Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe




About: Reviews, Travel, Blog, Creative DIY

I've done some pop art costumes the past few years. This year, I went with an Andy Warhol (both literally and figuratively) for Halloween.

Step 1: For This, I Knew I Would Need:

1 white dress
1 blonde wig (highlighted with yellow and black paint for effect)
Pink face paint (I prefer water-based)
Black face paint
Teal face paint
Bright pink tights
1 tall gangly man to play my Warhol (optional)

Step 2: What to Do Ahead of Time:

1. Paint wig with yellow and black for highlights and lowlights. This took approx 30 mins, but you definitely have to wait for it to dry, I would suggest doing it a few days before.
2. I also made a cumbersome poster that had different shots of the Marilyn piece. I just glued them onto foam board and cut out a square for my face- easy peasy. I only ended up carrying it around for like 15 mins total- not necessary for the costume, but it looked pretty cool. 

Step 3: Day Of:

I put a picture of Warhol's Marilyn on the mirror for reference.
1. Paint exposed upper body pink with the facepaint and a sponge. Aim for full coverage for better photos. I needed a little help with my back, but in a pinch I was able to do it on my own one of the three nights I dressed up.
2. Now it's time for the shading. Follow the outline of Marilyn's face with the black facepaint- be sure not to add too much water, otherwise it will mix with the pink paint. The important part is to get the distance from cheekbone outlines and lips/ eyebrows right.
3. Use the teal facepaint to throw on that infamous eyeshadow. Really overdo it- Warhol wasn't about his art looking super realistic.
4. I also added a little cleavage line with black facepaint, because I'm sure Warhol would have if he had done a full body painting :)
5. Throw on the wig, dress, pink tights, and some bright colored heels and VOILA! You're done!

Step 4: The Final Product

Creepy in real life, but almost everyone knew who I was. My favorite picture was on the grate in Times Square- there were a crowd of about 150 people waiting to see what happened.

Not the hardest costume, and it's relatively easy to get the materials, but you have to have some idea of how shadows work and a steady hand. Also, you've got to be comfortable walking around in pink paint all day and having people want to take their pictures with you.



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13 Discussions


3 years ago

What kind of face/body paint did you use? Did it stay on well without rubbing off?


4 years ago on Introduction

You did a fabulous job transforming the wig. Mine looks like your "before"- and I hope mine will look like your "after"! What kind of paint did you use( I assume acrylic?) and how did you get it to take hold in the new shape?

1 reply

I used a combination of acrylic paint and that cheap hair color spray that you can buy just about anywhere for halloween. It was much more neon, but made the hair super pliable. As far as the shaping goes, I tried to do that before painting. I just used bobby pins to put the curls where I wanted, then painted over the pins. Good luck, and post a link to your costume here so I can see how it turns out!


5 years ago on Introduction

Flippin' awesome!!! Please tell me you won something BIG!!! Just when I think I have seen it all, Something like this comes along...


5 years ago

Wow !! Just had to say how beautiful you were in that costume. Great idea, very creative


6 years ago on Step 4

this is one of the most terrific ideas EVER for a costume!!! how did you ever get to think of it i will never know but you look awesome!


6 years ago on Introduction

Ha, I'd certainly do a double-take if I met you in the street!