The Estée Lauder Companies has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, a photo studio-inspired prestige cosmetics company based in Los Angeles, California.

Smashbox’s significant presence in assisted open-sell environments and specialty distribution channels should expand Estée Lauder’s current product offerings which are more focused on department stores and reach new and younger consumers in these channels where prestige products experiment higer growth.

Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics was founded in 1996 by brothers Dean and Davis Factor, great-grandsons of the makeup legend Max Factor, who were inspired by photo studio celebrities to create a unique makeup brand that met the highly demanding needs of a professional photo shoot. Currently, the majority of Smashbox’s sales are based in North America.

The acquisition is expected to close in July 2010. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.