In 1939 Max Factor Jr (his father the original Max Factor had died in 1938) set about creating a new indelible lipstick. Although these had certainly been produced before he ingredients often irritated the skin and the colour was liable to change on application.
Never one to shy away from a challenge Max Jr. experimented - first with asking female employees to test the new formulation for consistency and irritation. He then needed to test its indelibility and requested an engaged couple to come into work half an hour earlier each morning and kiss (and kiss, and kiss). Even this wasn't enough of a test for him and the engaged couple soon grew tired of being paid to kiss.
Again not one to be put off Max Jr. invented The Kissing Machine - making moulds of the engaged couples lips. With lipstick on "her" lips and a tissue placed between the two pairs The Kissing Machine was cranked up and set in motion with the tissues being examined to see how many "kisses" it took to fade the lipstick.
All this experimentation lead to Max Factor's Tru-Color lipstick "the world's first perfect lipstick...a lipstick that imparts a life-like red to the lips.. that is non-drying but indelible..that eliminates lipsticks lines.. and that is safe for sensitive lips."
Tru-Color lipstick was launched in 1940 in six shades of red.
|Tru Color, 1941|
And while we won't be offering The Kissing Machine The Historical Sauces will be at A Most Curious Wedding Fair on Saturday 11th February. We will be giving two workshops -one on lingerie and one on getting the Perfect Pout.
If you are in Norwich, whether or not you have a wedding to plan, come down and visit us. We will also be giving one to one sessions on the best way to apply lipstick, tackling all of your questions as well as helping you to find your perfect shade.
As always we will also have our vintage library with a selection of wedding fashion source books as well as our stock of Besame lipsticks and What Katie Did Stockings and Tights.