May 7, 2012

Vintage Makeup: Max Factor Grease Paint

What do I mean by vintage makeup?
I went to my local antique shop yesterday, just to browse. I ended up discovering a display case full of different vintage makeup products! Ever since I saw Lisa Eldridge's vintage makeup video I had wanted to start my own collection. It's hard to come across vintage makeup that is at a reasonable price. That's why I was so excited when I snagged this Max factor "Grease Paint" for only $5! 

I just think it's amazing how far makeup has come. I'm sure that the everyday lady didn't use greasepaint. It was far too thick an unpractical for daily use. It was used for theater, I believe. It smells so old!  Yeah, i had to touch it, I promise I won't put it on my face, haha.

The Front States:
"Max Factor's Supreme Grease Paint,  
Max Factor Makeup Studio
Hollywood, California
Made in U.S.A.
Net Contents: 2-3/8 OZS."

The shade is 7A

The Back States:
Max Factor's Grease Paint
"The use of cold cream before applying is never necessary. Simply dab on sparingly. Then spread greasepaint thinly and evenly until a light 'skin stain' effect is obtained. The purity of this product is backed by more than a quarter of a century of unmatched leadership in serving the makeup needs of the theatrical profession"

I like how they say the product was "backed by more than a century of unmatched leadership". I wish that products nowadays would be that true! I'm not sure what era this particular tube is from, but I'm guessing maybe somewhere in the 1940s?  

What was Greasepaint?
In 1914, Max Factor released a cream greasepaint designed for the motion picture industry, that came in a jar. In the 20s, he marketed  ‘Supreme Greasepaint’.  It originally came in twelve graduated shades but increased to thirty-one shades because of its popularity.  Factor changes the packaging to collapsible tubes, because he considered it to be more convenient and sanitary. Many other brands copied his "greasepaint tube" idea after.

I would love to start collecting more of these. Hopefully I will come across a jarred greasepaint! I think that tube foundation is a good idea. It's strange how most foundations come in bottles, because it's so hard to get that last bit of product out. We need more tube foundations! ;)

I've been dying to try some present-day Max Factor products, but they aren't available in the U.S. I'll have to order some online. I've heard that the 2000 calorie mascara is amazing. 


  1. Max Factor was a genius, I collect early Max Factor, Elizabeth Arden was cheaper in the 1930'/ 40's

  2. It seems we have the same fetish. I have a huge vintage makeup/beauty museum collection. I display it once a year and teach a 3 day workshop called 200 Decades of Beauty.
    Donna Mee

  3. I purchased Maxfactor Products online from Awesome bazar. Awesome Bazar provides best competitive prices product and fast delivery process . Really very nice service of awesome bazar, Awesome bazaar best Shopping destination. Find At

  4. I have bunch of vintage makeup but I have never looked into its value. Where can I look?

  5. I have a lot of Max Factor old vintage face powder, grease paint unopened, and lots more I would like to get offer's on them if anyone is interested and also the very very old box. Thanks, Denise

  6. I used a lot of MF when I started doing theatrical MU around 1978! I still remember the smell of the tube creme mascara (as in oil-paint type tube).

  7. Unknown-- I am interested!

  8. Hi
    Can I use your fantastic photo of the tube of flexible greasepaint for an short piece on Max Factor on an website for the Arts Society in the UK?


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