How to Do Marilyn Monroe Eyeliner - The Double-Wing Eye Makeup Trick

6 Materials
15 Minutes

In this step-by-step tutorial, I’m going to show you how to do Marilyn Monroe eyeliner to create that signature sleepy, sexy, bedroom eyes look.

Marilyn Monroe's double-wing eyeliner trick is not like the cat-eye that we see today with a liquid liner that is quite stark, harsh, and dramatic. This one is a little bit softer with a bit more interest in it. Let’s jump on in!

Tools and materials:

  • Eyeshadow
  • False lashes
  • Angled eyeliner brush
  • Prep and prime spray
  • White eyeliner pencil
  • Mascara
Cutting false eyelashes in half

1. Prepare your eyes

Start by applying the eye shadow that you’re going to wear. To really emulate Marilyn Monroe's eyes, I applied a very light ivory white eye-shadow from my brow bone down to my lash line.

Then, I did the crease of my eye socket with a little bit of brown eye shadow to give it some depth and dimension.

I also applied some false eyelashes. I cut a strip in half because she only wore half a strip of eyelashes, and put them in the outer corners of my lash line.

Using a black-down eyeshadow as eyeliner

2. Draw the upper line

Now let’s jump into the Marilyn Monroe winged eyeliner itself. Instead of doing a stark, dramatic, liquid liner look for your cat eye, you need to grab an angled eyeliner brush, dark eyeshadow, and some prep and prime spray.

The spray will make sure the eyeshadow will work more like a liquid-liner, but still be soft.

Spray your brush, and then instead of using black eyeshadow (which you could do and she sometimes did), I’m going to use more of a black-brown espresso shade.

Creating the Marilyn Monroe winged eyeliner

Dab your brush into the color and line the upper lash line with the powder first.

To create the winged eyeliner, take the powder and, starting from the outside corner of your eye, drag the brush inward to connect with your lower lashline.

Then, take your brush, and starting from the outer corner of your eye, drag the eye-shadow outwards for however far out and dramatic you want your wing to go.

Drag it outwards horizontally rather than flicking upwards, giving you that sleepy eyes effect. Pull the eyeshadow in a triangle-type shape back towards the top of the lashline to connect it seamlessly with the lash line. 

Using a deep brown eyeshadow as eyeliner

3. Draw the lower line

As this is a double-winged eyeliner look, you’re going to create a wing from the lower lashline as well.

I switched up my eyeshadow to a deep brown color, which is slightly lighter than the espresso brown. I read that Marilyn Monroe’s makeup artist liked to use two shades - a darker one on the upper lid and a lighter one on the lower lid.

Drawing a double wing on the lower lash line

Spray your brush, dip it in the eyeshadow, and start your flair on the outer corners of the lower lash line, but make sure to leave a space between that top wing you just created.

Take your eyeshadow, pull it in lightly to your lower lash line, and take it to about the midway section of the lashline. This lower line should be lighter and thinner than the upper line. 

Recreating Marilyn Monroe's eye makeup

4. Add the white mid-line

The last thing you do to perfect your Marilyn Monroe eyeliner is to use a white eyeliner pencil. Make sure that you sharpen it first, so you have a nice pointed tip, and wipe it clean to ensure that there’s no other color on it.

Then, with the pencil, you want to create a thin white triangle between the two wings that you created with the shadow. Start from the interior and drag it out.

Finally, wipe the pencil again and run it on the inner waterline of your eye.

Finishing with a layer of mascara

5. Add mascara

Finish off by adding mascara, mainly focusing it on the base of the lashes. Don’t drag it too far to the end, just enough to create a nice fluttery appearance.

Marilyn never had super-heavy eyelashes; they were definitely more fluttery and flirty.

Repeat the whole process for the other eye, and you’re done!

How to do Marilyn Monroe eye makeup

How to do Marilyn Monroe eyeliner tutorial

The main reason that Marilyn’s makeup artist did this look on her was to make her eyes a bit bigger, wider, and more open, and I do think that it does that!

This Marilyn Monroe winged eyeliner trick can be a bit tricky on your first attempt, but don’t feel defeated; practice makes perfect!

Let me know what you think of this Marilyn Monroe eyeliner tutorial in the comments, and please share your photos if you try it out for yourself!

Suggested materials:
  • Eyeshadow
  • False lashes
  • Angled eyeliner brush
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 4 comments
  • Dana Voiles Plato Dana Voiles Plato on Jun 14, 2022

    Interesting idea!!

    FYI, Mary Kay Cosmetics has eye shadows that you can apply as eyeliner just by using a bit of water!

  • Jennifer Duvall Jennifer Duvall on Jun 20, 2022

    Oh I love doing that trick with most of my powder shadows! I sometimes will also use a bit of makeup setting spray (instead of water) to make the shadow have super staying power as a liner!