Max Factor Hollywood Museum was literally a trip to the past. I have lived in Los Angeles for 21 years and have sat in traffic many times looking over at the deco 1928 building next to Mel’s Diner on Hollywood blvd. and Highland ave.. I never stopped to go in as I have never done tourist type stuff in Hollywood due to the cheese factor. I am so glad I just walked in and learned how this man pioneered how our world is today! I had no idea.
As I walked into the main lobby here it is all like it was, deco, marble, slice of yesteryear. I am standing in this lobby where there are several boutique rooms, one for blondes, one for BROWNETTES, one for Brunettes (black hair), and one for the red heads. Each room is painted to compliment the color palette of each hair color. The blonde room which is where stars like Marilyn sat and let this man work on them. He made Marilyn blonde and then when it came to make up the room is painted in blueish tones to compliment the blondes skin tones. As I stood looking into this mirror and Marilyns dress is in a case next to me. I realize I am standing where the stars of her time got dolled up. Holy crap I am literally standing and looking into the mirror that she did? The brunettes room is pink, the black hair (brownettes) room was brownish. The red head room was sage green. This was where Lucy got her locks and make up done. It is so intimate and kinda amazing!
He would use his…”BEAUTY MICROMETER” this Hellraiser type pinhead torture looking helmet. In the 1930s, Factor helped to develop a mask-like device to measure the contours of subjects’ faces. He called it the “Beauty Micrometer”. Its purpose was to detect even barely-visible structural flaws, that might be magnified and more-noticeable on camera. A technician could then apply makeup to mask the problem. So scientific and kinda once again…AMAZING!
This man was a barber back in 1907 and became a chemist of sorts and made the first real make up after working in the movies for the masses. But ladies back then did not wear make-up unless they were hookers. So he had to enlist like most do today a movie star. There was political back lash to stop his make-up and he did not have to say one word to defend what he was doing. After a couple movie stars wore his make up the demand took over. He literally invented the wand mascara and the “pancake” make-up. This man started the whole celeb endorsement thing and changed the way women would look from that day on. The likes of Joan Crawford who he invented her famous lips and it was a huge trend. The lip was called….”the smudge” and women all over were doing it. He had May West also backing him True trail blazers of their time.
This place might need another visit by me as I needed more time to soak up all this information they had there about this genius of a man. The ironic thing is he literally got hit by a car out front on Highland ave. running to see a friend across the street. He got hit and then later died from complications. I just had to blog about this guy as he really did change the world for the times we live in today. Max factor was bought by Protor and Gamble and sold off. No longer in the USA. The great grandsons carried on the make-up gene and are the creators of SMASHBOX make-up. Pretty damn cool history….thanks Hollywood Museum. I am glad this jades LA guy took a walk in time to leave educated on the science of beauty. RAD!