Pat McGrath Brings Back the World’s Most Iconic Drugstore Makeup Brand

Rachel Krause
Pat McGrath Brings Back the World’s Most Iconic Drugstore Makeup Brand
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Let’s give credit where credit is due: The modern cosmetics industry as we know it owes a hell of a lot to Max Factor. Founded in 1909 by Maksymilian Faktorowicz, a Polish-born businessman who received his Americanized name upon arrival to Ellis Island, the legendary brand was born out of a need for a more versatile alternative to thick greasepaint in the early days of cinema. Factor perfected the formula in 1914, and quickly became a star in his own right as a cosmetics innovator and authority; alongside his son, Frank, the brand flourished, creating the first waterproof makeup and even coining the term “makeup.” For real.

Long story short, the Max Factor brand enjoyed massive success for several decades, but a slow burn of decreased family involvement in the company in the years after Factor’s death, an eventual acquisition by Procter & Gamble, and a failure to appeal to a younger consumer (not even the unfortunately named Maxi collection, marketed towards the makeup-savvy shopper, could get the job done—wonder why) led to its dissolution in the U.S. market by 2009, when it was officially pulled from stores.

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Naturally, fans were left devastated, even going so far as to order Max Factor products from overseas (and on eBay). But if anyone can revive an iconic brand with so much nostalgia attached to its name, it’s the equally iconic makeup artist Pat McGrath, who, as global creative design director for P&G, has been tasked with bringing Max Factor back to the American market. Starting today, you’ll be able to shop a (very) limited selection of the line’s top sellers—a liner, a mascara, and two lipsticks—handpicked by McGrath herself.

“Max Factor is the original glamour brand, the first to bring professional makeup to everyone,” McGrath told Allure of the major release. “With the rise of social media, beauty vloggers, and Instagrammers, inspiration comes from anywhere, and with this renewed interest in makeup artistry, plus the tons of fans demanding the brand’s return to the U.S., Max Factor decided it was the right time to bring back a limited-edition collection.”

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The four products, which you can find online at, Amazon, Walgreens, and Target today, are all priced at $9.99—just as easily accessible to women everywhere as the Max Factor picks of yore. Check them out in the gallery above, and then snag ’em all guilt-free.

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Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Maroon Dust, $9.99; at

Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Simply Nude, $9.99; at

Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Velvet Black, $9.99; at

Max Factor Masterpiece Max High Volume and Definition Mascara in Velvet Black, $9.99; at

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