Make-up: Mac’s Marilyn Monroe Pure Zen review

This review almost didn’t happen – Mac’s new Marilyn Monroe range is selling out so quickly I only just got my hands on this lipstick, Pure Zen.  Which I found out in the shop is actually a reissue rather than a completely new colour, but would I have bought it normally? Probably not, there’s definitely a much stronger appeal now it has Marilyn’s face on it.  So Mac know what they’re doing!  I also got my hands on Love Goddess so do check out that review if bright pink lipsticks are your thing.
But to be honest, pale and nude lipsticks aren’t usually my thing.  I like statement vintage make-up and my beige skin tone can look strange with nudes.  But now that I have over 10 bright red lipsticks, including one I consider to have ended my search for a classic red (Nars Heat Wave), I need to find more colours for work and times I want to eat without spreading red all over my face.  So I turned to this new limited edition range for something a bit different – a casual Marilyn look, if you like!
So here it is, courtesy of my new iPhone’s camera (I had no idea how bad the last one was until I saw these pictures!)
The box


The lipstick, complete with Marilyn case



And now a couple of photos that capture the colour in different lighting…

Marilyn Monroe Pure Zen review


Mac Marilyn Monroe Pure Zen swatch


  • Lovely texture, feels soft on the lips and not drying like so many Mac lipsticks are – perhaps because this is one of their Cremesheen lipsticks
  • Beautiful colour that enhances your natural lip colour
  • Great packaging, although let’s be honest that’s the main reason I bought it


  • Not cheap at £15.50 (I believe Mac lipsticks are usually more like £11 – so this is especially outrageous considering you’re paying for a colour that exists already in the range)
  • Slightly too transparent for me – I love the colour in the tube but as you can see it doesn’t really come out like that, it heavily depends on your own lip colour


But all in all, I’m impressed and very pleased I managed to get my hands on one before they completely sell out.  If you want your own, you’ll have to hunt one down in a shop as they’re out of stock online.  Quick, run!


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