The transformation from Norma Jean to Marilyn Monroe illustrates how the creation of ones beauty and style has the power to reveal their inner most workings and in her case, tell a story of a life once lived. Marilyn’s iconic look evolved over a number of years and she didn’t do it alone. From dying her hair peroxide blonde to being sent to have surgery to slim down her nose and correct an overbite, she underwent a series of unnatural changes to perfect the look that became famous for centuries. Meeting Allan “Whitey” Snyder in 1953 was the start to her evolution. He soon became Marilyn’s most trusted confidant and friend, as well as her makeup artist. It was once rumored that she told him if she were to die before him that he would promise to do her makeup at her funeral, which he did only a few years later after meeting her.
Several steps were taken to construct her perfectly done up face. The first was putting a thick layer of vaseline and Nivea before applying her foundation. This would help create a soft focus and dewy glow when under the studio lights. The next was to contour her cheek bones, nose, and eye sockets, to help open up and enlarge her eyes, while also defining her face. After that was to apply half lashes to her upper lash line, paired with a thick brown eyeliner extended past her eyes and a white pencil on her waterline. Whitey always used a white base all over her lids and a shimmery white eyeshadow in her tear ducks. He also drew a faint line of lighter brown eyeliner under her eyes and below her lashes so as to mimic the shadow of the weight of her lashes. Then onto brows. The key Marilyn’s look was her heart shaped face. Created with plastic surgery and perfected with makeup, her very arched eyebrows were shaped to lift and frame her face. Creating space between her eyes and eyebrows helped in enlarging her eyes.
The last and certainly not most forgotten, was her legendary heart shaped lips. It was rumored that she used three different shades and five layers of lipstick during application. It was geared to help make her lips look as voluptuous and enlarged as possible. Always starting with a much darker lip liner and adding layers as time went on. Although the steps seem strenuous and time consuming to create this perfect iconic figure, don’t we all take those same steps as well to personalize our style as well ?