Lips Like Marilyn’s Are One Swipe Away: Pigment Abounds in the New MAC Marilyn Monroe Lipsticks

Published in: Lips, MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

mac marilyn monroe scarlet ibis lipstick

Wearing the new MAC Marilyn Monroe collection lipstick in Scarlet Ibis

Some say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

My chapped lips and I have to politely disagree. I mean, sure, diamonds have some cool things going for ’em. They’re all sparkly, and allegedly you can use them to cut mirrors and glass (I’ve always wanted to try that!), but what good are sparkly, shiny baubles when your lips are all flaky and you want to wear a bright orangey red lipstick like the new matte Scarlet Ibis or a frosty nude like Pure Zen ($16.50 each; both part of the MAC Marilyn Monroe collection)?


I’ve been so jazzed about these colors and their three siblings since I got wind of the MAC Marilyn Monroe collection earlier this year. I imagined re-creating MM’s signature sultry lips while happily stepping over a subway vent and having my skirt fly up for the whole world to see my Spanx…

Okay, maybe not. But I’d still love hot makeup like Marilyn’s, and it’s easier to get with these lipsticks. Both lay down loads of opaque, solid color, and a single swipe takes me from lowly pet assistant to polished screen siren.

Or thereabouts. 🙂

MAC Marilyn Monroe Pure Zen Lipstick Scarlet Ibis

Lipsticks in Pure Zen (left) and Scarlet Ibis (right)

mac marilyn monroe scarlet ibis lipstick

Lipstick in Scarlet Ibis

mac marilyn monroe pure zen lipstick

Lipstick in Pure Zen

MAC Marilyn Monroe Swatches in Lipstick in Pure Zen, Lipstick in Scarlet Ibis, Dazzleglass in Little Rock and Dazzleglass in Phiff

Lipstick in Pure Zen, Lipstick in Scarlet Ibis, Dazzleglass in Little Rock and Dazzleglass in Phiff

If your lips are already in great shape, apply either shade, and you’ll be ready for your closeup in seconds.

But for my fellow gals with chapped, dry lips, you may want to prep your lips first with a rich, moisturizing balm, as both of these colors are so intense that they seek out every tiny flake, crack and vertical lip line.

What else can you tell me about the Marilyn lipsticks?

  • Creamy Pure Zen lasts from 2-3 hours on me, while Scarlet Ibis, with its matte finish, lasts from 5-6
  • They have MAC’s signature light vanilla flavor and scent
  • Grab your lip liner and brush, because these are so opaque that I haven’t gotten great results applying them directly from their tubes

Like the other pieces in the MAC Marilyn Monroe collection, Scarlet Ibis and Pure Zen are all decked out in limited edition packaging, so you can admire Marilyn’s saucy style while you play up your pout. 🙂

I really like these classic colors and love the packaging…but I do wish these lippies were a little more forgiving.

PRICE: $16.50 each
AVAILABILITY: Coming October 4 to MAC counters and stores (they’re currently available online, but as of tonight, 10/1/2012, all of them are sold out!)

When in doubt, add kittens!

If I were a drag queen, I’d be sweating glitter right now. That’s how hot it is here in Novato tonight.

It’s hot, hot, hot! We’re having one of our famous early fall heat waves here in the Bay Area, and the only thing keeping my mind off the heat is Animal Planet’s live action kitten cam (thanks, Alexandra!). I’ve been checking in with the kitties, who live at the Washington Animal Rescue Lounge, every couple hours throughout the day.


I’m particularly fond of the tortie because she reminds me of a hotel kitty named Tortie Girl I met on Kauai.

Other than broiling in my chair, I’m doing just fine. I hope your week got off to a good start.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 22 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Nicole Shrimpton says:

    I didn’t pick up either of these colours, but I got charmed I’m sure, which is gorrrgeous~! It’s such a pretty dark matte true red, I’m in love!

  2. Hyzenthlay says:

    100 here today – TOO hot!! This week has started all right, though it wasn’t a restful weekend. Fun, but not quiet! A wedding in my boyfriend’s family kept us with family starting on Friday night. I can’t count the number of times I heard “You probably don’t remember me, but we met at the wedding last year . . .” They were all talking about the wedding where my boyfriend and I were set up! His family is HUGE (he’s tried to draw out family trees for me before, but it gets so large so fast . . .) – and they all knew who I was then 🙂 And we’ve started talking about what we’ll want for our wedding (which isn’t “officially” happening yet). So, a fun weekend, but it’ll make for a long week!

  3. KITTY CAM!!!

    And yes the lipsticks! I love all the red ones from this collection, and I can’t wait to try them in person! I really like how Pure Zen looks on you too. There’s still a lovely hint of pink to stop it from looking like concealer!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Raising Breast Cancer Awareness with Estee Lauder Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley Dream Lip Collection!

  4. edith says:

    Can’t wait til I get mines later on today…I ordered charmed I’m sure and scarlet ibis and now I wish I would’ve order pure zen nice neutral color.

  5. Scarlet Ibis looks great on you!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up tutorial: six eyeliner looks

  6. Marina says:

    I really like how Pure Zen looks on you 😉
    Marina recently posted … YSL Northern Lights Makeup Collection for Christmas 2012

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Marina! I’m surprised that it was so wearable…sometimes nudes can be so tricky!

      BTW — I’m thinking of ordering some Daniel Sandler products. If you have any other ones to recommend beyond the foundation please let me know!

  7. Nina says:

    Its actually been cool-ish here!

    Ah I have Pure Zen, but not in Marilyn packaging. Its pretty, and a medium skin toned gal’s perfect nude. It doesnt wash me out and its sooo quick and easy to apply.

    Scarlet Ibis – ahh! I may have found my perfect red. Im breaking up with Ruby Woo and taking up with SI. Its gorgeous, I wore it yesterday and a lady at Starbucks stopped me to ask what my lipstick was. Thats the first time thats ever happened!

    • Karen says:

      Wow, that’s super cool! Lipstick brings people together. 🙂 Do you wear SI on its own, or do you pop a bit of liner on? I find that I need the liner otherwise I can’t control it.

      • Nina says:

        I use a bit of ELF’s Lip Lock Pencil to prep my lips and to prevent feathering. 🙂

        And I never used to be a lipstick girl, but now, I really enjoy it!

  8. Stèphanie says:

    The dazzleglasses look good!!
    Stèphanie recently posted … FOTM: China Glaze ‘Electrify’

  9. varsha says:

    That subway-spanx thing cracked me up,you are so funny Karen 😀
    I am loving the scarlet does this compare to Lady danger,I wonder.But yea,I so dont like the formulation of Mac lipsticks,it makes my lip so dry after couple of hours ,even with a lip balm.So,I only have the impassioned but this is tempting.Your lips are your best feature Karen, so anything on them looks so pretty luring all of us to run to shops haa 😀

  10. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE both on you! But Pure Zen is more for me. I couldn’t do red. DO you have any secrets to “pulling off” a red like that?

  11. Jaymie says:

    Scarlet Ibis looks amazing! It shall be mine soon! Btw~the Aloe Lip Treatment from The Body Shop and Glam Balm LIP from Rodial are two absolutely amazing moisturizing lip products! Pretty much life savers in my book…

  12. Solangel says:

    I’m dying to see what Deeply Adored looks like on you! We have very similar skin tone, so I’d love to see if it’s a deep as I’d like it to be.

  13. Melissa says:

    I will skip this collection. All the colors are WAY too dupable! Nothing orignal or unique

  14. I swatched these at my local MAC counter today and wasn’t blown away by the shades 🙁 Easily dupe-able methinks…but the packaging is not bad 🙂

    P.S. How come it is so much more exxy in Australia at $38 AU compared to $16.50 US? So unfair 🙁
    Ling @Lip Stalker recently posted … INTRODUCTION TO KAREN MURRELL LIPSTICKS

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