Marilyn’s Makeup Secrets – Part 1 The Private Collection

I’ve always been slightly obsessed with Marilyn’s makeup. She was no chameleon – she was the champion of her own look. Honed for years under the guidance of a man called “Whitey”.

“You don’t just wake up in the morning and wash your face and comb your hair and go out in the street and look like Marilyn Monroe. She knows every trick of the beauty trade”. Milton Greene

“Whitey” Snyder started to do Marilyn’s makeup in 1948, for her first test shoot with Twentieth Century Fox. The two developed an incredibly close relationship, so close that Marilyn once asked him if he would prepare her face in death, should she die before him. Tragically, of course, she did and he fulfilled his promise. He was one of the pallbearers at Marilyn’s funeral.

“This is a little kid who wants to be with the other little kids sucking lollipops and watching the rollercoaster, but she can’t because they won’t let her. She’s frightened to death of that public which thinks she is so sexy. My God, if they only knew.” Allan “Whitey” Snyder

A collection of Whitey’s memorabilia formed part of a Hollywood Legends auction last month, which contained some wonderful unseen pictures of Marilyn.

My favourite is still the showgirl costume – which is yours?

On set with Whitey:

Marilyn Monroe and Whitey Snyder, on set Gentlemen prefer blondes

Marilyn Monroe with Whitey Snyder, Let's Make Love

A signed photograph to Whitey’s son “To Ronnie/ Love & Kisses/ and Oh your Dad/ Marilyn Monroe”

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, private collection

Unnamed and undated photos from Whitey’s collection:

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, showgirl costume

Marilyn Monroe, Black and Gold, Whitey Snyder

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, Yellow Bikini

Photographs taken by Whitey Snyder on the set of River of No Return.Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, River of No Return, Jeans

Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, Whitey Snyder, River of No Return

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, RIver of No Return,

On film:

Marilyn Monroe, private collection, Whitey Snyder, Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, Let's Make LoveTest shots of Marilyn for Something’s Gotta Give 1962. The film was never finished.

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, test shot for Something's Gotta Give, black and white dress

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, Something's Gotta Give, denim outfit

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey Snyder, Something's Gotta Give, white bikini

Aren’t they glorious?

So, after all this research I suppose I should let you in on a few Marilyn makeup tips?

Tune in on Friday…. Cx


    • It is a shame, how do you think she would have dealt with aging and the drastic change in standard of beauty. Recently I read that MM would be a “chubby blonde girl in 2011” ??? Yet she is still the #1 icon? She really was ahead of her time when it came to fitness and makeup application…most of the time she did her own makeup…and lifted very light weights after reading research that was being done about muscle loss and aging…which now we know is an issue…I t

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  2. Glorious images….in the one with Robert Mitchum she genuinely looks happy and herself.

    Images really are just that aren’t they?

    From what I’ve read, Marilyn was on a quest to find her true self….but I guess that image of hers just got
    in the way!

    Another beautiful post.



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