Marilyn Monroe’s enchantment is still alive and thriving today. We thirst for bits of information about the late icon’s life — and, if we can get a peep into her exquisite beauty routine, it is more than enough for all her fans. Her tragic life and bespoke skincare routine (and beauty) did make her one of the most in-demand stars of all time — nearly six decades after her demise.
Miss Monroe, originally known as Norma Jeane Mortenson, was known for her very famous and indistinct bombshell blonde hairdo and regal beauty mole. In the 1950s, she took the beauty verse by storm and made a buzz with her signature red lips. Still reigning as the most beautiful and influential woman on the silver screen, we still can’t get enough of her. Ahead, check out her in-detailed multi-step skincare routine that she performed every evening as instructed by her dermat, Dr. Erno Laszlo.
To be honest, we can now follow Miss Monroe’s skincare routine because the relic of her skin care prescription (prescribed by Hungarian dermatologist, Dr. Erno Laszlo) is well preserved in New York City’s Makeup Museum. For your information, a physical record survives indicating details of which topical products were the highlight of her vanity, some of which are still available for purchase now.
Monroe, like Audrey Hepburn, met with Hungarian dermatologist Erno Laszlo on a regular basis. Possessing dry skin (she is said to have cleansed her face up to five times a day to prevent breakouts), Laszlo advised the actress a strict skincare routine that changed depending on the time of the day or event. Her evening skincare routine started with an oil cleanse with Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Oil, followed by the Active Phelityl Cream, which she washed off. She then applied the Controlling Lotion. All of these products are still on the market today. For the best skin health, Dr. Laszlo also prohibited her from eating nuts, chocolate, olives, oysters, and clams.
Monroe was directed to wash her face and neck in the morning with Active Phelityl Soap and lukewarm water.
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The use of toners has been one of the most heavily debated topics in skincare since its debut, but Marilyn Monroe isn’t among those who dismiss the toning process. After cleansing, she was advised to “use well-shaken [Normalizer Shake-It] on her face — except around the eyes” before wiping it away. This phase was designed to manage surface oils, balance out skin tone, and lock in moisture.
And today, we use toners as the initial step to hydrate and restore skin’s pH balance in order to maintain a strong moisture barrier.
Monroe used eye creams to counteract dark circles and prevent fine lines after applying and wiping off her toner. She would dab Erno Laszlo pHelitone Eye Cream under her eyes “in tiny flecks.” Before concluding her morning ritual, she applied Duo-Phase Face Powder on her face and neck and wiped it off with a huge piece of cotton. Monroe achieves a “sheer, dewy matte look” by using a “emollient, feather-soft” face powder instead of a moisturiser or SPF.
Her evening ritual is similar to her morning routine, with the exception of putting Active Phelityl Oil all over her face, lips, and neck with a giant piece of cotton “soaked to the dripping point” before proceeding with her customary cleansing routine. Even though double cleansing didn’t emerge in the beauty verse until the late 2010s, Monroe was already using it to remove all traces of makeup and the day’s gunk.
Her evening ritual also includes the use of Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Cream on her face, neck, and décolletage. The cream is a thick and unctuous formulation with an ointment-like feel that deeply moisturises the skin. The cream was then rinsed away with a piece of wet cotton. Then comes the “Controlling Lotion toner” to add more skin-loving elements to the skin. She was then advised to reapply the cream to the dry parts of her face.
Her skincare routine is no less than a visit to a salon!
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