Marilyn Manson is a lot of things — Prince of Darkness, the God of [expletive], Antichrist Superstar, but what people know him best for is notably his ability to transform into someone new.

The rocker metamorphosed into the Marilyn Mason fans know today with his ash white foundation, smears of midnight black covering his eyes, and bright red lipstick.

Although pictures of Manson without makeup are out there, he still wears makeup every day unless he’s required to be fresh-faced.

He revealed that he doesn’t turn to his androgynous and occultist looks for the sake of stage drama. Instead, he truly has a passion for makeup artistry, mainly because of his perennial obsession with visual shape-shifting.

Eternal Love Affair with Makeup

The rocker revealed his love affair with makeup, which stemmed from childhood when his mom used to put her wigs and lipstick on him when he was little.

Growing up in Canton, OH, Brian Hugh Warner began his creative ventures by decorating his face with watercolors to express his imaginations that could not be contained in a piece of music. 

He idolized rock gods like KISS and David Bowie. He rebelled against the Christian school that told him not to listen to their music. While KISS wore masks and relied on Kumadori to conceal their true self, he wanted to be seen, but not as Warner. 

The rocker never intended to look androgynous and was just trying to hide a bad complexion as a teenager. Before perfecting his trademark makeup look, Manson went through a heavy experimental phase that involved pocketing Maybelline eyeliner from grocery stores. 

In the early performances I did, I wore Maybelline eyeliner that I would [take] from grocery stores late at night. I had a mild bout of kleptomania in Florida. I [swiped] Max Factor Pan-Cake foundation, which was all-in-one. 

Over the years, Mason has had plenty of outlandish looks, which he draws inspiration from several eccentric personalities. Notably, he’s a fan of Frank Booth, Dennis Hopper’s character in Blue Velvet, and Booth smearing lipstick on his face in the film inspired the rocker. 

And unlike most high-profile celebrities that have a glam team, Manson prefers to do his own makeup, which allows him to improvise as he applies it. 

Mason’s Controversial Career

The American heavy metal rock’n’roll icon has sold over 50 million albums, started as the controversial frontman of his band in the 1990s. He adopted the name Marilyn Mason, which is a blend of Marilyn Monroe and the serial killer Charles Manson, and began self-releasing cassettes and playing gigs in 1989. 

The band’s stage show was renowned for Manson’s elaborate makeup and homemade special effects. In the summer of 1994, they released their debut LP, ‘Portrait of an American Family,’ launching the group to new heights of notoriety. 

But their popularity came at a cost.

The band was surrounded with furor for advocating a disconcerting vision of society that focused on sex, drugs, violence, politics, and organized religion. Civic groups and religious fronts regularly protested at their concerts.

However, that did not slow the rocker down as he released many albums that made the Billboard Top 200 charts.