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Marilyn: the body, the smile, the blonde...the skin. It's undeniable that Lady Monroe was much more than the sum of her (ahem) assets. The woman sparkled and glowed like almost no star before or after her. Of course, most of that electricity was Marilyn's own je ne sais quoi, a result of her naive-yet-smoldering personality — but her smooth, glowing complexion certainly didn't hurt.
We've all wondered what she could have used to get her enviable skin, but now the truth is out: Marilyn owed her perfect visage to one man, Dr. Erno Laszlo, the New York City dermatologist that founded The Institute of Scientific Dermatology in 1939. Also known as the House of Silence, this hush-hush spa drew the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, and Jackie O, whom Dr. Laszlo provided with customized skin plans and made-to-order products.
A proponent of long-term versus quick-fix skin care, Dr. Laszlo's motto was "Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle," a legacy that The Institute, the new members-only skin-care destination, will be continuing with year-round skin-maintenance programs tailored to the needs of its clients. Located in the heart of Soho, The Institute is a retail/spa/gallery space hybrid that will provide regularly scheduled, sequenced treatments meant to heal your skin in a gradual, routine manner (rather than being a "quick fix").
To celebrate the opening of the new space, we attended a luxurious event that was inspired by the relationship by one of Laszlo's most famous clients. While Gentlemen Prefer Blondes played via projector on a wall, guests were able to ogle pieces from Marilyn Monroe's personal collection, including her own faux eyelashes, gloves, and sunglasses — even her personal phone book, with the page open to "Erno Laszlo, MD." The event was a perfect celebration of Monroe's iconic life and career, and we admit that we were more than a little excited to slather on the exact products that had a role in enhancing the actress's effervescent beauty. We may not be able to approximate Marilyn's whole curvaceous package, but when it comes to skin care, well, we'll have what she was having.
Photos: BFA/Will Ragozzino