I Copied Marilyn Monroe's Beauty Routine —& Here's What I Looked Like After

Beauty with Mi, hosted by Refinery29's beauty writer Mi-Anne Chan, explores the coolest new trends, treatments, products, and subcultures in the beauty world. Never miss an episode by subscribing here.
No one defines what old Hollywood glamour is quite like Marilyn Monroe. Her full lips, hourglass figure, sultry eye makeup, and bleach-blonde hair is more than iconic — it's changed the way the world interprets beauty. This is just one of the reasons why thousands of articles and videos about her crowd the internet, each with headlines that boast inside scoops on her fascinating beauty routine.
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These articles tend to tell the same story — a tale of a beautiful blonde who experienced a rocky rise to sex symbol stardom. Convinced that there was a way to pay homage to Marilyn's knack for makeup and skin care and attempt to understand her complex relationship with it, I decided to test-drive her routine myself, but not before learning a thing or two about the star.
With the help of Kristy Watson, Erno Laszlo's Chief Marketing Officer (Erno Lazlo was Marilyn's trusted dermatologist), and Dr. Lois Banner, a historian who has authored a biography on the star, I uncovered everything from Marilyn's original skin care prescription (fun fact: she had a different routine for morning, evening, and before going out) to her deep-seated insecurity, despite being considered one of the most beautiful women in the world.
By the end of it, the facade that Marilyn was flawless dissipated and I realised the true reason that Marilyn remains an icon to this day. "Most people will say she was perfect," Banner says. "She had many flaws. That's why she's so fascinating! In her way, she is a real woman with an unbelievable ambition."
Press play above to see my full transformation.
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