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Jackie Kennedy Onassis was known for many things – being one of the youngest First Ladies in history, her work elevating arts and culture, and perhaps most notably, being an international, timeless, style icon. And as we all know, flawless skin is part of the deal.

So how exactly did Jackie come upon her glowing complexion? A recent biography of Jackie, and younger sister Lee, entitled The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamourous Lives of Jackie and Lee, offers some clues. According to authors Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, Jackie’s skincare routine was less about product and more about method.

As a young student at Vassar College, she opted for a mix of hot and cold rinses, noting step-by-step instructions on her night-time skin routine: “Wash your face with hot water and a rough wash cloth and really rub, with upward strokes on the cheeks and forehead… Rinse with cold water: the shock will stimulate circulation and leave it tingling. With the same upward motions massage in a rich cream before retiring. Do this for about two minutes and wipe off what is left so you won’t find it on your pillow the next morning.”

 

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It reads a little like a beauty blog or tutorial of yesteryear. While the cream she was referencing at the time was the Special Dry Skin mixture by Dorothy Gray, she later switched to [by now, cult] skincare brand, Erno Laszlo. Which is ironic, given it was also a known favourite of Marilyn Monroe, long rumoured to have had an affair with Jackie’s husband John F. Kennedy. But hey – good skin is good skin.

The former First Lady was known to be precise and exacting in all things relating to her appearance. In fact, according to another biography, Jackie Style by Pamela Keogh, when her makeup was done, she would take “notes on legal pad to remember how to replicate the look on herself.” Well, if that’s not the type of woman to take skincare advice from, we don’t know who is.