"The Hollywood Powder Puff War" : Technicolor cosmetics in the 1930s
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This essay examines the rivalry between cosmetics firms Max Factor and Elizabeth Arden in 1930s Hollywood as they competed for dominance in the field of Technicolor cosmetics. This rivalry, dubbed “the Hollywood Powder Puff War” by the press, was far from a trivial skirmish but is discussed here as the site where labor practices, racial constructions, and female identity were contested. Against a backdrop of industrial action in studio makeup departments, I argue that Factor's Technicolor cosmetics line ultimately triumphed over Arden's by reinforcing whiteness as a beauty ideal during the transition from black-and-white to color film.
Dootson , K S 2016 , ' "The Hollywood Powder Puff War" : Technicolor cosmetics in the 1930s ' , Film History , vol. 28 , no. 1 , pp. 107-131 . https://doi.org/10.2979/filmhistory.28.1.04
Copyright © 2016 The Trustees of Indiana University. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at https://doi.org/10.2979/filmhistory.28.1.04
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