Marilyn Monroe beauty secrets

Marilyn Monroe’s beauty secrets

Hello lovelies!

Since the 1950s and beyond her death 61 years ago, Marilyn Monroe has been the ultimate beauty icon. She is such a beauty icon that she continues to inspire people today. Even a famous reality TV celebrity wanted to pay tribute to her by wearing a dress of hers at the last Met Gala…for better or for worse!

Even after her untimely death at 36, she remains the ultimate symbol for femininity, charm, youthfulness, and playfulness. For others, she represents the dumb blonde stereotype that she shunned in real life.

Though she had some issues in her personal and professional life, one thing remained against all odds: her incredible beauty. Indeed, this was her ticket to fame and success, and she took great care of it.

Today, I’m sharing Marilyn Monroe’s beauty secrets…especially her best kept beauty tips. If you’re a fan of vintage celebrities like me, continue to read below!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission whenever you click on the links and purchase the products, with no additional cost to you.

Marilyn Monroe’s skincare


marilyn monroe beauty secrets
Credit: Getty/ Alfred Eisenstaedt


Marilyn Monroe had suffered from dry skin since a very young age. Thus, like many Hollywood celebrities, she trusted the renowned Hungarian dermatologist Erno Laszlo.

He prescribed her a rigorous beauty routine that could change depending on the time of the day and her schedule. However, her evening skincare routine was quite always the same.

First, she started with an oil cleanse with the Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Oil. Then, she applied the Active Phelityl Cream that she rinsed off. Finally, she finished her skincare routine with the Controlling Lotion.

Unlike many celebrities today, Marilyn Monroe wasn’t a fan of tan and stayed away from the sun. She liked her blonde complexion and she didn’t want to spoil it with excessive sun exposure.

To keep her body skin firm and tight, Marilyn was an adept of ice baths. Then, she would apply Nivea Cream on her skin.

Moreover, Marilyn Monroe understood the importance of beauty sleep. Consequently, she made sure to sleep between 5 and 10 hours per night. Also, she took advantage of the weekends to sleep in late at her leisure.

Marilyn’s diet


marilyn monroe diet


Marilyn Monroe had a special high-protein diet. Unlike many celebrities of her time, she didn’t follow an extreme diet. She only ate twice a day and usually skipped the lunch. She especially enjoyed liver because it is rich in nutrients.

For the record, her autopsy revealed that she was a well-nourished woman, with an ideal weight.

If you want to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s diet, here is a sample of her menu:

Breakfast: two raw eggs mixed in hot milk with a multivitamin pill

Lunch: none

Dinner: vegetables and lean protein (liver, chicken, or lamb chops)

Dessert: hot fudge sundae

It would be the equivalent of a special intermittent fasting, don’t you think?

Marilyn’s exercise routine


marilyn monroe exercise
Credit: Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos


Despite her curvaceous body and her thin waist, Marilyn Monroe was against the use of corsets. Instead, she believed that women should free their bodies and exercise more.

Consequently, she had a 10-minute calisthenics routine that she performed everyday. She also practiced other sports reserved to the ladies, i.e. swimming and tennis. Later, she practiced yoga with Indra Devi, “the First Lady of Yoga”. Her favorite yoga poses were the bow pose, the plow pose, and the boat pose.

Overall, Marlyn Monroe’s conception of fitness was surprisingly modern. Indeed, she had a holistic approach of her body. She believed that there was a strong connection between mind, movement, self-improvement, and posture. In particular, she was a follower of Mabel Ellsworth Todd’s book entitled The Thinking Body.

Also, she didn’t follow a particular guru and trusted her own intuition concerning her fitness routine. Personally, I admire her discipline and her free spirit. When you see the results she got, you just want to emulate her.

Marilyn’s make-up routine


marilyn monroe make up
Credit: Getty Images


“Study your face carefully to decide what features you want to focus attention on”.

Marilyn Monroe


With her glorious glowing face and signature make-up, Marilyn Monroe was one of the most desired women in her times. However, she never spilled the beans about the secrets of her blonde glow herself. As a consequence, there were many speculations about the products and make-up techniques she used.

In a sense, I understand Marilyn Monroe – you want people to appreciate the final result, not the painful and not-so-glamorous process!

Despite the lack of information, many specialists who worked with her shared what she used. Also, many make-up artists have reconstituted what her make-up routine would have looked like with modern products.

One of her most famous make-up trick was her base which gave her that wonderful glow. Indeed, it is a composition of her own, which was quite unique. She applied a combination of Vaseline, hormone cream, and Erno Laszlo’s Active Phelityl Cream.

This resulted in a dewy sheen and an incredible lustre under the studio’s lights. She put everything on her side to be picture-ready! However, this mixture also backfired on her because excess hair appeared on her face. But Marilyn never wanted to shave it, despite the regular demands of the studio. Instead, she said she linked the effects of her facial hair on her glow.

How to replicate Marilyn Monroe’s make up routine?

If you want to imitate Marilyn Monroe’s make-up routine step by step, just follow the instructions below:

  • Apply an illuminating base to fix your make-up
  • Choose a medium-coverage foundation matching your skin tone for a dewy finish
  • Dust a generous amount of powder on your face, that is a shade darker than your skin tone
  • Put eye shadow that is in subtle harmony with your coloring – Marilyn’s favorite shades were pale pink and brown taupe
  • Blend your clear eye shadows with darker tints to make your eyes look deeper
  • Apply liquid liner on your upper lash line and stick close to your lashes as possible. Marilyn ‘s favorite liner colors were black and brown that she would alternate
  • Put white eye pencil on the lower lid
  • Use fake lashes to create the illusion of luscious and curly lashes
  • Pluck your brows in arches that mirror the shape of your lips
  • Apply red lipstick for a glamorous effect!

Speaking of lipstick, one of Marilyn Monroe’s beauty secrets gave her extraordinary plump lips. Indeed, she used five shades of lipsticks to achieve a multi-dimensional look. Moreover, she would use Vaseline as a final glossy touch.

Marilyn Monroe’s hair


marilyn Monroe beauty secrets


Did you know that Marilyn Monroe is a fake blonde? Yes, you heard me. She wasn’t born blonde, but she had reddish/auburn hair. She dyed her hair in platinum blonde to look like her idol, Jean Harlow.

Her hairdressers would dye her hair every three weeks. Here again, Marilyn Monroe was ahead her time because she didn’t wash her hair often to avoid drying her colored hair. Instead, she relied on dry shampoo every two days to keep her hair clean. And guess what she used? Johnson’s Baby Powder!

Unfortunately, her continuous use of dye wasn’t beneficial to her hair, which started to fall. Towards the end of her life, she relied on wigs and hair pieces to create the illusion of a full head of hair. Also, I don’t recommend her hair routine because it appears quite toxic. You can emulate her hairstyle with less dangerous alternative products nowadays!

Marilyn’s perfume


marilyn monroe perfume


Did you know that Marilyn Monroe helped to push the sales of her favorite perfume in the United States? Indeed, a journalist asked her what she wore to sleep during an interview. She answered that she only wore Chanel n°5, and nothing else. Isn’t that sexy?

Summary: how to follow Marilyn Monroe’s footsteps


marilyn footsteps


Marilyn Monroe’s beauty secrets were strangely modern and simple for her time. She believed that less is more in her skincare and fitness routine. However, she gave her all in the make-up department!

If you want to emulate Marilyn Monroe, here are some tips:

  • adopt a rigorous skincare routine with few effective products
  • eat a high-protein and nutrient-rich diet
  • exercise regularly –  a little bit everyday is better that two hours one a week
  • take care of your make-up and show your most glamorous beauty weapons
  • if you dye your hair, rely on the less aggressive solutions – fortunately, we have ammoniac-free dye lotions today
  • sleep with a few drops of your favorite perfume
  • feel sexy at all times!

That’s all for today! What do you think of Marilyn Monroe’s beauty secrets? Which one would you adopt in your own routine? Share your answers in the comments!

Take care!

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  1. Im a huge fan of marilyn and so is my partner! This post has helped me learn all the secrets as to how Marilyn kept her beauty. Now I can use my latest knowledge to sway my partner and surprise her with the best products that Marilyn used to use! I cant wait to speak to my wife!

    1. admin says:

      Wow! So happy, hope she’ll enjoy my post!

  2. Diane says:

    Thank you for this very interesting article. I know of Marilyn but I’ve never interested myself to her life.

    She seems very independant and it’s great she would do things herself (like take care of her hair with a secret recipe and her fitness routine).

    And I love it, because it’s so simple! It’s great to see that you don’t always have to invest in very expensive products

    1. admin says:

      yes indeed!

  3. Wow, Marilyn was such a beautiful woman and it’s really interesting to read and learn about her beauty routine. It seems like she was a bit ahead of her time on some of the steps she used (like the ice baths and exercise). I definitely think she is one of the classic beauties of the past 100 years with a look that remains timeless. Thanks for sharing all of these interesting fun facts!

    1. admin says:

      You’re welcome Aly !

  4. Michel Maling says:

    I loved reading this and it is interesting to note how ahead of her time Marilyn Monroe was with her beauty routine. From her oil based cleanser to her high protein diet to the fact that she stayed out of the sun. It is all advice that has only come to the fore in the last two decades by the masses. 
    Pity her hair dye wasn’t made of better ingredients, as those probably caused her to lose her hair later in life. 

    1. admin says:

      Yes indeed 

  5. Lizzy Stabel says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize that so much was known about Marilyn Monroe’s beauty routine! I am surprised that she had a high protein diet, wasn’t that quite rare for her time? I thought that back in the days, everybody was eating bread haha ! I totally agree with you that she was to be admired for taking care of her body and soul by exercising and doing yoga. Interesting article thanks!

    1. admin says:

      Thanks Lizzy 

  6. pasindu dimanka says:

    For this fascinating read, many thanks. Although I am familiar with Marilyn, I have never really cared about her story. She appears to be very self-reliant, which is admirable  That she took the time to nourish body and mind via practices like yoga and exercise is admirable, and I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Really enjoyed reading this, so much thanks!

    1. you’re welcome!

  7. Indeed, Marilyn Monroe remains to be one of the most beautiful women not just in Hollywood but everywhere else in the world. When I was in grade school, I remember seeing her face on the cover of notebooks. I didn’t know who she was because I was only familiar with our local celebrities but she was so famous then. 

    Diet, exercise, enough rest and sleep, and skin care are very important factors in maintaining true beauty inside and out. Some might think that it is enough to put on a lot of makeup to look beautiful but having a youthful glow will never compare to any cosmetics. 

    By the way, thanks for confirming that dying your hair often is bad. I also dye my hair but I do it every 3-4 months. 

    1. thanks for your comment and sharing your experience!

  8. itsYonson says:

    Thank you for a great article! I wasn’t aware that Marilyn ate a diet like that. Like you stated, she was essentially doing intermittent fasting back then and it seemed to work quite well! Also, I didn’t realize Marilyn was very much into exercise. She seemed to not only be concerned with her vanity, but also her overall health as well. She truly is an icon for how relevant she still is today in the world of beauty. 

    1. admin says:

      Exactly! That’s what I’m talking about!

  9. Edoardo says:

    This was useful, nice content, exhaustive and not had to read, my sister loved it, and it kept here busy for a few hours ahahah, anyway thank you a lot my friend for putting your time, soul and heart INTO it, keep posting my friend and please, do contact me if you need anything

    1. admin says:

      Thanks you Edoardo!

  10. Wow this is very powerful story with a lot of facts I realy like this

    1. thanks!

  11. LineCowley says:

    It is always interesting to see what beauty routines celebrities follow, and Marilyn Monroe was certainly ahead of her time when you see some of her secrets. Staying out of the sun is certainly one of the best ways to preserve a young-looking skin. And I agree, that to use hair dyes every three weeks, would have a negative effect on your hair in the long run. 

    I have never heard of the Hungarian dermatologist Erno Laszlo, so it is interesting to see that Marilyn Monroe used his skin care products, and that the products are still available today. Do you know if the ingredients are still the same, or are any natural and organic ingredients included in the range? Thank you for sharing these secrets.

    1. admin says:

      Hello Line, thanks for your comment! As for Erno Laszlo, I believe that its indregients haven’t changed since the original formula but I might be mistaken…

  12. Akumendoh says:

    Nice one. Well, Marilyn Monroe is an iconic figure, and her beauty secrets have always been a topic of interest. In my opinion, her beauty routine was quite simple and achievable. She was known to be a fan of Vaseline for moisturizing her skin and petroleum jelly for her lips. She also used a lot of baby oil for a natural glow.
    I have tried some of her beauty secrets and they worked quite well for me. Vaseline is a great moisturizer and petroleum jelly is perfect for chapped lips. I also found that using baby oil on my skin gave me a nice, subtle glow.

    1. admin says:

      Wowo, thanks for sharing!

  13. Stephanie says:

    As someone who has admired Jayne Mansfield for many years, and to whom I see a similar resemblance to Marilyn, I really appreciate this article giving us a further inside look into Marilyn’s beauty secrets. These were things that I had no idea of, and that actually made me want to try myself – for example, the use of the Chanel n5 as the only perfume she used. I love fragrances and to have this inside is really helpful when it comes to looking for my next purchase! 

    If you ever do a Jayne Mansfield beauty secrets I would truly be taking advantage of that.

    Great read. Thank you for this lovely piece on such an iconic female empowerment.

    1. admin says:

      You’re welcome – and thank you for your comment!

  14. Daniella says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing this article about Marilyn Monro’s beauty secret. I admired this beautiful woman so much.

    She was so sexy, from the inside and outside. I didn’t know that she practiced yoga and exercised every day. What surprised me most was her sleeping hours. I don’t know why, but I always thought she wasn’t a healthy woman because, if I remember, she took lots of drugs and alcohol, and she was once hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital.

    Is that right?

    However, what I would have adopted from Marylin Monro to my own routine is her diet and exercise routine.

    A little out of subject, but I am curious:) Do you have any idea how she died?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. admin says:

      Hello Daniella, yes Marilyn followed a routine because as an actress she was controlled by the MGM studio and thus, she had to take care of her body. She was basically paid for it! And yes, unfortunately, she took drugs and had some psychiatric issues, but this doesn’t mean that she was healthy. As far as the way she died, well there’s a mystery. Officially she dies from an accidental suicide by overdose, but some recent studies say she might have been killed by the Kennedys…

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