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Sunday, May 12, 2013


MAX FACTOR - Makeup Artist

Born Aug. 5, 1877 in Lodz, Poland Died @ age 61 Aug. 30, 1938 in Beverly Hills, CA

Max Factor was Hollywood's foremost makeup artist. Born in Lodz, Poland (then part of Russia), Factor went to work at the age of 7. At 11, he became an apprentice to a wig maker and a cosmetician. Dissatisfied with the opportunities in Europe, he brought his family to America in 1904. When Factor arrived in Los Angeles, old-fashioned stage makeup was being used for film — with limited success. Factor's revolutionary new cosmetics and wigs were an immediate success.

The heavy demand for his services forced him to move from his cramped quarters at 12th Street and Central Avenue to the old Pantages Theatre building, and later to Third and Hill streets. This latter place became the rendezvous of stars of the silent screen — Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Francis X and others. Max had his own salon in Hollywood, just off Hollywood Blvd.

As film improved in definition, Factor kept pace by improving his cosmetics to meet the demand of the camera's critical eye. He later developed a special makeup called Pancake for technicolor film and television. He coined the words "makeup" and "lip gloss". His great grandson's created the Smash Box cosmetic line.

The Max Factor cosmetic line is now owned by Procter and Gamble.

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"Being a makeup artist is not only about applying makeup. It’s about everything around you, people, places, colors, all the things that inspire and affect your life."