Max Factor was founded in 1909 by Polish-Jewish Maksymilian Factorowicz (1877-1938). He was a cosmetician from Congress Poland who specialized in movie make-up. The company was owned by several generations of the family until 1973 when it was sold for US $500 million.
Max Factor immigrated to the United States in 1904, together with his family and business and relocated to Los Angeles, California, where he worked in the theatre and film industry. He provided made-to-order wigs and theatrical make-up for movies.
In the early years of movie making, Factor developed grease paint in a stick form and began experimenting with various substances in an effort to do a more suitable make-up with better results for the screen. By the beginning of World War I, he had perfected his first cosmetic product and with this great achievement to his credit, he became the authority in the film industry with movie stars eager to try his product.
In the early years of his business, he personally applied the make-up to actresses and actors. Among his favourites were Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Clara Bow and Judy Garland, but soon all the big movie stars were regular customers at Max Factor Beauty Salon in Hollywood Boulevard.
He soon developed face powders and lipsticks too. In 1920, Factor accepted his son’s suggestions and began referring to his products as ‘make-up’ based on the phrase ‘to make up’ (one’s face). Previously, the term ‘make-up’ was considered vulgar and used by people of dubious reputation and not used by the polite society.
Later on, the brand developed male shampoos, aftershave lotions, perfumes and smear-proof lipsticks.
By the end of 1960 with the introduction of colour television, the company developed Max Factor colour TV make-up, and became the standard for use in colour television, until the arrival of HDTV.
1971 was the year of waterproof make-up. Later, the colourless mascara was released, which then led to the development of the traditional black mascara.
Year after year, Max Factor has never failed to impress us with its mascara formulas. Today, we are introduced monthly to new brands and new mascara technologies for volume and length but Max Factor has always been, and will always remain, the favourite mascara of make-up artists around the world. False Lash Effect and 2000 Calorie are the ones I always keep in my make-up kit.
Glamour is not something you are born with, it is rather something acquired. Max Factor himself transformed actresses such as Marlene Dietrich and Ava Gardner into timeless icons. Today, Pat McGrath has given the brand a modern twist being their global Creative Director.< Back