Max Factor - Early YearsWith 10 children, the Faktor parents could not afford formal education for their children, so at the age of eight Max was placed in an apprenticeship to a pharmacist. Years of mixing potions for the pharmacy instilled in Max a fascination with cosmetics.
Max Factor's First ShopEventually, Max Factor opened his own shop in a suburb of Moscow, selling hand-made rouges, creams, fragrances, and wigs. A traveling theatrical troupe bought and wore Factor's make-up while performing for Russian nobility, and a new door to fame and fortune opened wide for Max. The Russian nobility appointed Factor the official cosmetic expert for the royal family and the Imperial Russian Grand Opera.
1904 World's FairIn 1904, Max Factor and his family moved to the United States. He had an opportunity in St. Louis at the 1904 World's Fair, to sell his rouges and creams. Max Faktor was now Max Factor, the name given to him at Ellis Island by immigration officials.
Star-struck and Star-crossedLife in America, had Max Factor dreaming of movie actors and actresses using his makeup and wigs. He moved his family to Los Angeles in 1908. In 1914, Max Factor created a makeup specifically for movie-actors that, unlike theatrical makeup, would not crack or cake.
Soon movie stars were filing through Max Factor's makeup studio, eager to sample the "flexible greasepaint" while producers sought Factor's human hair wigs. He allowed the wigs to be rented to the producers of old westerns on the condition that his sons were given parts as extras. His sons would keep an eye on the expensive wigs.