Jackie Onassis In The Age Of Instagram

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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jackie onassis in the age of instagram

Don’t get me wrong: I love liquid lipsticks, rainbow highlighters, and Kylie Jenner, but sometimes, I daydream about a simpler beauty era. A time when Instagram brows didn’t exist and 100 layers videos would have elicited shock and horror. That time is the ’60s and the beauty icon is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Fashion plate. First lady. Francophile. It’s no secret that Jackie is the definition of class. My appreciation for her classic, timeless aesthetic was further fueled by Natalie Portman’s portrayal in Jackie — and I decided to discover, and try, all her beauty secrets. That meant giving my mind and face a break from plumped-up lips, strobed cheekbones, and an airbrushed, James Charles-esque complexion.

While most of the products Jackie relied on unfortunately don’t exist today, there are plenty of nearly identical substitutes, and Peter Lamas, her makeup artist in New York after she left the White House, shared the secrets of the coiffed, naturally made-up style icon. Click through the slides ahead for the seven keys to becoming Jackie O.

jackie onassis in the age of instagram


Go To Hungary For Skin Care

Jackie may have been a big secret smoker, yet her skin still looked flawless. (That’s not us recommending you take up smoking, BTW.) The secret? According to Peter Lamas, sourcing beauty products from outside the U.S. was Jackie’s specialty. While her favorite spots were in France and Italy, she and Lamas both loved picking up Hungarian beauty secrets.

Most of her go-to Hungarian products from back in the day are discontinued, but one is still around: Erno Laszlo. Go for the double-cleanse system (Jackie was a fan of what would be the Hydra-Therapy Collection today) and Phormula 3-9 Repair Cream. (Fun fact: So, too, was Marilyn.)

Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Cream, $275, available at Erno Laszlo.

jackie onassis in the age of instagram


Embrace Essential Oils

Lamas tells us that Jackie was huge on essential oils. Why? She had coarse, thick hair that wasn’t the easiest to straighten. But the former first lady preferred it smooth, slightly curled at the bottom, and blown out. “She always complained [about her hair], so I recommended she use a light amount of oils — in those days, I knew about jojoba oil and lavender oil — but in refined levels,” Lamas explains.

Vitruvi Lavender Essential Oil, $14.90, available at Vitruvi.

jackie onassis in the age of instagram


Invest Time In Your Hair

We are living in the generation of blowouts on-the-go — and while Drybar certainly doesn’t cost as much as a whole glam squad, it adds up if you’re going every two to three days, like Jackie. Instead, opt for a blowout at home with a professional-grade dryer and a round brush. Keep some hot rollers on hand to help with perfecting those curled-under ends.

Drybar Buttercup Blow-dryer, $195, available at Drybar.

jackie onassis in the age of instagram


Get Bougie With Your Bedding

To maintain your blowout for days, get a silk pillowcase or wrap your hair in an extravagantly expensive scarf. “She would use a silk scarf to sleep and a silk pillowcase,” Lamas tells us. “If you sleep on cotton, it roughs up your hair.”

Night Pillow, $150, available at Night.

jackie onassis in the age of instagram


Start Contouring Your Eyes

From the tweed skirts to the makeup, Jackie adored Chanel. Lamas explains that her eyes were wide-set, so contouring was key — but he used a unique technique. Instead of shading the outer corners, Lamas would focus the darker shade on the inner corners of her eyes. It would balance out her face and flatter her larger features.

Additionally, white eyeliner was an essential (except when Jackie would do her makeup on her own at home). Lamas would open up her gaze by focusing the pencil on the outer corners.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow, $61, available at Chanel.

jackie onassis in the age of instagram


Reach For Pinks Instead Of Reds

Lamas tells us that, unsurprisingly, bold colors were not Jackie’s thing. She liked to keep her lip color soft and neutral, so she opted for pale pinks and nudes, often from Elizabeth Arden. “She was all about being natural. That’s why she looked so classic and classy. The makeup didn’t make Jackie.”

Elizabeth Arden Beauty Color Moisturizing Lipstick, $25, available at Elizabeth Arden.

jackie onassis in the age of instagram


Swap The Floral Scents For Something Sultry

Spicy, musky, and very expensive, this was only one of Jackie’s signature fragrances — and it’s intense. For such a reserved woman, it’s surprising how woodsy and deep this scent is. Now that’s a power move.

Krigler Lovely Patchouli 55 Classic Perfume, $355, available at Krigler.

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jackie onassis in the age of instagram


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