Reviews

We loved this book! —NYLON MAGAZINE

Autographed copies of The Maybelline Story available at maybellinestory.com.



An engrossing and captivating tale that spans four generations and reveals the humanity glamour and love of a family addicted to perfection. This book is classic literary satisfaction, a real page-turner. —Nina Siezmasko, actress, The West Wing


A Truly inspirational story. I loved it! —Brigitte Lamblot, Publisher, VIE Magazine


Superb! An exciting tale that gives an insider's view into the genesis of a corporate giant. A wild ride, an enticing saga. —Alan Andrews Ragland, son of Maybelline legend 'Rags' Ragland 


We are especially fascinated to slip vicariously into the lives of the rich and privileged yet cheer for the underdog who overcomes obstacles to astound doubters with his success. We are enthralled with the historical sweep of events whose repercussions live on to the present, all elements of this amazing story—which reads like a juicy novel but is a family memoir distilled from nine hundred pages of family accounts from the 1920's to present. —Steven Hudis, producer, IMPACT Motion Pictures


This book has tremendous value even beyond its capacity to glimpse into history and its sheer joy to entertain. —Kolie Crutcher III, CEO and publisher, Get Money magazine


Tom Lyle, my great-uncle—and the godfather of our family—made us all rich, in more ways than one! But it is hard for us to separate Maybelline from our family, because it was a family affair, literally. This is a story I lived and a family I love.—William Preston Williams III 


By Holly - This review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback) 


I was only casually acquainted with the glamorous woman at the center of this saga. I was 22 years old in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and she was a brilliant but oddly vulnerable creature on the outer boundaries of my life then. This book answers so many questions I have had about her for many years. I am so glad it exists, and even more glad that it was written in a dynamic and thrilling style. The man who may be partially responsible for her death has been aptly described by the author. This book captures the legend that surrounded the woman and her family, and it is a great page-turner. 


More importantly, the shining character of the remarkable Tom Lyle Williams guides this book. Anyone interested in the fashion world and the power of artifice will absolutely relish each and every chapter, to the very tumultuous end of the story. 



HOT BEAUTY REVIEWS (@HotBeautyReview) THE MAYBELLINE STORY


This book is so much 
A Compelling True Story of Success

and Intrigue


By Kate Farrell of Kates Reads
www.katesreads.com
@KatesReads


“The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Dynasty Behind It”, by Sharrie Williams is a gripping memoir of the cosmetics company and her own family.  It is vintage Hollywood, with all of the glamour, greed, passion and intrigue you would expect.


Tom Lyle, the company’s founder and patriarch of the family, discovers the idea for mascara from an incident with his sister, Mabel.  He turns the idea into a business venture and begins a successful mail-order marketing campaign.  He names the company Maybelline in honor of his sister.  Over the years the business will grow and then reach the brink only to be brought back to success by Lyle’s business and marketing savvy.  He was truly an entrepreneur.

The extended family is filled with interesting and colorful personalities.  Most of them are involved in the company in some shape or form; or at least dependent on their share of the family fortune. How they interact with each other and get tangled up in drama makes for titillating reading.  The author does not seem to have left any skeletons in the closet or stones unturned.


This is a very engaging memoir.  Williams’ writing brings all the players to life and makes the reader anxious to know what happens to them next.  It has all the ingredients for a great piece of fiction but is even better when you realize it all really happened.  A great read!



More than a memoir. It's an entertaining and captivating story of a chance discovery that not only changed one man but also his family and their legacy. Seldom do we get such a chance to peer behind the wizard's curtain and learn his secrets.

When Tom Lyle Williams discovered his sister's simple eye beauty secret, both inspiration and a corporate giant were born. He knew that his determined creativity, advertising genius, a few friends and a little luck would propel them all to success and riches. 

"The Royal family of the cosmetic industry." Guest Blogger Jodi Hanson @chaptersandchats reviews The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind it............

Growing up in the 70s, the time of discos and over the top makeup, teenage girls, myself included, wanted their lashes as dark and full as possible. We all had the pink and green tube of Great Lash mascara in our makeup bags. I’m middle-aged now and still have Maybelline mascara in my makeup bag. The only difference is I am a little more judicious in my application. So naturally when Sharrie Williams, grand-niece of Tom Lyle Williams; founder of Maybelline, asked if I was interested in reviewing “The Maybelline Story: And the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind it” I readily accepted the offer.

Sharrie Williams takes her readers into the world of the royal family of the cosmetic industry. Picture the Carrington’s from the hit 1980s television series “Dynasty”, change it from oil moguls to cosmetic moguls and you’ll understand what it was like being a Williams. The book is an intimate retelling of triumphs and losses, love and betrayal as Tom Lyle Williams, a teenage boy from small town USA, follows his dream to take the world and make it his oyster on his
quest to being a millionaire.

Maybelline was started when Tom Lyle discovered his sister Mabel’s beauty secret and wanted to share the product with American women. Little did he know that this would begin the journey into a lifelong love story with his little company that turned into a dynasty and the most widely known cosmetic company in the world.

Through the depression and two world wars Maybelline persevered always managing to keep women feeling beautiful through even the toughest times. Mingling with starlets from Hollywood and iconic movie producers the Tom Lyle Williams lived the life only to be dreamed of by millions of people.


Sharrie Williams was born to tell the story of her family. She does it with grace and humility showing not only the successes but the failures of her heritage. I was captivated from the first paragraph greedily pouring over the pages. I highly recommend “The Maybelline Story: And the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind it” is a must read for enthusiasts of memoirs and biographies.




This tale reads like the best fiction but with real characters and plots that take us on an American dream wild ride. From the Midwest through Chicago and Hollywood, we follow a path strewn with scandals, jealousies, triangles and betrayals. Throw in arson, a still-unsolved murder and even the Feds and Mafia and you have an exciting and bumpy journey that leaves more than one casualty in its wake. And Maybelline was along for the ride.

The characters seem larger-than-life yet somehow remain vulnerable and sympathetic This is a family that continually grasped at the shiny ring only to discover that it might be no more than their own reflections staring back, sometimes accusingly, in the mirror.

The legacy is in good hands with Ms. Williams. She's a true storyteller and writes with passion and candor while bluntly sharing her own resolve to rise above her family's lifelong mantra of money, beauty and the search for perfection. It's a critical but tender tale of redemption that displays an understanding, compassion and love for her family. She never gave up on her dream to tell this story and literally braved fire and fury to share it with the world. It's a book that you really can't put down, a true page-turner and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

You'll never look at a Maybelline ad again without feeling a tug of empathy for these characters and the struggles and determination of one man's effort to capture beauty on a brush and change forever the color palette of the world.

One reason I read is to learn from the experience of others. This is why I loved the Maybelline Story (that and the exciting American history backdrop in Chicago and Hollywood). The characters in this story are vibrant and inspiring. I was swept up into their journey and struggles so much that I read the book in 3 days! I love a book that stirs my emotions enough that I actually care about how the lives of the characters unfold. Some face their demons and move into the light, all find their way. This is a tale of real people finding themselves, dreaming big and never giving up.

I saw a woman reading this book on a recent flight so I took a quick look at it. I spent several hours reading it yesterday and did not want to put it down. It is a real page turner for anyone interested in history, Hollywood glamour, self made men and family drama. It has very little to do with makeup and everything to do with family dynamics and secrets. I'm sure this will be turned into a movie in the future if it is not already in the works.

This was the fastest read i've ever done! The legacy, the story, and the drama behind it kept me intrigued! its a great story about the uprising of the company and the family of Maybelline. Unk Ile and the story behind him is truly one of a kind! Its sad to see the negative reviews from the other family members but it is not their story, it is Sharrie Williams story, true to her. The singed eye brows part of the story sounds better anyways! No trash here, I would recommend this read to anyone. Cant wait for the movie! Great Read!

I love to read about interesting people and there is no lack of them in this wonderfully written account of a true American Iconic Brand. I have known about Maybelline cosmetics ever since I was old enough to know what make - up was... a living art form. I have plenty of it in my make up drawer right now.. This book is about a family who overcame so much, picking themselves up after many down turns and always rising to be even better than before. Ms. Williams has done a fine job of making her family vivid and alive for us. Showing their flaws and "bad side" warts and all. The times and places come alive and you can just picture it all. It is too bad that some of the family have negative things to say. Please do not let them stop you from reading this book. It is a well written book and I hope it is made into a movie someday. I know I will watch it! 

5.0 out of 5 stars great story about the beautiful mortals, March 2, 2011 By holly - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback)

I was only casually acquainted with the glamorous woman at the center of this saga. I was 22 years old in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and she was a brilliant but oddly vulnerable creature on the outer boundaries of my life then. This book answers so many questions I have had about her for many years. I am so glad it exists, and even more glad that it was written in a dynamic and thrilling style. The man who may be partially responsible for her death has been aptly described by the author. This book captures the legend that surrounded the woman and her family, and it is a great page-turner.

More importantly, the shining character of the remarkable Tom Lyle Williams guides this book. Anyone interested in the fashion world and the power of artifice will absolutely relish each and every chapter, to the very tumultuous end of the story.

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Stimulating, Gripping - makes you wanting for more!, February 5, 2011
By DC07 - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback)

Loved this Book! It starts almost a century ago and takes you though the interesting life of this fascinating family and there climb to achieving the all American dream. Cross country it will take you from Chicago to Hollywood, mingling with the who's who in each era and location. Read how a fluke turned into a simple product, and how it turned into an international sensation and empire. Follow their lives and families lives for almost 80 years. Sure hope there will be a sequel to this book, as I can't wait to hear more about the Williams' family empire! Well written, easy read, it will take your mind of your troubles and entertain you for hours.

5.0 out of 5 stars What A Story !!!, February 2, 2011
By CHRISTINE G - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback)

I absolutely LOVED this book!!!! Fascinating! I could not put it down ! An AMAZING family to say the least.I highly recommend reading THE MAYBELLINE STORY...very entertaining and educational!!!

I would LOVE to see it made into a movie! I'd bet it will be!

5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Sharrie, January 6, 2011
By KHSD - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Kindle Edition)

Sharrie ,

Thank you so much for this book !!!! It has given me a look into my own family history . I commend you for having the courage to fullfill your own dream , as I know this story has not been an easy one to write . Having been on the Chicago side half of my life , I wish I could have gotten to Ca. sooner ! I did know Uncle Lyle and the story but surly not all that I learned from you ! Thank you ! I did not want it to end so had to force myself to put it down ! Darn it was good !!!

love K

5.0 out of 5 stars "Spirited" is putting it mildly, November 9, 2010
By Debbie L Zipp - See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback)

Sharrie Williams has written an incredibly entertaining and spirited book about a exciting, complex and spirited family that gives you the roller coaster ride of your life. This book grabs you from the get-go and won't let you go or let you put it down. It has EVERYTHING! And I mean everything you could want in an epic novel. This book should definitely be turned into a mini-series or feature film. I enjoyed every morsel in this delicious and tasty book. Besides all the yuminess you will also come away with valuable life and business lessons. There is alot packed into this one book but Sherrie does it masterfully. And now because Sharrie Williams has now shared this story with the world we will be able to benefit from the insight, inspiration and magic that is THE MAYBELLINE STORY.

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly reccommend this book, November 6, 2010
By bellbaco - See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback)

This book was interesting from the start. Ms Williams told the Maybelline story with such detail and candor that I didn't want to put it down. It gives amazing insight into a world that many of us can only imagine..and she lived it! I am buying several copies to give as Christmas gifts as I know many will enjoy this story. I can't wait for a sequel! I know there is more of this story to be told.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!, November 5, 2010
By DONNA WILLIAMS - See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback)

This book will be a bestseller and hopefully a mini-series or movie. It was so entertaining I read it in one day! Something along the lines of Madmen! Very fascinating and educational at the same time. Read it.....you'll be glad you did and then discuss with your book club.

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story!, November 5, 2010
By Elaine Gast - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback)

This book is a page turner! A truly fascinating story that gives insight into the underworld of appearances, and America's fascination with beauty. Maybelline Queens traces the history of cosmetics in America and how one simple eye product caught the imagination of the public. Yet, unlike any other book about beauty, it reveals the never-before-told story of this man who invented mascara, Tom Lyle Williams--a private figure who hid from the public because he was gay. To stay safe from the scrutiny of the press and government (which in the early thirties deemed mascara the "province of whores and homosexuals), Tom Lyle cloistered himself behind the gates of his Rudolph Valentino Villa and, with the help of his lifetime lover Emery, ran his empire from a distance.

The deeper Tom Lyle went into hiding, the more his sister-in-law and ultra-ego Evelyn struggled her way to the spotlight. Attracted to bad boys, she married one--Tom Lyle's playboy brother Preston. From that moment on, Evelyn used the Maybelline name--and later, its money--to reinvent herself from circus ballerina to flamboyant flapper, extravagant socialite to dinner theater star.

Now, after nearly a century of silence, this true story celebrates the lives of a forgotten American hero--one man forced to remain behind a mask, and one woman whose hunger for beauty ultimately destroyed her. Spanning three generations, Maybelline Queens shows the hidden haunts of sudden fortune, and the tragedy that ensues when vanity lets loose. Finally, it speaks to womens' decade-long desires--to be beautiful and be loved--and asks the question: At what price, beauty?

I've already given a copy to my mom, and plan to give them out as Christmas gifts to all the women in my life!! The story is one that sticks with you. 


Strangely Interesting, December 28, 2010
By Gail K. Powers "Abra" (Harbor Country, Mi,N. Naples, FL, Chicago area) - See all my reviews(TOP 500 REVIEWER) (VINE VOICE) (REAL NAME) This review is from: The Maybelline Story: ...and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (Paperback)

Here is one book that goes all over the place. Starting with a fortuitous discovery that launches a cosmetics empire, this book is an interesting hodgepodge of money, madness, sex, success, glamor, delusion, an off kilter love triangle, quirky family members, illegitimate kids, murder, embezzlement, greed, marketing and advertisment strategies, and focus groups (when no one had a term for it).

Shuttling from Kentucky, to Chicago, and then to LA and Arkansas, it examines the creation and expansion of an empire that was found on the precept that ordinary middle-classed women want some beauty in their lives. Thrown in are complex family relationships that you might well need to take notes on just to keep them all straight. While part of the premise is that this family abounds with togetherness and love with a dose of religion thrown in, I was left with the feeling that some of the key players in this drama spent an awful lot of time trying to get a good cut of the family gold.

I liked this book a lot. It proved that ultimately most families are quirky, but money amplifies the family dynamic in interesting ways. 



2011 BEACH BOOK FESTIVAL NAMES WINNERS  




NEW YORK _ The 2011 Beach Book Festival has named “Damn You, Scarlett O’Hara: The Private Lives of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier” as the grand prize winner of its annual competition honoring the summer’s hottest reads.


Written by celebrity journalists Darwin Porter and Roy Moseley, the book is the quintessential juicy beach read, tracing the story of the couple once dubbed the Romeo and Juliet of their era. The book spares no punches, detailing the sordid side of the Hollywood legends in their public and private lives. Published by Blood Moon Productions, the publishing house that specializes in celebrity scandal, the book is a page-turner of the first order and perfect for a fun vacation read.


The winners will be honored at a gala awards ceremony on June 10 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.


BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY


WINNER: Damn You, Scarlett O’Hara: The Private Lives of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Oliver – Darwin Porter and Roy Moseley


RUNNER-UP: The Maybelline Story – Sharrie Williams with Bettie Youngs







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