Hollywood's relationship with the beauty industry

It's both under the radar and in your face

Greta Garbo's beauty was legendary. It earned her the adoration of audiences and captivated even Adolf Hitler, who allegedly implored her to go to Germany to become the mother of his Aryan race. But Garbo owed her luminous onscreen presence to more than her flawless skin and bone structure: Her secret weapon was Max Factor Silver Stone #2 makeup, which made her literally shimmer on film.

In much the same way that Garbo preferred to stay out of the spotlight, however, the working relationship between Hollywood and the beauty industry is subtler than one might expect.

"Many times (MAC Cosmetics) is there, and we may get a credit at the end of the film, or we may be in the literature, but we're there very discreetly," says John Demsey, group president of Estee Lauder Companies, parent company of MAC. "We're not there in a very sponsorship sort of way, because the relationship is very real and functional."

Indeed, one isn't likely to hear about it, but makeup artists relied heavily on MAC products for some of this summer's studio fare, including New Line's "Sex and the City," Paramount's "The Love Guru," Fox's "What Happens in Vegas" and Warner Bros.' "Get Smart."

But such collaborations do sometimes make headlines, with products developed for specific projects making it all the way to the retail market.

"Sometimes these things actually become promotional activities or tie-ins of the brand itself," Demsey says. "When (2001's 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch') was done, we hosted the opening party in New York City and actually created an Angry Inch lipstick for Hedwig."

Similarly, celebrity eyebrow guru Anastasia Soare, creator of Anastasia Beverly Hills, invented her famed brow kit for her entertainment clients who were shooting on location.

"I had clients, and they would go on the set for a movie, let's say, in Canada for three months, and they would be panicking, like, 'Who is going to do my eyebrows?' " Soare recalls. "So I (would cut) a stencil just with the shape of their eyebrows and then (add instructions for) the makeup artist on how to do it. Then I thought, Maybe some women are out there at home, maybe in Oklahoma, and I am not there -- maybe I should make a kit and sell it and they could do this at home."

High-definition technology has also resulted in the development of specialized cosmetics, like MAC's Airbrush line, which features micronized particles.

"Micronized milling is the finest, smoothest process possible, making foundation and powder appear to look like they are one with the skin," MAC makeup artistry director Gregory Arlt explains. "With HD, you need the skin to appear flawless and makeup-free, even when makeup is applied. Micronized foundations and powders achieve that perfectly."

MAC's not alone in the HD market. Competitors include Cargo's Blu-ray Collection, which is used on the set of FX's "Dirt" and Showtime's "Weeds."

But there are instances in which the beauty and entertainment industries' impact on each other -- and the viewing public -- are far more visible.

Fashion models once ruled as spokespeople for beauty companies, but actresses -- such as Cate Blanchett (for SK-11), Courteney Cox (for Kinerase) and Kate Hudson (for David Babaii for WildAid, which she is also a co-founder) -- have largely taken their place.

"If you have beautiful skin as a celebrity, you can really affect what people buy as far as skin care," says Dr. Garth Fisher, the original plastic surgeon featured on ABC's "Extreme Makeover."

The same is true of Fisher's field. Since "Makeover," the subject of plastic surgery has been a consistent draw, spawning such shows as FX's "Nip/Tuck" and E!'s "Dr. 90210." And who can forget Fox's 2004-05 series "The Swan," with its big reveal?

"I thought we really raised the plastic surgery IQ of America," says Fisher, a nose, face and breast specialist. "I thought we did it in a very professional way, a very sensitive way," he says, noting that after the show, the number of plastic surgery and cosmetic dental procedures in the U.S. increased significantly.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of cosmetic procedures, including everything from tummy tucks to Botox injections and laser hair removal, jumped from roughly 7 million in 2002 to about 11.5 million in 2005. Interestingly, the numbers have changed very little since 2005, with 11.7 million procedures being performed in 2007.

The temptation to lift and tighten can be overwhelming for Hollywood's famous faces, especially with the advances the beauty industry has seen over the last couple of decades, from injectables to laser resurfacing.

The goal is "moderation with everything," Soare says.

But moderation is difficult to achieve in the harsh light of constant media attention.

"(Celebrities) can't even go on a vacation and be in a bikini without getting photographed," notes celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger, who served as lead judge on Season 1 of Bravo's "Shear Genius." "I think that would be very hard."

"The media is everywhere, from magazines to blogs," says Lea Journo, creative director of the Beverly Wilshire's Lea Journo the Salon, who helps her famous clients achieve the look they need by consulting thoroughly about their projects.

"Let's not forget that celebrities belong to a dream," Journo says, "and we are here to shape it."


Four image-making pros on Hollywood’s speed dial

Britt Bardo
Celebrity stylist and designer

Down-to-earth Detroit native Britt Bardo began her career as a photographer in New York, eventually moving to Los Angeles, where she started working as a celebrity stylist. She counts among her clients some of Hollywood's highest-profile leading ladies, from Cameron Diaz to Kate Hudson. Now she's branching into fashion design with the high-end but laid-back line Rose. "We used a lot of silks, a lot of silk habitai, a lot of modal cashmere," Bardo says of Rose, which she began with fellow stylist Jewels Steger and unveiled in April with a chic soiree atop the Hollywood Roosevelt. "The philosophy behind it is that it looks just as good as it feels."

Dr. Garth Fisher
Plastic surgeon, face, nose and breast specialist

Board-certified Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Garth Fisher, who was featured on ABC's "Extreme Makeover" series, is responsible for many of Hollywood's refreshed famous faces. But, of course, who those faces belong to is a guarded secret. "It's a really gratifying feeling knowing my celebrities aren't on AwfulPlasticSurgery.com. I like that people don't really know. That to me is the most important thing," he says. Also high on his priority list are the potential patients he turns away. "I love saying no. I turn down probably 40% of the people who come in this office. ... I've got to do a great job, and I've got to be honest with patients; after that I go to sleep at night, and I don't worry about a thing."

Sally Hershberger
Celebrity hairstylist and founder and creative director of Sally Hershberger Supreme Head

Celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger is responsible for the hair equivalent of the face that launched a thousand ships: the shag haircut sported by Meg Ryan in 1995's "French Kiss." "For (1994's) 'When a Man Loves a Woman,' I gave her a choppy bob," Hershberger recalls, "and then after that, I did 'French Kiss,' which really made her haircut famous because it was the first time a girl had worn short, messy hair. People had short hair, but it was never messy, which made it really sexy, and that's why people went crazy over it." Hershberger's prodigious client list includes Ryan (naturally), Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, whose head she shaved for 1996's "Mission: Impossible" -- when "guys didn't have their heads shaved." But for those who can't pony up the $800 Hershberger charges for a cut, there's her new line, Supreme Head, which features -- of course -- Shagg Spray.

Anastasia Soare

Celebrity brow expert and creator of Anastasia Beverly Hills

Known to most simply as Anastasia, this "definitive brow expert" emigrated to the U.S. 19 years ago from Romania, where she studied art, design, architecture and construction. "I came here, and I started doing facials and body waxing," she recalls, "and I couldn't believe that nobody was doing eyebrows." Tapping into her design background, she began to study the bone structures of different ethnicities, seeking to understand the science of the face. "I came up with this technique with eyebrows -- where they should start and where they should end -- which I patented." Since then, she has earned a loyal celebrity following that includes Madonna and Oprah Winfrey. Her own product line, Anastasia Beverly Hills, is sold worldwide and includes her sought-after brow kit, cosmetics and beauty tools.


Then and Now

Brilliant and mind-boggling beauty practices and innovations down through the ages


900s: Prince Li Yu of China's Song dynasty institutes foot binding, condemning generations of Chinese women to painfully deformed feet.

1300s: Late-medieval-era women pluck or even shave their hairlines to achieve a high -- and therefore beautiful -- forehead.

1898: Some attribute the first aesthetic rhinoplasty to John Orlando Roe, who performed one in 1887. But most credit Jacques Joseph, who gave a nose job to a man who felt his nose was so big that he didn't want to be seen in public.

1901: Eugene Hollander performs the world's first facelift in Berlin.

1911: Nivea Creme, generally regarded as the first long-lasting moisturizer, is born, made possible by its groundbreaking emulsifier Eucerit.

1914: Max Factor creates the first makeup specifically for motion pictures.

1920s: Silent film star Louise Brooks popularizes the boy cut.

1937: Max Factor patents the first makeup designed for use in color motion pictures, Pan-Cake Makeup, which would become the go-to makeup for movies.

1962: Silicone breast implants first appear on the market.

1962: Franz Greiter introduces the concept of SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, the numerical scale that measures the effectiveness of sunscreen.

2005: The FDA approves use of the Fraxel laser for skin resurfacing, which rejuvenates aging and sun-damaged skin.
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