Always wanted to transform yourself into a glamorous retro pin up like Marilyn Monroe?Follow my detailed list of modern retro chic makeup tips below and you'll go from regular Plain Jane to Va-va Voom Bombshell!
1. Moisturize Marilyn's skin always looked flawless. Use a lightweight moisturizer 5 minutes before applying your base, allowing it to absorb into the skin better. Then use a makeup base primer to smooth out flaws and keep makeup looking fresh. Recommended: Murad Perfecting Serum
2. Apply a makeup base in the lightest tone suitable for your skin. My favorite film quality foundations are Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundations and Makeup Forever HD High Definition Foundations. Apply over face with foundation brush or sponge.
3. Translucent powder is a must to set your foundation! Using a powder puff, be sure to press the loose translucent powder firmly into your skin (just dusting it over your face with a powder brush, will not set the makeup). You must actually press it into the skin, then you may sweep off any excess with a powder brush! Recommended: Makeup Forever HD Translucent Powder.
5. Eyeshadow Marilyn's eyeshadow was very subtle. Apply some light brown shadow to the crease of your eyelid, blending to the outer area below brow. Then add a shimmery off-white shadow to the center of the lid, brow bone, and the inner corner of the eye. Recommended: Mac White Frost (lid, brow bone, inner corner), Honey Lust (lid), and Mac Brown Script (in the crease blending outward).
6. Eyeliner To achieve the glamorous bombshell eye, use either a liquid liner or cake liner with an ultra fine angled brush. Draw a very narrow line going from the top inner corner of your lid at lash line and continue all the way out. Then with your eyes open, on the very outer corner, go ahead and gently flick the liner brush in an up and outward motion. (Creating a cat eye effect). Remember easy does it! Recommended: Bobbi Brown Crème Liner Espresso Ink, and Mac Black Liquid Liner.
7. Mascara Apply a coat or two of black mascara to the lashes (both real and false). Make sure to apply mascara to both top and bottom lashes! Recommended: Dior Show Black Mascara
8. False Eyelashes Always black. My favorite are Ardel’s Demi Wispies, and 747 Mediums. They both have a natural outward flair. Perfect for that glamorous cat eye effect!
19. Blush Using a large angled blush brush gently sweep the blush on the cheekbones in an upward motion. Then using a lighter pink tone, apply blush to the apples of your cheeks! This will give you that retro pinup glow! Recommended: Nars Orgasm, Mac Peechy Keen, and Mac Dolly Mix
10. Highlighting Gently dab with a makeup brush or finger a shimmer highlight on top of the cheekbone in a line all the way to the corner of the eye. Recommended: Julie Hewitt Pinky or Rose Petal
11. Lips. First you want to apply a red lip liner, lining your entire lip top and bottom. Then gently brush the liner pencil over the entire lip (top and bottom), coloring in as much as you can. After that, gently brush translucent powder over your lips to set the color. You will then proceed with your lipstick color. I usually prefer blue-based reds as they tend to look better on most skin tones. First, brush the outer edges of your lips with a darker red, and the center of the mouth with a lighter red. This makes the lips look more voluptuous. For the finishing touch, lightly apply any clear gloss. Recommended: Cinema Secrets Red Passion lipstick and Mac Ruby Woo lipstick. Lipliner: Mac Redd, Lip gloss: Chanel Glace, Makeup Forever Diamond.
For Bombshell hair, wash your hair a day before doing this style. You will achieve more hold and better volume if your hair has some natural oils in it.
Start by using a thermal protection styling spray that you can use with either your hot rollers or 1”curling iron. If you use a curling iron, you must use bobby pins on each curl to secure a tight pin curl with. Section off your hair (small sections), create a side part, and then spray each section of hair. Then roll the hair on the top of your head in an upward motion with the rollers or curling iron. The sections of hair on each side of your head should be curled and secured in a downward motion. Securing everything for half an hour (tedious, yes, but worth the results!) Using a volumizing hairspray, spritz your entire head. You can choose to either brush out your curls for an of-the-moment look, or simply use your fingers to slightly muss-up the curls. Finally, using a small teasing brush or comb, take small sections of hair on the crown of your head and gently tease the root (aprox. 1 inch) of each section. Gently brush out, and spray again with your volumizing hairspray. Recommended: Kenra Thermal Protection Spray, CHI Volumizing Hairspray, bobby pins, 1 inch curling iron, or medium rollers, large boar bristle brush, and small teasing brush.
Voila! You are a bombshell like Marilyn Monroe!
These are some of my favorite “Marilyn-style” vintage reproductions to help inspire you!
Remember, confidence and femininity is the key to achieving any modern pinup look. Be creative and have fun bringing out your inner Marilyn Monroe-inspired look!