There are a plethora of youtube tutorials that describe step-by-step exactly how to create the Marilyn Monroe look with your hair and makeup. Marilyn was naturally pretty but you wouldn’t recognize her without the make-up.The hair is incredibly easy albeit time-consuming, provided you have a reasonably short haircut. You don’t have to be blonde of course, but if you are very obviously trying to channel Marilyn, a little bleach goes a long way. Marilyn’s face was quite round but her make-up was applied to give her a slightly heart-shaped look. She had few angles to her face (except the gorgeous jaw line you can see in her profiles). Her eyes had a baby-doll look, her nose had a round snub tip and her mouth appeared to be quite generous. A lot of this (except the tip of her nose) was due to make-up magic.You will notice if you click on the youtube links that there are differences in everyone’s interpretation on how to make like Marilyn. This includes my blog. The great thing about that is you can adapt your own Marilyn by combining a few of them or just stick to the easiest one.
Skin Care Marilyn knew that skin care was essential. She washed her face 15 times a day. She used petroleum jelly and Nivea creme religiously. She also used Ernio Laszio products including their sea mud, oils and moisturizer. She slathered her face with one or the other before her makeup was applied. Personally I would not recommend washing one ‘s face 15 times a day as this is certain to dry out the skin. But Marilyn was manic-depressive and sometimes symptoms of this mood disorder can include OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). As far as petroleum jelly is concerned, the stuff will clog your pores and cause breakouts however that was 1950s mentality for you Better to stick to Nivea or a different brand of cream face moisturizer. Marilyn’s best secret for keeping her skin young was to avoid the sun as if her life depended on it. Whenever she was outside she wore large sunglasses, sun block, and often a sunhat. She wasn’t a sunbather. Marilyn didn’t spend hours sitting on the beach trying to tan. Instinctively she knew her translucent white skin was perfect for her.
Marilyn favoured Max Factor make-up and a foundation called Anita of Denmark. Her makeup artist, Allan Whitey Snyder used several concealers and foundations to make up Marilyn but I don’t see the necessity of that. I do agree with Snyder about using white cream or shadow to emphasize key areas of the face. Marilyn didn’t over-powder her skin. She preferred a “dewy” glow.
- Before foundation was applied, Marilyn slathered her face in moisturizer (nowadays we have a base we can apply before using foundation). Snyder then applied a white shade of concealer or powder was applied under and around each eye and on Marilyn’s chin and nose. The eye is always drawn to the lightest and the brightest. These were key areas of Marilyn’s face Snyder
felt he should emphasize.
- He applied a very pale ivory foundation all over Marilyn’s face including her eyelids. In the process this concealed the white powder. Then he again used a white powder, this time to highlight her cheeks and her eye area.
- He went over her face with very light foundation again. Snyder used a light brown foundation or powder beneath Marilyn’s cheekbones and blended it in so completely that it wasn’t visible. He felt it helped to emphasize her cheekbones.
- Finally a thin layer of either baby powder or regular ivory cosmetic powder was applied to Marilyn’s face. When she played the role of Cherie in Bus Stop Marilyn brushed her face heavily with white baby powder to give Cherie an especially pasty look. When using face powder it is best to use a large, soft makeup brush and give it a good shake before lightly brushing it on the face. The powder shouldn’t be visible. It was meant to cover oily areas and to highlight Marilyn’s foundation. Finally Snyder used a brown eyeliner or shadow to emphasize Marilyn’s famous beauty mark, rather than
to try to cover it up.
The Eyes That iconic winged look was actually a Marlene Dietrich trick before Marilyn used it. She quite liked it and Snyder obliged her by applying it to Marilyn but of course with its own unique Marilyn touch.
- First Snyder highlighted the lid and entire brow bone with white eye shadow. He then went over the eyelid with the same light foundation as he used on the rest of Marilyn’s face. He used
a medium brown eye shadow in the crease of her eye and blended it thoroughly. Marilyn needed this emphasis because her eyes didn’t have a lot of depth, nor were they especially wide.
- A tiny dot of white pencil was placed on the inner corners of Marilyn’s eyes to make her eyes appear larger.
- Next Snyder used a black eyeliner to line the entire upper eyelid. of course he drew that famous winged tip to give her that “bedroom eyes” look.Snyder used no eye liner on Marilyn’s lower lid.
- After this was done he took a set of false eyelashes, cut them in half and applied them only to
the middle and outer half of Marilyn’s eyelids.
- When all of this was complete, he used black mascara on all of the lashes, including the falsies. He was generous with the mascara on her lower lashes. This effect gave her eyes a baby-doll look when she opened them wide.
- Her eyebrows have the Raggedy-Ann look – thicker in the middle where it is pointed
upward into a Hollywood slant. They were pencilled over with brown eyeliner or brown eye shadow but not heavily so they didn’t stand out. It was Marilyn’s eyes Snyder wanted to emphasize.
The Lips Of course we know that scarlet mouth was a Marilyn trademark and without it you didn’t have Marilyn Monroe. Snyder actually used five different shades of red on Marilyn because her lips were quite flat. No need for you to do that! Two to three different reds ought to do the trick.
- A medium-red lipstick is the base for the lips, followed by a matching lip liner to define the mouth. The lining is just outside the tip of the lip to make the mouth look bigger than natural.
- A bright scarlet red was brushed over this medium red. Then a touch of white gloss was patted on the middle of Marilyn’s lower lip. it was patted a few times so it looked pink rather than white.
- Snyder lined Marilyn’s lips again with a slightly darker red shade than all of the lipstick colour.
- Marilyn’s mouth was very shiny so a red lip gloss or a clear lip gloss should be applied to the mouth last. Now you have that irresistible Marilyn mouth.
The Marilyn Look The whole make-up application took Snyder 90 minutes to 4 hours. You on the other hand, probably don’t have that kind of time on your hands.There are several short cuts you can take of course that won’t take anywhere near that long. Using only one lipstick colour, liner and clear gloss makes a gorgeous red mouth. Skip applying the false lashes and use black mascara several times. Apply only one layer of foundation and skip the
dark shadow beneath your cheeks since it takes a while to blend. Use the white shadow on your brow bone and blend it well. Setting your foundation with powder is wise since it will stay longer but it’s another corner you can cut if you are in a hurry. Once you get used to this routine you’ll be quick as a cat and out the door in 10 – 15 minutes. The hair…..well that’s another story and another blog.