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Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World [Paperback]

Fred E. Basten

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Book Description

April 15 2012
Nice women never wore makeup. Even the word was taboo in polite society—until Max Factor entered the scene. Born in Poland in 1877, Factor worked as a beautician for the Russian royal family, the Romanovs. In 1904, he fled to America, where he opened a cosmetics store in Los Angeles. Creating makeup originally for silent films, then the talkies, and, ultimately, color motion pictures, Factor designed looks for Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, and countless other beauties of the day. 

Soon women everywhere wanted to look like their favorite glamorous stars, and Factor was there to help, bringing his innovative cosmetics to the general public. He revolutionized the world of beauty by producing many firsts: false eyelashes, lip gloss, foundation, eye shadow, the eyebrow pencil, concealer, wand-applicator mascara, and water-resistant makeup. A true innovator, he also introduced the concept of color harmony and the celebrity-endorsed cosmetics advertising that forms the glamorous backbone of the modern industry. 

Max Factor was the father of modern makeup. This is his extraordinary story.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing; Reprint edition (April 15 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611451353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611451351
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,295,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Fred E. Basten is the author of numerous books about Hollywood and the entertainment industry. A graduate of UCLA, he was the assistant to the public relations director at Max Factor in Hollywood. Now a freelance writer, he lives in Santa Monica, California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basically "Max Factor's Hollywood" without as many pictures. May 9 2009
By Suzanne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book and almost finished it in 1 day, but I kept thinking, "I wish there were more pictures." Well, I did not realize it, but the book "Max Factor's Hollywood" arrived a few days later and is by the same author (Basken), and it has loads more pictures! Both books are easy to read and do not get bogged down with too much nonessential history that make your eyes glaze over. If you want just the facts, ma'am (or sir), get this book; if you want to ogle B&W photos of the day with the info, find "Max Factor's Hollywood."
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Grandfathers Story Dec 7 2008
By Lita Kilpatrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is the story of my grandfather Max Factor. Although I had long heard the family stories -- there is much more here that I didn't know. I was 10 years old when he died. Oh how I welcome this book. I knew little about his early years in Poland and Russia. I am giving this book to my children and grandchildren for Christmas. I am so very proud of my family's story. I seem to have carried on his entropunerial genes! Knowing so much more about him is a special joy for me this year.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basten Has a Winnr Sept. 12 2008
By Ann Allyn Slessman - Published on Amazon.com
The Man Who Changed
the Faces of the World
Fred C. Basten
Arcade Publishing Inc.
Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 978-1-55970-875-3
184 pages
Reviewer: Annie Slessman

Max Factor, a name known throughout the world as one of the leading manufacturers of cosmetics, was born in Poland as Max Faktor. Only when he entered the U.S. did the spelling of his name change. It seems an inspector misspelled Faktor and not knowing how to tell him otherwise, Max's last name changed forever to Factor.

Max married Lizzie, his first wife when working as the make up artist for the Russian Royal family as well as the Imperial Russian Grand Opera. He could not let the Russian Royal family know of his marriage since it could jeopardize Lizzie's life. Therefore, the marriage and the subsequent children of the couple became one of the best-kept secrets in Russia for almost five years until they reached the United States.

Once in America, Max and a partner opened an exhibit at the St. Louis World Fair. Although his exhibit was successful, Max's partner disappeared with all of funds earned from the exhibit and left Max penniless. Max, with the help of his brother and Uncle, opened a barbershop in 1906. It was the beginning of history in the making.

Max Factor was a pioneer in developing make up for the movie industry. Unknown to most of us, he also made most of the wigs used in movies during the "Golden Age."
He eventually took Max Factor to heights Max himself could never have believed in his early years. His entire family-sons, daughters and the son-in-laws were all well versed in the many divisions of his company and carried on his work after his death.

This work not only tells the story of the rise of Max Factor as a world leader in cosmetics, it also leaves the reader with a wealth of knowledge with regard to the history of movies and television. I found the work well researched and well written, not to mention, irresistible and a page-turner.

Fred Basten is the author of numerous books about Hollywood and the entertainment industry. A graduate of UCLA, he was the assistant to the public relations director at Max Factor, Hollywood and currently lives in Santa Monica, California.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK April 5 2011
By So. Calif book reader - Published on Amazon.com
I have the other Basten book, 'Max Factor's Hollywood' which is more of a picture book and is excellent. This little book is really more about the Max Factor COMPANY, not necessarily about the life of Max Factor, other than the fact of telling about him creating the different make-ups, etc. I suppose that was his life. After his death, the book mostly goes on about different family members taking over and the other companies that bought it and the usual corporation takeover info. That is not necessarily interesting reading. I think the other book is much more interesting. I did notice two errors in this book, and better research would have eliminated both. One is the misspelling of Ramon Novarro's name. It is not Navarro. The other mentions when Max Factor died, that he was entombed at Beth Olem (sic) mausoleum at Hillside Memorial Park. Big wrong!! He was originally put in Beth OLAM and later disinterred and put at Hillside.
5.0 out of 5 stars great history lesson on cosmetics April 29 2014
By Robbi Neal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I never had any idea that Max factor had such an impact on life now and on many of the products we take for granted. This was a fascinating and great read

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