The formula for Smashbox Cosmetics' success is simple: Take the twenty-first century heirs of a cosmetic industry legend and blend with smart, minimalistic packaging and celebrity appeal. Smashbox Cosmetics, which have been worn on fabulous faces such as Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron and Madonna, hit the ground running in 1996 and instantly reached cult status with women who take getting the perfect "smokey eye" seriously.
Behind Smashbox Cosmetics
The movers and shakers behind Smashbox are brothers Dean and Davis Factor, who founded Smashbox Cosmetics in 1996 after spending five years co-operating Smashbox Photo Studios, where the idea for the line first took shape. Dean Factor, who received an MBA from University of Southern California, fields the business end, acting as the company's CEO. Davis Factor, a full-time fashion and celebrity photography, serves as Chief Creative Officer of Smashbox Cosmetics. The brothers' surname should ring a bell: Davis and Dean Factor are great-grandsons of makeup legend Max Factor, who created faces worthy of the Silver Screen. Of the expansion from studio to cosmetics line, Dean Factor noted in a 2008 interview for American Magazine: “It’s just part of our heritage.”
The Smashbox Appeal
The Factor brothers' ties to Hollywood, as well as the parade of famous faces wearing Smashbox Cosmetics, give the cosmetic line instant appeal with female consumers. Smashbox Cosmetics are featured in several prominent print publications, such as Self, InStyle, Marie Claire and Allure, and are routinely awarded the stamp of "Best of Sephora," a brick-and-mortar boutique line that carries Smashbox Cosmetics.
Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun, who penned the book "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," describes Smashbox Cosmetics in its earlier inception as a "collection of trendy and fashion-forward colors coupled with a pleasingly neutral palette of foundations, concealers and powders." The line has expanded considerably since 1996 to include a variety of foundation and blush types, numerous lip glosses and lip sticks, concealers, and make-up brushes, as well as lip, eyelash and foundation primers. Smashbox Cosmetics top-sellers include the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder, Camera Ready BB Cream, Jet Set Waterproof Eyeliner, O-Gloss Intuitive Lip Gloss and Photo Op Under Eye Brightener.
Pros & Cons
When it comes to matching skin color and tone, there's no shortage of selection in the Smashbox Cosmetics collection. Smashbox Cosmetics offers numerous palettes and starter kits that include cosmetics for cheeks, eyes, lips and lashes. However, Smashbox Cosmetics is a moderately high-end line, and cost of individual items, while not excessive, may not fit within all budgets. In November 2013, the Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation cost $42, the Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder $59 and the Photo Finish Foundation Primer $36. The cost of Smashbox Cosmetics Palettes and kits ranged from $24 to $129.
Where To Find Smashbox Cosmetics
Smashbox Cosmetics are sold at select department stores, such as Nordstrom, and Sephora brick-and-mortar shops. You can also purchase Smashbox Cosmetics through Sephora online, Beauty.com, QVC, and the Smashbox Cosmetics official website (see Resources).