“The makeup of makeup artists.”
We’re guessing you’re all very familiar with the Max Factor brand (unless you have been living under a rock). One of the world’s most famous and respected makeup brands, this well-known line of cosmetics is everywhere. Max Factor is probably one of the most recognised beauty brands sold in cosmetics stores in the UK, competing with the likes of Rimmel, Revlon and L'Oréal. And it’s hard not to notice the TV commercials and huge billboards, featuring flawless women flaunting a beautiful, understated look.
Loved by MUAs all over the globe, Max Factor specialises in high-quality makeup that creates a perfect, unblemished finish while being incredibly long-lasting.
Max Factor – The History
What you may not know is that Max Factor has been around for 112 years! It was founded as Max Factor & Company in 1909 by Maksimilian Faktorowikz; a beautician from Russia. Originally specialising in movie makeup, the cosmetics company was owned and run by several generations of the Faktorowikz family, before being sold in 1973 for 500 million US Dollars. If you are interested in the story behind this iconic brand, read on to find out more.
1904 – Where it all started
Factor emigrated from Poland to the US in 1904, and moved to Los Angeles along with his family. Living right in the heart of the City of Angels, he recognised an opportunity to provide wigs and theatrical makeup to the growing movie industry. As well as producing and selling his own products, he also became the main West Coast distributor of leading theatrical makeup manufacturers; Leichner and Minor.
1914 – Hollywood’s Golden Age
In the early days of film-making, the makeup left something to be desired. The stick form ‘grease paint’ products were too thick and cakey, and the colours did not work well on screen. Factor began to experiment with alternative compounds in an effort to develop a new range of products that would be suitable for film. By 1914, his first product had been perfected, and he soon became one of the most well-known names, working with Hollywood’s leading film stars.
In the early years of his business, Factor applied his products personally to movie stars, and gained a reputation for creating a customized makeup look that presented actors and actresses in the best possible light while on camera. He gained an extensive client list, which included notable names such as Jean Harlow, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Judy Garland. As a result of his rise in popularity, practically all of the major movie stars of that time were regular customers of Max Factor beauty salon, which was located near Hollywood Boulevard. When it came to makeup, there was only one name on the lips of silver screen stars.
1918 - Colour Harmony
By 1918, Factor had developed a new range of face powder which allowed him to create customised and consistent makeup looks for the era’s icons due to its wide range of shades. ‘Colour Harmony’ was a makeup sensation. He created shades specifically for each actor and actress, developing signature looks unique to the individual which were quickly recognised by fans.
1920 - ‘To make up’ (one’s face)
In 1920, Factor took the advice of his son, Frank, and began to officially refer to his cosmetic products as ‘makeup’. Up until that point, the term ‘cosmetics’ was more favourable, as the term ‘makeup’ was considered vulgar and not used in polite society.
1922 - Greasepaint innovation
While Factor was on holiday in Europe with his wife, he decided to visit the German headquarters of Leichner. At the time he was the main distributor and retailer of their theatrical stick-greasepaint range. After been treated rudely in the reception area, Factor immediately cabled his sons and instructed them to begin selling his own brand of greasepaint. Up until that point, he had used his product on his own clients, but had decided not to market it while he was representing the similar products of other brands.
He began to concentrate on the development of his greasepaint brand, which was offered in a tube rather than stick-form. The tube-form proved to be incredibly successful as it could be applied more thinly, as well as being more hygienic than the stick variety. Max Factor quickly became the leading brand of greasepaint, leaving Leichner lurking in the shadows.
1927 - Max Factor goes global
By the late 1920s, Max Factor was becoming well known outside of the film community, and Factor’s children were convinced that the company had huge potential. Though he was satisfied to remain as a supplier of products to the film industry, Factor’s sons Frank and Davis persuaded him to grow the business into a much larger enterprise. In 1927, established distribution company Sales Builders obtained the rights to advertise, distribute and sell Max Factor products on a national scale.
Suddenly, women were able to emulate the looks of their favourite movie stars at home.
Factor used his strong connection to the film industry to his advantage, and was able to use celebrity endorsements to advertise his products. The advertising campaigns would also promote the latest films of the actresses modelling the products, so it was a win-win situation!
1929 – Panchromatic makeup
Up until this stage, theatrical makeup had been designed for use in black and white movies. As the film industry developed, it was necessary for changes to be made to the makeup used. The new Panchromatic film noticeably darkened skin tones on screen, therefore Max Factor products went through 6 months of intensive development to create makeup that would be compatible with this new environment. In 1929, Panchromatic makeup was born.
1935 – Pan-Cake
The introduction of Technicolor film necessitated the need for more product development. The existing panchromatic makeup left a reflective sheen on the skin, causing many actors and actresses to refuse to appear in colour films. It took two years for Max Factor to develop a new line of products that were suitable for this type of film. Primarily sold as ‘T.D’ and later re-branded as ‘Pan-Cake’, the makeup was offered as a solid cake form and applied with a damp sponge. The result was a transparent, matte finish that blurred and concealed imperfections, perfect for on-screen but also suitable for day-to-day wear.
Pan-Cake took off immediately, with many women stealing it from film sets to use at home! Frank Factor recognised the commercial possibilities and began to develop lighter shades, as the theatrical version could not be used at night unless under powerful film studio lighting. Pan-Cake was first used in the movie ‘Vogues of 1938’, and later in The Goldwyn Follies, both of which helped Max Factor to commercially release the product to the public. It instantly became a hit, and remains the fastest-selling single makeup item to date.
1938 – Max Factor’s death
After the death of his father, Frank Factor took the name of Max Factor Jr, and expanded the business along with members of his immediate family.
1940 – Tru Colour
In 1939, development began for a smear-proof lipstick whose colour wouldn’t fade over time. The company even developed a ‘kissing machine’ to test the product's resistance to fading! The lipsticks were launched in 1940 offering six shades of red.
1947 – ‘Pan-Stik’
After working tirelessly for 26 months, Max Factor Jr launched a cream stick-form makeup which had been designed to adapt to the latest changes in studio lighting. The formula was lightweight and non-greasy as well as easy to apply. It was released to the public the following year and became an immediate success.
1951 – Range expansion
Max Factor expanded their range to offer male grooming products, including shampoo, deodorant, aftershave and shaving foam. In the same year, Max Factor Colour TV Makeup was released, in-line with the introduction of colour television. It quickly became the standard makeup for use in colour television.
1955 – Fragrance launch
The huge commercial success of their beauty products drove Max Factor to expand their range further and launch their own fragrance; ‘Electrique’. With a spicy, floral aroma, Electrique’s commercial success led the company to launch a second fragrance; ‘Primitif, three years later. They would continue to expand this popular range of fragrances over the next two decades, during which time hundreds of thousands were sold.
1965 – Geminesse
Max Factor Jr established a new line of makeup, skincare products and fragrances which were sold by uniformed beauty consultants in department stores. The packaging differed from the rest of the Max Factor range, and was inspired by and designed to resemble Greek Goddesses.
1976 – Norton Simon merger
The 1970s saw some big changes for Max Factor, with many third-generation family members resigning to pursue other interests. The company merged with Norton Simon in 1973, and by 1976, no immediate family members were remaining on the board.
Several new products were launched, including ‘Maxi’, a product range aimed at younger consumers. Maxi was priced and marketed to compete with the likes of CoverGirl, and was sold in drug stores and grocery stores.
1986 – Bought by Revlon
The company was bought by Ronald Perelman of Revlon for $500 million, and a few years later became part of the Procter & Gamble family, who bought the business for $1.5 billion.
2010 – Discontinued in America
By 2010, Procter & Gamble decided to discontinue Max Factor in the US, instead focusing on their CoverGirl line, which was more successful at the time.
2018 – Max Factor Re-born
The popularity of Max Factor products continued to rise overseas, and in 2015 the brand was purchased by US beauty giants Coty, Inc for $12 billion. Coty, Inc re-launched the Max Factor brand in 2018, and their products are once again sold in the US, much to the delight of their consumer fans.
Max Factor – The Range
“You are not born glamorous, glamour is created.” Max Factor
From mascara to foundation, eye shadow to lip gloss – Max Factor put the transformative tools for make-up artistry into the hands of the everyday woman, enabling her to create her own personal glamour statement every day.
As well as creating revolutionary products specifically for the film industry, Max Factor is attributed with many notable cosmetic innovations, which have changed the beauty industry for the better.
In the 1920s, ‘Max Factor’s Supreme Nail Polish’ was created, which was a pot of beige powder sprinkled on the nails and buffed with chamois butter to create a subtle tint and shine. Later, ‘Society Nail Tint’ and ‘Society Nail White’, were developed. The Nail White consisted of a chalky white liquid applied under the nail tips, designed to create a ‘French Manicure’ result. Slightly different to our mani-pedis of today, but it was a start!
As well as inventing lip gloss and the first waterproof makeup, Max Factor also created the world’s first wand mascara, replacing the original cake and brush variety. They later went on to launch ‘Lipfinity’ the incredibly popular 12-hour long-lasting lip colour, and its best-selling ‘False Lash Effect’ mascara.
Max Factor Mascara – Iconic first
You didn’t think we were telling you all this for nothing, did you? Max Factor mascaras are consistently renowned for their ability to dramatically amplify and enhance your eyelashes while staying put all day. Their waterproof range is famously long-lasting, and ensures smudge-free peepers for hours on end.
What’s more, Max Factor mascaras start at just £9.99, high-quality products at super affordable prices. What’s not to love?
You don't have to just take our word for it, Max Factor is such an incredible, important brand to the makeup industry, that people would be lost without it. There have been many campaigns over the years for Max Factor, one incredible one being its SS 2015 campaign. Candice Swaenpoel was transformed into the iconic Marilyn Monroe. I think it's fair to say she looked gorgeous and Max Factor did themselves proud, just look at her dramatic eyes; her lashes looked so thick and volumised, who wouldn't want to purchase their mascara after this!
Max Factor have also just named Priyanka Chopra its Global Ambassador / Creative Collaborator, so if that doesn't seal the deal on how amazing Max Factor is, I don't think we will be able to convince you otherwise! Max Factor has grown so fast, and so much since being founded and I think we are all excited to see what they do next!
At FalseEyelashes.co.uk, we are thrilled to be stocking a huge range of Max Factor’s best-selling mascaras, designed to take your lashes to the next level. If you can’t wait to get your mascara fix, click here to head straight to our online store, where you can view our full product collection. Or read on to find out our top picks from the Max Factor range!
Max Factor’s iconic and timeless 2000 Calorie Mascara is a MUA favourite, achieving smooth and perfectly separated clump-free lashes, up to 300% more volume than your bare lashes! The quick-drying and smudge-free formula has been tried and tested all over the world, and will carry you gracefully from day into night without budging.
Are you after the effect of false lashes without the falsies? If so, Max Factor’s cult-classic False Lash Effect Mascara is the one for you. The liquid lash formula doubles the thickness of your lashes, with a bold brush that separates and coats every single lash.
For a professional finish, look no further than Max Factor Masterpiece High Definition Mascara. Featuring a precise brush for an easy and controlled application, the super-pigmented formula creates a striking and professional look.
Bag your new favourite mascara now from our online store, and get FREE 1st Class delivery in the UK when you spend £20 or more!