The Modern Beauty Methods of Max Factor

By Terry Claypoole
circa 1930: Make-up expert Max Factor (1904 - 1996) demonstrates the technique of applying eyeshadow, using actress Josephine Dunn (1906 - 1983) as his subject. (Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull/Margaret Chute/Getty Images)

Walk into any drugstore, shopping mall, or big box discount store and you will find an amazing variety of cosmetics. It can be almost overwhelming to choose the right brand of foundation, type of compact powder, or neutral shade of eyeshadow to complement anyone’s personal features.

Do you ever wonder where makeup got its start? Believe it or not, it began in the early 1900’s during the time of the black-and-white moving pictures. Actors and actresses of that time wore heavy stage makeup that resembled the consistency of grease paint more than anything. This product was not ideal, specifically with the powerful stage lighting, the monochromatic film, and the ever dramatic close-up scenes between the actors and actresses themselves.