Which famous makeup artist escaped Russia by faking illness with cosmetics? Why is The Body Shop logo green (hint: it has nothing to do with the environment)? Read on for some surprising tidbits about beauty brands you probably have on your dressing table right now.
Why is The Body Shop logo green?
I always thought that the iconic green shade of The Body Shop paid tribute to the environment but the truth is far more prosaic. When Dame Anita Roddick founded the first The Body Shop store in the 1970s, it developed a bad mold – and dark green was the only colour that covered it up. A happy coincidence for the Brit brand whose products are derived from natural materials and inspired by things Roddick discovered on her various trips around the world.
The founder of Revlon was Charles Revson – not Charles Revlon, as is commonly believed. So why Revlon and not Revson? He partnered with a chemist, Charles Lachman, to develop the line’s first product – a nail polish.
What does Lakmé have to do with French musicals?
Lakmé, India’s very first beauty brand (and one that we will be hearing about a lot across the world soon!), was born in 1952 as a joint venture between the Tata Group and the French cosmetic house Renoir. During the discussions, one of the young members on the Renoir team mooted the name ‘Lakmé’ – inspired by an opera running in Paris at that time, which was titled Lakmé and whose story was set in India. It was about three Frenchmen fighting the British soldiers in the Sunderbans, West Bengal, who sought refuge in a temple. The temple was of Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth) and it was a derivation of this name that led to ‘Lakmé’.
Benefit-ting the strippers… !
San Francisco-based BeneFit Cosmetics developed one of their most popular products, BeneTint, at the behest of a stripper who requested a potion to make her nipples look more pink!
Maximilian Faktorowitz – who would later be known as Max Factor – played his greatest makeup trick on himself. Although he was the official makeup artist to the royal court in Russia, Max was Jewish and needed to escape the country with his wife and kids. But since he was under constant surveillance, this was a huge challenge. So, thanks to a brilliant makeup job, Max convinced the royal doctor that he had jaundice. This got him permission to recuperate in a resort town, from where he fled the country.