Wednesday, September 27, 2017

And The Oscar Goes to...

In 1929 - Mr. Max Factor
for unique makeup techniques. 
Facial makeup in one form or another has been around for multiple-centuries.  Makeup has been found in the pyramids of ancient Egypt. For example, when King Tut’s tomb was opened in 1922, cosmetics were found inside that were still fragrant and perfectly usable. Palettes are also often found in pyramids, dating as far back as 10,0000 B.C. (source: Modes in Makeup)

There is one man that deserves a lot to acknowledgment when it comes to modern make up as we know it; Mr. Max Factor. He coined the term "makeup" and defined glamour. Yes a real person. Thank you - I love my makeup. 

Upon arriving in Los Angeles from Poland he saw an opportunity to provide made-to-order wigs and theatrical makeup to the growing film industry. 

In the early years of movie-making, greasepaint in stick form, although the accepted make-up for use on the stage, could not be applied thinly enough, nor did the colors work satisfactorily on the screen. Factor began experimenting with various compounds in an effort to develop a suitable makeup for the new film medium. By 1914 he had perfected his first cosmetic product. With this major achievement to his credit, Max Factor became the authority on cosmetics in filmmaking. Soon movie stars were eager to sample his "flexible greasepaint".

Max Factor instructs
English actress Dorothy Mackaill
In the early years of the business, Factor personally applied his products to actors and actresses. He developed a reputation for being able to customize makeup to present actors and actresses in the best possible light on screen. Among his most notable clients were Ben Turpin, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford,  Jean Harlow, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, John Wayne, and Judy Garland. As a result, virtually all of the major movie actresses were regular customers of the Max Factor beauty salon, located near Hollywood Boulevard. (source: Wikipedia)

I toured the Max Factor Museum back in 1990 during my day out as Rhonda in Hollywood. The Max Factor building is still located at 666 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood. Although the museum is now known as the Hollywood Museum. What a fun experience and day escape. 

I thought of Max Factor last week when I was discussing the selection of matching skin tones with makeup colors. Max Factor pioneered this process and had rooms that he used to apply the star’s makeup. According to their web site: 

The original Max Factor studio contained four special celebrity make-up rooms, each designed to bring out the best in women of a particular hair color: one room is labeled "For Blondes Only" (and is decorated in flattering shades of blue); other rooms are solely for redheads (done in mint green), brunettes (dusty rose pink), or brunettes (pale peach). I am happy to report that these special rooms have been preserved, and are complete with the original make-up chairs, settees, lights and flattering multi-angled mirrors. 

In 1929 Mr. Max Factor received an Oscar for his unique movie make-up. It is on display at the museum along with much more; including a custom made wig for John Wayne. Are you shocked? The Duke wore a rug. It shocked me.    

If you live in LA or plan travel there, The Hollywood Museum is a wonderful ESCAPE adventure for us lovers of makeup.    

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