Scientists and cosmetic giants alike have been slaving away for decades in a billion-dollar bid to find the elixir of youth.
Yet according to Joanna Lumley, she’s had the secret on her bathroom shelf all along, in the form of a €4.99 jar of Astral.
“It comes in a little blue pot, cheap as chips — adore! It has never been tested on animals, and is about the only thing I’ve never developed an allergy to,” she has enthused.
Noting her love of €3 Elnett hairspray too, Joanna has spoken out of her love of the high street, saying that she is ‘old fashioned’ and ‘mean with money’.
Yet she’s not the only one who gets ready for the megawatt glare of the red carpet with much-loved high street brands. In fact, the A-list often sidestep the perk of pricey potions for tried and tested favourites.
When Saoirse Ronan glowed on the Oscars red carpet, the down-to-earth star matched her custom made Calvin Klein gown with the pocket-friendly John Frieda hair range. Her hair stylist on the night, Adir Abergel, revealed that for her relaxed hair, he gave a textured blowout with waves, using John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse, which retails for €7.99 at Boots.
Elsewhere, celebrities across the stratosphere have extolled the virtues of using a €5 jar of coconut oil. Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr also rave about the stuff as a body moisturizer and hair mask (the latter also swears by eating a teaspoon of oil a day with her breakfast smoothie). “I’ve been including coconut oil in my diet for years because of the health benefits,” she revealed in 2011. “I add it to salads and smoothies; I cook with it. I smooth it all over as a hydrating treatment.”
Naomi Campbell also knew that, if she were to make her body her fortune, she’d need to look after it early on. Enter a 160-year old formula — Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (€5.99). “My mother had me smoothing in Palmer’s Cocoa Butter from a very early age,” she reveals. “Twice a day, I moisturize from top to toe. It’s the simple secret of sexy skin — you want to be touchable all over.”
Another much-loved beauty hero, on the other hand, professes to remove oil… from hair that is. Famously, Kim Kardashian only washes her brunette hair once or twice a week, relying on a can of Batiste dry shampoo (€3.99) to keep her roots grease-free and lifted in between washes.
Like the Kardashians, Gigi Hadid grew up in the lap of luxury, but still loves a beauty bargain. Revealing the secret to her eyebrows, she has claimed that keeping them away from the tweezers, and using Maybelline’s Master Sleek Brow Drama Mascara (€7.49) is the best way for peepers to pack a punch.
Michelle Keegan’s wonderfully groomed look is the envy of several, but chatting to Cosmopolitan, she revealed that Revlon’s Ultimate All-in-One mascara (€14.99) is her go-to beauty buy. “My favourite mascara is definitely the All-In-One,” she reveals. “It does everything and that’s what you want in a mascara. It thickens, it lengthens and it defines and that’s the perfect mascara for me.”
Some celebs go one further and, like Miranda Kerr, have even found their beauty heroes in their own kitchen cupboards.
Emma Stone’s flawless beauty has already helped the newcomer land a wallet-busting Revlon contract. However, the real secret of her camera-ready complexion is within reach for civilians too, for she swears by a supermarket staple. Stone swears by grapeseed oil as a daily moisturiser, saying, “I’m seriously allergic to everything. So I just use natural grapeseed oil from the grocery store on my face as moisturiser. After the shower, I pat it on, and then I’ll use it throughout the day and at night. I pretty much smell like grape all the time.”
Likewise, actress Thandie Newton is no stranger to TV viewers, thanks to a high-profile Olay campaign. Yet her own secret beauty weapon is another pantry staple; turmeric spice. “Olay does a great tinted moisturiser [€13.99] that I add a little turmeric to — making it more yellow depending on my skin tone and the season,” she told Hello! magazine earlier this month. “That’s a great trick for all women who find that foundations are too ashy or too pink for their skins. And it’s anti-inflammatory. It’s my secret weapon.”
Yet Thandie and Emma aren’t the only two stars resorting to cost-cutting beauty tricks. Scratch the surface, in fact, and you’ll find that it’s a time-honoured Tinseltown ritual. Kylie Minogue has admitted to Botox treatment in the past, but claims now that she uses only Pond’s cold cream (€5.99). “It’s all I use to look after my skin,” she says. “It’s an old classic. My mum uses it and it really does work.
It’s made such a difference.” Keira Knightley is also a fan of lo-fi products, despite her mega Chanel contract. As to how she keeps her
English rose complexion, she intones: “Always remove make-up before bed and use witch hazel [€3.99] as toner.”
While Joanna Lumley is partial to chopping and dyeing her own hair, Nicole Kidman and Caprice also prefer a DIY approach to their haircare. The two have admitted they keep their highlights brass-free using tomato ketchup. The acidity in tomatoes removes deposits of chlorine and helps neutralise those ‘green’ tones that befalls many a bottle blonde.
Jennifer Aniston has also made her fortune through her hair and now we know how: she famously uses horse shampoo. In 2001, she admitted to using Mane’n’Tail shampoo (€6.99), which also keeps human hair in tip-top condition. Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim K are also thought to be fans. SJP admits to battling adult acne from time to time. She reportedly uses rosewater (€3.49) to tackle breakouts.
The DIY beauty tips that the stars swear by are plentiful: Catherine Zeta-Jones, for instance, is a fan of honey face masks, and keeps her smile bright by brushing her teeth with strawberries. Jessica Biel is said to mix a couple of teaspoons of sugar in with her cleanser to use as an exfoliating scrub. And Demi Moore also uses her kitchen as a beauty emporium, using castor oil (€3.49) as a hair conditioning treatment.
Celebrity mums have also discovered that baby products are not just for little ones: Cheryl Cole uses Sudocrem (€2.49) to blitz blemishes and spots. Likewise, Natalie Imbruglia picked up an effective beauty trick from her mother; instead of using pricey, high-tech eye creams, she dabs Vaseline (€2.69) on her eyelids and eye area before going to bed.
Vaseline is also a staple that new mum Beyonce can’t do without. “Someone once gave me a diamond-studded jar of Vaseline,” she has said, referring to the strangest fan gift she ever received. According to reports, Beyonce puts a slick of Vaseline on her shin bone after moisturizing to give her legs extra pow factor.
Of course, Kate Moss swears by the cheapest beauty tip there is: to keep her figure trim, she religiously drinks over three litres of water a day. A habit she acquired during her modelling heyday, Kate reckons that water is beauty’s real elixir. Jennifer Aniston is in agreement, saying: “I drink a load of water. If I don’t drink enough, I dehydrate badly and my skin goes crepey. Water is important.”
You can’t get any more cost-effective a beauty hero than that.