11 Things to Know About Jackie Onassis’s Beauty Routine

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (or Jackie O as she’s fondly known) has long been one of the world’s most beloved beauty icons. The coiffed hair, those bold eyebrows, the oversized sunglasses—the former first lady knew the power of looking and feeling good. Here, Vogue takes a look at her beauty routine, from the foundation she swore by to why champagne was an important part of her diet. 

How she looked after her skin

Jackie O’s go-to professional was dermatologist-to-the-stars, Erno Laszlo, who also looked after Marilyn Monroe’s alabaster skin. Much can be gleaned about Onassis’s 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. 

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.

Erno Laszlo Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil

Erno Laszlo Light Controlling Toner

In 1965.Santi Visalli

Her approach to the sun

While Jackie was religious about staying out of the sun and always wore hats on visits to Cape Cod, Laszlo controversially advised against this. 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!).

That bouffant hair

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. 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. “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.

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