My faux interview with the late, and truly great, Marilyn Monroe …
Now this may seem an unusual interview, being that Marilyn died in 1962. Obviously then, I didn’t ACTUALLY talk to her *insert shifty-eyed look here* but I have been obsessed with Marilyn for years and have done lots of reading about her, so I’ve kind of answered my questions on her behalf – I don’t think she’d mind, do you?
Anyway, Marilyn lives on in our memories as one of the most beautiful and alluring women who ever graced this planet and she is still an object of fascination for many. I really enjoyed researching the products and methods Marilyn used to enhance her legendary beauty and sex appeal. She was undeniably a trend-setter and was, in many ways, well ahead of her time.
So Marilyn, let’s get started …
Q1. Marilyn, your skin always appeared flawless – what skincare products did you use?
A. Well hello Mumpty … I’m so pleased you asked me to do this interview! I used Erno Laszlo products; particularly his Active pHelityl cream for moisturising – it was great for my slightly dry skin; I’m so proud that his company is still going today and many of the products I used are still available. I spent quite a lot of time with Erno and he created a repair balm especially for me to help fade and repair a scar I had on my stomach. I also used olive oil on my face and ice baths to firm and tighten my skin.
Note: Marilyn was also reported to use Ponds Cold Cream and Nivea Cleanser, which were both staples of the 1950’s. She used Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil as well. Stories that she used Vaseline under her powder have been discounted by her longtime makeup artist, Whitey Snyder, and it does seem unlikely really because oooweeee, your makeup would just look gross, and Marilyn’s never did!
Q2. Did you have a favourite makeup brand?
A. Well a lot of the products in my makeup bag were by Erno Laszlo – I really did like his products – especially his Duo-Phase face powder. But I didn’t use Erno’s products exclusively – I liked Max Factor, Guerlain and Elizabeth Arden too.
Note: Marilyn’s makeup case and its contents were sold by Christies in 1999 for $266,500. It contained:
♥ 3 x Max Factor lipsticks
♥ 2 x Elizabeth Arden cream eyeshadows (Autumn Smoke & Pearly Blue)
♥ 2 x Elizabeth Arden Eye Stopper eyeliners (one brown & one black)
♥ 1 x Leichner of London eyeshadow
♥ 2 x bottles of Revlon nailpolish (Cherries a la Mode & Hot Coral)
♥ Glorene of Hollywood eyeliner and false lashes
♥ 2 x bottles of perfumed lotion by Shiseido
♥ Anita d’Foged Day Dew cream makeup and cover up
♥ 2 x pots of Erno Laszlo makeup
Q.3 Marilyn, was there a makeup “look” that defined you?
A. Well actually, I’d like to think I defined it! I was, after all, one of the original pinup girls! But obviously the look that I favoured was a defined brow, eyeliner flicks and red lipstick – you see, even by today’s standards I’m a modern gal!
I think if I was alive today, I might very well be a M.A.C kinda girl … it was lovely of them to create a line of cosmetics especially for me to commemorate my 50 year anniversary. My favourite was the lipstick in Charmed I’m Sure … and the packaging was sublime!
Note: Apparently Marilyn used red lip liner and up to five coats at a time of Guerlain’s Rouge Diabolique to achieve those famous lips. Rouge Diabolique is no longer available but Guerlain’s “Kiss Kiss” lipstick in Insolence de Rouge is an exact dupe. Marilyn’s makeup artist would make her lip colour darkest at the outer edges and lightest in the middle to create the illusion of fullness. He also used false eyelashes on the outer edges of her eyes to give her that sexy, bedroom-eyes look she always had. Her entire eye was covered in a creamy white eyeshadow first, before having soft, smoky brown applied to the outer crease, giving her eyes lovely depth.
Fun fact # 1 – Marilyn’s red lip was voted the most iconic beauty trend of all time.
Fun fact # 2 – Besame Cosmetics do a lipstick inspired by Marilyn called Red Hot Red – all their vintage reproduction lipsticks are the exact shades used by Hollywood starlets.
Q4. How did you look after your hair?
A. My hair wasn’t naturally blonde of course – as you would have seen from my earlier modelling shots. My main hairdresser was Kenneth Battelle, often known as “Mr Kenneth.” A Hollywood agent told me I would get more work if I dyed my hair blonde, and so I did – and he was right. It was the whole “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” thing, but I have to say, it was pretty tough on my hair. I used to think of my hair as being “pillow case white.”
Note: Marilyn’s hairdresser stated she had very fine hair that tended to be oily unless it was washed every day. Her hair was naturally curly, so she often had it chemically straightened which can’t have been good for it with the products they used back then!
Fun fact # 3 – LUSH have a fabulous hair mask called “Marilyn.”
Q5. What’s your favourite fragrance, Marilyn?
A. Chanel No. 5 – of course.
Note: One of Marilyn’s most famous quotes came about when a radio announcer cheekily asked her what she wore to bed “why, Chanel No. 5, of course” was Marilyn’s response; thus increasing Chanel’s sales and publicity immeasurably!
Fun fact # 4: in 2013 Chanel finally made Marilyn the face of their timelessly popular fragrance, Chanel No. 5 – she took over from Brad Pitt!
Q6. How did you keep fit Marilyn?
A. Well I never really liked sports, so I just used to run, which actually was pretty unusual at the time. I did weights too – I never really considered my body amazing to be honest – and I’m so glad I didn’t have to work out like a mad thing like the movie stars do today – ten minutes was enough for me!
Fun fact/rumour # 5 Marilyn shaved half an inch off one of each pair of shoes in order to achieve her famous wiggle!
Thanks Marilyn … it’s been wonderful talking to you about your beauty and health routines. You were truly one of a kind; a legendary beauty and talent whose memory will never fade.