Marilyn Monroe star power has carried on in the decades since her death — and so have some of the beauty products in her personalized regimen.
As part of the artifacts displayed in the “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America” exhibit, the Makeup Museum has revealed the actress’ prescription skincare routine, and two of the products in it are still on the market all these years later.
In a document dated March 17, 1959, and addressed to Mrs. Marilyn Monroe Miller (she was married to playwright Arthur Miller at the time), dermatologist Erno Laszlo of the eponymous beauty company wrote out detailed skincare instructions for every step of the day.
In the morning, Monroe was to wash her face and neck in warm water with Active Phelityl Soap before applying “well-shaken” Normalizer Shake-It on her face, avoiding the area around her eyes, before immediately blotting it off. Beneath her eyes, she was to apply Phelitone “in tiny dots, spreading it gently over the surface” and then blotting it off as well. For the final step, she was told to apply Duo-Phase Face Powder to her entire face and neck — and then brush it off with cotton after one minute.
In the evenings, she was to repeat the morning routine, and then “before retiring,” a separate routine was laid out. “Formal occasions” also merited their own unique regimen.
“He personalized every prescription for all of his clients, and Marilyn Monroe was on the drier side, so you can see as we walk through the prescription that all of the products were to help hydrate her skin,” says Patricia Schuffenhauer, Erno Laszlo’s chief historian and branding officer, in a video posted by the West Village museum.