelle, whose hair salon in New York’s Manhattan was filled with the great and the good, is the man behind Jackie’s signature bouffant style,” Vogue reported, noting that “Battelle didn’t just work with Onassis, either; his client list included Lauren Bacall, Diana Vreeland, Jean Shrimpton, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Gloria Vanderbilt, and it is said that his softer hairstyles were responsible in part for the demise of the hat.”
“I believe hair should be like fabric,” he said, Vogue reported. “Light should pass through it, and you should want to put your hand in it.”
“Rumor has it that upon first meeting Jackie and her ‘washed-and-ironed hair,’ he advised her to grow it so that he could create softer, looser hair via rollers,” Vogue reported, adding that “the key to keeping her hair healthy and frizz-free” was “a silk pillowcase, of course.”
“If you sleep on cotton, it roughs up your hair,” one of her make-up artists, Peter Lamas, once said, Vogue reported, “[Jackie] would use a silk scarf to sleep and a silk pillowcase.”
Onassis “iconic hairstyle, often subjected to heat, required extra hydration and nourishment,” Vogue reported, noting that “Lamas’ advice was to use a hair oil on lengths and ends— her favorite was a lavender-based formula.”
A similar product available today is “Champo’s Weightless Hair Oil, which combines lavender with macadamia seed and lemongrass oils,” Vogue reported.
“For fresh-looking skin and to help cover up those sun spots, Onassis loved Elizabeth Arden’s Flawless Finish Foundation,” Vogue reported, pointing out that “new iterations of the formula [are] available today.”
“Save for her bold brows and a flawless complexion, Onassis wore minimal makeup, but often coordinated her lipstick to her outfit,” Vogue reported, adding that “berry reds and coral hues were her preference.”
Onassis’ daily perfume was “House of Krigler’s Lovely Patchouli 55, a leathery scent which housed notes of amber, bergamot, patchouli, and citrus,” Vogue reported, adding that Laszlo “advised daily exercise in the form of a walk” to fend off varicose veins.
“Bad hair days” were no problem for Onassis who “would disguise hers with the help of a chic silk scarf, preferably from Hermès,” Vogie reported, noting that “nnother nifty beauty trick to glean from her was the sunglasses, which were large enough to conceal all manner of sins.”
Finally, “as well as a diet of two boiled eggs for breakfast, broiled beef and cottage cheese for lunch and meat with watercress salad for dinner— and the occasional apple— she forwent much water in favor of a more delicious tipple of choice: champagne,” Vogue reported.