Beauty

The Internet Is Obsessed With Marilyn Monroe’s Go-To Eyeshadow Trick For Sultry, Seductive Eyes

It's all about the illusion.

By Diandra Malivindi
Over the last year, just about every person on Earth has become even more infatuated with Marilyn Monroe, if that's even possible.
From Kim Kardashian wearing (and potentially damaging) the starlet's iconic 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' dress at the Met Gala to Ana de Armas' almost-identical portrayal of her in the upcoming biopic Blonde, the actress can hardly keep out of the spotlight—even 60 years after her death.
And now, TikTok has become besotted by another element of her Old Hollywood glamour: her makeup. While the then-36-year-old became famous in the beauty community for her platinum blonde bob, beauty mark and signature cherry red lip, the internet has drawn its attention to her sultry, fluttering eyes.
While her sleepy eyes looked like the result of long, curled lashes, it turns out that she used a fascinating makeup trick to give an optical illusion of longer lashes. And clearly it worked, if we are still fooled decades later. Naturally, TikTok users were quick to figure out how Monroe achieved the look and began replicating it into their own beauty routines, and honestly, it's nearly foolproof.
According to beauty influencer Victoria Lyn, she debunked Monroe's entire beauty routine, either finding similar products to achieve the same look or even sourcing the exact items Monroe (and her makeup artist) used at the time. In a video, she explained that when it came to Monroe's eye makeup, she would prime her eyes (before it was a "thing"), by using a white or cream base product, before applying half sets of false lashes for a fluttering look.
To seal the deal, Lyn shared that Monroe would take a neutral-hued eyeshadow or pencil to elongate her lower lash line. By doing that, it would create the illusion of a shadow, leaving you to assume that her lashes were so long that they created a shadow on her bottom lid. Finally, she finished the look by using a lighter, brighter pencil on her water line and a red or pink colour on the inside of her inner corner, to make the whites of her eyes appear even whiter.
Of course, the internet took the trick and ran with it, debunking why Monroe's secret to sultry lashes worked so well. Essentially, when you draw in winged liner, it gives the illusion of a fuller lash line, so by adding in the shadow at the bottom, it seals the deal.
If you're ready to give Monroe's lash shadow a try, reach for a neutral colour and keep your eyes and face as rested as possible. While you might be tempted to stretch your eye for a smooth application, try to resist because altering the eye shape will only make the illusion less believable when your eye is at ease. In terms of products, opt for creamier pencils or soft eyeshadows, you want a product that will go onto your skin softly and be diffused easily. For colours, browns and taupes are your best bet, nothing too harsh or the "shadow" will just look like you've had some seriously messy fall out.
When you're ready for the application, take a small amount of product on an angled liner brush and draw a slight line from the other third of the eye outwards. You want the line to mimic the direction and angle of the winged liner on your top eyelid. Basically, you're just looking to add a touch of definition without making the line too harsh or strong.
If you're keen to bring out your inner Hollywood starlet, take a look at the best products to emulate Marilyn Monroe's sultry eye makeup below.
Artist Colour Shadow in 'M-619' by Make Up Forever, $23 at Sephora.
Eyeshadow in 'Omega' by M.A.C COSMETICS, $30 at Adore Beauty.
Colourful Eyeshadow Mono in '352 Mocha Latte' by Sephora Collection, $14 at Sephora.
E06 Winged Liner Brush by Sigma Beauty, $23 at Sephora.
E65 Small Angle Brush by Sigma Beauty, $23 at Sephora.
E11 Eye Liner Brush by Sigma Beauty, $23 at Sephora.
Pro Pencil in 'Base 1' by Anastasia Beverly Hills, $33 at Adore Beauty.
Magnetic Matte Eye Colour in 'Moon' by Nudestix, $42 at Sephora.
Rock 'N' Kohl in 'Eye Cheat' by Charlotte Tilbury, $41.58 at Cult Beauty.
SHAREPIN
  • undefined: Diandra Malivindi