No one captures glamour quite like Marilyn Monroe, with her bright blond coif, full lips, bedroom eyes, and that beauty mark. One of the most famous screen sirens, she became a sex symbol and beauty icon during the Golden Age of Hollywood — a time when wearing flashy makeup wasn’t considered acceptable unless it was in front of a camera or on stage. Today, her legacy in the beauty world endures, thanks in part to Max Factor.
Many may not know how much Factor, err, factored into her iconic look. The godfather of modern makeup worked with the star in the early '50s, dyeing her then-brown hair platinum, à la the original blonde bombshell (and Monroe’s favourite actress), Jean Harlow. It became a look that actresses would attempt to re-create for decades.
“If you look at her in the beginning, when she first started out as a model for Elite Modelling Company, you will see that she had an arched eyebrow that they had started to work on, but it was really Max Factor who perfected it,” Donelle Dadigan, the Hollywood Museum President and Founder (which is actually housed in the old Max Factor building in L.A.), told Refinery29. “And the same thing with her mouth: It was Max Factor who gave her the special shape of lips.”
Clearly, it takes much more than a glossy red lipstick and an eyeliner-made beauty mark to capture Monroe’s iconic image, but after discovering a few of Factor’s beauty secrets, we couldn't resist asking staffers to put the tricks to the test. Click ahead to see which still hold up and which ones are best left in the past.