In a town where day spas are as ubiquitous as Starbuck’s, it’s hard to comprehend that before Hollywood “makeup king” Max Factor headquartered his cosmetic empire in this grand Art Deco building in 1935 and created the signature looks of Hollywood’s most famous actresses here, women who went out to have their makeup done were considered “hussies.” Now restored to its original glory, the museum re-creates the Hollywood of popular imagination. The main floor, with its vivid pink lobby, focuses on Factor’s cosmetic wizardry, displaying the original makeup in glass cases and admitting you to the rooms where he turned Marilyn into a blonde and Lucy into a redhead. Props, costumes, scripts, awards and vintage posters and photos bring other aspects of Old Hollywood to life on three more floors. Special exhibits, such as a Marilyn Monroe tribute that opened in 2013 and proved so popular that it was extended to August 2014, occupy the second floor. Head to the basement for creepy stuff like Boris Karloff’s mummy and Hannibal Lecter’s jail cell. The museum also has a library, a screening room, an education center and a gift shop.
- Frommer's Staff