Beauty care is not all about pricey products
At last count, the worldwide beauty industry was valued at more than €160bn, and at its heart is a galaxy of A-list beauties clamouring for lucrative cosmetic contracts. The way perceived wisdom tells it, all we need to look like our idols are pricey products. Not so, according to certain reports.
Actress 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 easy reach, for she swears by supermarket staple grapeseed oil as a daily moisturiser. "I'm seriously allergic to everything. So I just use natural grapeseed oil on my face as moisturiser. I pretty much smell like grape all the time."
Likewise, actress Thandie Newton figures in a high-profile Olay campaign, yet her secret beauty weapon is another pantry staple; turmeric spice. "Olay does a great tinted moisturiser that I add a little turmeric to," she told Hello! magazine earlier this month. "That's a great trick for all women who find that foundations are too pink for their skins. And it's anti-inflammatory. It's my secret weapon."
And Kylie Minogue has admitted to Botox treatment in the past, but claims now that she uses only Pond's cold cream. "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."
Actress Keira Knightley is also a fan of lo-fi products, despite her mega Chanel contract. She says: "I always remove make-up before bed and use witch hazel as toner."
Cher is known for her extensive collection of over-the-top wigs, but has a unique way of caring for the hair that she has left. She advises that, halfway through a bottle of conditioner, we add a little water so that it lasts twice as long.
Elsewhere, Nicole Kidman and Caprice 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, not least as a L'Oreal spokeswoman, but in 2001, she admitted to using Mane 'n Tail shampoo, which also keeps human hair in tip-top condition. Sarah Jessica Parker is also thought to be a fan.
SJP may look like a million dollars in beauty campaigns, but the star admits to battling adult acne. She reportedly uses rosewater to tackle breakouts, which is available in health food shops and chemists.
Nicolette Sheridan is proud of her young looking hands; to achieve a similar effect, experts claim that massaging with rice water does the job. Simply boil up some rice, leave the starchy water to cool and apply to hands.
As a mum of three, Julia Roberts barely has time to head to the salon, but says soaking her nails in a bowl full of olive oil does wonders.
Other DIY beauty fans include Catherine Zeta-Jones; a fan of honey face masks, who keeps her smile bright by brushing her teeth with strawberries. Jessica Biel is said to mix sugar with her cleanser to use as an exfoliating scrub. And Demi Moore uses castor oil as a hair conditioning treatment.
Celebrity mums have also discovered that baby products are not just for little ones: Jamelia is said to be a massive fan of Johnson & Johnson's baby oil. Cheryl Cole uses Sudocrem to blitz blemishes and spots, while Natalie Imbruglia dabs Vaseline on her eyelids and eye area before going to bed.
Vaseline is a staple that new mum Beyonce can't do without. "Someone once gave me a diamond-studded jar of Vaseline," she has said. According to reports, Beyonce puts a slick of Vaseline on her shin bone after moisturising to give her legs extra pow factor.
If Vaseline is a throwback to our youths, so too is The Body Shop. For years it has been a Mecca for several young beauty enthusiasts and many of us spent our teens enveloped within a cloud of their famous White Musk fragrance. However, some Hollywood stars refuse to grow out of the popular beauty brand. Nelly Furtado is a devotee of the Vanilla Eau de Toilette Spray, while Tom Cruise is thought to regularly purchase the store's bath bombs.
And then, of course, there are those who have unearthed pocket-friendly tips that need no products at all. Anna Friel has reportedly discovered a free alternative to plastic surgery: tweezing her eyebrows. "Each time I pluck them, I get asked whether or not I've had a facelift," she reveals.
Kate Moss swears by the most recession-proof beauty tip there is: to keep her figure trim, she drinks more than 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 rule than that.