April 27th, 2008

carole lombard 07
  • vp19

See Mr. Factor

"Hooray for Hollywood
You may be homely in your neighborhood
But if you think that you can be an actor, see Mr. Factor
He'll make a monkey look good"
-- "Hooray For Hollywood," Johnny Mercer-Richard Whiting

Cosmetics maven Max Factor (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/36627.html) was saluted in that Tinseltown anthem, originated for the 1937 film "Hollywood Hotel." But truth be told, the folks at the Factor factory already had a talent for self-promotion.

Half a decade earlier, the Max Factor company issued a pamphlet entitled "The New Art Of Society Make-Up." From that title, it sounds as if the subjects would be Gloria Vanderbilt, Doris Duke and other socialites. Not the case; the cover features photos of the people who put Max Factor on the map -- the Hollywood actresses whose already ethereal appearances were further enhanced by the masterful care of Factor's staff. And yes, Carole Lombard was one of them:

Ten stars are on the cover; in addition to Carole, those easily recognizable include Kay Francis, Joan Crawford, Claudette Colbert and Jean Harlow. But who are the others?

Incidentally, if you're interested in this booklet, which appearently has full-page photos of Lombard, Harlow, Crawford, Ann Dvorak, Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, Irene Dunne and others, it's being auctioned at eBay through Wednesday (http://cgi.ebay.com/Max-Factor-Bette-Davis-Jean-Harlow-Carole-Lombard-1932_W0QQitemZ260233645854QQihZ016QQcategoryZ197QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem). Two bids have been made as of this writing, with the top bid at $11.50. Then again, what price beauty?
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