Fifty years after her passing, Marilyn Monroe remains one of the world’s most widely recognized beauties. Inspired by pure Hollywood glamour, find out how to recreate her sultry pout and iconic beauty look with our step-by-step guide.

marilyn monroe beauty

The face of MAC Cosmetics’ recent Marilyn Monroe collection, Marilyn continues to inspire film stars and designers alike.

The insider scoop: Allan “Whitey” Snyder, the makeup artist behind Marilyn’s glamorous look, used various highlighting techniques to transform her visage each day. Snyder would use four lipsticks to create a special color for Marilyn, and her signature pout was developed by overdrawing the lip in certain areas to exaggerate the shape of the lips.

How-to Create a Modern Marilyn Monroe Look (perfect for South Asian skin tones too!):

Step 1 – prepare the base: Begin by prepping the skin with a moisturizer best suited for your skin type, followed by MAC Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer. To keep the look modern, use a foundation which leaves the skin illuminated while still providing enough coverage to minimize blemishes. Armani Face Fabric or Makeup Forever HD Foundation are two excellent foundations to use for this look.

Step 2 – contour: The most transforming part of the Monroe look is the contouring. You’ll need a highlight color and a contour color; avoid using shades which are very sparkly as they tend to make the skin look more oily in photographs. The highlight color I used is NARS Pandora white, and the contour is MAC Blush Shadester.


Step 3 – the eyes: To make your eyes appear slightly larger, add white eyeshadow in the outer corners of your eyelids, below the eyeliner in a “v” shape. Rim the waterline with NARS Larger than Life Santa Monica eyeliner. To create a bold and defined liner, I used Stila black liquid liner which comes in an intense black, slightly winged the eyeliner at the outer edges. Use the new Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara to coat the lashes on both the top and bottom; don’t be afraid to add on that extra coat to create a dramatic look for your eyes.

Step 4 – the lips: Use MAC lipliner Redd to fill in the lips and slightly overdraw the bottom lip to exaggerate the pout. Use Make Up Forever Rouge lip stain in shade #8 and don’t forget to add gloss to create a dramatic pout. Lastly add a touch of NARS Pandora white to the center of the lip with your fingertips to highlight the fullness of the lips.



  • Primer: Primer Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer $60
  • Foundation: Make Up Forever HD Foundation $46
  • Armani Face Fabric $80
  • Powder: Laura Mercier Setting Powder $44
  • Contour: MAC Blush Shadester $22
  • Highlight: NARS Pandora $39
  • Lipstick: Make Up Forever Rouge Lipstain #8 $27
  • Lipliner: MAC Redd $17
  • Lipgloss: Make Up Forever Rouge Lipstain #8 $27
  • Eyeliner: NARS Santa Monica Eyeliner $25
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liner $26
  • Mascara: Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara $33
  • Brows: MAC Spiked $17
  • Eyeshadow: MAC Brule $17
  • MAC Shadester $22
  • Blush: NARS Gilda $32
  • NARS Deep Throat $32

Story By: Neetu Sahota