Bizzarre Beauty

Ideals of beauty change the same as other fashions do, and it’s always interesting to see what other eras found beautiful.

Early 20th century beauty centered around an extreme hourglass figure helped along by corseting. Long thick hair and naturally rosy lips and cheeks were also quite desirable.

All that changed in the roaring 20’s, and the athletic boyish figure was suddenly “in”. Kewpie doll lips and kohl rimmed eyes helped along by cosmetics became the look that every girl wanted.

During this time, the cinema was born and with that came the phenomena of “movie stars”. The average young person going about their life would pretty much see the same people/relatives day in and day out, but through the magic of Hollywood that person was exposed to a variety of faces and fashion they would otherwise never see. With that exposure came the desire to emulate and the fashion and beauty industries picked up some serious steam.

Max Factor was a pioneer in the field of movie make-up. He invented the first make-up used in a motion picture (a greasepaint in a tube), and went on to create the first lip gloss, pancake make-up and false eyelashes. He also invented some rather strange beauty related items shown below.

The quest for beauty has moved into new arenas with the popular acceptance of cosmetic surgery, but it is still driven by the human desire to emulate. Max Factor found a way to package and sell the promise and power of Hollywood beauty and brought it to the average corner drugstore.

If you’re in or near Hollywood, California, the Hollywood Museum is the place to see some more of the Max Factor artifacts.

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