Founded in 1996 by two brothers Dean and Davis Factor in Los Angeles, Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics Inc. is headquartered in Culver City, California. A subsidiary of Estée Lauder Companies, the brand is an international cosmetics company that creates long-lasting makeup products that give off a flawless finish reminiscent of Hollywood stars.
Dean and Davis Factor are the great-grandsons of the makeup legend and the Hollywood acclaimed makeup artist Max Factor. They founded Smashbox Studios in 1991, and it eventually led to the launch of Smashbox Cosmetics in 1966. Thus, Smashbox Cosmetics was an extension of their studio business, Smashbox Studio, which included a photo studio, a modeling agency, and a clothing line. Also, the word Smashbox is a slang term for a camera, which is quite befitting for a brand that started from a photo studio.
In 1998, Smashbox was launched in the UK, but it wasn’t as successful as might be hoped for. The reason being, on the night of the launch, a Smashbox PR was allegedly raped by a person who was assumedly a friend of the Factor brothers. Officially, no one was charged for the crime. However, due to the scandal, many beauty editors did not give any coverage to Smashbox and that badly affected its initial performance in the UK.
In February 2006, a minority stake of Smashbox Cosmetics was acquired by TSG Consumer Partners. TSG Consumer helped Smashbox Cosmetics make informed decisions around distribution strategy, marketing, and product innovation. They assisted Smashbox in producing products in categories such as mascara, powder, and foundation, and helped the brand expand their distribution to open-sell retailers such as Sephora and ULTA Beauty. As a result of all this, from 2006 to 2010, the Smashbox revenue tripled.
In 2010, Smashbox’s wholesale revenue was placed around $80 million, and retail sales were estimated to be $140 million. In the same year, Davis and Dean Factor, in collaboration with TSG Consumer Partners, sold Smashbox Cosmetics to Estée Lauder Companies.
Smashbox Cosmetics was seen as a trendy brand with a significant digital and social media presence. Being known for engaging with customers and having younger customers, Estée Lauder group saw Smashbox as a valuable acquisition. Smashbox was selling throughout North America and in 60 countries worldwide in the year 2010. Its prowess in retail channels, such as TV shopping, and its presence in open-sell stores meant it offered Estée Lauder better opportunities in alternative shopping channels.
The Factor brothers decided to sell their company to increase its outreach – and Estée Lauder was the right choice since it had already increased the outreach of MAC Cosmetics and Bobbi Brown. When the acquisition took place, it was mutually decided that Smashbox would continue to operate from its Los Angeles office, and Dean and Davis Factor would play key roles in the plans of the company.
In 2015, Smashbox Cosmetics was the second-fastest-growing brand owned by Estée Lauder. In 2016, in an effort to attract newer, younger customers, Estée Lauder used a 360-degree video to give viewers a tour of Smashbox Studios, which was the place that gave birth to Smashbox Cosmetics. The three minutes-long video highlighted the studio and its technology and some of Smashbox’s bestsellers.
The virtual tour to showcase the backstory of the brand was a part of the digital marketing campaign of Smashbox, which doesn’t do print marketing. Smashbox Cosmetics has won four Clio awards for its digital campaigns.
What Is So Special About the Brand?
According to Davis Factor, Smashbox Cosmetics is unique because it is the only brand that makes use of techniques from working in a photo studio. The products of Smashbox Cosmetics are created based on the inspiration from the photoshoots at Smashbox Studios. Working under harsh studio lights, photographers wanted makeup products for the models that would provide complete coverage and a flawless finish. Those same products went on to become the brand’s bestsellers.
Smashbox’s cruelty-free primers, lipsticks, foundations and other cosmetics products are all high-quality and make for gorgeous makeup looks on and off the set. The foundations and primer stay on for extended periods but do not look heavy.
Below are some of the best-selling products by Smashbox Cosmetics.
This is a 5-in-1 miracle-worker BB cream that helps you create a radiant, even skin in no time. The cream primes and perfects the skin, controls oil production, and provides the skin hydration and protection from the sun. If you don’t like going overboard when it comes to makeup, yet do not want to miss out on anything, this tinted moisturizer is your answer. It primes and perfects the skin, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles and conceals imperfections with light coverage.
Within four weeks of use, it can improve skin hydration, yet it does not cause any shine on the skin as it controls excess oil production. It also delivers broad-spectrum protection from the UV rays. For use, take a pea-sized amount and lightly blend with your fingers. You can pat for better coverage. You may wear it alone or under foundation. If you have dry skin, be sure to moisturize your face before putting on the cream.
The first product created at Smashbox, this primer helps makeup look better and last longer, blurs flaws and nourishes skin with vitamins A and E. It minimizes the appearance of pores and lines, smoothens the skin, helps you blend foundation more easily and makes makeup stay on. The primer is vegan and cruelty-free. It is lightweight, oil-free and suitable for all skin types. Further, it protects your skin from environmental pollutants, stress and damage with the antioxidants, vitamins A and E.
For use, apply a layer over clean, moisturized skin and let it sit for 15 seconds. You may wear it alone or you may apply makeup over it. It can also be used to give touch-ups to your makeup, and you can apply it to your hair to tame frizz.
A liquid matte lipstick, Always On is made from a mixture of Primer oil complex, and sunflower, jojoba and apricot oils to keep your lips comfortable and prevent drying. The formula is weightless and waterproof, and it stays on for eight hours, delivering rich, bold color with a velvety matte finish. It comes in a range of nude, bold, and metallic shades.
It comes with a precision applicator that allows you to line and fill the lips in a single swipe, thus making it easy to define your lips. You might layer your lips in the center with a lighter shade to make them look fuller. The lipstick should be removed using an oil-based remover.
Studio Skin is a high-performing foundation that gives medium to full coverage, evens skin tone, providing you with a natural matte finish. It has an oil-free formula that doesn’t settle into pores and lines. Further, it controls excess oil, shine and prevents breakouts. It is humidity and sweat-resistant, transfer-resistant, and a cruelty-free, vegan product.
Made from breathable and flexible polymers, the foundation moves with your skin and gives your skin a natural-looking, flawless appearance that lasts from 15 to 24 hours. For use, apply over freshly primed skin with a sponge or your fingertips. Warming it between your fingertips will give your skin a more sheer coverage.
If you crave for a perfect cat eye or smokey eye but struggle with liquid eyeliner, worry no more! This smooth eye pencil performs like a liquid liner by gently gliding over your eyelid to create a precise line to make your eyes pop. It can also be used on the waterline and inner rim for major definition and an intense eye look. Twisting open the cap, the pencil is self-sharpened, eliminating the need for sharpeners. The kohl is hyper-pigmented, waterproof, and ideal for long-wear.
It has a non-flaking formula and may also be used as a shadow. Just apply the product on your lids and blend out using a powder shadow, allowing it to set. The liner is free from parabens, phthalates, talc, and fragrances. It is also cruelty-free.
This user-friendly kit contains a set of highlighter, bronzer, and contour powders. It comes with a powder brush and a built-in mirror, enabling you to shape, sculpt and highlight your features effortlessly. The powders are pigmented, buildable and blendable, and can be used to create a contoured look with an easy-to-follow application guide that comes with the kit.
Loaded with pigment, Be Legendary Lipstick gives a creamy and matte finish to your lips. It smoothly glides on your lips to give you a brilliant 10-hour long color. With vitamins C and E, and shea butter, the satin-smooth cream lipstick moisturizes, softens, and protects your lips. The silky-matte lipstick settles evenly on your lips without drying out. The lipstick stays color-true on camera and pops out on photos.
The cruelty-free lipstick is available in a variety of shades, including nudes, neutrals, corals, reds, pinks, browns, violets, and berries. It may be applied to the lips directly or with a brush for increased precision. You may also dot your cheeks with the cream lipstick and blend it to get a quick blush.
Smashbox Cosmetics provides top-of-the-line cosmetics that help you maintain a flawless look both in front of the camera and behind it. Made in collaboration with makeup experts and photographers, it is a favorite of celebrities, models and regular women everywhere. It truly stands out as a unique beauty brand, owing both to its digital presence and its long-lasting, high-quality products.