You can only imagine how thrilled I was when a press release came through announcing that a book had just been written by Fred E. Bastin called, “ Max Factor, The Man who Changed the Faces of the World.”
Before I begin the review of this exceptional book, allow me to share a bit of my personal enthusiasm of how delighted I was that such a well written, informative, and thorough biography of Max Factor was now available for everyone to read and enjoy!
As a national makeup artist, Max Factor has always been a symbol to me, and so many, as the “creative icon of beauty” behind the glamour in Hollywood that sparked the “Magic” of an era that has been emulated but will never, in my opinion, be surpassed! Max Factor’s vision, initiative, endurance, and keen artistry continues to fascinate me and always takes me back to my first trip to California.
I stayed at the historic Roosevelt Hotel where if you came into the hotel through the back entrance, you’d go up a grand staircase and be at the location of the first Academy Awards held there in 1929. If you’d go through the hotel lobby and out the front entrance you’d be standing on Hollywood Boulevard where you could look up and see the HOLLYWOOD sign gleaming in the mountains. Sure, that was really a thrill for someone who has always declared California the “Home of her Heart”, but my destination was still a few blocks away! I could feel my energy really come alive when I walked up Hollywood Boulevard to Highland Avenue, turned right and in a few steps was standing in front of what had been Max Factor’s breathtakingly beautiful salon built in 1928. It may have been closed down at that time, but you could still feel the energy and try to imagine what it must have been like back “in the day”.
In “MAX FACTOR ~ The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World”, author Fred E.Bastin writes a sequential rendering that takes you step by step through the life of Max Factor. It seems that fate throughout Max’s life would always seem to keep him moving into situations that helped him make headway into the direction of his eventual destiny, and often it wasn’t an easy venture!
From always wanting to be an artist as a child in Poland, to eventually becoming the cosmetician to the Royal Romanov family in Russia, then escaping to America, and due to a misspelling of his last name (FAKTOR) by a customs officer…. Max Faktor arrived in America as MAX FACTOR !
Opening a shop in Los Angeles, Max’s mild manor, hard work, perseverance, and amazing artistic talent with hair pieces, wigs and ingenious ability to create cosmetics got him work in all of the film mediums as the industry went from silent movies, to talkies, and then films in technicolor.
Not only working with the top film stars of the day, Max Factor opened the world of beauty and cosmetics to all women, and truly was the first to coordinate colors to work together with a person’s hair, complexion, and eye color.
Quoting Author Fred E. Baston from his “Author’s Note” at the beginning of the book : “The year 2009 marks the hundreth anniversary of the company Max Factor founded. This book is a tribute to the man who came from near poverty in Russia to become the very embodiment of the American dream.”
This book is filled with such incredible stories, information and history of a man who dedicated his life to the beauty industry, and set the standards high for future generations to uphold!
By the way, when you read this book you’ll find out all about the stunning Max Factor Salon that I went to see on my first trip to California. It’s still there…. AND you can read all about it in “MAX FACTOR ~ The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World”!
You get a 5-star rating for your captivating story of Max Factor, Mr.Baston…….and a standing ovation! Thank
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