In Hollywood's Golden Age, when it came to make-up only one name was on the lips of the silver screen stars. That name was Mr Max Factor, a visionary make-up artist, wig maker and inventor, Max Factor was known for creating the signature looks of the era’s most famous icons such as Ava Gardner, Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich. But he believed that glamour should be within reach of all women.
Max Factor was born in Russia and emigrated in 1914 to America, settling in LA to be closer to the budding film industry. Word of Max Factor’s expertise quickly spread and he was soon working with Hollywood’s leading film stars and making his own cosmetic products for a glamorous but realistic look on screen.
In 1916 he started selling eye shadow and eyebrow pencils. This was the first time such products were available outside the movie industry. Four years later he launched a full range of cosmetics, calling it “make-up” – a phrase he coined. The make-up products and techniques Max Factor created for the movie industry and his Hollywood clients earned him an Oscar, but his guiding philosophy was that any woman could be glamourous given the right tools and make-up artstry skills.