The Concept of Color
Max Factor introduced his Color Harmony principle in 1918, stating that blondes, brunettes, brownettes (dark blondes), and redheads all required different colors to look best. In 1935, when the Max Factor building was redecorated in art deco style, he created a room decorated for each of the four types: a peach room for brownettes, pink for brunettes, blue for blondes, and green for redheads.6
In 1916, Max Factor was hired for the first time to supervise the makeup for a movie, Joan the Woman,5 and three years later he made the leap from makeup for the movies to makeup for the masses, releasing his Society Makeup line to the public (by 1927 it was distributed nationwide).7 Howard Smit remembers Max Factor’s shop: It was a little store on South Hill Street, selling metal cans of makeup with his photo on front. In 1928, Max opened a massive new headquarters near Hollywood Boulevard. Shortly after, though the company previously had employed limited advertising and publicity, it agreed to a celebrity endorsement deal with the movie studios. In effect, this meant that Max Factor could use all the top stars in his ads in return for promoting their latest films. It was a huge success, with a dazzling array of actresses advertising the makeup, and has had a lasting impact on the way cosmetics are sold to women today.
In August 1938, Max Factor died at his home in Los Angeles. Soon after, his son Frank, who had worked closely with his father on the business for many years, changed his name to Max Factor Jr. in order to continue the legacy.8 In 1991, Max Factor was sold to Procter & Gamble.