In honor of Father’s Day here in the US we’re revisiting the story of Max Faktor the “father” of modern cosmetology.
From Faktor to Factor
Did you know that the creator of the Max Factor line was really named Maksymilian Faktorowicz? He was born in Poland in 1877 and by the age of 20 Max was selling handmade rouges, fragrances and wigs. His talents were so renowned that the Royal family allowed him to do makeup for the ballerinas at the Opera and Ballet House. He came to the US in 1902 where he changed his name from “Faktor” to “Factor” and by 1904 he was selling lotions and hair care products at the St. Louis World’s Fair.
The creator of make up
In 1914 he created the first line of grease paint products designed for motion picture stars. In just a few short decades, Jean Harlow, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, and virtually all of the major movie actresses were regular customers of the Max Factor beauty salon, located near Hollywood Boulevard. In the 1920s he developed a new line of color cosmetics for use in the new field of color motion pictures. In fact, he is credited with coining the word “makeup.”
Max and Oscar
In 1928 he was awarded a special technology Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his make up inventions. (Imagine that – a cosmetic chemist winning an Academy Award!)
Selling like hotcakes
In the 1930’s he developed the first powder makeup in solid form, also known as Pancake Makeup, for film stars. When he made it available to the general public, Pancake Makeup became one of the biggest selling products in the history of the cosmetic industry.
Image credit: http://umami.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341d6c2753ef011571563a72970b-800wi