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Celebrating Marilyn—Looking Back At Some Of Her Most Iconic Beauty Moments

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Audrey Flack’s ‘Heroic Marilyn’

Dictating the course of beauty conversations in old Hollywood back in the ‘50s was no ordinary feat to achieve or so I would imagine. Very few wielded the tremendous power to do so, who have been rightly deemed as beauty icons. A coveted spot on this list will always belong to the iconic Marilyn Monroe. The actress, singer and model with platinum blonde curls, her signature crimson lips and a million dollar smile that made many weak in the knees — left indelible footprints in the beauty industry.

Marilyn, who was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, is still one of Hollywood’s timeless icons for more than 50 years. If you ever chance upon old pictures from the archives, you will get a glimpse into her life before she became a legendary star. Originally a brunette, the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes actress, in my opinion, was always ridiculously beautiful but I have always been intrigued by the process behind the beauty evolution. How did Norma Jeanne become Marilyn, the most beautiful American woman in the ‘50s? I did a little digging and since it’s her birthday week, I felt it would be perfect to celebrate some of her most iconic beauty moments. Scroll down for the looks, and yes, she would have been 96 years this week.

MARILYN LOVING THE PROCESS

Marilyn was exceedingly diligent about beauty and pursued it with immense passion. With the aid of a very competent team at her disposal she managed to curate an iconic look that is still a topic of conversation amongst makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts- who have tried dissecting the beauty look to the best of their comprehension. In an attempt to go above and beyond for this article here’s me bringing you some of her trade beauty secrets.

Marilyn believed that beauty is a process that shouldn't be rushed. That meant anywhere between 8 to 10 hours of an everyday slumber for the diva and taking her own sweet time to get going every morning. She spent hours on her makeup chair bleaching her hair and guiding her team through a very intricate and maculate glam session. Yes, she had a very specific vision for her looks and she carefully directed every beauty decision.

THE VASELINE HACK

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I think we can all agree that cameras, especially the Hollywood paparazzi loved Marilyn Monroe. And it’s a given that the glimmer that photographers captured in thousands of pictures is honestly indescribable. But did you know that the blonde beauty relied on vaseline for a dewy, youthful look? A thick coat of vaseline is how she prepped her skin before base. Something that beauty gurus now strongly advocate for in 2022.

ALWAYS CAMERA-READY EYES

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Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

As years went by, Marilyn’s eye makeup became more elaborate with minute detailing. She had a gorgeous wide set of eyes that were further enhanced by makeup like using white over the lids, a brown pencil as an eyeliner and using false lashes that were applied from the mid section of her eyelids all the way till the end that imparted depth and mystique to her eyes. A soft line drawn under her eyes played with the studio lights to create an illusion of a shadow from her eyelashes. Whitey Synder, Marilyn’s then makeup artist and close friend insisted on a white pencil to line the inner rim and would finish off with a red dot at the corner of her eyes which made them look even brighter in pictures.

HER SIGNATURE CRIMSON LIPS

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Monroe’s iconic pout was created with seriously overlined lips using a dark shade of crimson around the edges, and a lighter shade on the inside. It may sound super simple but makeup artist Synder used this manoeuvre to grant her lips dimension and definition. Little did he know that years later people around the world would be using this little trick from his book in pursuit of fuller lips.

MONROE PHOTOGRAPHED IN SOME OF HER MOST ICONIC BEAUTY LOOKs

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Marilyn From Her First Photo Shoot With Joseph Jasgur in 1946

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The Blonde Bombshell In A Still From “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”

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Arriving At JFK’s Birthday Gala in 1962 Where She Sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”

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A Fine Portrait From The Series “Marilyn At Home, 1953”

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Marilyn Monroe in 1947

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Photographed by Ted Baron, 1954

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