Marie Claire’s Cassie Steer reveals the make-up tricks to recreate Marilyn Monroe's iconic beauty look
Marie Claire’s Cassie Steer reveals the make-up tricks to recreate Marilyn Monroe’s iconic beauty look
Now, I know I’m a little slow on the uptake here, but I never really got the whole Marilyn thing; yes she was beautiful and epitomised Hollywood glamour but the intrigue was always kind of lost on me. Then I saw the film My Week With Marilyn and have to confess to becoming a tad obsessed ever since, poring over anything relating to Norma Jeane’s iconic look. And you have to hand it to her, when it came to creating an image of perfection, Ms Monroe was a mistress of her game and knew every make-up trick in the book. Here’s our take on how to achieve her screen siren look…
To emulate Marilyn’s pillowy pout, it’s all about tweaking what nature has given you with some clever make-up tricks. Marilyn reputedly used up to five different lipsticks to achieve her signature scarlet mouth but you don’t need to own a lipstick counter to achieve the same effect. Start with a red lipliner and trace over the entire lip for extra staying power exaggerating the lip line subtly (note the use of the word subtle here!). Next apply your perfect red colour with a lip brush precision is key to this look and finish with a pop of brighter red in the centre of the mouth for a 3D effect.
For eyes that ooze sex appeal, begin by sweeping a bone-colour eyeshadow over the entire lid. Next, choose a pale slightly pearlescent shade and apply to the inner corners of the eye and under the brow-bone for a pop of light. Marilyn liked to emphasise the sockets to give her eyes a slightly sleepy, sultry look so using a taupe eyeshadow, apply in a half moon shape into the crease, blending out for invisible contouring. Marilyn’s signature look was based on the feline flick so use a black liquid eyeliner close to the lashes along the upper lash-line and wing out slightly at the end. Then, using a soft khol pencil, trace a barely-there line from the outer half of the bottom lash-line, drawing it slightly downwards at the ends to open up the eyes. Finish with lashings of black mascara and a couple of individual false lashes at the outer corners.
Marilyn’s brows were long and sweeping with a prominent arch towards the outer corners of her eyes to give the illusion of wider-spaced peepers. Arm yourself with a pencil a shade darker than your natural hair colour and sharper than Simon Cowel’s tongue to etch in the arch before using a powder to shade in the rest of the brows.
Marilyn was known for her luminous complexion which was given a helping hand with lashings of Vaseline and hormone cream (the latter of which gave her skin excess hair which she reputedly refused to wax as it gave her a soft glow for the cameras). Needless to say, we wouldn’t suggest you use either! Instead, start with a nourishing facial oil followed by a medium coverage foundation that contains light diffusing pigments to cheat that inner glow.
Many of the make-up techniques Marilyn used were geared towards the severe studio lighting. She was acutely aware of the angles and techniques to make her look the most alluring and would use highlighters, blusher and contouring products to emphasise the features she wanted to play up or hide. To recreate, start by using a highlighter along the tops of the cheekbones, cupids bow and chin (Marilyn would add a touch to the end of her nose alongside some subtle contouring to make it appear more petite). Next, use a bronzer in a soft honey-hue to sweep under the cheekbones, around the hairline and either side of the temples. Finally, add a touch of rosy blush to the apples of the cheeks to add a sweetheart flush.
Marilyn wouldnt be Marilyn without her trademark beauty spot (apparently hers was real but actually flesh-coloured so she emphasized it by making it appear darker). To cultivate your very own Monroe mole use a dark brown waterproof eyeliner to pencil in your beauty spot making it slightly darker in the centre for a more realistic effect. And there we have it. Boo boo bee doo!