Brigitte Bardot in the bath

"That's good skin to go please"


Backcombing, Bardot and BIG lashes, when it comes to beauty the sixties are still a constant source of style inspo. But whilst we might look to the archives to rock an Edie Sedgwick eyeliner flick, the decade of flower power was a little less clued up in the technology stakes (cold cream and glycerine soap anyone?). We decided to take a look at a ‘Boyfriend 61 Book’ we snaffled from a vintage shop to see how their ‘Day To Day Beauty Aids’ compare to what the beauty team here at Instyle would recommend today.

60s Beauty Advice


Funny how things come back around isn’t it? Epsom salts are very much de riguer today (just ask Victoria Beckham) so this tip we approve of. Exfoliation also gets a big thumbs up from us (body brushes are great for getting the circulation going and improving skin quality). For blackheads on the back, we’d probably swap the oatmeal pack (nice and nourishing but not ideal for unblocking pores) for something like Origin’s Clear Improvement Purifying Charcoal Body Wash, £19. And rather than using a pumice stone on rough skin (ouch) or dousing yourself in cologne (ew), try Ameliorate’s Body Polish, £19.50 which combines Lactic Acid and microdermabrasion granules to buff away dry skin as well as those annoying bumps you get on the backs of your arms.

60s Beauty Advice


A daily skincare routine is a must. Washing your face in soap and water? We can do better than that girls! (As for astringents – they went out with men’s frilly shirts). Instead, oily skins should opt for a gently exfoliating cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin (which can cause it to over-produce sebum to compensate) such as Medik8 Pore cleanse gel, £17. Rather than an astringent, follow with a oil-free serum such as Skinceutical’s Blemish & Age Defense, £52.29, to reduce excess sebum production and decongest clogged pores. For dry skin opt for a mild cleanser such as Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser, £14.99, and follow with a sweep of micellar water (we love Origin's Dr Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Cleanser, £27.50).

60s Beauty Advice

Hair went through a lot in the 60s (the birthplace of the beehive afterall). In terms of haircare, we’re not adverse to a beer rinse (apart from the fact that we’d rather be drinking it) but technology has made life a lot easier. Forget soapless shampoo, oily hair can be brought back into balance with a specially formulated hair cleanser such as Kerastase’s Specifique Bain Divalent, £17.50, whilst fine hair can be thickened up using a dedicated haircare range such as Aveda’s Invati System, £91.50, which contains an exfoliating shampoo, thickening conditioner and scalp revitaliser. Massaging the scalp and applying olive oil before you wash? We approve.

60s Beauty Advice

‘Flabby flesh and thick bones’. We might not entirely agree with the unfortunate phrasing and leg-shaming going on here but we would advocate the drinking of lots of liquids (preferably water, coconut water or green tea) even if the measurements are now in litres rather than pints (two to be precise). Exercise, massage and cutting down on salt are also big yes’ from us although hair removal has moved on a bit from pumice stones. Why not make life easier for yourself and invest in a home hair removal gadget such as Tria’s Hair Removal Laser 4X, £375, for permanent, faff-free de-fuzzing?

60s beauty Advice

When it comes to keeping your nails in tip-top condition olive oil is fine (we don’t know about painting them with white iodine though!) but nail and cuticle oils are generally less sticky, more nourishing and don’t smell like a Greek restaurant. We love Creative Nail Design’s SolarOil, £11.95, which smells amazing and is a Best Beauty Buys Winner. For dry, brittle, flaking nails Microcell nail repair, £18.50 has done wonders for our talons. 

60s Beauty Advice

It may be half a century on, but we still love a curl. What’s changed is how easy it is to get them. Forget pinning in rollers and instead go for a tool such as BaByliss PRO Perfect Curl, £150, which sucks hair into a ‘curl chamber’ releasing it to form tousled waves or defined curls depending on what look you’re after.

60s Beauty Advice

Continued below...

The mani advice we’re on board with – not much has changed in that respect. The tips about using a lip brush and prepping your lids with foundation – good with us too. But when it comes to foundation formulations for oily skin, things have moved on a bit from ‘cake make-up’ and ‘astringent liquids’ (thank goodness). Take Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation, £45, which was created for doctors and not only helps to promote healing. it also allows the skin to breathe with no occlusive oils in it.