Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc
Max Factor – The Man Behind The Make-Up
Max Factor born September 15, 1872 was of Polish Jewish decent who worked as a wigmaker and makeup artist for Russian stage productions in the late 1800s. Factor fled the east European pogroms and emigrated to the U.S. in 1902. He found himself in California 10 years later as the motion picture industry took root there.
Max Factor began his career as an apprentice to a wig maker. By the age of 20, he was running his own makeup shop. Before Max Factor, few women used cosmetics. Factor popularized both the word “makeup” and the use of the cosmetic repertoire.
Back in the 1930’s and 40’s, during the glory days of Hollywood, the world of movie make-up was dominated by Max Factor. Creating false eyelashes, the eyebrow pencil, lip gloss, and pancake makeup, Factor created a whole new language for big screen cosmetics.
Inevitably, once the actresses had been made to look so stylish on screen, they wanted to maintain the same effect in everyday life, so they wore the new Max Factor ‘makeup’ in personal appearances.
Soon, women unconnected with the theatre or the film industry were asking for the makeup, so that they too could look glamorous. It was in 1927 that Max Factor introduced his first cosmetics to be sold to non-theatrical consumers.
Max Factor specialized in transforming ordinary people into dazzling stars. Its glory days were with the golden age of the movie studios, when the stars used to provide product endorsements for as little as a dollar. Their glamour rubbed off on Max Factor, and vice versa.
Max Factor developed the celebrity endorsement concept, beginning with Clara Bow in the 1920s. Since then, stars including Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Jaclyn Smith and Denise Richards amongst numerous others have all represented the brand. Many of his celebrity clients also appeared in full-color magazine ads to promote his cosmetics.
The first Celebrity Makeup Ads began with Max Factor Cosmetics. The ads featured movie stars: Judy Garland, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Dorothy Lamor, Susan Hayward and a host of others.
Max Factor is credited with many cosmetic innovations. Some of his innovations were the first motion picture makeup in 1914, lip gloss in 1930, Pan-Cake Makeup, forerunner of all modern cake makeups in 1937, Pan-Stik Makeup in 1948, Erace, the original cover-up cosmetic in 1954, and the first “waterproof” makeup in 1971.
An abbreviated timeline of Max Factor:
1914: Created the first makeup made specifically for motion pictures, a thinner greasepaint made in 12 shades. It was in cream form and packaged in jars, as opposed to the thicker stick grease paints used for theatre.
1920: Developed the “Color Harmony” principles of makeup, which held that “certain combinations of a woman’s complexion, hair and eye coloring were most effectively complemented by specific makeup shades”.
1925: Introduces “Max Factor’s Supreme Nail Polish”, a metal pot of beige-colored powder that is sprinkled on the nails and buffed with a chamois buffer. It gives nails shine and some tint.
1927: Creates “Society Nail Tint”, a small porcelain pot containing rose colored cream. Applied to the nail and buffed, it gives a natural rose color. “Society Nail White” also hits the market. It is a tube of chalky white liquid that is applied under nail tips and left to dry. The end result resembles the modern French manicure.
1928: Developed makeup, made specifically for use in black-and-white films. Max Sr. was awarded an Oscar for this innovation.
1930: Invented Lip Gloss
1932: Developed a line of “Television Makeup”, specifically to meet the needs of television.
1934: Introduces Liquid Nail Enamel, forerunner of today’s nail enamels.
1935: Opened the unique Max Factor Makeup Salon in Los Angeles.
1937: Created PanCake, forerunner of modern cake makeup, originally developed for color films.
1938: Max Factor died at age 59. Max Factor Jr. expands the family run business internationally.
1940: Created Tru Color Lipstick, the first smear-proof lipstick.
1948: Developed PanStik makeup.
1954: Created Erace, the original concealer, and developed a line of cosmetics specifically for color television’s needs. (This line remains the standard for TV makeup.)
1971: Invented the first “waterproof” makeup.
First African American Super Model to represent Max Factor Cosmetics | Beverley Johnson
Max Factor CC Creams
Thank You Max! — in Ode’ to Max Factor.
MAX FACTOR at work applying makeup
The precision in shaping the Brow really is in the steady hand of the Artist and with great tools. Like a Doctor has instruments of accuracy, precision and design so does the Makeup Artist!
Every Makeup Artist of note will tell you about the original Max Factor Fineline Retractable Pen with great veneration and praises. The package contained the original pen and a case if mini colored leads. The lead refills you’d have to purchase separately after buying the pen. Most will say “Why did they discontinue it!! I hate when they do that!!”
I recall my Mum having loads of these in her makeup kit (cause she was the original Brow Queen). I don’t know the actual year they were first created (I’d like to say the 50’s because back then makeup packaging was always gold bling).
Well as modernists we all are looking for the next smart, precise, compact new thing. Today in this era the “Fineline” has taken on a whole new dimension in a marker pen almost like an extremely pointed …dare I say it Sharpe!!
This is the closest this generation is going to come to the OG (Old Glams) Fineline Pen! They’re really not bad…in fact I like them a lot however, there is and was nothing like the Max Factor Pens…sadly…nuff said!
This post is not just about the brow pencil but, brows in general and brow products to give you smartly groomed brows. How do you get that polished brow?
Here are my weapons of choice:
*BE ADVISED THIS IS MY PERSONAL TECHNIQUE*
1) A great canvas (skin)
2) Healthy brow hairs (moist and firm hairs, not dry and brittle hairs. See my previous post on mascara)
3) Brow scissors & Brow Shapers
4) A good pencil, pen or powder
5) A good brow wax (to start training the hairs in place)
6) A good brow gel (to style and finish the brow and in some cases to lighten or darken as a highlight)
7) Jolen Creme Bleach (*optional, if you’d like to tint your brows)
Brow Wax to lay unruly brows down and just train them to line up.
Hands down my current brow pencil of choice is by MAC. But I tell you if Max Factor ever bought Fineline back again Id be considered a defector easily! Sorry I just jave to tell the truth. However of all the brow pencils Ive worked with after Fineline MAC is the only one that I’ve found that gives me that look and feel. BRAVO MAC!!! A word to the wise MAC…dont ever get crazy and decide to change up the formula’s consistency or discontinue the pens, okay?!
Brow Gel Clear and Tinted are my favorite final step to perfect brows. I use them to “stylize” a brow at times meaning, I use different colors to create highlights in the brow much like you would the hair on your head. Why do that, you may ask?
I do it to sometimes lighten up an extremely dark brow to create the illusion of softness. Or I may want to thicken a brow with a slightly darker gel. It all depends on the style of brow you are looking to create.
OK, ladies and gentlemen, there are some looks that are simply UNACCEPTABLE! LET’S GO THERE…I’M GOING TO NEED YOU TO STOP DOING THIS!!!!
When you have your brows well groomed it makes all the difference to your appearance and even outlook. You simply feel better. Here are a few of my brow clients before and after’s. These ladies are some serious power brokers in business and they know what it takes to be taken seriously and look good doing it!