Max Factor innovated and transformed cosmetics from the greasy paints of the early 1900s to the more everyday makeup we are all using today.
The Makeup Legend
The cosmetics company, Max Factor, was founded by the man, Max Factor. At the ripe age of eight, Max began to show his genius for creating beauty. This inborn skill led him to eventually coin the phrase makeup and the genesis of the beauty sensation that followed it.
Born to a humble Jewish family in Poland, Max was unsure of the exact date of his birth; but it is believed to be around the 1870s. Due to the money struggles of his family, he was sent to work in his youth to a local dentist, who also was a lightly practicing doctor. Through this training, Max became fascinated by the human body - leading to his first significant job as the wigmaker and makeup artist for the Imperial Russian Grand Opera.
Due to Polish law, Max eventually spent four years in the Russian Army drafted into the Hospital Corps division. While frustrated to have to separate from a career path he enjoyed, the experience in the medical army field taught him further about the human body and in particular conditions of the skin. After his required four years, he returned to open his own cosmetics shop. The store sold a variety of creams and lotions to improve the skin's beauty, which quickly attracted the attention of the Russian nobility. In time, the hierarchy seized him and essentially transformed him into their cosmetic slave.
Eventually, Max and his family escaped his Russian turmoil and sneaked away to America in 1904. After some initial struggles in his new country, he found himself in California in the heart of the Hollywood glamour. At this time, he founded Max Factor & Co. by offering a small line of theatrical makeup and a sampling of some new makeup types. The movie stars loved his new makeup, as it was more natural and appealing for film work. Through his work in Hollywood, he ultimately became a celebrity himself honored by his receipt of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Max Factor & Co. found its niche in designing modern makeup, initially for stars in Hollywood such as Judy Garland, Jean Harlow and Lucille Ball to name a few. Once the fans observed these stars under the dressing of Max Factor's makeup, they demanded to look just like them. The more the public insisted; the harder Max and his sons worked to innovate and create ideal makeup products in their cosmetic labs. Max's sons eventually took control of the business upon his death.
One of the most renown makeup products that Max created was the original Pan-Cake face makeup. A makeup sensation that was a completely new concept for its time, providing all women the opportunity to create that perfectly smooth complexion, both on and off the screen. By the 1950s, Max Factor the company was in 101 countries worldwide and continuing to supply the cosmetic market with new creations like the mascara wand, concealer, and new formulas in nail polish and fragrances.
The New Max Factor
In the new millennium, Max Factor is now a brand owned by the corporate giant, Proctor & Gamble. Most of its original roots have been lost as the cosmetic market's competition has exploded. While they may have started the makeup revolution, they are just one of the many in the sea of companies today.
The current creative leader at the New Max is the British expert makeup artist Pat McGrath. The makeup is still popular with celebrities, particularly supermodels. The new spokeswoman at Max Factor is Carmen Eclecta, a woman with definite natural flair. The newest product line is advertised as bold and "diva driven."
Current Makeup Products
- MAXeye Shadows
A great example of their bold new color palette is found within their shadow assortment. These eye shadows come in sets of three mix or match colors. They can be applied dry for a more subtle color or wet for a stronger diva look. The colors are fashionable combinations of pinks, blues, purples and naturals.
Max Factor's version of the newest trend in lipstick, strong long-wearing color. Advertised as semi-permanent lip color, this product is applied in a two step process with color and gloss separate - designed to last up to ten hours.
- 2000 Calorie Mascara
The one time you want to fatten up a body part is with your mascara. As the name suggests, this mascara will load on the pounds to your lashes. Touch proof design, washes off easily with soap and water.
- Pan-Cake Makeup
Believe it or not, the product that revolutionized Max Factor is still part of their current product line. A design that is truly practical even in today's beauty cosmetic selection, Pan-Cake style face makeup goes on smoothly with an easily adjustable coverage - apply either lightly for all over treatment or thicker on those trouble spots.