Gift of Glam by Marilyn Monroe Eyewear.

If you’ve followed me on Social Media for the past 6+ years, then I’m 99% sure you know how much I love the beautiful soul, Marilyn Monroe. Ironically, it feels almost strange for me to type out her full name, as I like to think of Marilyn as almost an Guardian Angel to me, definitely not a stranger. Some will understand that and relate, others may judge – but Marilyn will always have a special place in my heart.

A few weeks ago, to celebrate Marilyn’s 91st Birthday, I wrote, as I do every year, a Tribute for my favourite lady and was pleasantly surprised when I noticed, Marilyn Monroe Eyewear like my post and follow me on Instagram. Marilyn Eyewear is Officially Licensed by The Estate of Marilyn Monroe and is one of the many Brands they have created which is all inspired and influenced by this very special woman. As my beautiful friend, Laura has previously worked with Marilyn Eyewear, I decided it would be worth a try contacting the Brand and thanking them for following my Instagram Account. I also proposed the possibility of a collaboration. Once again, I was surprised and very thankful to receive a reply agreeing to my suggestion about a collaboration!

After just four days, my parcel from Marilyn Eyewear arrived, all the way from America! I can’t emphasize how appreciative I am of such a quick delivery, especially from so far away – I was already beyond impressed. However, little did I know that I was going to be completely blown away when I opened the parcel. Not only was I gifted a pair of beautiful Sunglasses, there were also three beauty products from Marilyn Monroe Spas! It wasn’t until I looked on their website, that I realized I had been sent the, Limited Edition Gift of Glam! Thank you so much Marilyn Monroe Eyewear and Marilyn Monroe Spas!

The packaging is a classic chic black matte box, finished with gorgeous gold writing and Marilyn’s iconic signature – what could be better!? As soon as you open it, you’re greeted by dazzling red tissue paper and inside are the iconic products all inspired by my favourite girl – Marilyn! Nail Polish in Marilyn Red, a red Beauty Blender, a Lipstick in Marilyn Red 03 and if that wasn’t enough, a pair of Marilyn Eyewear Sunglasses in Annabel Noir 001! If you’re a Marilyn lover or simply adore the Vintage look, then this is without doubt a must have – it’s simply timeless!

The Sunglasses come in an absolutely beautiful gold metallic case, featuring Marilyn’s signature, the product is wonderful quality and a great protection for the shades also. What I was most impressed by with the Marilyn Sunglasses was the attention to detail, which super Marilyn fans, or Marilynettes as we’re known, would definitely notice and appreciate. If you look at all the Sunglasses on the Marilyn Eyewear Website, you’ll see that the majority of the shades are named after Marilyn Film Characters! I think this is such a lovely statement and a unique concept which makes Marilyn Eyewear different from others. The Gift of Glam shades are named after Marilyn’s character, Annabel Jones Norris from her film, We’re Not Married! (1952) one of her earlier film roles and the only chance she had to play a Mother. (Something’s Got To Give (1962) was never completed.)

If you’re after an everyday, classic retro look than Annabel are the must have Sunglasses for you, but fear not, there are three other shades available if you’re after something different. Out of all the amazing vintage style Sunglasses on Marilyn Eyewear, if I had to choose my favourites it would be either, The Marilyn, Elsie, Iris or Rose and yes, that is my attempt at trying to narrow my choices down! All come in different colours and styles, so there are more choices to choose from and they feature Marilyn’s iconic signature – so much beauty!

The Marilyn Monroe Spas Beauty Products all have one thing in common, they are all – you guessed it, red! Anyone who knows anything about Marilyn will associate this bold colour with her, as it was without doubt her signature lipstick shade to wear. As someone who adores the Vintage Look, this was such a wonderful surprise and even better that each item is based on the signature Marilyn look.

The Beauty Blender is a must have in my every day makeup bag and ironically enough, I was just thinking a few days ago that I needed a new one! Plus, I’ve not seen many sponges that are this unique shade, so it will definitely stand out in my collection. Furthermore, the packaging has Marilyn’s beautiful signature on, so yes, I will be keeping the box! I also love how on the back of the packaging it says, “Be Wonderful” which I’m assuming is inspired by one of my favourite, genuine Marilyn quotes.

Also within the Glam Kit is the stunning, True Red 03 Lipstick. Red is the ultimate retro colour and my absolute favourite to wear pretty much every single day and I can confirm, True Red 03 definitely has my approval. The product features Marilyn’s signature in a stunning red and a gorgeous kiss print, which contrasts dramatically with the bold black packaging. I also love the shape of the lipstick as it’s perfect for creating that beautiful full pout. There are so many amazing beauty buys available on Marilyn Monroe Spas, I could honestly spend hours browsing through all the variety of shades!

The final product in the Marilyn Eyewear Gift of Glam is the Marilyn Monroe Red Nail Polish, which features a gorgeous portrait of Marilyn herself – so unique! The shade is eye catching and will definitely make your nails be the centre of attention! Plus, even if you’re not a red lover like myself, it’s worth having just for the stunning packaging with our beautiful blonde bombshell!

Please note, I pride myself in making sure I write honest reviews and although I was fortunate enough to be gifted these items, I was not told to say any of the following statements I have made.

Lastly, I simply must say a huge thank you so much to Marilyn Monroe Eyewear for gifting me these beautiful products, which I will truly cherish.

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Happy 91st Birthday Marilyn!

Today marks the Birth Date of probably my favourite human who ever blessed the Earth with their presence, the beautiful soul that was Marilyn Monroe. As she left it at such a young age, it’s almost incomprehensible to believe that she would be ninety one years old if she was still alive.

Each year I like to pay tribute to my angel by writing about the incredible person she was, the unique life she lived and all of her accomplishments in such a short space of time. I feel as a devoted fan of Marilyn’s that it is my duty to help spread the truth about this beautiful soul, by aiming to let society learn about the real woman she was and to not be influenced by the unsubstantiated conspiracies and myths.

Therefore, instead of writing my usual styled posts on my favourite girl, I have decided to be slightly more creative and this time share a number of anecdotes that you may or may not know about Marilyn. In doing this, I hope that it will give you an insight into the kindhearted soul she was and hopefully you will take a moment to think about her on this very special day. 

When Marilyn was a little girl and occasionally spent time with her mother, Gladys, she noticed a photo of a dark haired man with a mustache displayed in her home. The man bared a similar resemblance to one of her favourite Movie Stars; Clark Gable and Norma Jeane Baker liked to think of him as her father. She had loved going to the cinema ever since she was a child and must have seen Clark on the big screen many times. In reality, this man was Marilyn’s actual father – Charles Stanley Gifford, who had been seeing Gladys before she became pregnant. Ultimately, he never acknowledged Marilyn as his own and they never had any relationship.

On a happier note, many years later in November 1954, Marilyn would finally fulfill her childhood dream of meeting Gable at Romanoff’s, where The Seven Year Itch Wrap Party was being held in her honour. They danced with one another and shared how they would both love to work together, with Gable telling Marilyn, “You have the magic.” This wish would eventually happen in 1960, with The Misfits generally being cited as one of their best performances.

During Marilyn’s first marriage to James Dougherty, she noticed a cow on it’s own, standing in the rain. Deeply upset about this, when Jimmy returned home he saw his wife desperately trying to bring the cow inside the house, even asking him to help her do so. Jimmy’s nephew, Wes Kanteman recounted to Author Michelle Morgan about this sweet memory saying,

The cow was a young Jersey Heffer that had beautiful eyes and Norma Jeane used to stand by her pen and just stare at her, remarking at how pretty she was. Then the torrential rain came one night and the cow was standing by the fence and Norma Jeane used to stand by her pen and just stare at her, remarking at how pretty she was. Then the torrential rain came one night and the cow was standing by the fence and Norma Jeane and apparently thought she wanted in so she opened the gate and was going to bring her into to the house. After much conversation about the matter, Uncle Jim convinced her that she belonged in her pen and Norma Jeane finally gave in and it was over, but she still thought that the cow would have been better off in the living room.”

On 1st June 1952, Marilyn turned 26 years old and celebrated by finding out she had landed the coveted role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, beating out the previous Top Blonde at 20th Century Fox – Betty Grable. She was to be starring opposite Jane Russell, who would be receiving $100,000 dollars compared to Marilyn’s contract salary of $500 per week  – shocking, I know. Still, Marilyn didn’t complain and put her heart and soul into making one of her most iconic movies. However, when Marilyn found out she didn’t even have her own dressing room, despite being the star of the film, she finally spoke out and recalled this story to Journalist Richard Meryman for LIFE Magazine, which was released two days before her death in August 1962.

“I remember when I got the part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell – she was the brunette in it and I was the blonde. She got $200,000 for it, and I got my $500 a week, but that to me was, you know, considerable. She, by the way, was quite wonderful to me. The only thing was I couldn’t get a dressing room. Finally, I really got to this kind of level and I said, “Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!” Because still they always kept saying, “Remember, you’re not a star.” I said, “Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!” And I want to say to the people, if I am a star, the people made me a star. No studio, no person, but the people did.”

Marilyn was a huge lover of animals and during her life owned quite a few pets, from dogs, to cats and even two parakeets called Butch and Bobo. During her time in New York she adopted a cat and to Marilyn’s delight, she became pregnant. She was so happy and looked after the beloved pet dearly, reading up on how to care for her during the pregnancy, repeatedly ringing her maid to check on how she was doing and spoiling her with treats. When the labour finally came during the middle of the night, Marilyn rang her good friend Norman Rosten, asking him to come over and help to which he politely declined and went back to sleep.

He later said, “There was never a more spoiled prenatal cat in feline history.

Marilyn was known to be extremely generous, even saying in her last interview, “I don’t understand why people aren’t a little more generous with another.” and it’s most definitely fair to say she followed what she believed in. Her giving nature didn’t just involve her friends, even acquaintances received this kind treatment as retold by Author Donald Spoto.

Maggie Banks, an assistant choreographer, recalled that a wife of a company electrician was seriously ill. “I saw Marilyn hand the man a roll of bills; he started to cry, and Marilyn just hugged him and walked away.” Likewise, Evelyn Moriarty never forgot that Marilyn anonymously donated one thousand dollars to defray the funeral expenses of a crew member’s wife.”

Marilyn famously said, “I only know I want to be wonderful.” and I think it’s definitely fair to say, although she may not have achieved true happiness, she the utmost worthy of being called wonderful.

Happy Birthday beautiful, I think of you daily and I love you dearly. ♡

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MAC Betty Boop Red Lipstick.

Most of you who read my little old blog will probably know by now that I’ve been a hardcore Vintage Lover since I discovered my angel Marilyn in October 2010. Therefore, it’s by no surprise that I have a lot of love for a certain 1920s Bombshell named, Betty Boop!

As cliché as it may sound, I like to think it’s almost destiny that I was to become a Vintage Girl at heart, as for as long as I can remember, I’ve always adored Betty Boop. This stems from my mum having a soft spot for her and owning little ornaments of Betty that are placed around our house. Thinking about it, one of my nicest memories from Secondary School was my mum buying me an absolutely gorgeous pink pen with Betty all over it – although it ran out over ten years ago, I have no doubt that it’s probably lounging somewhere in my room.

However, I seem to have gotten way off track and I most definitely do not want to spend this post focusing on School – I’m sure you don’t want me to either! So, back to my favourite Flapper Girl! Betty is without doubt one of the most famous cartoons and I think we can all agree when I say, she most definitely gives real life Bombshells a run for their money! I know, it’s hard to believe that in reality, many will tell you that she’s just a drawing – however, we all know by now I’m very much a Dreamer and I like to think Betty, almost a century later, is still booping around somewhere. In fact, Betty Enthusiasts will probably know that she was originally created as a caricature of Actress Helen Kane so technically, technically she is in fact – real!

Once again, I’m getting way too involved in the past and not concentrating on the actual focus of this Review Post, MAC’s very own Betty Boop Lipstick!  Please note – this lipstick is an online exclusive only and after being released in the USA for at least a month, it finally arrived in the UK and of course, I purchased it straight away.

Apart from my absolute favourite, Marilyn, Betty Boop is probably one of the most famous Red Lipstick Lovers and her trademark pout is simply a must in creating her signature look. I mean, when have you ever seen Betty without her crimson lips? Seriously, if you have – please prove me wrong!

Therefore, when you’re a vintage girl, love red lipstick and MAC creates a shade based on Betty’s iconic pout, you know that you simply have to add this product to your makeup inventory. Betty Boop Red is described as a, “bright true red” with a matte finish and let me tell you this – it does not disappoint!

If you’re a blue toned red lover then this is the shade for you, it’s perfect for pale skin, with the cool shade complimenting fair complexions. However, if you have warm or darker skin tones then fear not, I’ve personally never been one to follow lipstick shade advice and often wear orange and coral reds that aren’t recommended for fair skin tones. So ultimately – don’t be put off and if you like the shade, wear it!

I actually find this matte finish slightly different to my other MAC Lipsticks, not in a bad way, I just felt that this one was a lot more shiny. As a result of this I noticed I had to take more time for application if I wanted an overall good outcome and of course, I did. Therefore, if you want a super matte dry finish look I’d recommend going with MAC’s Russian Red.

The only super negative of the product is, ironically nothing to do with the actual lipstick itself, which ultimately I know is a good thing. The negative is down to the packaging and before I complain, I must say, the outer box the lipstick comes in is absolutely beautiful. Of course, we all know I won’t be throwing it away anytime soon. However, the container itself looks just like any other MAC Lipstick! This is so disappointing and pretty strange as with previous collaborations, MAC always have Limited Edition products designed with special packaging and for some reason, apart from the exterior box – is completely normal.

Overall, I wouldn’t let this put you off from purchasing the lipstick, it truly is a beautiful colour and the texture and formula is spot on. Plus, like I said before, it does come in a stunning box which is most definitely worth keeping. I just think it’s important for me to mention encase you want the lipstick and are expecting a beautiful lipstick container that sadly, doesn’t exist.

MAC still create some of my favourite Lipsticks and I have quite a few of their previous Collaborations. I just hope if they ever release another Betty Boop lipstick – they learn from this small but very frustrating mistake.

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The Balm Cosmetics Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in Devoted.

As someone who has been obsessed with The Balm Cosmetics ever since discovering The Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter, it is with shock that I admit this is the first product I have ever owned from, let’s face it – basically my dream Makeup Brand!

The Balm is a must buy for any Vintage Girl out there – it’s up there with, Besamé and Benefit Cosmetics – beyond aesthetically appealing with it’s retro, old soul vibe and ultimately – authentic! Therefore, when I finally came to face to face with this beyond gorgeous brand for the first time, I simply had to purchase one of their beautiful products! Thanks to the modern world of technology, I had already discovered their beautiful liquid lipsticks and as this is my favourite beauty product, we all know which item I was going to buy.

After procrastinating between three shades; Devoted, Sentimental and Loyal – I decided to go with my first instinct and chose the original choice, Devoted. This colour is once again,  my signature favourite shade to wear which is a deep, vibrant, blue toned ruby red and I can one hundred percent confirm, this colour does not disappoint! This is the first time I have worn the lipstick and I can honestly say I will probably be applying this all week. The shade looks exactly as advertised and I feel like I’ve stepped out of a 1950s Technicolour Movie.

If you’re not really a red lipstick kinda girl,  you’ll be happy to know that The Balm have just released six, yes, six, (!) new liquid lipstick shades so you now have eighteen colours to choose from! Just promise me one thing, if you do end up buying them all then please, try not to blame me.

When applying the lipstick I noticed a unique mint scent coming from the product and honestly, it was quite refreshing to smell something different! Don’t get me wrong, I adore the sweet ingredients that are often used in lipsticks, but this fragrance further contributes to The Balm’s products standing out and being memorable. Plus, if you don’t like the mint aroma, there’s really no need to be put off from buying them, as it fades once it’s dried!

Furthermore, the packaging is so detailed and unique! I really appreciate when Brands take the time to not only make a good quality product but, also create something beautiful and classy, which you want to have pride of place on your Vanity Table. I think the majority of makeup lovers would agree that The Balm have truly outdone themselves with packaging and they definitely stand out from other Brands. I think the whole concept behind the product is so witty, very eye catching and most importantly – something different!

Cost wise, The Balm Cosmetics products are in the mid price range, with their liquid lipsticks being, £13.49 in stores and £14.99 online – strange, right? I’ve found that it’s usually the other way around, so I don’t really know why this is the case however, there is a silver lining! Superdrug currently have a 3 for 2 on a lot of their Brands in stores, (I’m not sure about online sadly) and The Balm is one of them, so remember that when you’re next browsing.

The only downside I can think of with The Balm Cosmetics is they are not stocked in every Superdrug, I’ve not yet to come across one in my hometown, (holds back the tears) so, if you’re someone who likes to buy beauty products in store only, this could be a problem. However, as I said previously, the products are just like advertised, so fear not! Debenhams also stock The Balm Cosmetics, so if you’re lucky your local store may have one and if not, it’s only a click away online.

I simply can’t emphasize enough how in love I am with this Brand, all of the products are so beautiful and are pretty much works of art and not just the liquid lipsticks – literally every single item! I can assure you when the sad day comes and my liquid lipstick runs out, I will most definitely be keeping the packaging and yes, maybe that’s too much, but for me? I think not. I may have waited years to finally own something from The Balm – but they most definitely met my dream expectations!

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MAC Ruby Woo Shadescents Lipstick.

For red lipstick lovers, Ruby Woo is without doubt known as the ultimate crimson shade to wear. It has been one of MAC’s best selling products for years and has celebrities like Dita Von Teese name it as one of her favourite colours to wear. As shocking as it sounds, I’ve never actually owned my own Ruby Woo, that is until now!

I knew that it was finally time I bought Ruby Woo when I saw that they were releasing a new Collection Called MAC Shadescents. Six of their most popular colours have been specially repackaged to shade-match each lipstick – with a unique perfume available too.

I absolutely adore the special packaging and design, it is just beautiful and MAC have truly outdone themselves. I know a lot of people like the simple, sleek original design of their lipsticks but I much prefer this, it’s so mesmerizing! I’m actually tempted to buy the other shades in the Shadescents Collection just to have more of these beautiful products, however I like to think that even I’m not that frivolous!

I really hate to say this, but one big downfall of the Shadescent Ruby Woo is that the finish is different to the original lipstick! I bought this thinking I’d be getting the iconic matte texture, but for some reason this special edition is a retro matte instead. As much as I’d love to embrace the retro format, being a huge vintage lover myself, I much prefer matte. I find the retro matte finish to be a lot harsher to apply and feel and look pretty drying. My friend actually has an original Ruby Woo and I swatched both on my hand, the colour slightly varied and hers was a lot more glossy than mine. I am honestly so disappointed that for whatever reason MAC felt the need to change the format for the special edition, why try and fix something when it’s already perfect?

In all fairness, I did contact MAC with my issue and they offered to send me a new one, but I’d have to give my Shadescents back to them, although I’m pretty sure you can’t resell lipstick? I decided against this as I’d rather be able to repurchase it in the store and make sure it’s a matte finish and not a retro matte. I have a lot of MAC lipsticks, I’m guessing around 20, so I’m a huge fan of the Brand, but this is definitely something I was ultimately pretty disappointed with.

To emphasize how much retro matte isn’t for me, I only have one other lipstick with this finish – Relentlessly Red, which ironically I purchased because of the texture! I’ve checked the other shades in the collection and as far as I’m aware they all match the original finishes, it’s just Ruby Woo that was changed for some strange reason.

Ultimately, I’m pretty happy to have this in my collection, simply because it is extra beautiful with the special packaging. Who knows, maybe the retro matte format will grow on me the more I try and get used to it? Ironically enough, after wearing it again for this post today, I did actually quite like the retro matte texture! But I do definitely recommend putting on a good few layers with a lipstick brush first as like I said before, I found it to be quite harsh to apply without. I’ve noticed that I do seem to use a lot more product with a retro matte finish lipstick, compared to the matte textures.

Overall I have not lost faith in MAC, I just like to be as honest and authentic to others as I can be. I wouldn’t want others to buy the Shadescents Ruby Woo for the packaging and get a different format like I did. I love the colour and I’ll just make sure I purchase  the original whenever I can.

All I have to say to MAC is, if it’s not broke – don’t fix it!

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Bésame Cosmetics Classic Colour Lipstick in Red Hot Red.

As soon as I discovered Bésame Cosmetics, I realized my dream Brand had been created and if you’re a vintage lover like myself – then I’m sure you’ll feel the same too. Bésame’s products are all inspired from actual vintage makeup which existed in the 1920s up to the 1960s and the packaging is also replicated to perfection. The historical research and dedication that has been used in creating all of the products is  absolutely astounding and from lipstick to face powder they are each a work of art. Not only that, the brand is also cruelty free, which is just wonderful.

Therefore, when I discovered that Bésame was now being stocked on the UK website, cultbeauty, I knew that I had to add this amazing brand to my ever growing makeup collection. When I was looking through their lipsticks, I noticed each shade was named after a year, inspired by the shades released around that time, something so unique and such a wonderful idea. I was instantly drawn to, “1959 Red Hot Red” a lipstick which just so happened to be inspired by my absolute favourite – Marilyn!


This shade is described online as a, “bold, brazen warm red” and I would definitely agree with that statement. However, looking through the inspiration for this shade – photos of Marilyn in Some Like It Hot (1959) – I noticed that she continued to wear her cold blue tone reds which complimented her fair skin. Although, on some pictures the shade did look slightly warmer and as the film is in black and white, I’m only basing my opinion colour photos.


Ultimately, I’m very happy to have this shade in my collection as it is the only Marilyn, “inspired” lipstick so far, but I feel it doesn’t suit me as well as cooler toned reds. However, I still absolutely love the colour, you really can’t go wrong with a bold red. I think if I could choose another shade to buy it would definitely be, “1945 American Beauty” which is described as a, “cool berry red” although the shade looks slightly darker on the swatch photo. However, I’ve seen the lipstick on Pin Up Blogger Ashlyn Coco  and it looks so beautiful on her, so it most definitely has my approval and is on my to buy list!

As I previously mentioned, the packaging for each lipstick is simply beyond beautiful, it’s chic, timeless and effortlessly glamorous. Their products are without doubt some of the most aesthetically pleasing available and so unique and committed to continuing the vintage style. Furthermore, the lipsticks are even created like the classic products from the Golden Age of Hollywood and the tip is perfect for applying the perfect cupids bow shaped lip. Not only is the lipstick an absolute dream for your eyes, just as much precision and design has gone into the making of the box. It truly feels like I own an authentic vintage lipstick and for a retro girl at heart – it’s absolutely wonderful!

The matte finish is long lasting and very pigmented so not a lot of product is needed to created your perfect pout. However, what harm can an extra layer do, right? After all, you can never have enough lipstick! Also, as red was the most popular shade in the vintage era, the majority of the lipsticks in the collection are different shades of, you guessed it -red! As a modern day vintage lover, Bésame is definitely the brand for me! Not to worry though, there are a few pink, plum and darker shades available – but ultimately not a huge variety of colours, apart from red. Therefore, if you’re after wild stand out neon shades, then these probably aren’t the lipsticks for you.

At £18 each, these lipsticks are in the mid to high end brand range, so if you’re not as passionate about vintage and makeup like I am, then you can probably live without buying one as there are lots of amazing red lipsticks for much more affordable prices. However, if you’re after a quality, long lasting, incredibly aesthetically pleasing lipstick – then Bésame is a must add to the collection! I look forward to trying all of their other products at some point and I must say, it’s so refreshing how quite a few brands are being inspired by the vintage look! Soap and Glory, Benefit, The Balm – I could go on! It just goes to show how timeless and iconic Classic Hollywood is and if it’s not broke – don’t fix it.

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54 Years Without Marilyn.

It’s hard to believe that on the night of August 4th, Marilyn passed away and would no longer bless us with her presence on Earth. It’s even more amazing that this didn’t happen last year, but fifty four years ago today. Marilyn was found on the early hours of the morning on August 5th and thus her death was announced as that day, however, rigor mortis had already set in which shows she actually passed sometime late the night before.

When I think about this day I’m filled with sadness, as the world didn’t just lose a huge star, more importantly, we lost a beautiful person which a kind soul and sensitive nature. I often wonder if Marilyn can see the world now and knows the huge legacy she has left over half a century on. Would she believe she was capable of this? Sadly I don’t think so, she never gave herself much credit for her special qualities. However, I’m sure she would be filled with happiness and feel loved, something she strove to find her whole life.

Although there is a huge amount of love for Marilyn, there are a lot of misconceptions and upsetting myths and lies that people have spread about her. You’ll probably notice that if a star dies young and tragically, millions of ridiculous theories with zero credit or substance start pouring out each year. Whilst making notoriety for themselves and lots of money, they neglect the one person that they’re making a profit from and not once do they think about the damage they are causing.

I can’t begin to tell you the amount of ignorance I’ve had to deal with regarding Marilyn over the years, some of it is curiosity, some just downright offensive and a lot can be pretty morbid. I shudder to think what Marilyn herself would feel if she knew about this but then I remember she had to deal with a lot of judgement and misconceptions during her life time. Even then she was ahead of her time and always handled things with maturity and grace;

“Those people that have been writing all those lies about me. All I know, it’s their problem. Those people, I don’t even know [them], or if we have met, it’s been brief. Can I take it? Are you kidding? I’m used to it, and remember the old saying: consider the source.”

–  Marilyn to photographer friend and author George Barris in the summer of 1962.

[Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words, page 128.]

Of course, everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and feelings about someone, however, at least learn the actual truth and stop reading perpetual myths and lies as fact. I know it’s hard to believe but I do realize that Marilyn wasn’t actually perfect, but hating someone based on judgement and conspiracy is just plain ignorant and petty. At the end of the day I just remind myself it’s their loss, they’re the ones missing out on one very special lady.

I hope whatever you do today that you take a moment to think about this beautiful human being and hold a special thought for her. Marilyn may have not achieved her dream of having her own family, but she did achieve everlasting love and devotion from her millions of fans all around the world. She is instantly recognizable and ultimately immortal due to her iconic screen presence which is truly like no other.

When I think of Marilyn, a feeling of warmness and hope comes over me, to me this incredible lady was one of the strongest people who has ever lived. She suffered abuse, loneliness, isolation and through all of this worked extremely hard to achieve her dreams. Marilyn never stopped believing  and always aimed to perfect her talents and improve herself, even when so many never saw her more than an image.  It’s incredible to see how far she came in just thirty six years with such odds stacked against her.

 I wonder if she ever thought someone was looking down on her, perhaps a Guardian Angel? I bet she never thought that so many, including myself, would one day see her as theirs.

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50 Years Of Valley Of The Dolls.

It’s hard to believe that fifty years ago the iconic Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann was published. It became a huge success, becoming the most popular selling fiction of 1966 and has since sold over thirty million copies, not bad right?

The novel follows three girls; Anne, Neely and Jennifer, who follow their aspirations of becoming stars. They all meet and befriend each other as we see their lives unfold through success and failure over the next twenty years. Although a work of fiction, there have been numerous links to the characters in the novel and real life stars and a lot of the content is said to be based on the authors experience as a struggling actress.

Within a year of it’s release Twentieth Century Fox bought the film rights and one of the most iconic movies of the decade was released. Although panned by most critics as extremely over the top, the movie was a huge commercial success and has since gained a cult following. The one star of the film that received little negative criticism was Sharon Tate, who played Jennifer North, arguably the most sympathetic character of the novel  and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Newcomer. Admittedly, as a huge fan of Sharon, this is the original reason I wanted to watch the film, however, after seeing it numerous times it is without doubt a 1960s classic and a must see. Not only is the glamour and clothes beautiful, but it contrasts with the darker side of materialism and fame and ultimately makes you think, is it all worth it?

To celebrate fifty years of Valley of the Dolls the book, which has sadly been out of print for some time, has been re-released and is available on amazon to buy for just £6.99! I’m actually ashamed to say that although I’ve seen the film numerous times, I’ve yet to read the book! However, this is not because I didn’t want to, as I love reading, it’s just quite hard to buy for a good price as it was pretty rare. I’ve heard that the ending to the film and the novel are very different, so I look forward to comparing them and seeing which I prefer! The film is also being released on Blu-Ray this September which I am very excited about.

I think the number one reason that the novel and film are still so relevant fifty years later is because everything that Jacqueline wrote about half a century ago is still happening now! Not only is the fashion and style still being replicated and endures but the pitfalls of fame and drugs are constantly being talked about in the media. Although it is often viewed as frivolous and something to indulge in and not take seriously, it covers an extremely serious subject of addiction. It’s actually quite sad when you think not much has changed half a century on, but at least there is more awareness.

Since the book was published in 1966, it has been adapted numerous times for television and film, songs have been written, styles have been copied and the title is forever etched inside our minds.

“Everyone has an identity. One of their own, and one for show.”

– Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann.

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Marilyn Monroe Design Centre Chelsea & ONGallery Exhibits.

I have just returned home from London after spending a wonderful three nights there to see the temporary Marilyn Exhibition held at the Chelsea Design Centre. Marilyn Collector David Gainsborough Roberts has announced he will be selling his large collection of costumes and personal items at Julien’s in November. Before then, they will be displayed all over the world with London being the first stop until 20th June. Also being sold are personal items of owned by The Estate of Lee Strasberg, who Marilyn left 75% of her belongings to when she passed in 1962.

I’m very lucky to be able to say I’ve seen quite a lot of Marilyn’s items since I discovered her in October 2010. I previously saw a fair amount of David’s Marilyn Collection in March 2012 and as soon as I heard about him selling all of his items in November 2016 I knew I had to see them one more time, as well as Lee Strasberg’s which are also being sold. Marilyn fans are very fortunate that a lot of private collectors such as, Scott Fortner and Ted Stampfer kindly continue to share their Marilyn owned items with us. However, so many of her items get sold and tragically are never seen again which is incredibly upsetting as I always like to think if Marilyn belonged to anyone, it was to the public who loved her so much.

It was so lovely to see how beautifully displayed Marilyn’s items were at the Design Centre in Chelsea, as soon as myself and my mum arrived the staff asked if I was here for the Exhibition, I guess I don’t hide my excitement very well! As soon as you enter the building you are surrounded by beautiful portraits of Marilyn that are displayed from ceiling to floor. It gets even better when you walk through the doors and sense what’s to be seen in only a matter of seconds!

The first collection that you witness is Lee Strasberg’s Marilyn items, so everything from make up, jewelry, letters, shoes and sketches! I had not seen any of these personal belongings before and was truly amazed at what was just a few inches in front of me. Of course I am slightly biased, but everything really was truly stunning and ever so special. I think one of my favourite items would have to be Marilyn’s sketches, in particular one called, “Lover watching his lover sleep.”  I instantly thought of Marilyn sleeping whilst Arthur gazed at his beautiful wife.

The collection of jewelry was effortlessly glamourous. Most Marilyn fans will know that Marilyn did not think Diamond’s were a girls best friend and was much more interested in books than the perfect ring. Therefore, because of this I think the items that were on display were extra special, as any items Marilyn owned must have had some special personal attachment or value. I absolutely adored the Revlon Lipstick, I think if I could own anything from that part of the collection this would be it. Of course, red lipstick is forever linked to Marilyn’s image, but I just loved the vintage display of it, so effortlessly glamourous. I actually tweeted Revlon telling them that they should re-release this shade to coincide with the auction and they liked my tweet so, I shall keep my fingers crossed!

For me, what I found most special in Lee Strasberg’s owned items were all of Marilyn’s personal letters and stationary. I recognized a lot of the writings as it is featured in the amazing book Fragments – a must for any Marilyn fan! Of course a lot of it was very sad to read as Marilyn suffered so much with her anxieties, but what warmed my heart were the beautiful inspiring sayings she would write to herself, “Dare not to worry” being a favourite.

Part of me feels reading the items is an invasion of Marilyn’s privacy and to an extent it is as I’m sure if Marilyn was still alive we probably wouldn’t be reading them. However, reading these items shows a lot of the true Marilyn which is sadly so often hidden by conspiracies and inaccuracies. These writings so a talented artist who forever wanted to learn and improve and a beautiful, vulnerable soul who ultimately just wanted to be happy. I’m sure after reading these a lot of people would have more respect and admiration for Marilyn and I’m sure that would mean a lot to the wonderful lady herself.

After experiencing this amazing collection I then walked through to the final part of the exhibit; Marilyn’s film costumes and clothes owned by David Gainsborough Roberts. The display lay out was absolutely stunning, all clothes where shown on a circular display with two levels, and four huge posters of Marilyn wearing the clothes hung at the top of the ceiling. Some of the costumes even had blu-ray footage of Marilyn wearing the clothes which was a wonderful addition.

It was fascinating to see the age range of people visiting the exhibition, it just further emphasizes the impact Marilyn has on everyone, she truly is loved by people of all ages. I think if I could choose one item from David’s collection to own it would have to be the Green Leotard Marilyn wears in Bus Stop (1956) to sing, “That Old Black Magic” I just adore it. Everyone who viewed the items kept saying how tiny Marilyn was, I still find it fascinating that people are shocked by this when her measurements were 35-22-35.

The exhibit was truly beautiful and a must see for any Marilyn fan or lover of Old Hollywood. The only thing that was sad to see was The Prince and The Showgirl dress was now displayed on a directors chair instead of a mannequin compared to the last time I saw it. I guess it’s become extremely fragile now, if only sixty years ago people realized how important these costumes would be! I also wished that all of the clothes had photos of Marilyn wearing them, I have seen her in all but three of the items so it shouldn’t have been to hard to find. One of my favourites, the costume Marilyn wears for, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” when she sings “After You Get What  You Want, You Don’t Want it” was displayed on the upper level. I found this to be a shame as it would have been lovely to be able to have seen the dress with clips from the film of her wearing it like some of the other costumes.

I was fortunate to be able to visit the exhibition twice during my stay in London and when leaving for the final time I felt pretty sad that the majority of the items I will probably never be able to see again. However, I realize how fortunate I am to have had this opportunity and the memories will stay in my heart forever.

I also managed to visit the ONGallery which is currently displaying the Happy Birthday Miss Monroe exhibit until 30th June. As soon as I walked a lovely staff member named Keith said I was looking very, “Marilynesque” which made my whole day! He realized I was a huge Marilyn fan and he was wonderful to talk to, loved photography and you could tell he appreciated Marilyn as an artist which was very refreshing. It was so wonderful to see photographs from all of Marilyn’s career, beginning in 1946 and ending in 1962.

While I was there I noticed two older men who had been fans since Marilyn was alive and they were very sweet. I was looking through a portfolio of vintage photos and noticed one of them was taking pictures of me! I looked up and he asked me if I was a Marilyn lookalike and I told him that was very sweet but no I wasn’t. He then said that I was absolutely gorgeous and he used to be a portrait photographer so wanted to take my picture. I almost teared up, I’ve rarely had such sweet things said to me face to face. I then heard them asking about a picture that I was looking at from 1952 and I helped identify the event for them, I don’t know why but they reminded me of my Grandad and it really was a lovely moment.

I continued to talk a lot with Keith, especially about the Frank Worth photos of Marilyn from 1953 and 1954 which are pretty rare. I told him how I had sent off for the free Marilyn print they offered in the Daily Express for Marilyn’s 90th Birthday and I mentioned an image Worth had taken of Marilyn and Sammy Davis Jr. which was pretty rare. Keith then told me that the image I was talking about was actually offered previously and he would give me a print, I couldn’t believe it!

I had such a wonderful time in London and truly recommend both exhibits to all Marilyn fans, actually, I recommend them to everyone! Admissions are free for both events and they are extremely special and simply a must see.

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Happy 90th Birthday Marilyn!

It’s hard to believe that today my favourite person, Marilyn Monroe, would be turning 90 years old, it even sounds absurd to say as she is forever etched in our minds as eternally young and beautiful. However, I wish she was here now to see how loved she is, even more so than the fifty fours years ago when she tragically left us.

For the past few years I have always made sure to write or blog about Marilyn on her Birthday and Death Anniversary, so if you’ve followed me for the last four years you’ll probably be pretty aware of that. Therefore, I’m not here to say anything new really, I’m just here to speak from my heart because as silly as it made sound to some people, that’s truly where Marilyn will always have a special place.

“Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don’t have that? If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman.” – Spoken to Photographer George Barris in July 1962.

Marilyn came into my life unexpectedly just before my 17th birthday in October 2010, when I picked up a Vanity Fair Issue with her on the front cover as their cover girl. As mentioned before, I’ve told the story numerous times of how I instantly felt connected to her and started my research and I’ve been collecting ever since.

I think I’ve always felt attached to the underdog, which ironically, many people probably don’t see Marilyn as. After all, she was viewed as beautiful and loved by all – America’s Sweetheart. However, when you actually take the time to learn about Marilyn, you realize she succeeded against extreme odds. She came from a broken home, was an illegitimate child to a mother who suffered with paranoid schizophrenia  and after the first seven years of her life with the Bolender family, Marilyn was shifted around to various different guardians and even an orphanage. She suffered physical and emotional abuse, anxiety, depression and insomnia but never let any of this stand in the way of achieving her dreams.

“The time I sort of began to think I was famous, I was driving somebody to the airport, and as I came back there was this movie house and I saw my name in lights. I pulled the car up at a distance down the street; it was too much to take up close, you know, all of a sudden. And I said, “God, somebody’s made a mistake.” But there it was, in lights. And I sat there and said, “So that’s the way it looks,” and it was all very strange to me, and yet at the studio they had said, “Remember, you’re not a star.” Yet there it is up in lights. “
Spoken to Richard Meryman for Life Magazine in July 1962.

I also owe Marilyn a lot of thank yous as since discovering her in October 2010 and setting up my blog, alwaysmarilynmonroe I have met so many incredible people and experienced so many wonderful memories. Not only did I find an inspiration for each day, I found a Guardian Angel, someone who would always be there in spirit and never judge or upset me. Someone who could cheer me up by just watching one of their films or seeing a photo and someone who went through so much but never gave up on herself even in her toughest times.

Sadly so many look at Marilyn as a victim, due to the endless conspiracies, (thanks Norman Mailer) and her young death which makes me really frustrated as in doing this they miss out on an incredible person. They view her as just a pretty face and a little dumb blonde when it reality this blonde was an avid reader, with a library of over 400 books ranging from Russian Literature to Psychology.  They’ll call her a drug addict without having any compassion or understanding for her debilitating anxiety, depression and insomnia. They’ll hear about how hard she could be to work with or her lateness without knowing she suffered such extreme anxieties that she would often stay in her dressing room terrified to act a scene encase she messed up. Many even think she was playing herself on the screen and have little respect for her talent, thinking, “How can someone so beautiful be a good actress?” The irony being if they did some legitimate research they’d realize she was probably the greatest of them all as she’s fooled so many people for all of these years that she is the person they all perceive her as.

“What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers.”
– Spoken to Richard Meryman for Life Magazine in July 1962.

Another year has gone by and Marilyn’s star keeps growing brighter and brighter, people are still fascinated and enthralled by this beautiful soul. Did Marilyn have her faults? Of course she did, it’s hard to believe, I know, but she was a human being just like us. I love Marilyn for Marilyn and that will never change. I’d like to think that there are more genuine fans who love and respect Marilyn then conspiracy lovers who just follow their ignorance.

If I could hope of anything to come from this article it’s respect for Marilyn and maybe a little more compassion and understanding. She was a woman ahead of her time, a talented artist, a caring and sensitive soul but mostly importantly, she was a beautiful person.

“Fifty years on, we’re still watching her movies and talking about her. That’s not a dumb woman – trust me!” – Lauren Bacall to TCM in 2005.

More on Marilyn;

alwaysmarilynmonroe IG
Celebrating Marilyn’s 88th Birthday
52 Years Without Marilyn
Happy Birthday Marilyn
53 Years Without Marilyn

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