Marilyn Monroe Makeup: How-to Step by Step Tutorial

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Marilyn Monroe Classic Makeup look Guide and full tutorial!

-All the details, what makeup products she wore, her makeup secrets, and a step-by-step tutorial for you to recreate at home!

The timeless style of Old Hollywood is something that we all aspire to, and there’s no better icon of Old Hollywood glamour than the Marilyn Monroe Makeup look.

With her signature blonde curls, red lips, and eyeliner, Marilyn oozed sex appeal and radiated confidence. If you’re looking to recreate her iconic look, you’ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Marilyn Monroe makeup, from the products she used to achieve her look to a step-by-step tutorial on how to get it yourself.

So let’s get started!

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The Makeup Products Marilyn Monroe Used

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was known for her radiant skin, which was achieved with a few key products.

According to this Marilyn Monroe Private Collection, Marilyn used the Erno laszlo moisturizer, face powder, and cream blush. The last two are no longer made.

You can get the exact moisturizer here.

What kind of foundation did marilyn Monroe wear?

Her go-to foundation was Max Factor Pan Cake makeup.

This foundation is very different from other foundations on the market in America. However, it is not sold in American stores anymore because Max Factor no longer exists. But you can find it online here.

And based on the marilyn Monroes collection, she also owned the Elizabeth Arden cream foundation.

The version available for this is the Flawless Finish Sponge-one cream makeup which is infused with micronized diamond powder to reflect light and diminish fine lines for a the perfect radiant finish! It’s also an award-winner cream foundation. You can find it here.

The style of foundation that marilyn loved to use was not matte but dewy, and this radiant, dewy look was even more notorious with the layers of vaseline she loved to put on as a base.

What face powder did Marilyn Monroe use?

For powder, according to photos of her makeup kit and private collectors, she loved the Erno Laszlo face powder.

Unforntaly, while the beauty brand still operates, they don’t offer makeup anymore. They focused now on skincare and other beauty products to my understanding.

We couldn’t find a way to buy/get the same face powder online.

But for those Marilyn Monroe fans, Hard Candy has a loose powder that is very similar to what marilyn Monroe used. It’s a velvet super soft finish.

And it has a picture of marilyn and her signature on the lid. Surprisingly it’s truly inexpensive. You can check it out here.

She used max factor creme puff powder.

Marilyn Monroe’s Eyeliner

For her eyeliner, Marilyn Monroe used a liquid pencil. This allowed her to create both a thick and thin line depending on how she wanted to look that day.

Her go-to brand was Elizabeth Arden, and while the specific liner she used is no longer available, you can find a similar one. Here’s the modern version of the Marilyn Monroe’s liquid Eyeliner

Marilyn Monroe’s Iconic Lipstick

Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic beauty moment was her red lips. This was achieved with a combination of red lip liner and red lipstick.

For the lip liner, she used Max Factor’s Lip Liner. This specific product is no longer available, but you can find a similar one from the same brand here.

And for the lipstick, she used the brand Elizabeth Arden and Max Factor.

The specific shade of red she used was Max Factor’s Deep Scarlet. However, this shade is no longer available.

But don’t worry! We’ve found the perfect modern version.

No Marilyn Monroe makeup look would be complete without those signature red lips.

Her go-to lipstick shade was Max Factor Lipstick “Ruby red” and Fire and Ice” by Revlon.

Marilyn Monroe’s Mascara

Helena Rubenstein Black Waterproof Cream Mascara was one of Marilyn Monroe’s favorites.

You can find it here.

Marilyn Monroe’s false eyelashes

For her falsies, she loved to use false eyelashes that looked natural on her. You can find similar ones to what she used here.

The trick with Marilyn Monroe’s false eyelashes is to cut them in half and apply them on the outer corner of the eye to elongate the eye!

More about this is below in the step-by-step tutorial.

Now that we know the products she used. Let’s move on to the tutorial!

Marilyn Monroe Makeup: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Recently Netflix released a movie named “Blonde” about the life of Marilyn Monroe, and while I don’t want to talk much about the movie (Ana de Armas, the actress, was phenomenal!), it really inspires me to recreate her Iconic Makeup look and her makeup secrets.

The next tutorial will include how I, a person who doesn’t look like marilyn Monroe in ANY way, employ the tips and tricks to look as close as possible to Marilyn without doing it in a funny “costume way.”

Well, I’m planning to wear a Marilyn Monroe costume next halloween, but I don’t want it to be goofy.

And why not? Probably here and there, I will be using these hacks for my regular makeup routine.

So I hope you enjoy and find tips and tricks to get that Marilyn Makeup look on you as well!

Ready to recreate Marilyn Monroe’s iconic look? Let’s start.

Step 1. Vaseline Base

According to the official site of Erno laszlo beauty brand, Marilyn Monroe always ensured she would be radiant and camera-ready by layering Vaseline under her makeup.

So for this tutorial, we are going to skip that and instead, we are going to use a very thick hydrating primer. (If you really want that original glowy, radiant marilyn Monroe look, go for the vaseline!)

Step 2. Foundation

So there’s not much information about the exact foundation marilyn Monroe used, as we mentioned above. However, we know she used the brand Max factor, and this Pan stick foundation from them is exactly what you’ll need for this look.

With certainty, we can say that to achieve hey face makeup look, we need to avoid mattifying and drying foundation and opt for one more satin/dewy finish.

Use a liquid dewy foundation or a cream foundation. Marilyn had a naturally beautiful skin complexion, so she probably used a lightweight foundation.

For the foundation, we can also recommend you use something like this NARS all day luminous weightless foundation which is a liquid satin finish foundation that will give your skin a healthy glow.

Note: So we know for a fact that Marilyn Monroe’s complexion was naturally beautiful, and she didn’t need much coverage. But to be honest, that’s not the average skin complexion, and it’s totally up to us to add more coverage if we want/need it!

For example, I’m doing this makeup more on the full coverage end. I also want to wear this for a real-life costume and makeup transformation, so I’m going to be a little dramatic on how I want to look like Marilyn, and to achieve a “clear, almost perfect” complexion, I need more coverage!

Step 3. Concealer

So in the 50s, concealer was not the thing it is today, and as we know, the first ever concealer was launched in 1954 by the brand Max factor. So this is a product that most likely our loved Marilyn Monroe used or used very little.

For this look, we do want to add concealer in the most “natural” way possible.

Take a concealer that is similar to your skin tone/foundation shade and add this extra coverage only to those areas where it’s needed, for example: Under the eyes, with skin imperfections, or blemishes.

I would normally add a 2-3 tones lighter concealer under the eyes to highlighter this area, but for this 50’s makeup recreation, we are going to skip that 2000’s trick.

Marilyn Monroe’s Eye Makeup

There’s no doubt that a key feature of Marilyn Monroe’s look was her big, bold, and beautiful eyes.

To achieve this, she used heavy eyeliner to really make her peepers pop.

But to start, we are going to start with the base of our eye makeup, our eyelids.

Step 4. White Base on the Eyelids

This is a step it makes such a difference in the final look!

When applying a white base on the eyelids, we are basically “opening up” the eyes and making them look bigger, and of course, this automatically makes this eye makeup look more from the 50s and more Marilyn.

To do this, take a white pencil crayon or any white cream eye shadow like this one and apply it all over your eyelid.

Next, let’s move to eyeshadows.

Marilyn Monroe Eyeshadow look

Step 5. Crease eyeshadow

Marilyn eye makeup: white eyelid and brown crease
Marilyn eye makeup: white eyelid and brown crease

Next we are going to pick a medium brown with a cool undertone shade and a small blending brush to enhance our crease.

Apply this shade without expanding it too much on the eyelid, we want to concentrate the shade on the crease (or above the crease if you have hooded eyes), and while we want to blend the shade a little bit to make it look just on point, we don’t want to take the color from the crease too much.

Step 6. Eyelid eyeshadow

For the eyelid, we are going to pick a white, champagne, or light pink shade with silver or gold reflects and apply it all over the eyelid, from the inner corner of our eye towards the center.

We are sticking with keeping all this brightness that Marilyn loved to wear on the eyes.

Marilyn’s Iconic Eyeliner

Now that we have our eyeshadow in place let’s move on to the eyeliner.

Marilyn Monroe’s eyeliner was very dramatic, and one of her signature makeup looks.

Step 7. Winged eyeliner

We want to do our best perfect winged eyeliner with our liquid or pen eyeliner (the latter is perfect for precision and beginners)

Marilyn wore soft eyeliners made with dark brown or black pencil eyeliners, AND she also wore very dramatic winged eyeliners achieved with liquid black eyeliner.

For this particular look, we are going to recreate one of her most iconic makeup looks with softer and more natural brown eyeliner and liquid black eyeliner.

Start from the inner corner of your eye and create a small line getting thicker as you go until you get to about 3/4 of the lash line. Then start extending that line out to elongate and lift the eye.

Marilyn Monroe’s fuller Eyelashes trick

Step 8. Secret eyelashes shadow trick

marilyn monroe fuller eyelashes makeup secret

To achieve Marilyn’s look, this trick is essential.

It consists of taking a dark brown or black pencil eyeliner or eyeshadow with an angled small brush and softly applying it to the bottom lash line towards the outer corner, then tracing a line mimicking a shade from the eyelashes without touching the upper winged eyeliner we just did.

After that, take a beige or white pencil eyeliner and add it right in the middle of these two.

The key is to perfectly blend the bottom line to make it look more like a shade and not an actual eyeliner.

Step 9. False eyelashes

false eyelashes marilyn monroe makeup

And, of course, apply your false eyelashes. If you don’t have them or don’t know how to apply them, here is a quick tutorial on how to put false eyelashes.

You can also use an eyelash curler to curl your natural lashes and achieve a similar look without falsies. But I highly recommend wearing them on this look.

The secret is to cut your lashes in half, as we mentioned above, and apply them as close to the lash line as possible in the outer corner of the eye.

I’m wearing my favorite pair of lashes from Ardell, but you can use whatever type of lashes and add style/personality as much as you want. You can go for a natural pair or a full dramatic on this one.

Step 10. White/beige eyeliner

Finish the trick by applying white or beige eyeliner on the bottom waterline.

Marilyn Monroe Red eyeliner trick


Marilyn Monroe’s love for red lipstick is well known, but she also used to apply a touch of red eyeliner on the inner corner and lower lash line to make her eyes pop even more.

If you want to recreate this look, take a small detail brush and slightly add red eyeliner on these areas to make your eyes look whiter.

Contour and highlighter to look like Marilyn

Now let’s get back to the face!

Step 11. Contour to add dimension

Marilyn monroe makeup contour

Contouring and highlighter were not as popular as it is today. However, we need them to get our makeup to look as close as hers.

Start by adding dimension to your cheeks with a powder contour shade with neutral undertones. Also, add some to define your jawline and nose.

How much contouring? Well, your specific face shape will define how much and where to add to make us look more like her.

In my case, I’m trying to make my face look slimmer, so I’m adding contour on my cheeks, below my chin, jawline, and side of my forehead, and I’m doing a heavy nose contour.

There’s no need to go super dark. Remember, we want this to look as seamless and soft as possible. But still, define and shape the face to make us look like Marilyn.

Step 11. Highlight your features

To finish the face look, take a brightening powder and highlight the area between the nose, under the eyes and cheeks, the center of the forehead, and the chin in a very subtle way.

We are not talking Kim Kardashian 2010 way, just a touch of brightening powder to define even more.

Step 12. Blush

Finish the look with subtle pink blush on the apples of your cheeks for a healthy glow just like Marilyn’s.

Finish all with a tiny amount of loose-setting powder, without adding too much, we want to keep that dewy finish!

Marilyn Monroe Eyebrows

To achieve Marilyn Monroe’s brows, you need to make your eyebrows look arched.

The eyebrow trend nowadays is to go for a very natural look, however, if you want to do a Monroe makeup look, you need to make sure your brows are well-defined and have an arched shape.

To do that, you can use a brow pencil or powder and lightly fill in your brows. She wore a medium brown shade to pair with her blond hair.

Marilyn Monroe Lips Tutorial

Of course, we can’t forget about Marilyn’s most iconic feature: her lips!

To achieve this look, she used a combination of red lip liner and red lipstick.

Marilyn Monroe iconic red lips

First, she would fill in her lips with a red lip liner. This helped to create a base for the lipstick and also prevented the color from smearing.

Finish by applying a clear gloss in the center of your bottom lip for extra shine! And that’s it—you’ve successfully achieved Marilyn Monroe’s makeup!

The Iconic Marilyn Monroe Beauty Mark

Marilyn Monroe was well-known for the beauty mark on her right cheek, slightly above her lip. Occasionally, she would highlight the mole with makeup.

We couldn’t be finished with this look, without this beauty mark.

I took my black pencil eyeliner and made this beauty mark where I thought it was closer than what she had.

And this is the final result:

? I turned this tutorial into a reel. You can check my Marilyn Monroe’s video tutorial here. Follow me there!  ✨

How to look like Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer who became one of the world’s most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal life.

In order to look like Marilyn Monroe, you’ll need to achieve her signature blonde hair, do your makeup in the style of the 1950s, and wear retro clothing. You can also try copying some of her famous poses.

To achieve Marilyn’s classic look, start by bleaching your hair or getting a very similar wig. I’m wearing this one from amazon, and it’s high quality, soft, and it is styled with iconic Marilyn’s hairstyle.

I’m also wearing a dupe of her iconic white dress. Here’s the dress I’m wearing.

Did Marilyn Monroe do her own makeup?

While it’s true that Marilyn Monroe was a natural beauty, she didn’t do her own makeup.

In fact, she had a team of people who helped her get ready for events and photo shoots.

One of the most important members of her team was Allan “Whitey” Snyder, her personal makeup artist.

Snyder is credited with creating Marilyn ‘s signature look, and he worked with her throughout her career.

And according to women’s health, he got two Emmys for his makeup work.

Conclusion on Marilyn Monroe Makeup

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic women in history, and her look is still copied today. With her glowing skin, undone curls, and sultry red lips, Marilyn Monroe is the epitome of Old Hollywood glamour.

If you want to achieve Marilyn’s signature blonde hair, 1950s style makeup, and retro clothing, then follow the steps in this article.

And don’t forget to practice some of her famous poses!

Just break down each step of the tutorial below, gather the necessary products (most of which can be found online or the closest dupe), and get started!

Before you know it, you’ll be looking just like Marilyn Monroe, and what a great way to honor such a big and iconic artist.

Let me know in the comments below what you think!

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