MAC Cosmetics Marilyn Monroe Collection

So you will either be reading this admiring your picks from this most coveted MAC collection, or you will be feeling a little miffed you didn’t join the stampede and missed out completely. Well I really hope it’s not the latter and that you all got something before it all sold out! This is indeed a very, very special collection. Marilyn Monroe is of course arguably one of the world's most famous beauty icons, and now her signature beauty look has become the inspiration for a new make-up collection in the year that marks 50 years since she passed away. As Gregory Arrlt, a creator behind so much of this collection states, “Marilyn is very top-of-mind right now but always timeless,” and I think that resonates throughout this whole collection. It’s very, very timeless. It encompasses shades that are so in right now in relation to catwalk beauty trends, and it’s something Marilyn would have worn, but also something Dita Von Teese would be seen sporting too.

In the last year or so we have already seen how pop culture has already embraced the 50th anniversary of Marilyn’s death with the release of the film ‘My Week With Marilyn’ last year, the television show ‘Smash’ and several new books, exhibitions and photographs to a world already filled with Marilyn Monroe iconography. This is the most perfect tribute of them all. Marilyn Monroe’s make up look would become to be one of the most symbolic beauty looks of all time and the ‘pin up’ look she adorned is still so loved today. When I heard rumours this collection was to be released I saved up like crazy and I’m glad I did now! I was a little wary about the packaging at first, thinking ‘eekk, is it tacky, or isn’t it’ but actually it has really grown on me and I love it a lot now. It features imagery from ‘The Black Sitting’ and I like that this is an image many people will not be so familiar with. Additionally, the little red lip inside every box is a lovely little touch!

Anyway, enough rambling, I hope you enjoy the review!

If you could sum up the iconic Marilyn Monroe make up look you would of course have to include a stunning, show-stopping red lipstick. With this collection you are literally spoilt for choice. Every single type of red lipstick is present in this collection to deep berry, orange-red, pink reds and a classic blue based tone. The strong red lip that quickly became a signature style for Monroe, and you are literally spoilt for choice with the below shades! I just adore red lipstick so I got all four shades. But they are all so different even if in the photos they may look similar.


Charmed I’m Sure
  If you’re looking for that iconic 50s red lip I think this would be it from the collection. ‘Charmed I’m Sure’ has subtle blue undertones with an opaque finish. I adore this. In comparison to the iconic MAC red lipsticks, ‘Russian Red’s is darker and more full on, and yet ‘Ruby Woo’ is more blue based. So it’s more similar to ‘Ruby Woo’ but still different enough. I would use this red if I was saying doing the whole Marilyn look. I think it might be my favourite of the four reds. According to an interview with ELLE, the make up aritst Gregory Arlt, was inspired by Gwen Stefani when creating this shade, adding to the timeless appeal of a classic red!

Love Goddess
  If you like your reds with a hint of pink, well actually, with quite a heavy pink base, this is for you! ‘Love Goddess’ is quite a bright pinky-red but it’s still got that red hit. I think this is actually best for day-to-day wear because it’s not quite as full on. Normally pinky-reds don’t look great with my red hair and pale skin but I’m liking this a lot. It’s my least favourite out of the reds, but honestly, that’s only because of the high standards of the others! But this is a fun fushcia red and it’s quite unique I think.

Deeply Adored
This colour takes me right back to the ‘Cult of Cherry’ MAC collection which I just adored. I love this deep burgundy cherry red so very much! Please excuse the dreadful lip swatch!! I tried these reds one after the other and by this stage had an oddly stained red lip area, which were becoming slightly chapped from the red lipstick overload!! Like I said, this is a deep burgundy shade which unlike the other reds has a deep browny red tone to it. Just absolutely LUSH! Be warned however that this is full on, so not one to try if you like your looks a little subtle or if you’re dabbling for the first times with a red lippie. Anyway, I love this so much! I plan to wear it with just mascara and a stripped back face to let the colour do all the talking. This is pure and utter glamour...and you MUST wear a lip liner for staying power!!

Scarlet Ibis
You’ve guessed it, an orange based red lippy, it was after all the only one missing! I think Miss Zoella would just adore this one as she loves her reddy oranges. This shade is a re-promote so nothing new but it’s lovely to have with the gorgeous Marilyn packaging. Personally I think on reflection this is a bit dupeable. ‘Lady Danger’ is moderately similar and Topshop have a bunch of reddy-orange lipsticks, but it doesn’t take the shine off this, I’m still very pleased I got it as it’s a dream to apply, great colour pay off, and it’s really flattering, even though it might seem a little crazy on a first glance! I would actually suggest an orange lip liner for this.

‘Forever Marilyn’ Beauty Powder

This was something I totally got wrong on first impressions! I went to MAC the day the collection was released, swatched this and told myself it was nothing special, that it was so pale it wouldn’t show up and that ultimately, I just! Anyway later that day I stupidly watched Tiffany D’s review video on the collection and she raved about it so highly I was utterly sold and got it online! It is described as a pale peach but I get pink too. As I’m so pale, I can quite happily use a beauty powder all over my skin, but for those with darker skin tones it might look good as just a highlighter. It’s really lovely actually. As I type this it is actually still in stock so click here to get one if you’ve been tempted! I think this has the most beautiful packaging from the whole collection actually. 

‘Legendary’ Powder Blusher

This is described by MAC as being a ‘pale soft coral’ but I think it has a lot of pink in too. I think this is such a flattering shade for everyone. I love coral blushes with my colouring and this is so beautiful for both day and night. I love how is has a teeny bit of a golden sheen to it too as I imagined it to be a little flat for some reason, but don’t worry, not disco ball shimmer whatsoever! Really pleased with this, and it’s really super pigmented too. 

‘Preferred Blonde’ Eyeshadow

   I was really excited to pick up one of the eye shadows as I had my eye on this not exactly, but incredibly pretty champagne white shade. Now the eye shadows from this collection haven’t had a particularly favourable response. Everyone is generally commenting that they are very chalky with a bad colour pay off. Well, I’m not sure why it’s happening to me, but I get on really well with them! Having said that, I picked up just this one shade as the others didn’t interest me. I have no interest in grey eye shadows with my red hair and ultra pale skin. This is a very frosty colour and it reminds me of MAC’s ‘Vanilla’ pigment because of the white- gold shade and frosty appearance. Anyway, I really like it, so I must be lucky!! However I would recommend a base underneath to minimize fall out.

‘Stage Red’ Nail Polish
   I wasn’t going to get a nail polish from this collection I really wasn’t but I was just so unbelievably tempted when I ordered the ‘Forever Marilyn’ beauty powder and if I got something else I got free shipping *trying to justify this but failing*! There are five nail polishes in this collection ranging from barely there shades such as ‘Rich, Rich, Rich’ to deep and dark ‘Vintage Vamp’. It was the latter I had my eye on but I read a not so good review for it on Temptalia (my ultimate go-to girl when it comes to must-haves from MAC collections!) so I opted for ‘Stage Red’ instead. I’m so very pleased with this! It’s still a lush deep red, and much darker in real life. I never normally get MAC polishes unless they have pretty packaging but this applies like a dream. The above is just one coat. Amazing! I’d highly recommend this one. I live in deep red polishes throughout Autumn and Winter so I’ll be getting a lot of use from this.

Phew, that wasn’t a long, rambly post at. all ;). Anyway I do hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts, and most importantly I hope you managed to pick something up if you wanted anything. If you’re eager to know more about this collection I highly recommend the interview with Gregory Arlt, the make up artist for some of Hollywood’s most glamorous faces like Dita Von Teese, Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani, who created much of the above and it’s interesting hearing the back story behind a lot of the shades.

Let me know your thoughts below! Have a wonderful weekend :). Shop (what’s left of the collection!) here.



  1. Unfortunately I spent too long trying to decide what to get so I did miss out. By the looks of things I should have got all of the lipsticks and the nail polish! X

    1. Awwww no :(. Keep an eye out on CCO stores, you never know.


  2. I love the look of this collection- it's full of such classic colours. Great review x

  3. This collection is so beautiful! I love the inspiration of Marilyn behind it as well, such a great idea and tribute.

    I must admit I've never tried a MAC product (shocker!) but I'm very tempted by some of the lipsticks here. Maybe for Christmas?

    Charlotte xo

    1. YES for Christmas, start with a lipstick :) xoxo

  4. The legendary blush powder looks gorgeous! I love the packaging for this collection :) x

    1. Awwww I know it's so pretty. At first I wasn't sure, but it's really grown on me.


  5. It's the very first time I actually saw everything properly! Thank you for the review, swatches and basically, the whole post. Love the lipsticks and blusher. x

    1. Awww well you're very welcome, thank you for reading :) xoxo


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