Our Heritage

Explore our timeline and read about the history of Max Factor from 1872 until the present day.


Max Factor is born in Lodz, Russia (now part of Poland) on 5th August. He begins his journey to define glamour through the decades, with his own hair and beauty goods shop in Razan, Russia.


When Max Factor sees a motion picture for the first time, he declares the heavy stage greasepaint to be "terrifying!” As a solution, he creates the first make-up for film, Flexible Greasepaint, to make actors appear more human.


Max Factor introduces the Colour Harmony principle of make-up. A term still used today, make-up shades were coordinated to complement a women’s natural complexion, eye, and hair colouring.


Max Factor invents the word make-up and introduces Society Make-up to the general public; enabling women to emulate the looks of their favourite movie stars.

1928 - April

Lip Pomade, later called lip gloss, is created by Max Factor to provide a glamorous, glossy appearance to movie actresses' lips on film.

1928 - June

Jean Harlow becomes a "platinum blonde", kick starting a coiffure craze. To help solve the Color Harmony problems created by Jean’s light hair colour, Max Factor develops several new make-up shades.


Max Factor builds a Beauty Calibrator to measure the dimensions of a person's facial structure to within 1/100th of an inch. This helps him determine how to use shading to create "the perfect face". He claims he never found perfection!


Pan-Cake Make-up is developed to meet the unique make-up requirements of Technicolor film, as without corrective make-up to provide a natural complexion; actors' faces appeared brick red or blue. When actresses started taking large quantities of Pan-Cake home with them for their personal use, Max Factor realized that his new make-up looked wonderful both on and off camera, so later introduced Pan-Cake to the general retail trade.


Max Factor dies at the age of 66. The family decides his name should live on so his son, Francis takes on the name Max Factor, Jr. He had his father's gift as a creative make-up artist so this is a natural step.


Tru-Color lipstick is developed by Max Factor, Jr. The lipstick offered a high degree of indelibility, and maintained its true color without irritating the skin. This is tested by the Kissing Machine, which replaces human kissers, and applied pressure to artificially kissing lips covered with lipstick, to measure how much pressure and kissing the lipstick could withstand and still remain on the lips.


Pan-Stik make-up was introduced by Max Factor after years of testing in the Hollywood laboratories. Tests included covering models' legs with Pan-Stik and siting them in the sun to observe how the color changed. PanStik was a cream-based make-up in stick form that was designed to be applied "as easily as lipstick", in less than 20 seconds.


Creme Puff Make-up is introduced, the first all-in-one blend of creamy make-up base and powder. Applied with a puff, Creme Puff was applied like powder, but stayed on like cream, and had a smoother look than either.


Erace was introduced to the general public. Originally intended to hide blemishes, lines and shadows from the camera, Erace was the first concealer offered to the retail trade.


Hi-Fi fluid make-up was introduced to the retail trade as a result of research the Max Factor Company had done for color television. Designed to do for color what high-fidelity technology did for sound, the Hi-Fi range featured bright colors for cheeks, lips and eyes and was created for a ‘glowing’ look.


Max Factor unveils the Mascara Wand, the first mascara to be applied with a wand from a tube, rather than a picking up the color from a cake with a brush.


Max Factor Museum opens in former Max Factor Hollywood Make-up Studio at 1666 N. Highland Ave.


Max Factor becomes part of the Procter & Gamble family.


Launching another first; Max Factor introduces 12 hour long-lasting non-transfer lip color, "Lipfinity". Between 2006 and 2008, one is sold every 9 seconds globally; becoming another iconic innovation.


One of the world’s most influential makeup artists, Pat McGrath is signed as Max Factor Global Creative Design Director.


Max Factor launches what is to become its bestselling mascara, False Lash Effect mascara.


Max Factor launches Colour Effect Boutique. From nail polish to eye shadows, this is an exciting new exploration into bright colour cosmetics.

2012 April

Max Factor launches its ultimate glamour tool, Colour Effect Flipstick; an innovative, double-ended lipstick that allows women to become their very own lip artist by mixing, matching and personalizing their own lip colour.

2012 December

Max Factor introduces Glossfinity: Max Factor’s latest nail collection offering a glossy long-wear nail finish. The vibrant palette consists of 26 signature shades: from the cool and sophisticated tones to the more dramatic and bright.