L’Oreal and Max Factor Celebrate Their 100th Birthday in Opposite Directions

Happy 100th anniversary, L'Oreal!

Happy 100th anniversary, L'Oreal!

DALLAS, Jun 6, 2009 / FW/ — Two iconoclastic cosmetics brands, L’Oreal and Max Factor are both a century old, but as they turned 100, they celebrated their centennial in opposite ends of the spectrum. While L’Oreal continues to go strong and is giving back globally, Max Factor is being discontinued in the U.S., the land of its birth.

Both were founded in 1909. L’Oreal was founded in Paris by Eugène Schueller, a young French chemist who developed an innovative hair-color formula. Meanwhile, in what would become Hollywood, Maximilian Faktorowicz a Polish-Jewish makeup artist for the Russian royal ballet founded Max Factor

Max Factor lipstick

Max Factor lipstick

For its 100th anniversary, L’Oreal’s more than 3,000 employees across the United States in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas and Puerto Rico rolled up their sleeves and volunteered in their local communities.

In support of the company’s demonstration of generosity, L’Oreal Paris spokesperson Andie MacDowell, joined L’Oreal USA President and CEO Laurent Attal, and more than 100 L’Oreal USA employees, as they planted, painted and mulched at the East River and Corlears Hook Parks in Manhattan.

And while there was a celebratory atmosphere at L’Oreal, there was sadness at Max Factor as Procter & Gamble Co., the owner of the brand since 1991 announced that it is discontinuing Max Factor in the U.S., giving up on a long fight to save a storied brand that spent its last few years distributed primarily at Wal-mart.

There is a silver lining in this sad announcement though. P&G said in its statement that they will continue selling Max Factor in 70 other countries, including 20 where it’s a No. 1 brand and in the U.K. and Russia, where it’s the No. 2 brand, the company said.

“Max Factor is a strong, profitable brand and remains one of [P&G beauty’s] key engines for global growth,” Virginia Drosos, president of global female beauty for P&G, said in a statement. “P&G is fully committed to profitable growth and leadership — both in the U.S. and globally.”

The 100-year-old brand with a long tradition as the makeup of Hollywood makeup artists has been worn by the likes of Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe.