Max Faktorowicz, a Polish Jew, was a darling of the Russian court for his ability to make them beautiful, before he fled with his family to the United States in 1904 (where his name was incorrectly entered as “Factor” by an immigration agent). Eventually, he made his way to Los Angeles where he was instrumental in creating natural looking make-up (a term he coined) for the movie industry that would survive under the hot lights and would “color correct” the idiosyncrasies of film processing. Commercial versions of his make-up were made available and sold quite well. The September 1, 2008, issue of the New Yorker has a thorough review of Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World that gives a nice history (and slide show) of the Max Factor legacy that I encourage you to read.
Max Factor believed that every woman could be glamorous, given the right tools. But, somehow I don’t think the average woman had access to his “Beauty Micrometer:”
It appears the machine was put up for auction after the Max Factor museum was closed. The auction estimate was $10,000 – 20,000. I love that the catalog description points out that the machine proved that the “perfect face” was a myth. Apparently, the auctioneer has never heard of PhotoShop…
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