Smashbox is a brand that was introduced to me by my mother a few years ago, when she brought me an eyebrow/eyeliner palette kit. Ever since I’ve adored all the products, including the hero product Photo Finish. Until recently QVC was the only retailer but since 2011 Debenhams have been selling the range also. So why isn’t the brand readily available here in the UK and who is behind these fantastic products?
Smashbox was launched in 1996 by two LA brothers Dean and Davis Factor, the grandsons of make-up legend Max Factor, Smashbox cosmetics focuses on long-lasting products that are designed to give a flawless look, worthy of Hollywood stars such as Drew Barrymore and Charlize Theron, who are known to be fans.
Smashbox Cosmetics are part of a larger empire of the Factor brothers; Smashbox Studios is where the inspiration for the cosmetic line began. Smashbox Studios includes a modeling agency, a photo studio and a clothing line. The cosmetics arm of the business was sold to Estee Lauder in the summer of 2010, yet the brothers still remain at the helm.
Smashbox were the first brand to create HD make-up, their products are not only created for models on set or celebrities, but also for the woman in the street. Offering the same hardwearing durability, coverage and steadfastness in everything they have produced. Smashbox has successfully brought several niche products out of the professional sphere and into the make-up bags of the masses. The Photo-Finish Primer, for example, which goes on before foundation so that it will ‘cling’ to your skin and eliminate shine; of the Eye-Beam Liner, a double-ended pencil that lightens the corner of the eye, as well and the lower rim. These may sound like products for obsessive compulsives, but it’s surprising what a difference they make. In fact they are extremely practical, easy to use, quick and versatile.
Smashbox was really ahead of its time back in the late 90’s an with today’s demand for a more professional feel to make-up and customers wanting well-considered products that will enhance what they have rather than redrawing their looks. Smashbox is for everyday not just those special occasions, it has done all the fiddly bits, and created solutions to your beauty problems so you get the easy task of playing with it all!
So why isn’t the brand so big here?
Smashbox had something of a trouble start to its UK breakthrough. On the night of their launch in 1998, a Smashbox PR was allegedly drugged and raped by someone thought to be a friend of the Factors. No one was charged, however, in the ensuing furore, many beauty press sidestepped Smashbox giving it little coverage. With the beauty industry turning its back on the brand, it struggled to make its mark.
Perhaps with Lauder acquiring Smashbox and its distribution in Debenhams, the brand will be able to be recognized for the quality of the products rather than past events.