One of my favourite people in the world, dead or alive, has always been the ICONIC Audrey. Beautiful inside and out, here are some things to know about her beauty regime.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #51 series on my blog.
As one of the most enduring beauty icons of all time, it should come as no surprise to learn that Audrey Hepburn took a considered approach to her regime. From the hair mask that was made especially for her (and remains cult today), to her religious use of a good SPF, British Vogue takes a look at some of the things that helped to make Audrey a timeless beauty – inside and out.
Her signature eye make-up
As well as the feline flick she used to define her almond-shaped eyes, Hepburn also used another trick to help create her signature doe-eyed look. She and her makeup artist, Alberto De Rossi, would use tweezers before and after applying mascara to painstakingly separate every one of her individual eyelashes. If that isn’t dedication to the clump-free life, what is?
She knew the power of a strong brow
Way before Cara Delevingne wowed the fashion world with her fulsome brows, there was Hepburn, whose thick arches were immaculately groomed using a dark brown eyebrow pencil. Her look continues to spawn countless how-to videos even today, because who doesn’t want brows like Audrey’s?
Staying hydrated was key
In his book Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen, Hepburn’s son Luca Dotti revealed the importance she placed on drinking water and staying hydrated. “She was really about drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of vegetables,” he wrote. “It was a matter of how she was brought up.” Evian at the ready.
Her secret to combatting dry skin
As well as ensuring she was well hydrated from the inside, Hepburn said that she used “a lot of moisturisers and oils, because I have rather a dry skin”. As well as these two skin saviours, she also applied yoghurt to her face, leaving it for half an hour, before washing it off. Fresh, Greek yoghurt contains lactic acid which helps to gently exfoliate while hydrating the skin.
She had the same dermatologist as Marilyn
Alongside the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner, Hepburn used to see Hungarian dermatologist Erno Laszlo, whose skincare line still exists to this day. “I owe 50 per cent of my beauty to my mother, and the other 50 per cent to Erno Laszlo,” she once said.
She always removed her makeup – thoroughly
“Working in the theatre, I’ve seen what not removing makeup well can really do to the skin, so I’m very careful about that,” said Hepburn, who referred to herself as a “soap-and-water girl” (with some of Laszlo’s skincare products thrown in). While nowadays soap is very much not recommended, using a good cleanser every morning and evening is.
The cult hair mask she swore by
Heard of Philip Kingsley’s now-cult Elasticiser? A repairing hair mask that delivers moisture directly into the hair cuticle, leaving it shiny, soft and bouncy, it was originally created for Hepburn after the pair met in 1974. She loved it so much that she is said to have had large tubs of it couriered to her regularly – and it’s just as good today as it was then.
As well as lots of fruit and vegetables, which she bought in local markets, surprisingly potatoes were “her bread and butter”, said her son. Hepburn also ate minimal amounts of meat.
She took a holistic approach to her skin
Having proclaimed that “good health is the key to good skin; if your skin isn’t good, it’s a signal that something is wrong” – a very modern ethos – Hepburn ensured she got lots of fresh air and sleep, while keeping her exposure to the sun to a minimum.
SPF was a beauty essential
You know it, I know it – and Audrey did, too. Sunscreen is essential for healthy skin, and while she stayed out of the sun as much as possible, she was religious about wearing SPF.
Her signature scent
Still a classic scent to this day (although it had a revamp in 2018), Givenchy’s L’Interdit was created especially for Hepburn in 1957. Hubert de Givenchy commissioned perfumer Francis Fabron to create the scent, which has notes of orange blossom, tuberose, vetiver and patchouli. It is called L’Interdit, which translates from French as “forbidden”, after Hepburn’s jocular response to Givenchy’s request to make it widely available to the public – not just for her.