Growing up in Canton, OH, Brian Hugh Warner looked to rock gods like KISS and David Bowie as a way to escape his mundane suburban surroundings. Even before he started a band, and long before he took the nom de rock Marilyn Manson, he was putting on makeup in an attempt to transform into someone new. Although pictures of Manson without makeup are out there (you don’t have to look too hard), it’s rare to see him sans foundation and eyeliner unless he’s working on a project that requires him to be fresh-faced. If he doesn't have to be makeup-free, Manson’s usually powdering up and getting into character.
While the rocker has had plenty of outlandish looks over the years, his makeup hasn’t changed significantly since the mid-90s - though his budget has undoubtedly upgraded. He might seem mysterious, but Manson loves to talk about his makeup. And if you think this sounds boring, you’ve never read an interview with the mayor of Holy Wood, himself.
Dennis Hopper's Character In ‘Blue Velvet’ Inspired Him To Wear Lipstick
When it comes to applying makeup for his stage show, Manson draws inspiration from several eccentric personalities. Notably, he's a fan of one of David Lynch's most terrifying villains. He told Interview that Frank Booth, Dennis Hopper's character in Blue Velvet, showed him how to put on makeup.
Manson said, "I think it could have been Dennis Hopper portraying Frank Booth in Blue Velvet, and him smearing the lipstick on his face, that inspired me. I was also inspired by Lee Bowery, and, of course, Bowie."
- Photo: Nothing
He's Been Using The Same Products Since The Mid-'90s
If you've been following Manson's career since the Antichrist Superstar days, then you've been watching him perform in the same products for well two decade. He told The Fader about the origins of his makeup product selection and how little his arsenal has changed:
I think the first makeup I ever paid for was in '95 or '96, before recording Antichrist Superstar. I was in New York for seven months, and I remember going into the MAC store and being very excited. I bought this foundation that they don't make anymore, and lipliner and lipstick. I've been using MAC's Diva lipstick since they invented the color. I haven't really varied since. My makeup kit now is pretty small, about five items. I think limitations make creativity.
He Always Does His Own Makeup
Manson told Interview he doesn't have his own makeup artist, unlike most high-profile celebrities. He also tends to improvise when applying his look. He said, "I’ve always done my own makeup - I just dip my finger in there and freestyle it."
He Got The Inspiration For His One White Eye From A Childhood Dog
Many celebrities have different colored eyes, most famously David Bowie. And while Manson has spoken at length about his love of the Starman, Bowie didn't inspire the shock rocker to put in his signature single white contact. That inspiration came from the family dog. Manson told The Fader:
Every character in history or cinema or stories has that flawed left side; I identify with that. I also had a dog with one white eye that [passed] while I was a kid. Who knows where the unconscious mind will take you when it comes to transforming yourself into some sort of monster.