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NEW YORK — In a move intended to give its beauty history and innovations top billing, Max Factor has signed a licensing agreement with the upcoming film “The Aviator,” due in theaters this December. The agreement allows Max Factor to use images from the movie in its advertising and promotional material.
The Miramax picture, directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the billionaire aviator and movie producer Howard Hughes, along with a cast of leading ladies, including Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn, Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner and Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow.
The Procter & Gamble beauty brand also recruited the film’s chief makeup artist Morag Ross to its Max Factor Movie Make-up Artist Team. Ross said she dug through the Max Factor archives to replicate glamorous retro looks for the film, spanning the Twenties through the Forties.
Ross’ desire to capture the precise physical characteristics of these starlets, who on the silver screen appeared in black and white, prompted her to take exacting measures, such as spray-painting freckles all over Blanchett’s back and arms to mimic the look of the red-headed Hepburn.
“The historical personalities in the film are actresses that Max Factor himself worked on during Hollywood’s golden era,” said Anne Martin, vice president, global cosmetics and beauty marketing for P&G.
In fact, P&G’s archives credit Max Factor himself with dying Jean Harlow’s black hair platinum blonde, a makeover that is said to have catapulted her career in film.
National print and television ads will break in January, featuring Ross and visuals from “The Aviator.” Max Factor will support those efforts with in-store promotional displays, noted Martin.
The ads will spotlight two new Max Factor products, Lash Lift mascara and Colour Perfection lipstick. According to P&G consumer research, curling, volumizing and lengthening aren’t covering all the bases when it comes to mascara. An overwhelming majority of women, 75 percent in fact, want a mascara that gives their eyes a wide-awake look, explained Dr. Gillian Briggs, senior scientist of P&G Cosmetics, which is why Max Factor has added “lift” to the product benefits list. Briggs warned that some volumizing mascaras are heavy and, therefore, cause lashes to droop, making eyes look tired. Curling lashes, either with an eyelash curler or a curling mascara, can visibly shorten lashes, undermining a vibrant look as well, said Briggs.
Lash Lift relies on conditioners said to lift the lash an average of 50 percent. A flexible polymer — borrowed from fellow P&G brand Pantene — then holds the lashes, keeping them in place all day, explained Briggs. The company said its clinical tests showed Lash Lift raised lashes up to 30 degrees.
Lash Lift, which will be available in January for a suggested retail price of $6.50, marks the latest addition to Max Factor’s mascara portfolio — 2000 Calorie, Lashfinity and Stretch & Separate.
Max Factor will also introduce Colour Perfection lipstick for the new year, replacing Lasting Colour lipstick, which is being phased out.
Briggs explained that the oil in most lipsticks causes color to fade and feather. Max Factor said it has solved those makeup woes with a new gel-based formula. The micro-layers of pigments within the formula prevent fading, said Briggs, adding that when a kiss or smile removes pigments, the action simply uncovers a smooth surface of color.
“Creating a bullet lipstick that gets it right on the first application and lasts and lasts is a major undertaking, and we were able to do that with Colour Perfection,” said Martin.
Colour Perfection, available in 42 shades, including 10 shimmer tones, will debut in January with a suggested retail price of $7.30.
While P&G does not break out sales, industry sources estimate the two launches combined will generate $30 million in retail sales within the first year.
In-store promotional displays of Lash Lift and Colour Perfection will trumpet product benefits. P&G will also call attention to its launches with “aisle stoppers,” colorful signage protruding from the beauty wall.
P&G will dole out Max Factor product kits to beauty advisers. The kits feature Lash Lift and Colour Perfection, and include tips from Ross on how to help retail customers achieve the look of “The Aviator” stars.