Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World


The extraordinary story of Max Factor, the man who quite literally changed the faces of the world and created a cosmetics empire.
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Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World

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The extraordinary story of Max Factor, the man who quite literally changed the faces of the world and created a cosmetics empire.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hollywood devotees, fashionistas and cosmetics junkies will enjoy this rags-to-riches story about cosmetics tycoon Max Factor (nee Faktor, 1877-1938), written with insider knowledge (and unwavering admiration) by author and former Max Factor PR man Basten. Raised in a large motherless brood in Poland, Factor's career began with his stint at the Russian Grand Opera company, where his work was lauded by royalty but where he was treated, in his words, "the same as a slave." Escaping in 1905, Factor settled with his wife and children in Los Angeles, where he soon became "Hollywood's make-up wizard," the man with "the beauty secrets of the Czar's court." Responsible for many stars' signature looks (Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson among them), the modifications he made to cosmetics, as well as his ahead-of-its-time marketing acumen, brought make-up to the masses. Published to coincide with the company's 100th anniversary, Basten's account gets mired in corporate mergers, headquarter shifts and museum politics in its last quarter; up until then, however, this biography of the man who gave the world a makeover is a good story with special appeal for fans of cosmetics and Hollywood's Golden Age.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611451351
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/15/2012
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 786,035
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Author Note ix

1 Escape 1

2 A New World 11

3 Starting Over 21

4 New Directions 33

5 The Roaring Twenties 45

6 Recognition and Growth 55

7 Hollywood 65

8 Opening Night 81

9 Crowning Glories 95

10 Discovery 107

11 Moving On 121

12 The Glamour Girls 131

13 Changing Times 145

14 The Legacy 155

Afterword 167

Acknowledgments 171

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2008

    Basten Has A Hit

    MAX FACTOR The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World Fred C. Basten Arcade Publishing Inc. Hachette Book Group ISBN: 978-1-55970-875-3 $24.95 184 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 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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