Hi dolls! I have been noticing a lot of people have been visiting from search engines and have searched for the term “marilyn monroe style/makep” in some way or another. That gave me an idea to write a post about how to achieve her look, both from makeup to clothing to hair.
Let’s start, shall we?
Marilyn’s makeup placed an emphasis mainly on her lips and eyebrows, and a subtlety in her eyes and cheeks. Clear skin is imperative, so be sure to use a concealer, foundation, and finishing powder. I use a stippling brush to get that airbrush effect, and it works well!
For the eyes, I always start out with an eyeshadow base. A look this glamourous cannot be ruined by creased eyeshadow! Tap the primer on your entire eyelid, and wait for it to dry. Then apply your base color, which should be a light/nude/bone color, to your entire lid, from eyelash line to brow bone. Next, take a champagne color shadow and use that on your brow bone (which is slightly above your crease). Be sure to blend, blend, blend! You want smooth, natural and gorgeous eyes, and no harsh lines are allowed. After this, take a deeper matte brown color and uses that in your crease. You know what’s next – blend, blend, blend! Next, use some black liquid eyeliner and trace a thing line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer edge. While that dries, use a brow pencil a shade lighter than your natural color and trace a shape that is more pointed at the arch, and gradually tapers in thickness towards the end. Refer to the above picture for a visual. Then take an eyeshadow closer to your natural color and fill in your eyebrows to set and officially shape them. Afterwards, use the liquid liner again, and using the angle of the outer corner of your eye to the tip of your eyebrow, trace a slight cat’s eye, almost like a flick. While that is drying, use some peachy rose blush on the apples of your cheekbones and spreading to the rest of your cheekbones. Add slight color to your nose, as well. Take an eyelash curler and curl your lashes to the count of 10, then add a coat of lengthening mascara. If you have or can get false eyelashes, but them in half, and glue the outer portion of them on the outer ends of your lashes. Coat in lengthening mascara again, and curl to 10 once more. Use a brown eyebrow pencil for your beauty mark (if you wish), and you can choose where you would like it to be – Marilyn moved it several places. Afterwards, set with a finishing powder, and you are all set!
Unfortunately, I am unable to do any type of hair styling right now due to post-operative restraints on my shoulder, so for now, I will post a video tutorial from one of the girls I learned the most about retro hair and makeup from, Lisa Freemont Street:
It may take a while to get used to doing this look in the way she achieves it, but trust me, this is the authentic way to get Marilyn’s look. The placement, direction, and angle of the curls you are making are all very important to this look, as is with any vintage style. Think you just throw some curlers on haphazardly and go? Think again, sorry! 😛
When I am recovered enough to do so, I will do hair tutorials myself. I will either take pictures of every step along the way, or I will do a video if I have the chance. If any of you out there have a preference, please be sure to let me know, as I like to please my people! 🙂
Marilyn’s style can be best described as classic but sexy at the same time. Look at pictures of her, and take notes of the lines and details of what she wore. Back then, things were more matched together and purposeful than they are today. Keep that in mind as you try to pick out items to wear that are “Marilyn-esque”. But always be sure it is body hugging! PLEASE know the difference between body hugging and tight – tight is something that just plain doesn’t fit; body hugging is something that fits you to a tee, and shows off all of your best assets.
This is too tight:
Notice how her breasts are pressed down upon by the dress, as well as it bunching up at her waist and hips – classic signs of a dress that is a wee bit too tight or perhaps ill-tailored. It makes her look much heavier than she actually is and does no justice to any of her assets.
Let’s a a lesson from Marilyn’s book, both in a formal and casual setting:
As you can see, all of the clothing she wears looks like as if it had specifically made just for her. How can you achieve this? The first – and best – way is to get your clothing tailored. It is not as expensive as most may think, and most dry cleaners offer this service in their shops as well as other areas. It is well worth the few extra dollars out of your pocket in order to look like a million, don’t you think? Also, a key is to also be sure to know your true size. I cannot emphasize this enough. I know how most women are – if they can squeeze their hips and butt into a size 8 and barely be able to breathe as opposed to being comfortable and well-fitted in a size 10, you all will do it. Just because you can squeeze into a size 8 doesn’t mean you should! That actually will make you look bigger and more ill proportioned than thin and taut. That girl in the yellow dress was trying to do just this, and it didn’t work out so well for her, did it?
Also, notice the classic lines and styles that Marilyn wears. You will never really see her wearing any of the latest fads or trends at the time. Most of her favorite colors were timeless – khaki, white, black, and red. Nice pedal pushers/cigarette pants with a boat neck 3/4 sleeve shirt or turtleneck is a great way to go casual. Also, a bullet bra will gave you an amazing ’50s look like she had wearing more casual shirts and things. Like I had mentioned a few posts ago, Secrets in Lace has great bullet bras for this, and I just wore the one I have from them yesterday! Some nice flats finish off the look well. You can also wear some mary jane pumps if you would like to sex things up a bit for the daytime.
For more glamourous or formal occasions, Marilyn was known for that being her time to shine (of course, she was known for her great beauty anytime, but particularly at formal events – she would pull out all of the stops!). Dresses the emphasized her hourglass shape were always the go-to – think belted dresses, wrap dresses, or anything along that line. Also note that if she were to expose most of her legs as the center of attention, she would cover up her bust for the most part. If her bust was more front and center, she most often had a longer length gown. Please keep that in mind in order to keep that Marilyn “classic sexiness” from going overboard and becoming too much. And of course, what would a Marilyn evening look be without a great pair of heels?
All in all, it is not that difficult to try to achieve Marilyn Monroe’s look as many think it is. The hair may take some time for those who are not accustomed to doing vintage styles and pin curls already, but with practice comes experience and knowledge. Not only will you gain her look, but surely you will gain her charisma and energy as well. Good luck!