From Mo'Nique's hairy legs to pixie cuts and ombre hair in Hollywood to that hottie shirtless Old Spice guy — we've rounded up the biggest moments in beauty for 2010. Check out what headlines caught our attention and what we can't wait to see more of this upcoming year in our latest Bella Beauty Bite.
The bad news? This year we had two reasons to put on a frown, as two favorite beauty brands, Max Factor and Shu Uemura, exited US stores. The good news? The companies — and their products — are not extinct.
- Earlier this year, Max Factor items were pulled off drugstore shelves due to small market share in the States. Die-hard fans, take note: you can you can still load up on your Pan-Cake Water-Activated Foundation and 2000 Calorie Foundation on Drugstore.com.
- L'Oréal, owner of Shu Uemura, announced in March that it would be pulling the brand from US department stores and closing its boutiques. It seems L'Oréal wanted to put more focus on its luxury brands with bigger market shares, and that focus did not include the United States. While you can still get your Shu fix in person in Asian and European markets (and Canada, eh?), Shu's comprehensive American website is almost as good as visiting the Tokyo Lash Bar yourself.
In the mid-1970s, the average cost of gasoline was about 60 cents per gallon, and stamps cost just 13 cents each. Flash forward a little over 30 years later and thanks to inflation, gasoline now hovers around $3 per gallon, and stamps are up to 44 cents apiece. But that's not all that has changed. The price of beauty products has risen with the times, too. Are you sensing where I'm going with this? I'll give you the product and the date, and you see if you can guess how much said item used to cost back in the day. And be sure to take my first vintage prices quiz, too.Take the Quiz
What does a drugstore have in common with Dolce & Gabbana? Usually, the answer would be a big "not much," but when it comes to beauty, things are different. The fabulous and famous makeup artist Pat McGrath worked with D&G on its newish Dolce & Gabbana makeup collection, creating a wide range of colors for the luxe launch.
What you might not know is that McGrath is also the cosmetics guru for Procter & Gamble, the company behind CoverGirl and Max Factor (which is soon to be discontinued in the U.S.). And just like she consulted on the high-end D&G beauty brand, she creates the color stories for these drugstore brands, too. It's almost the makeup equivalent of a designer doing a line for H&M: same talent, different product. And although I haven't tried the Dolce & Gabbana makeup yet, I've found Max Factor's Vivid Impact lipstick ($8.97) to be creamy and highly pigmented. So whether you splurge on D&G or opt for a more affordable choice, you'll have a bit of McGrath mastery either way.
Some surprising news tonight: Max Factor, the 90-year-old cosmetics juggernaut, will be phased out in the United States over the next year. According to news reports, the brand will continue to be sold in other parts of the world, but its small 1.2 percent US market share means that products will disappear from shelves in early 2010. Parent company Procter & Gamble has been successful in building CoverGirl's recent sales, but the Max Factor brand hasn't grown as strongly. So if you're a Factor fan, get your shopping in before you need a plane ticket to do so. (Oh, and in case you want to take a walk down memory lane, here's a Max Factor trivia quiz.)
Summer is a great time for a little shadow play. It's a great time of the year to do some experimenting with bolder color choices and shimmery finishes. I've got you covered on a simple tip for applying shadow, and I've provided the basics of choosing the right shades. So now that you're off to a good start, go forth and check out eleven of the most popularly reviewed shadows for $20 or less on the Product Reviews website. Good times.
2009 marks the centennial of the founding of the Max Factor cosmetics brand. Most of us are familiar with the line as a drugstore favorite, but not everyone knows how groundbreaking Mr. Factor's work was. Think you can correctly guess a few facts about his life? Go ahead, have at it.Take the Quiz
I never thought I had overly dry or overly oily skin, but when my tinted moisturizer kept leaving grease pits (and often a dreaded patch of acne) on my face by end of day, I knew I needed to reconsider.
With all of the prepping and priming I do to get my face ready for foundation, all I really wanted was a non-complicated, stay-put, inexpensive, go-to foundation. That's all. So, after a lot of Internet research (seriously, it became an obsession) and some visits to the Product Reviews page, I narrowed down my choices to the following two.
Let's call it the "battle of the drugstore foundations" between Revlon Colorstay for Combo/Oily Skin Makeup with SoftFlex SPF 6 ($11.69) and Max Factor Lasting Performance Stay Put Makeup ($7.99). To see my comparison chart and the winning choice, read more
Max Factor (born Max Faktor) is credited for being the first to produce a number of beauty accouterments, from false eyelashes to brow pencil. In a new biography, Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World by Fred E. Basten (Arcade Publishing), it becomes clear that his legacy is a lot more than that. After escaping a life as a kept cosmetician by the uncle of Czar Nicholas II and religious persecution in Russia to arrive in America by boat with his young family, Factor became Hollywood's go-to cosmetician (he made wigs and styled hair as well).
For average women in America, however, Factor is responsible for a lot more. Before his wildly successful greasepaints hit the mass market, the word "make-up" (his spelling) barely existed and had a negative connotation when used by women who weren't professional performers. According to the book, a bill brought before the Kansas legislature threatened to make it a misdemeanor for any woman under 44 to wear cosmetics "for the purpose of creating a false impression." Aside from the freedom to use beauty products, Factor can be credited for decisions that still inspire its use: he painted lipstick beyond the outline of Joan Crawford's lips (a trick he called "the smear") and lightened Jean Harlow's hair to platinum.
The tone of the book, written by a former assistant to the head of public relations at Max Factor, is extremely reverent (he uses lots of exclamation points), but that doesn't prevent the subject matter from being accurate and interesting to those with a fascination with all things beauty.