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After emigrating to the America in 1904 Max Factor moved his family and business to Los Angeles, California, seeing an opportunity to provide made to order wigs and theatrical make-up to the growing film industry. Besides selling his own make-up products he soon became the West Coast distributor of Leichner and Minor, two leading theatrical make-up manufacturers.
During the early years of movie-making, greasepaint in stick form, although the accepted make-up for use on the stage, could not be applied thinly enough, nor were the colours appropriate to work satisfactorily on the screen. Factor began experimenting with various compounds in an effort to develop a suitable make-up for the new film medium. By 1914 he had perfected the first cosmetic specifically created for motion picture use — a thinner greasepaint in cream form, packaged in a jar, and created in 12 precisely-graduated shades. Unlike theatrical cosmetics, it would not crack or cake. It was worn for the first time by actor Henry B. Walthall, who served as the model for screen tests.
With this major achievement to his credit, Max Factor became the authority on cosmetics. Soon, movie stars were eager to sample the "flexible greasepaint".
In the early years of the business Factor personally applied his products to actors and actresses. He developed a reputation for being able to customize makeup to present actors and actresses in the best possible light on screen. Among his most notable clients were Ben Turpin, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, Pola Negri, Jean Harlow, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Judy Garland. As a result virtually all of the major movie actresses were regular customers of the Max Factor beauty salon, located near Hollywood Boulevard.
In 1918 Max Factor completed development of his Color Harmony range of face powder which due to its wide range of shades allowed him to customize and provide more consistent make-up for each individual actor or actress. He created many appearances for these actresses, such as Clara Bow's heart-shaped/pierrot lips. Years later, he exaggerated Joan Crawford's naturally full lips to distinguish her from the many would-be stars copying the Clara Bow look he created. He also created shades specifically for them: Platinum (for Jean Harlow), Special Medium (for Joan Crawford), and Dark (for Claudette Colbert). For Rudolph Valentino he created makeup which complemented his complexion, and masked the darkness of his skin on screen.
In 1920 Max Factor gave in to Frank Factor’s suggestion and officially began referring to his products as "make-up" based on the verb phrase "to make up" (one's face). Up until then the term ‘"cosmetics’’ had been used as the term ‘"make-up" was considered to be used only by people in the theatre or of dubious reputation and not something to be used in polite society.
In 1922 while on holiday in Europe with his wife, Factor visited the headquarters of Leichner in Germany for whom he was by now the biggest retailer of their theatrical stick greasepaint, he was snubbed and kept waiting at reception.[1] Upset at this treatment he left and immediately cabled his sons to begin selling his own brand of greasepaint. Up until then Factor had been making his own greasepaint for use on his clients, but had made no attempt to market it while he was representing other brands. Now he concentrated on his own produce which he offered in a collapsible tube, instead of in the stick form used by other producers. His tube greasepaint was not only more hygienic but also could be applied more thinly an evenly. Soon Max Factor's version was the leading brand.
By the 1920s his sons Davis and Frank were heavily involved in the business, with Davis the general manager and Frank assisting his father in the development of new products.
In 1925 the company received its biggest order to date when it had a complete a rush order to supply 600 gallons of light olive makeup to the set of the movie Ben-Hur to ensure that the skin colour of the extras used in filming undertaken in America would match that of the darker skinned Italian extras in the scenes filmed in Italy.
In 1926 for the film Mare Nostrum Max and Frank Factor developed the first theatrical waterproof make-up.
By the 1920 Max Factor was becoming known outside of the film community, which led to the company in the early 1930s developing an in-house public relations department.


(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Factor) www.maxfactor.com