Max Factor


Max Factor & Company is a cosmetics company, founded during 1909 by Maximilian Faktorowicz (1877–August 30, 1938), Max Factor a Polish-Jewish cosmetician. Max Factor & Company was a related, two-family, multi-generational international cosmetics company before its sale in 1973 for $500 million dollars. Presently, the Max Factor name is a popular brand of Proctor and Gamble, which purchased the company in 1991. In the early years of the business Factor personally applied his products to actors and actresses. He developed a reputation for being able to customize makeup to present actors and actresses in the best possible light on screen. Among his most notable clients were Ben Turpin, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, Pola Negri, Jean Harlow, Claudette Colpert, Bette Davis, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland and many others. As a result virtually all of the major movie actresses were regular customers of the Max Factor beauty salon, on Highland Avenue just south of Hollywood Boulevard. It was located just south of the Hollywood Hotel. In 1918 Max Factor completed development of his Color Harmony range of face powder which due to its wide range of shades allowed him to customize and provide more consistent make-up for each individual actor or actress. He created many appearances for these actresses, such as Clara Bows, heart-shaped pierrot lips. Years later, he exaggerated Joan Crawford's naturally full lips to distinguish her from the many would-be stars copying the Clara Bow look he created. He also created shades specifically for them: Platinum (for Jean Harlow), Special Medium (for Joan Crawford), and Dark (for Claudette Colbert). For Rudolph Valentino he created makeup which complemented his complexion, and masked the darkness of his skin on screen. In 1922 while on holiday in Europe with his wife, Factor visited the headquarters of Leichner in Germany for whom he was by now the biggest retailer of their theatrical stick greasepaint, he was snubbed and kept waiting at reception. Upset at this treatment he left and immediately cabled his sons to begin selling his own brand of greasepaint. Up until then Factor had been making his own greasepaint for use on his clients, but had made no attempt to market it while he was representing other brands. Now he concentrated on his own produce which he offered in a collapsible tube, instead of in the stick form used by other producers. His tube greasepaint was not only more hygienic but also could be applied more thinly an evenly. Soon Max Factor 's version was the leading brand. While Max Factor was perfectly happy for the company to remain a specialised supplier of products to the film community his children were convinced that they could grow the company into a much larger enterprise. National distribution began in 1927 when Sales Builders, an established distribution company obtained the rights to advertise, distribute and sell Factor's products. Due to his strong connection with the film community Max Factor was able to use celebrity endorsements in advertising its products. In return for a nominal payment of $1 to the actress the advertising would also promote the star's latest film. The development of Technicolor film required the company to develop a new line of products as its existing Panchromatic make-up left a slight sheen on the skin which reflected surrounding colours. As a result of how bad they looked in colour many actors and actresses refused to appear in colour films. Because Max Factor was recovering from being hit by a delivery van at the time, Frank Factor took the lead over the 2 years that it took to develop a suitable make-up, which initially called the "T-D" and then the "Pan-Cake" series. It was sold in a solid cake form and applied with a damp sponge which offered the advantage of concealing skin imperfections under a transparent matte finish. It's first appearance was in the film Vogues of 1938. It was immediately a hit and its advantages lead to woman stealing it from the film sets and using it privately. Its only disadvantage for every day use was that it could not be used at night as it made the skin too dark under all except under the powerful lights used in film studios. While Max Factor wanted to reserve the product for film use, Frank Factor was open to the commercial possibilities and began developing lighter shades. After Max Factor's death in 1938, Frank Factor took the name Max Factor Jr. and expanded the still private cosmetics firm, along with members of the immediate family including Sidney Factor, Louis Factor, Davis Factor and Max Firestein. Today, the former Max Factor building on Highland Avenue, in Hollywood, is the home of the Hollywood Museum

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Interior of Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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Marsha Hunt in fron of the Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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Interior of the Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
Max FactorInterior of Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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1933
Max FactorMarsha Hunt in fron of the Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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1936
Max FactorInterior of the Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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1933
Max FactorMax Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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1939
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Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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Interior of the Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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Entrance to the Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
Max FactorMax Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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1944
Max FactorInterior of the Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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1959
Max FactorEntrance to the Max Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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1967
Max FactorMax Factor Salon on Highland Ave. in Hollywood
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1975