Long before the days of Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, there was a celebrity who made the Kardashians' never-ending beauty routines seem like nothing more than quick touch-ups. Who is this, you ask? Hollywood's ultimate icon, Marilyn Monroe. Known for her platinum blonde hair, glowing skin, and iconic red lip, the screen siren's beauty routine was rumoured to be around three hours long (whatever it takes for a million-dollar face, right?), which explains why her makeup artist Allan 'Whitey' Snyder was one of her closest friends.
Snyder, the man behind her famous visage, also counted Katharine Hepburn, Doris Day, and Raquel Welch as his works of art. Not only did Monroe and Snyder spend hours on her appearance, they also came up with some pretty bizarre beauty hacks (heaps of olive oil on the skin, anyone?).
Yesterday, Marilyn Monroe would have celebrated her 90th birthday – and we're sure she would still look nothing short of fabulous. In honour of her big day we're looking back at 9 of her most insane (and bizarre) beauty hacks. From sewing marbles into her bra, to obsessively washing her face, and shocking her system with extreme ice baths, check out her tips and get inspired!
SPIKE YOUR BATHWATER WITH FRAGRANCE
We're all about smelling fresh and lathering ourselves in our signature perfume before leaving the house, but Marilyn Monroe often took the obsession one step further. Not only did she apply her favourite fragrance before leaving the house, but she also applied it before bed. When asked what she wore to bed at night, Monroe famously responded: "Five drops of Chanel No. 5." Better yet, she even spiked her bath water with the fragrance to ensure a lasting scent.
LAYERS OF LIPSTICK
Kylie Jenner may be the queen of plumped up pout, but before her, Marilyn Monroe had a lipstick routine that put Kylie's to shame. In pursuit of a naturally plumped-up pout, Marilyn Monroe's makeup artist would use 5 different shades of red and would layer the darker and lighter shades in order to create dimension.
To get Marilyn's famous red lips, use darker reds on the outer corners and lighter shades in the middle to add dimension. Top things off by using highlighter on the cupid's bow and bottom lip.
Otherwise known as face shaving, dermaplaning was a technique that Monroe (or should we call her, the queen of bizarre beauty) used to achieve her iconic glow. This procedure scrapes the face of the outer layers of skin, giving the skin a luminous, healthy glow. Warning: this procedure is not for the faint of heart and should be carried out with caution.
USE VASELINE AS A PRIMER OR HIGHLIGHTER
While you may argue that highlighter is a perfectly efficient way of achieving that coveted glow, Marilyn had something a little different in her makeup bag. Before applying her foundation, the blonde bombshell would use Vaseline as a base because it acted as the ultimate moisturizer – the essence of youth.
To achieve a soft glow like Marilyn's, apply the product on your complexion as a base that goes on before foundation. For the ultimate effect, use it as a highlighter and apply it to your cheekbones and brow bones.
OIL FOR GLISTENING LIDS
Whether it's a touch of coconut oil or Vaseline (once again), Monroe was a firm believer that shiny lids were sexy. To achieve this look, dab a small amount of oil (coconut for the best effect) onto your lids for a subtle, wet-look finish.
WHITE SHADOW TRICK
Now known as "eye-strobing," Monroe used to blend white eye shadow on her lids all the way up to her brow bone and into the inner corners of her eyes to add depth and make the eyes appear larger.
To do so, use a white shimmery shadow and apply it on your entire lid all the way to your brow bone with a shadow brush. Do this before applying any other shadow colours to achieve a subtle effect. To finish off, dab a small bit of formula into the corners of your eyes to open them up and make them appear larger.
MIX EYELINERS TOGETHER
While most women often stick to basic liners like black or brown, Snyder used a combination of both on muse, Marilyn Monroe. To re-invent this look, apply liner to the upper lids with one colour and waterlines with another, then extend the lash lines with wings to elongate the eyes. Use white liner on your waterline to make eyes appear even larger.
BLUSH FOR CONTOURING
While we're well-versed in the art of using bronzer to contour our faces, Marilyn had something a little different in mind. To shape your nose, tap a little bit of pink blush onto the tip of your nose with a blush brush. This will create the illusion of a shorter, more defined nose. Use the same shade to contour your cheeks by spreading the powder across the cheekbones with a blush brush.
SHAPE YOUR EYEBROWS WITH PEAKS
If you want arches like Monroe's, start off by drawing peaks just above your brows, which Monroe believed would minimize wideness of the forehead. Fill them in with a brow pencil or gel, but be careful not to make them appear too sharp or pointy!