How to Bake Your Face Like Marilyn Monroe

Kim Kardashian's makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic gives us the breakdown.

Nose, Lip, Mouth, Eye, Hairstyle, Chin, Eyelash, Eyebrow, Style, Jaw,
(Image credit: Design by Mia Feitel)

Mario Dedivanovic will be the first to tell you, he did not invent the "baking" technique, which consists of caking on loose powder and waiting a few minutes while it sops up oil to set a face beat. Back in the heyday of Old Hollywood, it was as common on film sets as torrid love affairs...

Marilyn Monroe's makeup artist Allan "Whitey" Snyder was especially well-versed in the technique, as evidenced by her matte, ultra-smooth visage. So because Dedivanovic is the 21st century king of baking, and let's face it, a modern day Snyder as he, too, paints the face of the most famous woman in the world, we picked his brain about how to make like Monroe.

Nose, Mouth, Finger, Hairstyle, Hand, Blond, Tooth, Chest, Necklace, Eye liner,

(Image credit: Design by Mia Feitel)

"I don't know exactly how Monroe did it, but I'm pretty sure it was similar to the way I do it and how we've all been doing it for years in the industry," explains Dedivanovic.

1. Always apply foundation and concealer first. Once your face beat is ready to be set, dip your choice tool into the powder and press into the face. Blend the edges for a diffused effect, then wait a few minutes before dusting it away with a clean makeup brush

2. Don't just "bake" your eyes. Covering dark circles is definitely the top priority—he paints a creamy concealer on the under eyes in an upside-down triangle shape before baking. But Dedivanovic also layers powder below the outer corner of the lips (a great way to keep a classic red lip like Monroe's in tact) and a tiny bit on the T-zone.

"You can bake the entire face, although that is very heavy makeup typically done for hot lights or stage performances," explains Dedivanovic. "It was great pre-HD TV makeup."

3. Choose your application tool wisely. "Depending on the occasion, I typically do it very lightly using a brush with very little product," he says. "When I go heavier, I use a sponge puff to apply."

4. Choose the right translucent powder. These are a few of Dedivanovic's favorite powders—he's been known to use as many as three at once:

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Beauty Editor

Lauren Valenti is Vogue’s former senior beauty editor. Her work has also appeared on,, and in In Style. She graduated with a liberal arts degree from Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, with a concentration on Culture and Media Studies and a minor in Journalism.