Max Factor cosmetics was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1909 by Maksymilian Faktorwicz, a beautician from Poland. Max Factor specialized in movie makeup, and demonstrated the importance of custom, technical makeup application according to individual nuances and facial structure. He was originally satisfied to remain a specialized supplier to the film industry, but his children were convinced they could grow the company into a much larger enterprise. National distribution began in 1927.
Since he had a strong connection with the film community, Max Factor was able to use celebrity endorsements in advertising its products. In return for nominal payment of $1.00 to the actress, the advertising would also promote the star’s latest film.
This stunning Max Factor ad is from the October 1940 issue of Woman’s Home Companion magazine. True to formula, it features actress Madeleine Carroll who was able to promote Cecil B De Mille’s Paramount Picture, “North West Mounted Police”. Tru-Color lipstick by Max Factor Hollywood featured 1. lifelike red of your lips 2. non-drying, but indelible 3. safe for sensitive lips 4. eliminates lipstick line. For 10 cents you could also mail for purse-size make-up kit. This included a purse-size box of powder, rouge sampler and miniature Tru-Color lipstick in your specific harmony shade.
Max Factor is still sold, and here’s an example of their new lipstick versions. You can still get those glamorous 1940s Hollywood movie star lips today!
This cringeworthy Lux soap ad is from the May 1939 issue of Ladies Home Journal magazine. Wow, talk about shaming women! To have your Dad confront you about your husband “neglecting” you is beyond the pale. But then nosy Dad discusses with meddling Mom his concerns about Peggy and Don’s unhappy marriage. Mom comes over the next day and suggests that it’s Peggy’s dirty underwear odor that is causing all of her relationship problems. The solution? To wash her undies in Lux each day. Apparently that did the trick because Don is now more in love with Peggy than ever! Who knew romantic problems could be solved so easily? 😀
Yardley’s signature scent, English Lavender, has been around since 1873 when it was launched in England. It was popular during the Victorian era in England, and was imported to the USA in the 1880s where it also grew in popularity. This fabulous ad, from the October 1940 issue of Woman’s Home Companion magazine, shows a English beauty being admired on the golf course by an old caddy master with a roguish twinkle. “So ye’ll take no offense if I say it’s always a pleasure to look at genuine loveliness that’s been properly trimmed and tended.”
What’s wonderful is that Yardley’s original English Lavender is still made today. It is a beautiful, elegant scent that stands the test of time.
This really pretty Coty “Air-Spun” Face Powder ad is from 1939. Facial powder seemed to be the most popular makeup foundation in the 1930s and 40s. Women applied it directly over their facial cream. Air-Spun powder was made by actually swirling each powder particle by racing streams of air. A texture of cloud-like softness is the result.
I love the beautiful designs of the powder containers. They each came in different Coty fragrances: “Paris” in a gay blue box, Emeraude in a jewel green box, and L’Origan and L’Aimant in the “powder-puff” box.
What’s really cool is that the original Coty Airspun powder in the powder puff box is still sold today!
Classics remain classics for a reason.