Friday, June 05, 2009

Max Factor pulls out of the US Market

Pat McGrath. Giselle Bunchen. Carmen Electra. Old Hollywood. These are a few things a beauty company would kill to be repped by.

Alas, Max Factor had all of these trappings but will still pull out of the US market by the beginning of 2010.

What is ailing the 100 year old company? Strong competitor sales. Rival CoverGirl sales continue to rise yearly according to spokeswoman Anitra Marsh, and are nearing $1 billion a year

Proctor & Gamble, which bought Max Factor from Revlon in 2001, has seen worldwide sales of $1.2 billion a year but seems to fare better overseas. The line will continue to be marketed outside of the US.

This brings an end to the company that developed the first makeup for movie stars, and color matched skin tones. Regardless of where we are now with our beauty, For a look at Max Factor's time line and the revolutionary way they influenced beauty worldwide (indeed, coining the term "makeup") check out P&G's site for the history
or pick up the book about the founder.

From my point of view there are a couple of reasons this brand struggled:
  • I remember Pan Stick fondly, as it was what my mother wore. Sadly I don't think formulations kept up with the times, because when I graduated from liquid to semi, I did go back to what was familiar but found it didn't work well for me.
  • I think the last campaigns, while getting great modern talent, featured looks that were too esoteric, too out of reach for the modern woman. It seems Max Factor was trying to woo the makeup artist community, when it really needed to go after the masses.
I have sentimental feelings toward the brand and hate to see it leave. It is a lovely piece of history for US beauty.

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