Marilyn Monroe Makeup: Our Top Tips

No matter how far the makeup world evolves, Old Hollywood Glamour is arguably yet to be trumped. We see the red carpet attendees gravitating back towards tight curls and bold red lips year-in-year-out, despite the many styles at their disposal. And while today’s famous figures pay homage to the statement glamour, let’s not forget the icon that put it on the map. Marilyn Monroe’s makeup resulted in a world-renowned look that has withstood generations of beauty evolution.

So who was the mastermind behind the fresh-faced yet seductive combo? We have Allan “Whitey” Snyder to thank. Here at Illamasqua, we’ve dug deep to uncover the tricks he used to create the sultry eyes and beauty mark we all know and love today.

Keep reading for our guide to a full face of Marilyn Monroe makeup.

marilyn monroe makeup

How to do a glowy Marilyn Monroe face

Let’s begin with the glow that irradiated Marilyn Monroe’s face. It is said to achieve this back in the 50s, Marilyn coated her face with petroleum jelly under her makeup. Luckily today, we have alternatives that may be a little more suitable for makeup prep. For example, Illamasqua’s Beyond Veil Primer contains skin-loving ingredients to help smooth the complexion and ensure the makeup looks flawless. Meanwhile, the fine shimmer pigments give that dewy, lit-from-within glow, synonymous with Marilyn Monroe’s face.

Keep the base to a lightweight foundation and concealer where needed (Marilyn Monroe’s makeup was typically quite natural). Dab a coral-toned blush to the apples of the cheeks and finish off with the Beyond Liquid Highlighter on the cheekbones for a strobe-like glow. If you need some guidance as to which highlighter will suit your skin, take a look at our experts’ guide to contouring and highlighting different skin tones.

The structure created for Marilyn Monroe’s face was based on an exaggerated brow arch. For the same definition, brush your brow hairs upwards from the start to the arch. From there, brush them in the direction of your hair growth towards the end. Use small strokes of an eyebrow pencil throughout to add definition and fill any gaps.

How to do Marilyn Monroe eye makeup

Next, we have the sleepy, sultry, Marilyn Monroe eye makeup.

For the lids, dab some of the shade Spirit from the Illamasqua Unveiled Artistry Palette at the inner corner and under the arch of the brow. This will further lift the brow’s arch and accentuate the whites of the eyes. Follow with a coating of the Beyond Veil Primer for a glossy finish.

The ‘come hither’ Marilyn Monroe eyeliner, however, is more of a process.

  1. Draw a standard feline flick, starting from the outer third of the lid and keeping close to the lash line. This will draw out the eye and give a full-lash appearance.
  2. Take a Colouring Eye Pencil in the shade Vow and line the nude shade just below the waterline to brighten the eyes.
  3. Underneath, use a brown shade for a softer finish and create a line that runs parallel to the top eyeliner. This elongated bottom line gives that sleepy, seductive eye look.
  4.  Fill in the outer corner between the upper and lower lines with the eyeshadow shade Spirit. This will add to the whites of the eyes and define the bottom liner with contrast.

Tip: When trying Marilyn Monroe eyeliner, the trick is to look down into the mirror and try to relax your face and eyes as much as possible. This will help you to achieve a smooth, on-point line.

How to do the Marilyn Monroe red lips with lip contour

Finally, we have Marilyn Monroe red lips. Unfortunately, these take more than a simple swipe of rouge lipstick.

Arguably the original contour, the key to the perfect Marilyn Monroe lips is to combine dark and light reds for depth and fullness. While the darker reds are applied on the outer corners, the lighter shades are dabbed onto the middle to draw the eye to the center of the mouth.

  1. Line the shape of your lips with the darkest Colouring Lip Pencil such as the shade Severity to start the illusion of depth.
  2. To fill in the lips between the outline, use the shade Lust. Focus on the corners of the mouth and use small, short strokes.
  3. With the firey red shade, Feisty, fill in the center of the mouth with short blending strokes.
  4. Using your fingertip, dab the Beyond Liquid Highlighter onto the center of your lips, resulting in that lush, plump effect.

With Marilyn Monroe’s eye makeup, red lips, and glowy base covered, we’re coming to the end of our Marilyn Monroe makeup guide. However, there’s one final piece of the look to wrap up with. It is, of course, the iconic beauty mark.

How to Do The Iconic Beauty Mark on Marilyn Monroe’s Face

Using a Liner Brush, dab a dot of Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in the shade Oblique on the left cheek. Find a spot that complements your face best, and opt for a brown shade instead of black for a more natural finish.

With all that said and done, your transformation into Hollywood’s favorite bombshell is complete!

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Josie Wilkins

Josie Wilkins

Writer and expert

Josie is an Online Beauty Editor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Her passions involve all things skincare and beauty and in her free time she likes to travel, read and get her beauty sleep.