Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Maybelline provided an inexpensive eye beautifier that mirrored the glamour of a woman's favorite Glamour Queen

1933 Maybelline Ad.

Maybelline founder, (1915,) Tom Lyle Williams, believed a
woman’s greatest asset was her ability to capture a man’s imagination through her expressive eyes.

By the 1920's women were expressing their creativity through fashion, music, dance, modern 
art and writing. The film
industry was exploding with glamour and Super Stars.
Maybelline, contracted Hollywood Movie Queens to endorse
their products in full page ads in Glossy magazines. Modern
Women wanted to know what was happening in the glamour
industry..... fashion and beauty and Photography was the
ticket for showing off beautiful eyes.  And, photography meant makeup! Tom Lyle Williams, used photography mixed with art
to create the stunning Art Deco Ads in the early 1930's. 

Magazines were a powerful tool in  women's lives.  By
1929, Tom Lyle Williams had spent a million dollars on
advertising, but hat was just the tip of the iceberg. He'd
soon be spending that much a year, keeping Maybelline
number one in the Country. 

The Great Depression, made Maybelline a household word.
Women wanted beauty and glamour and Maybelline gave
them sex appeal socially while exuding confidence in the 
workplace. For first time since the Victorian era, Movie Stars
like Jean Harlow, or Joan Crawford, exuded sex on the screen
and young woman embraced it.  

Maybelline provided an inexpensive eye beautifier that
mirrored the glamour of a woman's favorite Glamour Queen,
and old world standards melted away.  With America's
changing values, Tom Lyle Williams placed his mascara in 
dime stores for the first time and Maybelline became the undisputed giant in its field

Read more about Tom Lyle Williams and his Maybelline company, in The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind it. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Read how a fluke turned into a simple product, and how it turned into an international sensation and empire. Follow their families lives for One Hundred years.

The Maybelline Story starts a century ago and takes you though the interesting life of founder Tom Lyle Williams and his fascinating family as he climbs his way 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.

The Maybelline Story is one that has left a lasting impression upon America, yet not many realize just how vital a role the cosmetic brand has played in shaping idealism today.  The obsession with perfection is widely seen throughout Hollywood, as it was nearly 100 years ago.  However, the obsession at that time did not reach the rest of society as it has today.  Early cosmetic developers, such as founder Tom Lyle Williams of the Maybelline Co. brought cosmetics to the everyday woman, pushing the idea that every woman, young and old, regardless of class, can obtain glamour and beauty with a simple swish of the eyes.  That’s where Maybelline got its start.  Developed in a time where women were breaking away from being modest and obedient housewives, and starting to seek their right as legal voters and equals in society.

The story captivates all audiences by its incredible survival through economic, social, and personal turmoil.  The Maybelline Story takes you on a journey through 20th century America, and into the 21st century, where Maybelline thrives as a billion-dollar Icon, the world’s largest cosmetic brand.  For Tom Lyle, the journey was not easy, as the brand tears his family and their world apart, yet brings them together to re-discover what they had before they had millions.....each other. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

A tale of real people finding themselves, dreaming big and never giving up.

    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. It screams HBO mini-series all over it.

     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 building a business, while the family's dynamics and secrets unfold. 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. Tom Lyle Williams and the story behind him is truly one of a kind!  I would recommend this read to anyone. Can't wait for the movie! Great Read! 


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Maybelline Mascara or False Lashes, what's your cosmetic drug of choice

Maybelline Expert Eyes False Eyelashes 

Sharrie Williams, author of the Maybelline Story, made up with Maybelline Expert eyes False Eyelashes

Sharrie Williams wearing Maybelline False Eyelashes 1968

though I love how I look in false lashes, my cosmetic drug of choice is mascara

Monday, July 16, 2018

Maybelline was America's first Mascara, 1915. Eugene Rimmel's, European, mascaro, was a darkener for men's mustaches.

Let's Set the Record Straight 

Cosmetics and Skin http://www.cosmeticsandskin.com/bcb/water-cosmetique.php

Given that ‘rimmel’ means mascara in Turkish, Farsi and several European languages, it is sometimes said that Eugene Rimmel [1820-1887] was the originator of mascara. However the product he made – called Water Cosmetique – was developed to be used on men’s moustaches not women’s eyelashes.
Cosmetics and Skin always has it right.....

Diane Penelope Blog

In 1913 French chemist and perfumer Eugène Rimmel developed the first non-toxic lash paint for sale. That cake mascara (in a pan and brushed on) was created with a blend petroleum and black coal dust. The downside was that it was very messy and the texture inconsistent. Despite this, it was ridiculously popular across Europe. Rimmel in some countries still refers to mascara (like Hoover and Kleenex).

In 1917, Eugene Rimmel created the first packaged cosmetic mascara. Produced from a blend of petroleum and black coal dust, the history of mascara began with a cake mascara that although reformulated, is still found today.

I have to step in here and say, this is Maybelline's history, mistakenly printed under Rimmel.  The picture on the box of Rimmel cake mascara is from the 1950s. Tom Lyle Williams with his sister Mabel Williams were the first to create a formula made of petroleum and black coal dust, in 1917. Rimmel was strictly a man's mustache darkener at the time Maybelline was founded in 1915.

Original Lash-BrowIne ad, placed in 1915, Photoplay movie magazine.  Rimmel at the time was strictly a black goo for men.
 Lash-Brow Ine. became Maybelline in 1917
Maybelline cake mascara with Silent Film Star, Mildred Davis, 1917

 College Optometrists blog https://www.college-optometrists.org/the-college/museum/online-exhibitions/virtual-eye-and-vision-gallery/appearance-of-the-eye.html

The eyes could be made to stand out by making the face paler, with make-up applied so thickly it was almost a mask. Indeed our word ‘mascara’ comes from the Italian word for mask, ‘maschera’. In 1834 the French-born perfumer Eugene Rimmel (1820-1887) moved to London and invented the first non-toxic commercial mascara.

Again, I want to point out what Rimmel formulated was strictly for a mans mustache, not for the use on eyelashes.

Vintage Dancer 1920's Makeup

Mascara was still in the development stages. It could be purchased in liquid, wax or cake form. If you wanted to try Maybelline’s mascara, the company was kind enough to include a brush, which had to be moistened with water before dipping in cake powder, along with a close-up photo of silent film star Mildred Davis for use as a reference.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Maybelline founder Tom Lyle Williams ran the Company while raising he brother's 12 year old son

Bill Williams holding Lady, 1938

Tom Lyle did his best to take over being "dad," while running his growing mega-company.  He enjoyed his time with his nephew, swimming in The Villa Valentino's Olympic-size pool, playing badminton, dropping dimes in the slot machine in the game room - decorated like the Hawaiian Islands -or listening to Bing Crosby sing Sweet Leilani, from the film Waikiki Wedding.  When Unk Ile was busy Bill listened to  The Green Hornet, - Fibber McGee and Molly and curled up on the sofa till he fell asleep.

For Christmas that year Tom Lyle had the Villa decorated  with a 15 foot tree and strung colored lights on some of the trees surrounding the The Villa.

They were a family now, Bill, Evelyn and Tom Lyle and on Dec. 21, when the premier of Walt Disney’s first feature length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came out, Unk Ile drove them to the Cathay Circle theatre is Los Angles, to see it, with dinner at Brown Derby afterwards.

On Christmas Day Unk Ile brought out a little basket with a beautiful Cocker Spaniel puppy in it, named "Lady."   Bill finally got his wish - a dog of his own. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Maybelline's three most popular products, Volum Express Mega Plush Mascara - Dream Bouncy Blush - Color Sensational Lipstick


 Maybelline Volum’ Express Mega Plush Mascara. This is the most underrated mascara in the drugstore. It’s a unique gel-mousse formula that is more lightweight than other mascaras but gives you just as much impact. The wand is hinged, working with your lashes and the applied pressure when you’re swiping it on, for soft, fluttery, gorgeous-looking lashes.


Cream blushes are an ideal makeup bag essential because whether you’re wearing a full face of makeup or just want to bring a flush of healthy color to your bare skin, you can work cream blushes into any look. If you’re in the drugstore looking for a cream blush, search the shelves for Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush.
This one is really special. The formula is unique, it’s not a pressed powder, nor is it a typical cream blush. It’s a putty texture that changes shape as you press your finger into it. The texture is unique, but so is the wear.
A lot of cream blushes can either be too dense, almost like a lipstick, and seem to just sit on top of skin rather than blending into it, or they can go the way of a cheek stain and be too intense, too quickly. Dream Bouncy does neither. It takes to skin beautifully, can be built up or blended away depending on what you prefer, and appear to be coming from your skin naturally.


This one’s fairly simple and an easy choice, but you might not think that given how many options are available. Stick to Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipstick. It’s affordable and available just about everywhere.
Maybelline’s Color Sensation Lipstick is simply the MAC of the drugstore. With more colors and finishes every season in its iconic formula, there’s a color for every skin tone and mood.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Victorian Era Gibson Girls" home-cooked their mascara from ashes

They also used singed bottle corks and the blackish juice of elderberries. In 1872, French perfumer-entrepreneur Eugène Rimmel invented the world’s first commercially available mascara. His lash-plumping formula was simple: petroleum jelly and coal dust. (Rimmel, now owned by global cosmetics giant Coty Inc., still produces a variety of popular mascaras today.
Applying Rimmel’s messy mascara was nothing to blush at. Users first dampened a rigid brush that looked like a mini toothbrush, then rubbed it across a gumstick-sized rectangle of a pigmented “cake.” It was little more than a hunk of black soap. With running water often tough to come by at the time, women sometimes used saliva to wet the brush, earning mascara the nickname “spit black.”
By the turn of the 20th century, the concept of mascara as a beauty enhancer had lashed out and taken hold across the pond, here in the United States, only we were still making it on our own. That is until in 1915 in Chicago. There, a scrappy, 19-year-old entrepreneur and Kentucky farm boy named Thomas Lyle Williams watched with curiosity as his older sister Maybel, who’d burned her eyelashes and eyebrows in a kitchen accident, dabbed grime on her eyelashes. She concocted the homespun mascara from what everyone else did at the time -- coal-dust ashes, burnt cork and petroleum jelly. Seeing dollar signs in Maybel’s smoky eyes, Williams borrowed his buddy’s chemistry set and got busy tweaking her formula, which she dubbed “the secret of the harem.”
Williams’ first recipe flopped. When Maybel tried the oily blend of cottonseed oil, carbon black and Vaseline, it bled down into her eyes and stung like heck.
He went back to the drawing board, hopped on a train to Detroit and ordered a fresh round of supplies from Parke-Davis, a wholesale drug supplier. (Also on a historical note, America’s oldest and once largest drugmaker, Parke-Davis is now a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.) Determined to be successful, Williams hunkered down in a boarding house with a few family members and melted the supplies he scored down into black beauty gold. The second time was the charm.  
Next freshly bankrolled with a $500 loan from his older brother, Williams officially launched his finished product, Lash Brow Line. It was an overnight sensation with the locals. William changed the mascara’s name to Maybelline, a catchy combination of Maybel and Vaseline, put his sister’s face on the packaging and an iconic American brand was born. The company sold the mascara by mail order at first, then later in stores throughout the country and, eventually, the world. Hollywood was no exception, where ultra-glamorous silent film stars took to the lash darkener, pushing it further into the mainstream.
 The Maybelline brand, now owned by French beauty products conglomerate L'Oréal, has risen to become the world’s leading cosmetics brand. To this day, the multibillion dollar household brand sells one of its trademark green and pink packaged Great Lash mascara tubes every two seconds. Not too shabby for a business founded on a hope, a prayer and glorified gelatinous gunk.

All in all, the extraordinary rise and staying power of mascara through the ages is something to bat your lashes at indeed, tears, rain or shine.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Maybelline's digital marketing strategy is a far cry from founder Tom Lyle Williams, early advertising

When my great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams founded the Maybelline Company in 1915, he placed 1 1/2 inch ad in the Classified section of movie magazines, like "Photoplay," or the "Police Gazette".  He also had a radio show called the Maybelline Hour, where he did live shows, often with members of the Maybelline family. Eventually he placed full page, glossy print ads in magazines and was the first cosmetic company to place commercials on television.  Today Maybelline New York, uses digital marketing to focus people talking on their own social networks. However, Maybelline still uses Tom Lyle Williams original strategy of promoting beautiful images in his advertisements,  causing people to talk about it with their friends and family.
Tom Lyle Williams genius in the 1920's through the 1960's was contracting Hollywood's biggest Stars to represent Maybelline. He never used his own face or promoted himself, like every other cosmetic mogul in the industry did.  He did this to protect the Maybelline name and his family from public criticism, because he was gay and had a 50 year relationship with his lifetime partner, Emery Shaver. Today Maybelline's Celebrity partnerships to keep the talk going with their customers. 
For example, Maybelline's collaboration with supermodel Gigi Hadid continues to generate news in fashion media. In addition to being featured in the brand's advertising campaign, Hadid partnered with Maybelline on a makeup collection. The buzzworthy model also devoted her personal Instagram — with 40 million followers  to the new collection bearing her name.
Although Tom Lyle Williams used what ever resources available to him during his lifetime, he never had the opportunity to use the internet or social media in his marketing and advertising campaigns. Today Maybelline New York not only uses Celebrities in their internet and social media marketing and advertising, they also now partner with paid influencers, as well as 
everyday influencers — those friends, family and peers who have large social networks and enjoy sharing their opinions. It ships free product samples to consumers and invites them to share their experiences by posting reviews and product-related content on social platforms.
Just as Maybelline's original founder, Tom Lyle Williams, understood his target markets, Maybelline New York continues to motivate it's customers to spread the word by one on one talking on and offline

My blog post today was inspired by Brad Fay, chief strategy officer at Engagement Labs. read his article at 

Credit: Engagement Labs

Tuesday, June 12, 2018