In a space dedicated to showcasing beauty throughout the ages the Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America exhibition aims to bridge the gap between the beauty stars of yesteryear and beauty lovers of today.
Displayed within the collection of beauty artifacts is a document dated back to March 17, 1959 and addressed to Marilyn Monroe. Written by the famed dermatologist, Dr. Erno Laszlo, the letter bears a list of products and instructions to be employed by the famed Hollywood star each morning, evening and night.
Similar to skincare regimes flouted by beauty gurus today the multi-step regime is a testament to the curious, progressive nature of Marilyn herself. A far more succinct rendition of the routines employed by her royal contemporaries at the time such as Princess Margaret - whose daily self-care pursuits included a three-hour lie-in followed by a bath drawn by a lady-in-waiting, and hair and make-up applied at her dressing table - the recommendations prescribed by Laszlo are holistic and robust.
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One of the many unique items on display at the Makeup Museum’s “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America” exhibition is a collection of artifacts presented to the public for the first time ever from @ernolaszlonyc, including the personalized skincare prescription of Marilyn Monroe dated March 17, 1959. Erno Laszlo’s chief historian and branding officer Patricia Schuffenhauer shows here one of the products prescribed to Marilyn Monroe, the “Normalizer Shake-It,” a tinted toner treatment. Erno Laszlo decided to re-launch the Shake-It this month to celebrate the expected opening of the Makeup Museum. Shake-It is available on Erno Laszlo’s website, and the Makeup Museum will share more history about this iconic product and brand throughout the month as we give you a sneak peek look at the artifacts that comprise the “Pink Jungle” exhibition!
Beginning in the morning, Marilyn was instructed to wash her face and neck in warm water with Active Phelityl Soap.
Following the initial lather, she was to apply “well-shaken” Normalizer Shake-It on her face, before immediately blotting it off. Under her eyes, she was to use Phelitone “in tiny dots,” before completing the process with Duo-Phase Face Powder, which was to be applied to her face and neck for a minute and then brushed off with cotton.
Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar, Dhs175, lookfantastic.ae
The evening routine was essentially a replica of the morning but with the addition of Phelitone, which was now to be applied to the entire face, neck and décolleté before being blotted off with tissues. A separate evening guide drafted for the purposes of “formal occasions,” added one-step onto the evening routine; Duo-Phase Face Powder to mattify the skin and absorb greasiness.
Erno Laszlo Phelityl Night Cream, Dhs675, lookfantastic.ae
In addition to the day and night-time routines the instructions by Laszlo also comprise dietary instructions which recommend avoiding nuts, chocolate, olives and clams. In combining the philosophies of spot-treatments -- for the eyes, and pores, with more holistic approaches, Laszlo’s instructions not only held Marilyn in good stead but has also lasted the test of time.
61 years since the original letter was written, the Shake-It Tinted Treatment and the Phelityl Cleansing Bar are still available for purchase today.
Lead image courtesy of Trenor