Circa 1924, Max Factor himself shows Hollywood actress, Louise Fadenza, how to apply lipstick. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What?!

Friends, I hope you're sitting down for this one: Max Factor will soon be leaving our good country -- forever.

The parent company, Procter & Gamble Co., has decided the pull the plug on the brand's US distribution because it has such little market share. (Though in foreign countries like Russia and Japan, it does amazingly well. Weird.)

This news strikes me as an incredibly sad, as it's the end of an era in beauty. Founded in 1909, Max Factor created the only makeup developed for motion picture use. The brand's connection to old Hollywood and its professional makeup artists is the kind of affiliation beauty companies would kill for today.

But it didn't last. Most recently, they brought in the big guns -- makeup artist Pat McGrath and supermodel Gisele Bündchen -- to restore the brand to its former glory, but no dice.

Before the line vanishes in early 2010, I suggest you stock up (below) on its 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper. The mascara delivers such lush, glamorous-looking lashes, McGrath told me Madonna even slipped a tube into her purse after the artist used it on her. I guess it was Max Factor's US swansong.