With her crimson pout, smoldering eyes and iconic beauty mark, Marilyn Monroe’s enduring signature style has been coveted and copied for decades. Her career-long makeup artist Allan “Whitey” Snyder would spend up to three hours perfecting Marilyn’s trademark look. An authentic Marilyn makeover using the secrets of the sizzling screen star requires some time and effort, but as photographer Milton Greene keenly observed, “You don’t just wake up in the morning and wash your face and comb your hair and go out and look like Marilyn Monroe.”

Things You'll Need

Replicate Marilyn’s glowing skin by starting with plenty of moisturizer. Makeup historian Lisa Eldridge reported that Marilyn used a thick base of moisturizer to protect her skin before applying makeup, with Vaseline, Nivea and Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Cream being among her favorites. Apply a moisturizer based on your skin type.

Opt for cream or liquid foundation. Marilyn preferred her skin to have a youthful, dewy glow, so skip the powdered or matte versions.

Copy Marilyn’s sexy, heavy-lidded eyes. Begin by covering the entire eyelid and around the inner corners of eye with a shimmering white eye shadow to highlight and open the eye area. Use a neutral-toned eye shadow in the sockets and extend to the outer corners of the eye to create depth.

Get flirty lashes with falsies. Curl your upper lashes and apply black mascara to give the false lashes a base. Apply a half set of lashes, beginning in the middle of the eye and extending to the outer corners, to create an almond-eye shape.

Line the upper lids with a thin line along the lash line using a brown eye pencil and finish with a slight upward swoop at the outer corners. Use a soft brown eye pencil, smudging after application, or brown eye shadow to lightly line the lower lids. End in a downward swoop at the outer corners that serves to replicate a shadow from the heavy, false lashes. Finish by lining the lower waterline with a white eye pencil for a wide-eyed effect.

Replicate Marilyn’s high, arched brows. Try a brow stencil to give you the perfect shape and avoid mistakes like over-plucking.

Create a heart-shaped face, just like Marilyn’s. Apply a contour powder or cream under the cheekbones and along the jaw line for the illusion of a heart-shaped face. Shade along the sides of the nose and tip to slim and shorten. Use a highlighter along the tops of your cheekbones to widen and heighten this area. Finish with coral-pink blush in the apples of your cheeks to get Marilyn’s youthful flush.

Achieve Marilyn’s lush, full pout by using a lip pencil and several coats of lipstick. Line the lips all around with a dark red pencil, just outside your natural lip line; fill in the outer corners of the lips. Apply several coats of red lipstick a shade lighter than the pencil, blotting in between coats, to give the lips a plump appearance. Finish with plenty of lip gloss.

Draw Marilyn’s iconic beauty mark on your cheek with a dark brown eye pencil to complete your bombshell, movie star makeover.


  • Try a shade of lipstick that flatters your eye color. Blue-reds complement blue eyes and orange-reds enhance green, hazel and light brown eyes. True reds and berry shades are best for dark brown eyes.