Being beautiful: Sage beauty advice from Maw-Maw Belle to Joan Crawford

October 12, 2013 11:31:38 PM

David Creel -


Our grandmothers gave us sage advice on most everything under the sun, but perhaps we should have listened more intently when they were passing out beauty tips. Mayonnaise, milk, beer ... well, I declare.  


When it comes to beauty tricks, whether remembering grandma's rituals or listening to celebrity confessions, there might be a few surprises in your future. Hillary Swank has been known to use hemorrhoid cream (can I say that here?) on the face to instantly reduce under-eye puffiness, rendering her red carpet-ready. The creams contain chemicals that constrict blood vessels and, thus, reduce puffiness. Of course, my grandma's generation suggested holding a peeled, raw potato on the eyes for 10 minutes.  


Minnie might very well have been onto something when she was telling Celia about using Crisco vegetable shortening for dry skin. Sophia Loren is rumored to have bathed in olive oil, and Julia Roberts confesses she uses it on her hands for the best moisturizer ever. Who am I to argue with a great Southern lady, a "pretty woman," or an Italian goddess? 


Many beauty editors suggest using business cards or plastic spoons over the eyelids to make mascara application foolproof, and a few drops of good old Vaseline on the brows is the surefire best bet for shiny, healthy brows. One of my favorites is the notion that using coffee grounds as a body scrub helps with cellulite. Some folks swear by it. Supposedly, the caffeine sucks out excess fluid, tightening a double chin or jiggly thighs, but the benefits only last a few hours.  


Joan Crawford was known to use mayonnaise as a hair mask. Cindy Crawford reportedly mixes milk with water and sprays it on her face throughout the day, and Catherine Zeta-Jones has been known to rinse her hair in beer for enviable shine. So, maybe we should all be headed to the grocery store after hearing the secrets of a screen legend, a supermodel and a leading lady. 


A few of my own tricks might seem bizarre as well. Over-the-counter eye drops are designed to shrink blood vessels, making them a great remedy for banishing pimples and red spots instantly. Baking soda, corn starch or flour from the pantry will serve as a drying agent when you apply too much product and end up with oily strands.  


According to Elle, Victoria Beckham is a fan of the Geisha facial which uses the "bird poop technique." Apparently it's enzyme-rich, and Geishas have preferred it as an exfoliator for centuries. Nicole Kidman shampoos her hair in cranberry juice to rev up the red tones, and my Maw-Maw Belle "greased up," as she called it, with baby oil before bed every night.  


Listen to the stars or the grandmothers who were stars to us, and you just might learn a thing or two.

Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]