Who Was Max Factor?


Quick Answer

Max Factor was a Russian emigrant who became a leading make-up artist during Hollywood's golden age, according to Max Factor's website. Max Factor's belief that all women had a right to be glamorous inspired him to create products that everyday women could transform themselves with.

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Full Answer

Born in 1872, Max Factor brought his family to the United States in 1902 to see the St. Louis World's Fair, where he began selling hair goods, greasepaint and imported cosmetics to the local stage actors. Between 1909 and 1914 he moved his family to Los Angeles and began providing make up for the movies. He created some of the most glamorous looks for Hollywood icons such as Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, and Jean Harlow.

In 1927 Max Factor became the first to commercially market cosmetic products such as false eyelashes, eyebrow pencils and eye shadow. He is known for being the first to produce facial skin foundation and the mascara wand, as well as for popularizing the term make-up to describe his products. Known as the father of modern make-up, Max Factor won an Academy Award for his work in the movie industry.

Max Factor died in 1938 at the age of 66. His son Frank, under the name Max Factor Jr., continued to grow his father's cosmetic business until it was sold to Revlon in the 1970s.

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