Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World
Fred E. Basten
Soon women everywhere wanted to look like their favorite glamorous stars, and Factor was there to help, bringing his innovative cosmetics to the general public. He revolutionized the world of beauty by producing many firsts: false eyelashes, lip gloss, foundation, eye shadow, the eyebrow pencil, concealer, wand-applicator mascara, and water-resistant makeup. A true innovator, he also introduced the concept of color harmony and the celebrity-endorsed cosmetics advertising that forms the glamorous backbone of the modern industry.
Max Factor was the father of modern makeup. This is his extraordinary story.
earliest of minstrel shows: burnt cork. The coming of sound also forced changes in lighting and film stock. Because the microphones used for the new movies picked up the noisy sputter of the carbon arc lights — the standard film lighting used for illuminating movie sets and faces for fifteen years — they were substituted with noiseless tungsten lamps, the giant counterparts of the electric light bulb. The new lamps were quiet, but they were much hotter, and banks of them were necessary. They
new directions. “I was very thankful,” noted Frank, “that by the time my father was able to walk again, using a cane, and once more able to come to our studio every day, my experiments with the new make-up for Technicolor were practically finished, and I was jubilantly happy to show him the results.” Frank had tested and retested the new make-up, but found it to be too dense. Max tested the make-up, too, and came to the same conclusion. Together, they improved the original formula until the
the room and did not return until she was gone. Filming on Vogues began. Soon after, Pan-Cake make-up was hailed as a sensation and miracle worker. The daily rushes were proof of that, and so were the models, who were grabbing the make-up off the shelves at the studio ($2,000 worth in one week) to take home for their personal use. “It took about four times as much of the make-up necessary to finish this trial motion picture production,” Frank noted, “purely because the models kept embezzling so
Max Factor, while “Hooray for Hollywood” played in the background. In May 1992 talk of the end swirled once again. Rumor had it that Procter & Gamble would close the Max Factor building in thirty days and donate all the memorabilia to a Hollywood museum that had yet to be built and was far from financed. There was an outcry from Hollywood activists, preservationists, and tour bus companies. In the short time it had been open, the museum had become a Hollywood institution, attracting an estimated
Whirling Dervishes, and belly dancers from the mysterious Middle East. The expression “coming down the pike” originated at the fair, as visitors never knew what they'd see next: an elephant water slide; a towering bear sculpture made entirely of prunes; a statue in butter of President Theodore Roosevelt, who attended the fair; or a darkened room that offered the inquisitive a first look, lasting only a few minutes, of a new entertainment — pictures that moved, shown on a makeshift screen.