Thursday, August 15, 2019

How Maybelline changed the cosmetic industry

Make-up is as old as the first civilizations. From the beginning of time, people loved to alter their appearance by putting various mixtures on their face. This is something that lasted and persisted through centuries. It is within our nature to try and improve the way we look. It gives us a necessary confidence and makes us more attractive to opposite sex. Today, it is an unavoidable part of our culture and important aspect of every woman’s life.

“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline”

Chicago from 1915
Photo credit:

The real cosmetic revolution started at the turn of 19th century. First beauty salons opened their doors to customers and the first franchises started appearing all over the USA. Almost at the same time, in 1915, Tom Lyle Williams from Chicago made his first mascara. His sister Mabel gave him an idea to make this product, so in her honor, when he started selling his products; he named the newly founded company Maybelline. Williams created the first, modern mascara in 1917 and named it Maybelline Care Mascara.

During the years, company was sold and resold to many entrepreneurs. It changed its headquarters a few time, finally settling in Brooklyn, New York. Today, it is a part of giganticconglomerate L’Oreal from Paris, France, which bought it off in 1996. This made Maybelline a global, recognizable trade mark, sold all over the world. Nowadays, similarly to many other cosmetic products, you can even find it in American and Canadian drugstores. Onereputable Canadian pharmacy in Winnipeg, is You! Drugstore. 

The companies such as Maybelline were pioneers of this beauty revolution. Back in the day, it was a first, real cosmetic company and it made many entrepreneurs try their luck in this field. It made our lives prettier and nicer. This is an important aspect of every woman’s life and it brings joy to many of them. As the industry progresses, we still need to see what kind of new products are we going to use in future. Hopefully, the firms will be similar like Maybelline, providing us the best that money can buy.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Thomas Lyle Williams, founder of Maybelline Cosmetics, left a trust in favor of CARE and The Salvation Army because, in his judgment, these two organizations “cared for the poor within their means better than any other groups.”

The Trust was drawn up in 1958 and the terms gave CARE two million dollars a year and the Salvation Army one million. If the interest did not cover the three million to be paid out, then the balance had to come from the capital. And for a year or two this was the case. However, management brought in an investment team and, still following the specific intentions of the trust, wise investments have over the years brought commendable dividends and increased value, so much so that now CARE and the Army have the income from this trust “in perpetuity.”

A plaque honoring the T.L. Williams Trust and its years of generosity is on display at NHQ, a permanent recognition of this trust and the benefit it has been to Salvation Army programs throughout the U.S. 

Tom Lyle Williams, also set up two trust funds in Chicago held by JP Morgan Chase - each worth today approximately $1.5M . They started with $1M each back in the late 70's when he passed away. One benefits the Braille Institute and the other benefits the American Humane Association. Each receive approximately $65,000 per year from the trusts - a significant annual sum for any charitable organization!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

remember the familiar advertising slogan, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe It’s Maybelline

 ” It might be one of the last legacies handed down from the original family of an American dynasty. Although the company now known as Maybelline New York was acquired by L’Oréal Paris in 1996, Maybelline remains a household name.
One of the original family’s direct descendants, Sharrie Williams, has authored, The Maybelline Story…and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It, to tell her family’s own fascinating story.
The office in her attractive, yet beautifully stylish adobe-style North Scottsdale home, is neatly stacked with a rich collection of photos and memorabilia. She tells the story of how the vision of her grandfather’s brother founded the American make-up giant, Maybelline Cosmetics.

The book is a true page-turner, each chapter leaving the reader wanting more. In the Preface, Alan Andrews Ragland, describes company founder, Tom Lyle Williams, as “a self-made man—a boy from small- town American who, through determination, great ideas and plain old hard work, created an astonishingly successful company called Maybelline.”
In 1915, Mabel Williams, inspired her brother, Tom Lyle, to formulate an eye-beautifying product called, “Lash-Brow-Ine.” Today’s version of that original product still claims to be the best-selling mascara of all time. Tom Lyle, bought the company that became known as Maybelline with a $500 loan he borrowed from his brother, Noel J. Williams
That company, named in sister Mabel’s honor, would eventually become the leading cosmetic industry giant in America.

As the story goes, after witnessing his sister Mabel, “replacing” her singed eyebrows and lashes with a mixture of burnt cork and petroleum jelly, Tom makes a tremendous discovery. He realized that the way actresses made their eyes so compelling on screen could be easily replicated for non-starlets with a few ingredients in their proper ratios.

Sharrie Williams relates a colorful story of how her great uncle, the middle son of an American family (with roots going back to the 1600s, that include Benjamin Franklin, the founder of West Point and a leader of the Boston Tea Party) played a pivotal part in American history, creating a company with a product that has become a familiar household name.
During the “roaring ‘20s,” the “flapper era” would provide a devoted following for the eyelash and eyebrow beautifiers that Maybelline produced. The demand for Maybelline products was so great that even through the Depression the company remained successful.
“Hollywood and Silent Films were a key ingredient in making Maybelline, the great company it became during the 20th century,” Sharrie explains.
Some of the famous faces over the years who have represented the Maybelline Cosmetics Company have included: Gloria Swanson, Jean Harlow, Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard, Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, Lana Turner and Loretta Young.

After the company sold in December 1967, Linda Carter of Wonder Woman fame became the face of Maybelline for a time. After it sold again to Loreal Paris, Maybelline New York’s famous Super Models representatives have been the likes of Christy Turlington, Kirstin Davis, Miranda Kerr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Melina Kanakaredes, and Sheetal Mallar. Julia Stegner, Jessica White, Emily DiDonato, Lisalla Montenegro, and Shu Pei.
The author grew up in Southern California leading a middle class lifestyle until the sale of the Maybelline Company made her father an overnight multi-millionaire, which she says turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. Sharrie reveals candidly her own realization about beauty, from the inside out.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Order a signed copy of the Maybelline Story directly from me

Click to Order a signed copy of the Maybelline Story directly from the author. 

Maybelline  1915 - 2018  The Maybelline Story Embraces the drama, intrigue and history behind the Iconic Maybelline Brand and the family behind it. 

Available at 

FOREWORD by Legendary Publicist, Michael A. Levine

“A woman’s most powerful possession is a man’s imagination.”
Tom Lyle Williams, 1934

I think every girl I ever dated as a teenager had one of those pink and green tubes of Maybelline Great Lash mascara stashed in her purse.  How on earth would I know this?  Because the contents of all those purses regularly spilled out of school lockers, behind bleachers, under the seats of cars….  If they weren’t scrambling to hide their other feminine products, then they were diving for the mascara because THAT wasclearly the key to their enchanting doe-eyed beauty. 

As I’ve grown older, gotten married, divorced, and dated all over again, I’ve seen the contents of many beautiful women’s cosmetic bags.  And there has always been a Maybelline product inside.

I recognize things like this because I’m a brand man myself.  At an early age I discovered the power of perception…specifically, the perception of value, which can be even more important than price itself.  For example, the Tiffany brand is indomitable because one need only see the powder-blue box and white satin ribbon to think that whatever is inside is premium simply because it comes from Tiffany.

So I was delighted when I was asked to read The Maybelline Story and learn about the origins and growth of this modest company into the best-known eye beauty brand around the world.  What a story it is!

From humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to gangster-ridden Prohibition Chicago, to Hollywood in the ‘30s and ‘40s, pin-ups, the Pentagon, and eventually, the whole world, this is a classic tale of a makeshift product that developed out of one woman’s innovative need to fix something else, and her brother’s prescient understanding that she was onto something BIG!

In 1915, Mabel Williams singed her eyelashes and brows while cooking.  Horrified that she no longer looked feminine, she concocted a mixture and applied it to her remaining lashes and brows, giving her some added sparkle and sheen.  One of her brothers, Tom Lyle Williams, noticed the successful effect.

But he also noticed something more profound: a woman’s eyes were her calling card.  “Come look at me.”  “Coax me out of my bashfulness.”  “Yes, I’m flirting.”  “I’m interested in you.”  He appreciated beauty in all women, and their beauty spoke to him straight through their eyes.  Tom Lyle wanted to reproduce his sister’s “formula” to see whether regular women would pay a little to “up” the glamour in themselves.

All he needed was $500 and a rudimentary chemistry set to give his idea a real try.  But gathering $500 in 1915 wasn’t easy.  So when his brother Noel offered to loan him the money, he promised to repay him in full.  Little did any of them realize then that Noel would receive a return on his investment similar to the original investors in Microsoft or Apple!

For over a half century, Maybelline operated as a private company owned by the Williams family.  What Tom Lyle, his brother and sister started as a small, mail-order business eventually became an internationally recognized brand purchased 82 years later by French conglomerate L’Oreal for over 700 million.

I can tell you: it’s one thing to recognize a winning product discovered by accident, and quite another to turn it into an empire that, for decades, transcended all competition and remains an icon to this day.

How does one do that?  Precisely by branding.  By taking an exceptional product and equating it with excellence in every way.  By having a constant, relentless drive to promote a desirable image through that product.  By turning that product into the sine qua non of, in this case, eye beauty. 

Tom Lyle Williams packaged and sold artifice – the importance of beautiful eyes.  He made eye beauty the singular defining quality of a beautiful woman, and he branded Maybelline as representative of perfect beauty.  His genius was in convincing millions of women the world over to buy Maybelline with the absolute conviction that using Maybelline eye products would truly make them perfectly beautiful.

Unlike most folks in Hollywood, this unlikeliest of legends kept a low personal profile and let his creativity speak through his work.  In my opinion, Tom Lyle Williams can teach us more about branding than Colonel Sanders, Calvin Klein, and Coco Chanel combined.  He was first to enlist movie stars to promote his products.  One of the first companies to promote corporate social responsibility by supporting war bonds.  First to take advantage of advertising on broadcast television.  First to employ market research.  And first to truly understand the buying power of women.

Surely such a creative man must have had a muse…perhaps some woman he thought the ideal version of his own vision of beauty?  Indeed!  While he named the company for his sister, his muse was actually his sister-in-law, Evelyn.  She was gorgeous, smart, and often too smart for her own good.

The drama of this family-business-story, as with many such sagas, lies in deciphering where the family and the business intersected, frequently came to loggerheads, and sometimes went to court.  Secrets existed, lies were told, and facades masqueraded as truth – often to protect the family from itself, and always to protect Maybelline above all else. 

Edison made light bulbs.  Ford manufactured cars.  Here’s another great American rags-to-riches story.  This time the name is Williams.  The cash cow wore mascara and Maybelline. 

Review By Kate Farrell of Kates Reads

“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!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Another great review of The Maybelline Story from a guys point of view

By James Pringle.

I just wanted to let you know that your book captivated my attention, from beginning to end.The Maybelline Story, your family history, is a mixture of joy and sadness, complete with a full array of emotions, as well as plenty of adventure and drama to stimulate the imagination.

Throughout your book, I drew mental pictures of locations and events which you eloquently described.  The photos in your book helped to complete my mental images of your family.  While reading your book it was as if I were watching a movie of "The Maybelline Story" in my mind.

In fact, I would be very surprised if "The Maybelline Story" is not someday showing in theaters as a full-length movie or as a  mini-series on TV.  Indeed.  

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Digi/Writing interview, " What inspired you to write The Maybelline Story"

            I Am A Writer Series – Writing Tips 

Q&A With Sharrie Williams

Want to know what other writers think? Check out our I Am A Writer Series where we ask writers to share tips, experiences, and thoughts about what matters to them.

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

I kept a diary at fifteen and expanded to intensive journal keeping in my thirties. After my grandmother, Miss Maybelline’s, mysterious death, I knew I had to tell her story. That’s how my book The Maybelline Story was inspired.

Have you ever tried writing in a cafe? How did you find the experience?

When I was writing The Maybelline Story I’d sometimes go to Starbucks when I didn’t have internet where I was visiting. I found it better than a library. It was comfortable, and I liked the hum of people coming and going. If I needed to ask a question, I’d ask it out loud, and usually someone else working on their computer would come over and help me.

What was your favourite subject in school? Were you always a strong writer?

I was a drama major in high school and junior college. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. Both subjects taught me to be a great story teller and, combined with my journaling, I progressively became a strong writer.

Do you imagine the world you’re going to write about before you write it? Or does it come to you through the story?

Being an Ira Progroff intensive journal keepingstudent for over thirty-five years, I have learned to tap into my inner world and develop stories I never dreamed of. It’s called automatic writing. I go into a meditation space and just let my characters tell me their stories. That’s how I wrote The Maybelline Story.

Do you get writer’s block? If so, what technique gets you writing again?

When I’m intensely writing or editing I get burned out after spending several hours in the deep space of my inner world, connecting with my characters, and have to rest. I do yoga every day and must sleep nine hours or more. It’s like turning to ice and having to thaw out. But I love it.

Author Bio

Sharrie Williams, heir to the Maybelline legacy, is Tom Lyle Williams’ great-niece and is steward of the vast Maybelline archives. Sharrie tells the story of the birth of the Maybelline empire and reveals intimate and never-before-told details about the fascinating family dynasty behind it.  Sharrie has been featured on Good Morning Arizona, Arizona TV: The Morning Scramble, KCAL 9, CBS California, and ABC 7, Chicago. She has also been featured in many online and print magazines in Canada, Australia, and the UK. She is currently published in China, Spain, Poland, and Estonia.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Author of The Maybelline Story, hopes to have her second book "Maybelline: Out of the Ashes published this year

“At 5-years-old, my grandmother put complete makeup on my eyes: mascara, eye shadow, eyebrow pencil, lipstick, rouge,” remembers Sharrie Williams. “She paraded me into the living room so that my great uncle could see. He said, ‘There’s nothing more beautiful than Maybelline mascara on virgin eyelashes.’ From that point on, I realized it was pretty important in this family to get attention from being beautiful.”

Her great uncle was Tom Lyle Williams, who created America’s No. 1 cosmetic company, Maybelline, in 1915. In 2010 the Maybelline Story was published. Today Sharrie has written her second book, "Maybelline" Out of the Ashes" that will be published later this year.

Drama and Intrigue within the Family

My grandmother was mysteriously killed in an arson-related fire in 1978, and that really spurred me to make sure her memory wasn’t forgotten,” she explains. “Still, I put it off and put it off until 1993 when my house burnt down in the Laguna Beach [California] fires; and I lost all of my earthly belongings. I realized the only thing you cannot take away from me is my story. With that I started writing this story with my father’s help.”

The book has no shortage of drama and intrigue, including the fact that her great uncle was a homosexual during a time when he largely had to hide the fact. He eventually moved to Hollywood and worked with some of the biggest stars of the period.

The Struggle with “Outer” Beauty

The Maybelline Story” also chronicles Sharrie’s personal struggles. “I realized [at a young age] it was very important in this family to be beautiful and that then starts my issues when I became 13-years-old, with taking diet pills.  Making sure my outsides were more impressive than how I felt inside was expected” she shares.

“My confidence now comes from the inside rather than how I look on the outside,” 

To those interested in writing their own family story, Sharrie offers the following thoughts: “My advice is to just do it, and don’t let anything stand in your way. The emotional satisfaction is better than years in therapy; and the finished product is a family treasure or, if published, a dream come true. If you have a passion for history and a love of ancestry, writing your memoir is a natural calling.” But she also warns, “It won’t happen overnight, and life will step in and try and stop you, but if you are persistent and keep writing, the end result will be a masterpiece that lives on forever.”

Saturday, June 22, 2019

How Often Should You Get a Facial? We'll go to great lengths to have glowing skin and facials offer a vast amount of benefits but how often should you get a facial?

The U.S. has more than 50,000 professionally trained skin care specialists.
A large number of these professionals specialize in taking care of the face given that it’s the part of the body with the most sensitive skin. It’s also the most visible part of the body.  As such, you would want yours to glow with youthfulness and clarity with facials and other routines used to attain these results.  We'll go to great lengths to have glowing skin, and facials offer a vast amount of benefits. But how often should you get a facial?  Read on to find out.

The Frequency of Getting a Facial
Skin care professionals recommend a facial every three to four weeks. That’s an average of between 21 to 28 days for a normal skin type.  The choice for this period has a basis on the life cycle of skin cells. From the first to the 21st day, the cells would have undergone a full life cycle and will be in need of clearing to make way for newer cells. This period sees to the cells formed, moving from the inner layers to the outer layers of the skin, staying for a while then dying off.

Factors Determining How Often You Should Get a Facial
The 21-day period is however not fixed since there are determinants to how often your skin will need a facial. These factors include the following:

1. Condition of Your Skin
Two people with the same type of skin may require facials on a different frequency depending on this factor. If your skin has redness, dullness, blackheads, is dry and with other conditions besides the norm, you may need facials on a more frequent basis.  Having whiteheads, blackheads or acne may also require more frequent facials to clean the skin.

2. Type of Your Skin
Your skin can be of any type ranging from dry to normal to oily and many other variations in-between these classifications. Each of these skin types requires a different schedule for having facials.
Other than that, the frequency will also result from whether the skin is clear or has clogged pores, blackheads, breakouts and other blemishes. Most importantly, the sensitivity of your skin will require having fewer facials than skin with normal sensitivity. The aim is to avoid inflaming the skin and causing more problems.

3. The Targets You Have for Your Skin
It's advisable to have specific goals for your skin care plan before starting one. While the skincare expert will tell you what you need to do to overcome any blemishes, it is all up to you when it comes to making the actual decision. The frequency of the facial sessions will depend on the decision the two of you reach.

4. How Much You’re Willing to Spend on the Facial
Facials can be quite expensive especially when they entail using exotic products. Thus, you'll need to make a decision between having the right number of sessions and spending within your budget.
Some experts may allow you to tweak the products used to match your budget and frequency of facials.

5. Your Age
For most young people, the need for facials is less urgent as their skins naturally regenerate fast and consistently. Given the right products, their skins can even do without a facial and still remain clean and lively. This young age only requires facials to clear blackheads and other blemishes and on a less frequent basis.  With age, your skin needs more care to keep it in good condition. You, therefore, need more frequent facials coupled with other procedures aimed at rejuvenating the skin.

6. Environmental Factors
Your environment determines the number of pollutants in the air with urban and industrial areas having more pollutants than rural areas. The high level of pollutants leads to skin problems if they’re not cleaned off the skin fast enough.  Living in an urban region may thus require more frequent facial sessions than in rural areas.  A combination of these factors will give you the exact frequency of your facials.

But What Exactly is a Facial?
While the primary question is the frequency of getting a facial, some confuse it with other procedures done on the face.  A facial is a general term given to skin care treatments of the face among them exfoliation, creams, facial masks, massage, steam, extraction, lotions, and peels. The choice of facial procedure depends on your specific need as a customer.

Are Facials Worth It?
Facials are worth it given their many benefits which go beyond a beautiful face to include the reduction of stress. The full list of benefits is as follows:

Stress Reduction
A properly done facial helps calm the nerves on the face and the head in general thus doing away with stress. Obtaining the full stress reduction benefits from a facial requires expert hands to locate and manipulate the pressure points on the face.

Prevention of Aging
Facials stimulate your face leading to the faster regeneration of cells and production of collagen. The boosted circulation resulting from a facial massage makes it easy to remove the toxins from the face and into the bloodstream for elimination. The result is a younger-looking face.

Skin Tightening
Facials help prevent the skin from sagging by stimulating the production of collagen. The collagen helps the skin retain its elasticity even in old age.

Treatment of Acne
Facials help calm inflamed skin while keeping the toxins that worsen acne at bay. Facial products containing salicylic acid help reduce the acne and any scars it may cause to the skin.
It’s recommended to go to a wellness spa that offers a range of facials for best results. You can explore services here for a better understanding.

So, How Often Should You Get a Facial?
The answer to "how often should you get a facial?" is highly subjective and the estimate of three to four weeks is only for normal skin types. Other types of skin will need either less or more facials within a given period of time. With only a few people having normal skin with balanced oil production, many people require talking to a skin specialist to have the right answer. Even with that, the frequency for a single individual is subject to change.
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