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Moment 14: Max Factor, Makeup Master

Max Factor changed beauty rituals forever by bringing eye shadow and eye pencils to the masses in 1914, and inventing lip gloss and false eyelashes.

Max Factor making up Ida Lupino in 1936

Max Factor making up Ida Lupino in 1936.

Photo By Courtesy of Everett Collection

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD 100 issue 11/01/2010

Max Factor arrived in the U.S. from Lodz, Russia, in 1904, and shortly afterward the makeup artist found his way to Los Angeles, where he became a fixture on movie sets, beautifying film stars for the silver screen. In 1916, Factor changed women’s beauty rituals forever and secured his place as the godfather of makeup artistry by being the first to make eye shadow and the eyebrow pencil available to the masses. In 1920 he coined the term makeup—now ingrained in women’s vernacular—and along the way invented false eyelashes, lip gloss and Pan-Cake Make-Up. Shortly after his death in August 1938, WWD wrote of Factor, “He revolutionized screen makeup and wig-making for motion picture people.” He also gave future makeup artists—including François Nars, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Kevyn Aucoin, to name a few—a road map to turn their craft into booming, multimillion dollar businesses.