Marilyn’s Makeup Secrets – Part 2 The Tips

Marilyn Monroe, Whitey putting on makeup

Marilyn Monroe, MIlton Greene, Putting on Makeup

So we’ve seen Whitey’s treasures of Marilyn, now time to get down to business. How did they do it?

Lisa Eldridge, a renowned makeup artist, made this fantastic video which takes you through all the steps. (She also does some great tutorials on makeup basics and evening looks.)

(If you want a laugh, check out some of the comments – it seemed to provoke a bit of a scrap! She also does some great videos on makeup basics and evening looks.)

But for the purposes of this post, I’ve condensed the info into a few main tips, so we can all get Marilyntastic super fast:


Marilyn Monroe, Milton Greene, No makeup

Let’s face it, none of us are quite the same without our makeup and Marilyn was no different. I think she looks great with or without makeup but this pic certainly shows how a few honed makeup techniques can totally change your appearance.

Also, if you take a look at this picture you will see she had amazing skin – not a blemish in sight – and that’s in a swimming pool!

– Marilyn used Nivea and Vaseline on her skin, which gave her a dewy, soft-focus look. Although thick and sticky in texture I would imagine she’d be using something like Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream today, to get the same effect.

– Marilyn didn’t use powder – as she wanted to keep a real glow. I bet Marilyn would have loved products such as MAC’s mineralize satinfinish foundation.

Shape & Contour

Marilyn Monroe, Prince and the Showgirl, Makeup, highlighter and contours

I absolutely love this picture of Marilyn. I think it really shows the contouring and highlighting in her makeup:

– Shade under cheekbone and jaw-line with a bronzer (makes a long face shorter).

– Shade either side of the bone on the nose (creates a shorter nose).

– Apply coral- pink blusher to the cheekbones and above the eyebrows/temples.


Marilyn Monroe, Showgirl costume, highlighter, makeup

– Apply highlighter with a brush to the sides of the nose, along the top of the nose and around the centre of the forehead (creates a smaller chin, chiseled cheekbones and a wider forehead).


Marilyn Monroe, Prince and Showgirl, black and white shot, defined brows

– Using an eyebrow pencil or eyeshadow and a thin brush, create a high arch towards the outer eyebrow with feathery strokes which will define the brow and accentuate the width of the forehead.


Marilyn Monroe, Bus Stop, Eye makeup

– Use a white eyeshadow over the lid and up towards the eyebrow.

– Apply a white shimmery eyeshadow – to open the eye, as above.

– Extend the white shadow to the inner corners of the eye.

– Using a neutral coloured (dark brown) shadow, shade in the outer socket of eye (to set the eye back).

Lashes & Liner

Marilyn Monroe, makeup, eyelashes and liner

– Curl lashes with eyelash curlers.

– Apply mascara to top  and bottom lashes.

– Apply half a set of eyelashes to outer corners of eye (this extends the shape of the eye).

– Line eyes with a brown eye pencil, or use a brown shadow and very thin brush, to outline the upper eyelids – taking the line “up and out” at the end.

– Using the pencil or brush again, line the lower lid taking the line slightly down, to create a shadow of the upper lashes (best seen on the video or in the picture above).

– Use a white pencil to colour in between the upper extended lash line and the lower shadow line.

– Use this white liner inside the lower rim of the eye.


Marilyn Monroe, White fur coat, Milton Greene, eyelashes, makeup

– Use a darker liner around the lips (shape is higher at outer corners).

– Use a darker red lipstick around the edge and outer corners of the lips.

– Use a lighter red in the centre of the lip.

– Blot lips and apply another layer.

– Apply white powder to centre of lower lip – (to make the lips look more voluptuous).

– Apply copious layers of gloss!

How to do Marilyn Monroe makeup

I must admit I am using quite a few of these techniques in my repertoire these days and they certainly freshen up the face.

So now we know the tips – we just need some frosting, courtesy of Tiffany’s or Cartier to complete the look.

“Talk to me Harry Winston, tell me all about it”

Have a good weekend folks! Cxx


  1. She really did have the most mesmerising face! I just can’t get enough of photos of her. I was told by a photographer once that she had a really soft downy hair on her face (you know the invisible kind!) which made her skin look so amazing in photos.

    I will be trying out these techniques now but I don’t think it will have quite the same effect on me! She really was one in a million.

    Love these shots!


    • Big fan here! Stumbled on this website and first time I’ve seen on a beauty blog the info about the layer of hair which made her glow …apparently you could really see a difference on camera…Good luck trying out the techniques…enjoyed visiting your website…Thanks!

    • I’ve never seen your nose but wanted to comment that MM’s nose was a major issue..I think it was “potato nose” others called her. She heavily contoured her nose due to this. Apparently, she was told there wasn’t enough space between end of nose and mouth…another reason for her downward smile…contouring and highlighting can do wonders…keep oh having a good time with it and congrats on all the compliments!

  2. I played around with highlighter and a coral blusher after reading your fab post on Saturday, and weirdly I got loads of compliments at Middle’s school fair (which doesn’t usual happen when I’m painting the faces of 200 infant school children). Good tips, Miss Monroe and Mrs E.

  3. MM has so many tricks..some are still used today. I read the same thing about the thin layer of hair that would literally give her a glow when taking pictures. A couple other tricks she had was angling her bottom eyeliner downward with white between the ends of eyeliner on upper and lower lids. This created a shadow of the upper lashes on camera. From what I’ve read she loved Vaseline. She literally would apply thin layer of Vaseline then blend loose translucent powder and would keep layering until she achieved that perfect look. Time Consuming! She used 5 different colors of lipstick. Darker on the outer portion of lips, lighter on the inside….We are so lucky now with the products we have make things so much more time efficient. Highlighter was placed in the middle of the face, forehead, chin…she used contouring/highlighting to create a wider forehead and a more contoured lower jaw…accenting her heart shaped face. Just thought any MM fans would appreciate tips if they didn’t already know….the results she had were worth it

  4. Pingback: Pattie Boyd vs Edie Campbell « igetakickoutofyou

  5. Pingback: Tyylikkäitä linkkejä vol. 1 | Marilynin Tyyliin

  6. Pingback: Reflexo. | A Intérprete

  7. Britney Moullette

    make Face Look Slimmer easily just try to use face thin tool which make your face smaller and slimmer without any make up

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: