Archive for the 'Max Factor' Category

Max Factor Kisses America Goodbye

June 8, 2009

Why is it that when I love a brand or a product, it seems to be discontinued or not available in the US? In my humble opinion, Max Factor is one of the best drugstore brands out there. They make consistently high-quality products that are on par with department store brands, and their mascaras are some of the best out there. I’ve reviewed several Max Factor mascaras for my Mascara Series, and loved every one of them–it’s really a shame their products are being pulled from the US.


“Procter & Gamble Co. is wiping U.S. drug-store shelves clean of its Max Factor cosmetics, a line that isn’t popular enough to hold its own in America anymore.

The storied beauty brand — namesake of Max Factor, the pioneer of Hollywood makeup artistry — will continue to be sold internationally, where it garners most of its $1.2 billion in annual sales. Max Factor ranks among the top brands in strategically important markets such as Russia and the United Kingdom, P&G says.

By pulling Max Factor from U.S. shelves, P&G hopes to focus extra resources on its more promising CoverGirl brand, which the company says has increased its U.S. market share for the past seven years.

P&G bought Max Factor from Revlon in 1991 as part of a billion-dollar cosmetics assets deal meant to build P&G’s share of the mass-market beauty aisles. But under P&G Max Factor never gained the same kind of traction with U.S. shoppers that the all-American, squeaky-clean marketing of CoverGirl secured for that brand.

Meanwhile, retailers, hungry for efficiency in cluttered beauty aisles, became increasingly reluctant to make room for smaller, slower-growing brands.

As the brand was elbowed aside, Max Factor’s presence dwindled in the fiercely competitive mass-market beauty aisles in the U.S. The line is currently sold in fewer than 8,000 U.S. stores — a fraction of CoverGirl’s footprint, which spans an estimated 50,000 stores, a P&G spokeswoman said.

P&G still touts Max Factor as its “fastest-growing brand” in its cosmetics portfolio, albeit abroad. “Max Factor is a strong, profitable brand and remains one of P&G Beauty & Grooming’s key engines for global growth,” said Virginia Drosos, president of global female beauty at P&G.

P&G tried overhauling the Max Factor brand in the U.S. in 2005, upgrading its products and packaging. The company invested in edgy, high-fashion advertising featuring Carmen Electra and, most recently, supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Famed makeup artist Pat McGrath, who serves as creative director for P&G’s beauty brands, has also weighed in on the brand’s direction.

Mass-market cosmetics remain a bright spot for P&G in the recession. Chief Executive A.G. Lafley has repeatedly celebrated how P&G has reaped the benefits of department-store shoppers switching to cheaper options.

“Look at the [falling] retail sales numbers for department stores and specialty channels. My belief is some of that is gone forever, and it’s gone forever because [the consumer] has changed her pattern of shopping,” Mr. Lafley told investors at a conference last week.

Max Factor will begin disappearing from U.S. shelves in early 2010.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Drugstore Discoveries: Max Factor Vivid Impact Lip Color Review & Swatches

May 19, 2009
Max Factor Vivid Impact Lipcolor ($7.99)

Dying for a little splurge but your wallet thinks otherwise? Indulge in some luxe-for-less by checking out Max Factor’s Vivid Impact Lipcolor, available in a designer palette of 20 pure-pigment shades.


I own Vivid Impact Lipcolors in shades 04 Pin Up Pink and 28 Rose Rage, and I must say that while I’d been wanting to try these for awhile as I’d been hearing such good things, I really was surprised by the quality. Max Factors Vivid Impact Lipcolors are gorgeously pigmented with great opacity, creamy, non-drying, and come in a luscious range of bright, fun shades that will make you lips pop.

Swatch of 04 Pin Up Pink

Shade 04 Pin Up Pink is a pale milky pink that’s a little lighter than what I’d usually go for, but really great paired with a neutral eye or a dramatic smoky look. Rose Rage (28) is an easy-to-wear berry pink that literally goes with any and all looks.

Lip Shot of 04 Pin Up Pink

I don’t use many drugstore lip products as I’ve never found any that I’ve particularly liked. They’re usually drying, non-pigmented, have funky flavors, or just don’t come in a particularly exciting range of shades, so Max Factor’s Vivid Impact Lipcolors are a welcome and much-needed addition to my local drugstore makeup aisle. Check them out for yourself! And while you’re at, be sure to test out a few Max Factor mascaras (they’re amazing!) such as their latest 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara (review HERE).

Mascara Series Part 24: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara Review & Photos

March 31, 2009
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara

The Claim: Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper mascara promises extreme lash plumping, plain and simple,by fattening your lashes for a thick, dramatic look.

The Brush: Since its release, many have poo-pooed 2000 Calorie Extreme as being a CoverGirl LashBlast knock-off, myself included, but i was still more than happy to try this after Nicole was sweet enough to send it to me, and I’m so glad that she did! The super-sized brush is indeed quite similar to LashBlast’s, with its rubbery bristles and, of course, massive size. The spacing of the bristles makes for easy coating of each lash, and while the brush can be a bit cumbersome to maneuver, especially for smaller eyes, I do think that it’s manageable once you learn your way around it.



The Formula: At first blush I wasn’t all that wowed by the formula–it was nice but a little natural looking for my liking. BUT one morning I happened to apply one coat of mascara, move away from my vanity to look for my LashBlast to compare, ended up not finding it, then applied a second coat of 2000 Calorie Extreme over the now dry first coat, and va-va-va-vom! Serious serious volume–I’m talking luscious, thick, fat lashes that you just can’t stop admiring. 2000 Calorie Extreme isn’t all that exceptional in terms of length and curl (mediocre length, not so great curl), but the volume is just killer and makes the macara worth checking out for that aspect alone. Sadly I do experience just a little bit of flaking with this, but it’s nothing too unbearable.

LOVE the volume!


The Verdict: If you’re pretty set in the length and curl departments and are just looking for some seriously dramatic volume, Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper is the mascara for you!

RATING: 3.75/5

RELATED POSTS:
Read Parts 1-23 of the Mascara Series here! I’ve also added a “Mascara Series” tab up top so you have easy access to it at all times!

Mascara Series Update: Max Factor Volume Couture Waterproof Review & Photos

March 24, 2009

This is more of an update than an actual review, since I’ve already reviewed Max Factor’s Volume Couture High Volume and Definition Mascara HERE, and you already know that I happen to think it’s absolutely fantastic. A sweet fellow blogger (Digital Angel) was kind enough to send me the waterproof version, and I was more than happy to give it a try.


I do prefer the non-waterproof version for dramatic length and volume, but the waterproof version provides some gravity-defying curl to even the most stubborn of lashes. Check out what it did for my lashes!




Since this is a waterproof mascara it’s a bit of a pain to remove, but not nearly as stubborn as many of the Japanese mascaras that I’ve reviewed. This is literally the only mascara that hasn’t smudged on my mother, so I’ve passed it onto her and she loves it!

One Week Only: Be The First To Plump Your Lashes!

December 2, 2008


Max Factor’s newest release, 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper, is currently available online for one week only (sorry so late lol–but you have through today to get it!)! While I was pretty excited to see this e-mail (I think everybody’s noticed I have a bit of a mascara obsession by now) I’m disappointed to see that the wand looks just like Cover Girl’s Lash Blast, which I have and am not all that crazy about. I’ll probably end up testing this at some point though!
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Mascara Series Part 11: Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume and Definition Mascara Review and Photos

November 3, 2008
Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume & Definition Mascara (around $7.50)

I know I promised you this review ages ago and I’m just not getting to it. Things have been a little crazy around here and there have just been so many other great products to review that this has constantly been shoved onto the back-burner but here it is at last!

The Brush: Max Factor’s Lash Perfection Mascara utilizes the same iFx brush technology that their wonderful Volume Couture mascara does, minus the volumizing micro-channels, and is ideal for achieving great definition and reaching every last lash. There are a million tiny little silicone-y bristles that are great for separating and lengthening each lash, and also great for poking yourself in the eye and doing some serious damage (I speak from experience).


The Formula: Lash Perfection smudges a little onto my underye area during the course of the day, but there’s zero flaking and the smudging is minimal enough to be forgivable. The formula is great for building length and all around pretty decent. This was actually my favorite drugstore mascara before discovering Max Factor’s Volume Couture mascara, but read down below and you’ll see why I’m not as enthuastic in my review of this as I once would have been.

The Verdict: This mascara is really quite good and better than many department store mascaras I’ve tried, but it just can’t live up to the fabulosity of its sibling, Volume Couture. Max Factor’s Volume Couture volumizes, lengthens to no end, never clumps, flakes, or smudges and is just all around an amazing mascara. If you’re stuck choosing between the do, I’d definitely recommend going with the Volume Couture. You get the same definition that Lash Perfection can give you, but with the added bonus of greater length and volume!




RATING: 3.5/5

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Mascara Series Part 9: Max Factor Volume Couture High Volume and Definition Mascara Review and Photos

September 1, 2008
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Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture High Volume & Definition Mascara ($7.49 give or take a few dollars)

This installment of the Mascara Series is extra special because Brittany from Clumps of Mascara and I are both reviewing the same mascara on the same day! It’s always great to encounter a fellow mascara addict, and B definitely fits the mold (plus she’s incredibly sweet). Hop on over to her blog to check out her review (and all her other great Mascara Monday posts!). Thanks so much for suggesting we do this! The Packaging: While I’m a huge fan of department store mascaras (okay so I’m a little bit of a beauty snob), the one thing I do love about drugstore mascaras is that you can usually get a good look at what the brush looks like clean before purchasing. This mascara immediately called to me–how can I resist a hot pink brush?!

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The Brush: The packaging says that the applicator has a “unique brush structure with micro-channels to volumize each lash.” So how do these micro-channels work out in practice? Pretty well ! The bristles, which are admittedly a little spiky (I poked myself in the eye with them a good number of times) provide amazing length and separation and good volume.

The Formula: I absolutely love the formula! It doesn’t smudge, flake, or clump even after a million or so layers, and looks good even after a night of tossing and turning (I promise I only slept in it once). I do wish that this mascara held a curl better, but that’d be expecting too much!

Verdict: Overall this is a lovely mascara, especially at this price-point! It certainly overshadows most department store mascaras that I’ve tried and is a bargain at under $10. For me it’s the ideal everyday mascara–not too crazy but dramatic enough that my eyes still pop. Definitely check this out for yourself!

On a side note, I’ll be reviewing another Max Factor mascara at some point, so stay tuned for that!

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Have you tried Max Factor mascaras? What’s your favorite?