My Thoughts of What Marilyn Monroe’s Beauty Secrets Could Of Been

My Thoughts of What Marilyn Monroe’s Beauty Secrets Could Of Been

Remember when you first started playing around with makeup? Try to go back, in your memory, to the first makeup items you used – bet they were your mom’s! Can you remember who you were trying to look like?

At some point in our lives, we have wanted to look like someone other than ourselves. We can always remember that one person who seemed to have truly mastered the art of applying makeup. That person may have been a relative, an aunt, great aunt, grandmother. She was the one who was always perfectly dressed, never had a button undone or missing, never a hair out of place, always had her shoes shined – not even a smudge on her face from the mascara. She always looked so perfect, and it was as if she had everything and everyone, so who wouldn’t want to be like her?

If you grew up with television, there may have been an actress whose beauty shone out of that small screen, from commercials or programs. Let’s not forget those beauties in the movies. As we were growing up, we would never have thought about the time it took each of those beautiful women to create their own “Signature Look.”
A Beauty Icon
Marilyn Monroe is a prime example of beauty, masterfully self-created. Now, in reality, her “Signature Look” was created with help from teams of hairdressers, cosmeticians, publicists and promoters who took what she was and created a “sex goddess” image. Yet, to this day, women still want to know how to create Marilyn Monroe’s Signature Look.

Shall we start with a little background on this amazing woman? The only way to find out how she became what she was, is to know, first, where she came from.
Did you know that:
• Marilyn Monroe grew up, as Norma Jean Baker, in foster homes?
• Was discovered working on a factory line?
• She started out as a model and pinup doll for the military?
• That she would someday become what was called by Master Photographer Cartier-Bresson, “an American Phenomenon”?
• She died before she was 40 years old?
• To this day, she is still thought of as one of the most vibrant American icons?

Something that is not widely known is that she also had more control over what she did than most actresses in that era. But no matter what kind of lighting, who was behind the camera, (even though some photographers were better than most), anywhere, in still photos, black and white or color, and in the movies, Marilyn Monroe made the camera love her. Some would even say she made love to the camera!

To this day, women all over the world want to know how she created her own personal “Signature Look.” She took what she had and enhanced it. In the many books, articles and more written about Marilyn Monroe, one of the questions often asked is “How did she do it?” or “Who did Marilyn Monroe’s makeup?”

In the book “Marilyn Monroe” by Eve Arnold there is a great quote by “Whitey” Snyder, Marilyn Monroe’s veteran makeup artist:
Her makeup was a total mystery. She knew more secrets about shadowing her eyes, and using special lipstick to make her mouth glossy, than anyone else in the business.”

Believe it or not, those same secrets were kept secret, even from him!
Wow! Even her own makeup man didn’t know how she did it, so how can the inquiring woman of today find out? There must be more to this “Signature Look” than just makeup. There is one vital factor about Marilyn Monroe’s artistry that could not be repeated or given to anyone else, and that was Marilyn herself.
It was her personality, shining through, that made her results the most copied in screen history.
Her own sensuality and uninhibited freshness captured the world’s imagination, there has never been another like her. She lived an amazing life, called by some a fairy tale come true, until she died alone. You don’t want to copy that!

You start by thinking about what makes you who you are. Start thinking about those parts of you that make your face glow, as if you are in love, how you feel when you could light up the room as you gaze into your lover’s eyes. Think about how you make others laugh with you, how you take care of your friends and yourself. Think about your own personal beliefs, your love for your family country, and God. Start showing off the sparkling facets of your own sweet personality, and don’t ever lose any part of you to drugs or alcohol.

Now, if you are still interested in using your makeup in Marilyn Monroe’s inimitable fashion, you can go hunting for the hundreds of photos of her in color to see for yourself, or you can read on.

In fact I found a whole of books about Marilyn Monroe! Check out the Books about Marilyn Monroe here! In fact I own a copy of two books about Marilyn Monroe – My Story by Marilyn Monroe copyright 1974 and Marilyn Monroe – An Intimate Personal Account by Lena Pepitone and William Stadien copyright 1979 If you click on the titles you might find them still available on Amazon! 🙂

After closely examining dozens of color photos of Marilyn Monroe, I came up with some ideas of how she may have achieved her awesome makeup.
Marilyn Monroe eyes were mesmerizing! Take a look at her in a color photo or even a black and white portrait, and you will find that the trite expression “Eyes are the window to your soul” were never truer. You will stare into the extraordinary, but sadly haunted eyes of Marilyn Monroe. It’s not just in one photo. That same haunted look – the sadness of a mistreated child, lingered and is echoed in dozens of pictures. She wanted to be loved, most of all, not ruled over. Once married, she couldn’t stop being Marilyn Monroe. She exuded an illusion of beauty that men wanted, and women claimed not to care for – but secretly tried to be most like.

Her Techniques
She wore heavy black eyeliner that winged out slightly at the outermost corners of her eyes. She also wore false eyelashes, a common beauty accessory of her time. She may have worn eyeliner close under her lower lashes, but it’s not obvious that she put mascara on them at all. The mascara on her upper lashes was heavy and black but, as she wasn’t a true blond, her lower lashes were brown and didn’t need to be accentuated.

Even though she was not a natural blond, once she became one, she stayed an impeccable blond – never a dark root showing – for the rest of her life. Her eyebrows were naturally dark and not plucked into a pencil thin line, as was somewhat common for that era. But she didn’t totally style them. They reminded me of Brooke Shields’ eyebrows: just a little overstated.
Her eye shadow looks like it could have been champagne or any other pale tan color. It looks like she may have put a lighter color under her eyebrows to open her eyes up. That’s a trick well known today; I wonder if she started it?

She also may have used the same color sparingly in the inner corner of her eyes, creating the illusion of bigger eyes.
Her lips were lined with a color a shade darker than the lipstick she always wore. It appears as if she didn’t stay within the natural line of her lips. She put the lip liner just barely outside her natural lip line to create the illusion of bigger lips that were both the same size. The color she wore most often appears to be a deep tangerine, or a glowing orange. It is not possible to be really sure, from fifty-year-old color photographs, exactly what color she wore, but she made sure it worked for her!

Her cheeks were carefully and lightly dusted to look like she was not wearing any blush, beyond a natural appearing flush to her cheeks. She also wore a heavy foundation, common to that era, in the form of pancake makeup, carefully blended from crown to neckline. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to use that??
This is her “Signature Look” broken down to describe each item and how it worked for her. Marilyn Monroe lived a life and lifestyle that is way beyond many female actresses of today.
Create Your Own “Signature Look”
Now that you know what she probably did to create her own “Signature Look”, It’s time to start thinking about how to create your own. Start time spreading out all of your makeup and sorting through it. Discard anything that is more than six months old – you want your makeup as fresh as your face. Spend some time closely examining color photographs of women with your coloring, and notice how they applied their “look.”
Try Marilyn’s look – you may be surprised how becoming it is on you. Experiment, blending design elements, until you arrive at your very own “Signature Look”. It’s not easy to step outside beauty trends but remember Marilyn Monroe didn’t follow trends. She found what worked for her, and didn’t deviate from that ideal. This is not to say that you must keep the same look all the time, because Marilyn Monroe knew a consistent look was expected of her. In all the movies still I browsed through, her look was radiant and constant, despite all the changes in her life.
Even though Marilyn Monroe was a very troubled woman, she was, and is, fascinating, and we have many lessons to learn from her troubles and her joys. Just as she had her own “Signature Look”, you can develop your own – with your own natural beauty shining through.

I do hope you enjoy this article about this amazing woman. As in all women we have our doubts, troubles, dislikes and likes. We are never truly happy with ourselves, and our goals need to be that we learn to give ourselves a break. Forgive ourselves of our shortcomings and work on making our lives better for us. Only after we have taken care of ourselves should we start worrying about what is happening to the rest of the world. If we don’t take care of ourselves, then we can’t really help anyone else.

Everyone is both a teacher and a student. We were taught growing up that it’s wrong to place ourselves first and when we start to think we are superwoman, that is when we make our biggest mistakes.

One of Marilyn Monroe’s major problem was, she was not allowed to be a real person. Under all that makeup, blond hair and body to die for, she forgot to take care of her mental wellbeing, she gave and gave and never got anything back what she needed most of all, self-love and love that had no ties to it. She died because no one loved her for her, and she was just another beautiful woman who may not have seen herself that way. Shame, I would have really loved to know her secrets!

I do hope that you learn from her makeup secrets as I saw them and remember makeup doesn’t make the person, It’s the person that makes the makeup! I’m a true blond, it makes sense to me!

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Owner & creator of Overall Beauty Minerals - vegan mineral makeup line. Beauty blogger, writer of articles about pretty much anything to do with beauty, with product reviews. Lover of guinea pigs, supporter of no-kill shelters for small animals.
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