40 Days and 40 Nights of Beauty Brand Reviews
Day 26, Max Factor
No other person in the history of movies, television, makeup, and beauty has has such a strong and lasting influence on not just the film industry, but on the way women buy and use cosmetics to this very day. From the films of DeMille and Goldwyn to the pegs at your local Walmart, Max Factor's genius has touched the faces of glamourous Hollywood actresses and middle-aged Ohio ladies and just about every person who has ever touched a cosmetic to her face. Or his face.
Factor was a Jewish Polish immigrant who got his start at a very young age when he made wigs and did makeup for the Imperial Russian Grand Opera in the late 1800's, where his talents caught the eye of the Czar and his court. He escaped the control of the aristocracy by secreting his wife and children out of Russia and onto a ship headed to the United States, started a small cosmetic firm with a partner he met on the ship, and shortly afterwards had the entire business stolen from him by that partner. He moved his family to California where he began to work in films, creating products that filled the needs of the advancing technology of filmmaking. His first invention was the natural hairline wig, stitched onto a base of lace, and the rest is great film history. For the fascinating story of Max Factor's rise to legend, find a copy of the book called "Max Factor's Hollywood, Glamour, Movies, Makeup" and immerse yourself in the amazing photographs and stories. You will learn another Max Factor first, the celebrity endorsement! Factor enlisted the most famous actresses of his day, for the sum of $1.00, to promote and be photographed with his products. You'll recognize the names. Bacall, Davis, Harlow, Bow. Today, the beautiful Carmen Electra is the Face Of Max Factor.
Max Factor created PanCake makeup to meet a particular need that had arisen in film, when harsh stage lighting was converted to tungsten lights. The old forms of makeup looked artificial , pasty, and garish. PanCake made its debut in "Vogues Of 1938" on Joan Bennett and the entire cast. A year later, PanCake was produced for American women to purchase for themselves. This began Factor's move into retail cosmetic production and sales, and women everywhere wanted makeup for themselves.
After Factor's death, his son Max Jr. invented the more portable PanStik, following in his father's footsteps in creating products to continue to meet the needs of the changing technology in filmmaking. He asked Lana Turner, Barbara Stanwyk, Judy Garland, Ava Gardner, Sylvia Sidney, and Rosalind Russell to test it for him! PanStik made its film debut in 1949 on the face of Greer Garson in MGM's "That Forsyte Woman."
Now, more than 50 years later, PanStik remains an important part of the Max Factor line of cosmetics, which is now owned by Proctor & Gamble. PanStik is a versatile product, with its roots in Hollywood, but perfect for everyday use by everywoman. I've used PanStik as not just a foundation, but as a concealer. It works beautifully under the eyes, on dark spots and blotches, and to cover redness around the nose area. It blends easily without grabbing or drying, and it stays put until you take it off. I've even used it as an eyeshadow base. I think Mr. Factor would approve. Stroke the emollient stick onto the face, blend a bit with fingers or sponge, and call Mr. DeMille. You're ready for your close up.
What are your favorite Max Factor products? Let us know in the comments!
Photos: Cavewoman and Max Factor's Hollywood,Glamour, Movies, Makeup, by Fred E. Bastien with Robert Salvatore and Paul A. Kaufman.
Disclosure: The products were purchased by the reviewer.