Step-by-Step Marilyn Monroe Eyeliner

Crystal Schwanke
Sexy bedroom eyes can be yours.

Marilyn Monroe eyeliner is the epitome of sultry. It's sensual. It gives you the lusted-after "bedroom eyes." She could make men drop to their knees, begging to take her out. It wasn't because gentlemen prefer blondes-well, not in most cases. Marilyn just had a sensual look that had a whole lot to do with her curvy body, her sexy demeanor, and even something to do with her eyeliner.

Who says men don't notice makeup? They probably didn't notice it for what it was, but they surely noticed how she always looked ready to hop into bed, thanks to the heavy-lidded, come-hither look that became her trademark (along with the red lips). Marilyn Monroe took the 1950s makeup style of simple shadow, black liner, and bold lips to new heights. The eye makeup look revolved around the application of that liner.

Get Marilyn Monroe Eyeliner

Here's how you can get her look too:

  1. After putting on your foundation, apply a base to your lids so your shadow will stick. Urban Decay Primer Potion is a good one, and so is MAC's Beige-ing shadestick.
  2. Even out the appearance of your eyelid with a neutral shadow that matches your skin tone.
  3. Add a slightly deeper shadow color in the crease to give your eyes depth.
  4. Choose a third shadow in a color lighter than your skin tone to highlight the part of the lid right below the brow bone.
  5. Use liquid liner (for authenticity's sake, grab a black one. Wet 'n' Wild makes a good one, and they even have it in a waterproof version for around $3.00).
  6. Start with a thin line on your inner lid, make the line a bit thicker above your pupil, and a bit thinner toward your outer lid. Flick the end up slightly right at the edge of your outer lid.
  7. Apply false lashes-choose individuals, half of a strip, or a whole strip. Use whatever makes you comfortable.
  8. Go back over the lash line with the liquid liner to blend the falsies with your own lashes and the line you drew before.
  9. Curl your lashes. The goal here is to mix your own lashes with the fake lashes seamlessly.
  10. Apply any mascara. Maybelline Great Lash is good because the formula is thin.
  11. Leave the bottom lid mostly bare. If you feel you need a little something there to balance out the look, take a bit of your crease color and shade the outer 3/4 of the lower lash line, making the line thinner as it gets closer to your nose.
  12. Add a subtle blush and your bold lipstick of choice.
  13. Go out and knock 'em dead.

Choose Your Color

Though Marilyn seemed to always have on black liner, you can mix it up based on your own coloring without compromising the classic beauty. Blue eyes? Try a deep navy blue or dark bronze. Green or hazel? Try smoked plum or deep forest green. Brown? You're lucky-wear any of them and look fabulous.Other options: brown, black-brown, deep charcoal

Fair-skinned girls, depending on hair color, may actually look a little better with these alternative liner colors. The colors are still dark enough to define your lash line, but the contrast against your skin won't be too much or too obvious. Darker-skinned girls or girls with dark hair can pull off the darkest of liner colors.

Go a Little Funky

Not in the mood for the completely classic look of Marilyn Monroe eyeliner, but want to utilize the look in your own style today? Choose another liquid liner in a bright, metallic shade to shake it up a little-a tribute to the 1980s, perhaps. Choose another neutral shadow like with the traditional Marilyn look or go with a complementary shadow color on the lid or in the crease.

Another way to mix it up is to keep the black liner and use shocking shadow colors on the lid and crease. Try aqua or lavender shadow on the lid with the thick black line at the lashes. You might just get as many looks from passersby as Marilyn herself.

Step-by-Step Marilyn Monroe Eyeliner