An experience with Smashbox’s founder, Davis Factor

June 14

My blog has brought me some amazing once in a lifetime experiences that I’ve been very blessed to have. One of them has got to be my Smashbox experience with founder, Davis Factor. Smashbox has been one of my favourite beauty brand for years – I still remember constantly buying their illuminating powder, as well as trying my first primer from the brand. Since then, I have fallen in love with more products including their new contouring set. FYI I got a sneak peek of a few of their products launching in May – a contour stick, a highlighting stick, dusty rose matte lipsticks and their primer spray! I was invited for a whole experience with Smashbox when the founder, Davis Factor (who is also a prominent celebrity photographer and the great grandson of Max Factor) and their Global Pro lead artist, Lori Taylor were visiting from LA. They took home the 40th floor at the Media One Hotel and recreated Smashbox studios. After getting my hair done and make up done by Lori Taylor, I interviewed the humble and inspiring, Davis Factor (see below!) before being shot by the man himself (he’s shot everyone from Jane Fonda, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law to name a few). It ended with Davis going in front of the camera for a change and getting our own shoot in sunglasses and leather jackets!


My interview with Davis…


Hi Davis, How was Smashbox born?

Smashbox was born as a photo studio. I was running around LA shooting and there weren’t any good ones to shoot covers and big shoots so I partnered with my brother, Dean.  We have a lot of friends that are photographers already and we knew that they would come, so we started a studio to try it out! We found a space, a beautiful place on our first year. We were booked every single day and that’s the time we decided that we need to expand – we have three hundred bookings in one year and we are the first Super studio in Los Angeles.


How long after that did Smashbox, the beauty brand launch?


Initially, it started as an idea of a beauty agency that represents hair make up and stylists. I think I started Smashbox cosmetics development in 1994, and opened it in 1996. it started with a conversation with a make up artist and I will never forget the day she was powdering, which kept on bugging me. We launched the primer as a way to keep the make up on during the shoot – it is just like when you are building a house, before you paint the house you prime it so why can’t we treat the face the same way, I just started thinking that, what if we started priming then applying foundation – that could work.


How much testing do product go behind the scenes in shoots before you launch it?

A lot actually, we have  Estee Lauder which is very strict, with their lab rules and a lot tough testing process.


Being a photographer, are there a few tips that you can share?

Practice a lot, get your make up done in good light and nowadays you can add contrast and brightness – learn and understand yourself in photographs.