Procter & Gamble Co. is pulling the plug on the iconic MAX Factor brand early next year, discontinuing US distribution to better focus on the growing CoverGirl line.
End of an era
There would be no makeup without MAX — that is to say he coined the term “makeup,” based on the verb, “to make up” (one’s face).
The company pioneered contemporary cosmetics back in the golden years of film and TV, *inventing* lip gloss in 1930, introducing Liquid Nail Enamel in 1934 (a predecessor of today’s nail enamels), inventing cake makeup in 1937 (called Pan-Cake), Tru-Color Lipstick in 1940 (the first smudge-proof lipstick), the first concealer in 1954 (called Erace), the first waterproof makeup in 1971 and even introduced the principles of Color Harmony, which held that “certain combinations of a woman’s complexion, hair and eye coloring were most effectively complemented by specific makeup shades.”
Factor dominated Hollywood makeup artistry back in the 1920s-1930s, decorating virtually all of Hollywood’s leading ladies — Jean Harlow, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Judy Garland. His name appeared on film credits galore.
But time marched on; competition got tougher; the pace of innovation at MAX Factor slowed. The ’90s and early 2000s weren’t kind to the brand in America, and the company lost relevance and market share over time.
Today, the lion’s share of the brand’s $1.2 billion in annual sales comes from international markets like Russia and the UK.
Overseas sales will continue, but if you hail from US shores, it may be time to stock up.
I remember wearing their Pan Cake makeup in high school… A girl named Stella sat next to me in class and always looked so elegant applying it from the pan.
And I also remember being really broke in college and finding their 2000 Calorie Mascara at the drugstore. It was one of just a handful of decent drugstore mascaras at the time.
Ah, the memories…
Do you have any stories about the MAX Factor brand? Are you sad or glad to see them go?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,