You Are Not Born Glamorous, Beauty is Created

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:”

Machine Measures Beauty of Face (Popular Science, Feb, 1933); Image courtesy of ModernMechanix.com

Machine Measures Beauty of Face (Popular Science, Feb, 1933); Image courtesy of ModernMechanix.com

 

1934 Max Factor demonstrates his “scientific device” the Beauty Micrometer which detects defects in feminine beauty that are imperceptible to the naked eye.  Image courtesy of FilmMakerIQ.com

1934 Max Factor demonstrates his “scientific device” the Beauty Micrometer which detects defects in feminine beauty that are imperceptible to the naked eye. Image courtesy of FilmMakerIQ.com

 

“Beauty Micrometer” Analyzes Facial Flaws for Makeup (Modern Mechanix, January, 1935); Image courtesy of ModernMechanix.com

“Beauty Micrometer” Analyzes Facial Flaws for Makeup (Modern Mechanix, January, 1935); Image courtesy of ModernMechanix.com

 

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…

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve never cared about make-up. My mother wore lipstick and powder, and when at 14 I looked around and decided maybe I should wear make-up, Mother didn’t help me or encourage me. Nothing in our beliefs prohibits it, but it could be that my mother, growing up in the ’20s, had some feelings about the over-use of make-up. Maybe she was wary of the expense. I don’t know. We never discussed it.

    A friend of mine who was a teen-ager in the ’40s remarked that she grew up in the age of make-up. When I replied that I thought the ’60s was the era of make-up, she disagreed. She pointed out that her daughter’s attitude is the same as mine — we wear very little.
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