Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Origin Story of Why We Call It "Vampy" Beauty


The Origin Story of Why We Call It "Vampy" Beauty

Image may contain Skin Face Human Person Cosmetics Lipstick and Kristen Stewart
Chanel/YSL/Getty Images

Going vamp is as much of a fall tradition as grabbing a Pumpkin Spice Latte or re-watching Hocus Pocus with a litter of black and orange candy wrappers scattered down your shirt front. But while a lot of people love to uncap the plum lipstick once the air goes crisp, not a lot of people know what vamp actually means.

The term caught fire in 1935, when an edition of Vogue featured Turkish women outlining their eyes into heavy, almond shapes. Women took notice and embraced the “vamp” look — which took the name because of the similarity between the eyes in the glossy pages and the dark-lined eyes of a vampire.

But prior to Vogue popularizing the phrase, vamps came before flappers in the 1910s, and they were the original bad girls of the generation. Called the "slinking sisterhood with the deadly eyes,” they smeared on red lipstick and painted their eyes soot-black, transforming themselves into a dangerous female archetype: bloodthirsty, and more than happy to separate men from their money with no lack of finesse, sucking them dry. In Greenwich Village, they would throw on their leopard skin coats, Parisian pumps with white anklet socks, and head out into cafe society, seeing which man they could wrap around their finger for the evening. They would party all night and sleep all day, just like the undead, but their penchant for champagne cocktails wasn't their defining feature — their predatory eyes were.

Magazines and movies painted them as unnatural, with carmined lips and beauty spots, drooping eyes that gazed through heavy lashes, and long jade earrings accessorizing their ears. “Oh the vamp, she's a witch, she's a terror, she's a menace. She's the one who leads our men astray,” a female reader wrote into the Oakland Tribune in 1922. “They are little helpless darlings."


But women enjoyed that. Vamps thought it was no less than men deserved, especially seeing how they were the daughters of repressed Victorian mothers. Theda Bara, one of the original vampires with her dark-rimmed eyes and wild curling hair said, “The vampire that I play is the vengeance of my sex upon its exploiters. You see, I have the face of a vampire, but the heart of a feministe.”

Image may contain Theda Bara Human Person Skin Accessories Accessory and Bead
Theda Bara in the 1917 movie Cleopatra. Photo by: (Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)Universal History Archive / Getty Images

Theda Bara alone could be credited with starting the vamp trend — before appearing on the flickering screen of black and white movies, she was just Theodosia Goodman, a Jewish girl from Cincinnati, Ohio. But once she starred with heavily kohled eyes in movies like A Fool There Was, she became Theda Bara — quite literally an anagram for “Arab Death.” Images of faraway castles, coffin beds, and powerful women paralyzing respectable men started circulating, and women were into it.

It became a modern pastime among them, where most girls took it up “along with their algebra and their high school French, and are post-graduates by the time they reach their coming-out parties. The man who looks into a pair limpid, innocent debutante eyes is looking into the eyes of a skilled amateur vamp, whether he knows it or not,” Miami News wrote in 1931. Ads and magazines helped to push the aesthetic, where popular movie magazines like Photoplay featured heavily shadowed eyes that looked up from underneath black lashes, and Maybelline ran ads with dense, almost spidery lashes with blood red lips.

It was all very glamorous, and women were both fascinated with and wanted to be them, while men both loved and feared them. And rightfully so. The first vamp to ever make it into the court system found herself on the defendant side because of a philandering man's wife. The vamp charged up “a $15,990 account against her husband in three short months, and left him with nothing but her bills as a keepsake.” In 1921 that was the equivalent of $218,000! They were meant to be calculating, cold-hearted women, and many enjoyed playing the character.

It was so out of control, that people thought laws would soon be turning out of Congress to regulate these women. Police were instructed to hunt the streets for them, forcibly washing off their painted cheeks if caught. They were such a threat to men that one Newark judge even appealed to the Director of Public Safety to create a “Vampire’s Gallery,” which was quite literally a hall of mug shots, just filled with sulky-eyed sirens.

“By stern public posting of naughty eyes that will not behave, of hair that is too golden, of cheeks that are too pink, the Magistrate hopes to rid his town of the flirtie girlies and make that part of the world safe for domesticity,” New York's The Evening World reported in 1919. They were monsters hiding in plain sight, and you could cross paths with them anywhere if you weren’t careful, from your "chum's sister's fudge party" or during a "clinging waltz at Mrs. Gotrox's ball." She was lethal because she was the I-understand-you-and-no-one-else-does sort, and once she got you under her spell and "drunk her fill of triumph she will step back and disappear, like a genuine ghost-vampire in the gray of the dawn."

In a way, every time we put on vamp makeup, we pay tribute to these women — which explains why so many of us feel powerful, slicking on so-plum-it’s-almost-black lipstick or layer on smoky eyeshadow. It makes you feel like a femme fatale, and that archetype comes from a place of anger-turned-power. Just look at recent beauty campaigns featuring vampy looks, and you’ll notice the same merciless determined glare.

They’re vampires, and they won’t be messed with — much like us everytime we uncap a blood-red lipstick. The women of 1910 made sure of it.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Jean Abbey, 1940, first woman to broadcast a presidential inauguration.

 Maybelline Model and First woman to have her own radio commentary show

Meredith Howard Harless wrote two syndicated columns: “At Random” under her own name, and “Selective Tuning” under the name Jean Abbey on the Washington, D.C. social scene and women’s fashions.

In 1935, Meredith joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
 in Hollywood, California working in public relations, advertising, and fashion, working directly with Louis B. Mayer. While at MGM

With the outbreak of World War II, Meredith concentrated on her writing and radio career with the Hecht Broadcasting Company. In 1940, she became the first woman to broadcast a presidential inauguration, and the first woman to have her own radio commentary show. In addition to her broadcasting work, Meredith volunteered with the United States Treasury Department to raise a total of $250 million of war bonds,

More about this amazing, woman click here

Friday, October 2, 2020

Maybelline's success during the worst economic downturn in American history and it's secret to becoming the most successful cosmetic company in the world in

Tom Lyle Williams, was spending $200,000 a year in advertising, with Maybelline ads appearing in forty popular magazines as well as Sunday newspaper supplements and specialized journals such as Theater and Photoplay. Between 1915 and 1929, he’d spent over a million dollars to advertise Maybelline. His little eye beautifier now had wide distribution in the United States and Canada. Everywhere you went, close-up photos of eyes darkened with Maybelline projected a provocative--but no longer sinful--eroticism. Tom Lyle Williams in 1929, from an article in a trade magazine. In fact Tom Lyle had just launched his 1929 “Springtime is Maybelline Time!” campaign, featuring an idealized lovely young miss looking up adoringly at her man through starry eyes. The offers to vendors pitched display cartons, each holding a half-dozen eye makeup containers, and urged druggists to try product placement by the soda fountain, “forcing extra sales.” Tom Lyle felt that the ad would assure continued prosperity for the company, meaning he could afford to leave Maybelline in the hands of his brother Noel while he and Emery headed out to California for a few days. On October 29, 1929, a news flash announced that the Dow industrial average had fallen almost twenty-three percent, and the stock market had lost a total of sixteen billion dollars in value in a month. Sixteen billion dollars. Tom Lyle knew the stock market crash would be devastating for the country in general, and would certainly ruin many companies. Although Maybelline, as a family-owned business, was not directly affected by the Wall Street disaster, there was no question that the aftermath would be devastating. Who would choose to buy eye cosmetics over food for the family? The prosperity and opulence of the Roaring Twenties were gone, disappearing along with the vamps who had loaded up with Maybelline’s seventy-five-cent product. In order to keep his company alive in the years to come, Tom Lyle knew he would have to find ways to keep his product in the public eye, yet at a price women could afford. The flashy, flapper look was quickly devolving to a more demure look fit for austere times. Despite the national situation, he felt good about the future. In fact, when Noel showed him a story in The Wall Street Journal about a brand-new skyscraper being constructed over the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York--the Empire State Building, the tallest structure in the world--Tom Lyle took it as a sign that the bad economy would be only a temporary dip in the road. He was rarely so wrong. When Emery suggested an ad tie-in to the Empire State Building--Things Are Looking Up, featuring young women with gorgeous eyes gazing up at a new skyscraper--Tom Lyle backed it enthusiastically...until it became clear that for most of the country, things were looking very much down. They abandoned the new ad campaign as the market continued to decline, wages plummeted, and credit dried up. When industrial production also collapsed, many businesses went with it. But not Maybelline. Although innovative and widespread advertising was responsible for a lot of the company's success over the years, it was not the whole story. So was constant innovation in the lab, and that spring, thanks to the introduction of an improved waterproof eye makeup, total sales rose to $750,000--at a time when most businesses were struggling simply to keep their wallowing businesses afloat. The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Interview with The York Management School The Center for Evolution of Global Business and Institutions (CEGBI)

The original Maybelline Company formed in 1915 to 1967, though incorporated in 1954, was a private family owned company, based in Chicago. Tom Lyle Williams was President and was responsible for all advertising. Noel J. Williams, followed by Tom Lyle Williams Jr. was Vice President and ran the administrative part of the company. Rags Ragland, headed the Marketing department. Chet Hewes, (Maybelline’s namesake Mabel Williams’s husband,) headed the division of the company that produced mascara, called De Luxe Mascara. Ches Haines, (TL’s sister, Eva Williams husband) was in charge of transportation. In other words these few men ran the entire world wide company, that today takes hundreds of people, executives and employees. Maybelline was known as the “Wonder Company.” Today it would be impossible to operate a corporation with such a small group of family executives. Maybelline Founder, Tom Lyle Williams 1915 The original Maybelline Company focused on one idea. Eyes. Tom Lyle Williams put every dime back into the company to expand its Advertising and Marketing as well as develop their product line. The secret to Maybelline’s success was the having a quality product at a price every woman could afford. Maybelline was and still is a dime store luxury, priced modestly and advertised in beautiful displays. Maybelline's namesake, Mabel Williams What is your opinion about the fact that so many top cosmetics brands were created by diaspora entrepreneurs? Tom Lyle Williams was an entrepreneur who didn’t want to work for anyone. There was a need in the market place and he was there at the right time in history. Beauty and creativity go hand in hand. I believe young dispora entrepreneurs have their own beauty secrets and don’t want to give them away. They don’t want to work or can’t get work, they are driven by their own need to produce something and be a success in their own right. Many dispora entrepreneurs have old fashioned beauty secrets handed down to them through the generations and are inspired to share them with other women. Like Maybelline… being concocted with ash and Vaseline a secret of the harem, according to a vintage movie magazine…it filled a need and it took off because women were ready for it. Tom Lyle and Mabel's brother Noel J. Williams and his wife Frances 1916 How do you think the management of the cosmetics brand changes in periods of crisis such as the current recession? When the economy is down, cosmetic sales are up. Women will give up a lot of luxuries, but they won’t give up their beauty products. With Maybelline, it’s even more pronounced, because of the price that most women can afford even though their money is limited. I am looking at two periods in time such as the Great Depression and World War II. What are the marketing and branding strategies of your brand? Do you have an idea of what it was like during these two periods and what changed substantially? During the Great Depression, Maybelline moved from being a product women ordered from the classified section of magazines and newspapers, to being a dime store product. Maybelline was the first to create carded merchandise in the 1930s. They also were the first to create swirling displays, we take for granted today. They went from black and white small ads in movie and fashion magazines to full page color ads. They were the first to come out with “Before and After” print ads. Thom Lyle was a visionary always ahead of the curve. He also targeted the youth market, who were going to the movie theatres to see Hollywood Stars, and wanted to look like them. He stalked the dime stores with new products that even teenage girls could afford. Maybelline went from a large 75 cent box mascara to a small 10 cent box. He sold in volume… that was his secret. He also had a quality product that would endure for over 100 years today. During WW ll, Maybelline was shipped to All the Army and Navy Barrack stores, where they carried ciggerates, beer, candy, chewing gum etc. Enlisted women, and wives of the enlisted men, insisted on having their Maybelline. (The American Government almost stopped the production of mascara during the War, because petroleum was rationed. Whoever, Tom Lyle went to the Pentagon and said, “You stop us from producing Maybelline and the moral of our soldiers will go down. Maybelline kept its doors open.) One the War ended, Maybelline took off Globally, because though the Army Barracks stores closed, women all over Europe, who were also able to shop at the stores, demanded access to their Maybelline. It was during this time, Tom Lyle Williams, contracted the biggest Hollywood Stars to represent Maybelline in full color, glossy ads, on the back of movie magazines. Women in the States and Soldiers, overseas, pinned these pictures up in their bedrooms or in the lockers of the barracks’. They were signed by the Stars and looked like they were personally autographed to them. This was a huge advertising campaign helped sell War Bonds. Maybelline also produced a more glamorous line of products that young women enjoyed carrying in their purses while out dancing in clubs. It was all done to boost morale. In your opinion, do you think the motivation has changed from that on the date of the brand’s creation and why? I believe Maybelline today wants to reach a larger market of women, women of color especially. They now have a much larger line of beauty products that cater every woman’s needs. Face makeup, nails, lipstick, powder you name it they do it. Maybelline is about to come out with Organic products. Yes they are going Green. They don’t do animal testing anymore and they are still the premier cosmetic brand in the world. Ever 1.5 second a Maybelline mascara is being sold in the world. To think it started 101 years ago, by my Great uncle, a 19 year old entrepreneur with a 500 dollar loan is really unbelievable. I believe the Brand today is still motivated by Tom Lyle Williams original concept of producing a quality product at a sensible price that all women can have access to and afford. And, to continue producing the most beautiful print ads and TV commercials in the Cosmetic field

Friday, September 11, 2020

"How Stuff is Made" @Refinery 29 Great Lash Mascara by Maybelline a cult favorite for over 46 years

                                 "GREAT LASH" Mascara

Maybelline debuted its "Great Lash Mascara" in 1971. It is still recognized by it's
 Pink and Green Chartreuse packaging inspired by Lilly Pulitzer's vibrant hues and
 prints. It's been a staple on drugstores shelves and in cosmetic bags ever since.
 It has been reported that a "Great Lash Maybelline Mascara," is sold every
1.2 seconds. 

Called the protein Mascara "Great Lash" builds rich, full body onto lashes.
 Marketing people asked Maybelline Company researchers in 1970,  to come up
 with a Mascara to thicken and lengthen lashes better than anything on the market
 and would be easy to apply.  "Great Lash" was that product. 

Surveys taken by Maybelline's marketing team at the time indicated consumers
 didn't consider Maybelline products fashionable, still using the original "Eye" logo.  Updating product colors changed customer perceptions. Especially the teen market

The Lilly Pulitzer Brand was popular with high society. Because Pulitzer was close
 friends with Jackie Kennedy, her designs crowned her "The Queen of Prep." And,
 "Flower Power."

From the inspiration and dedication of Tom Lyle Williams to the the Merchandiser
of Maybelline's new owners,  Schering Plough in 1971, Maybelline's "Great Lash"
has remained an all time favorite Mascara for the last 46 years. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

It all began with the "eyes." In the book, The Maybelline Story, by Sharrie Williams


She tells the fascinating account of the early beginnings of her family in rural Kentucky, from 1911, to their glory days in Hollywood with Joan Crawford appearing in Maybelline print ads in the late 1940's, to the 1970's as fortune affected the family.

Maybelline Mascara Super Model Joan Crawford taken in 1946.  Photograped by Paul Hesse, Hollywood.

By 1953, the cosmetics company was known throughout the world for their print ads of gorgeous flirty models catching everyone's attention with their Maybelline mascara eyes. Williams' great uncle is Tom Lyle Williams, a marketing genius who built a billion dollar cosmetics empire over many years from just $500. he borrowed from his older brother, Noel.

The Beginning of Maybelline Mascara

Tom Lyle loved movies. As a fifteen-year-old who ran the projector room at the local nickelodeon, he was mesmerized by starlet Mary Pickford's eyes, as she flirted with them in her movie, Sultan's GardenWhat made her so alluring? A very motivated, self-starter, Tom Lyle began finding out ways to make money by figuring out what people wanted.

He left the family farm in Morganfield, Kentucky, when he was still just a teenager, to join his brother, Noel, 23, who was working as a bookkeeper for Illinois Central Railroad in Chicago. The year was 1912. Chicago's population was 1.7 million. The brothers lived in Noel's boarding house near a slum of overcrowded tenement buildings.

It was in this environment that the brothers, driven by Tom Lyle's passionate courage, began a mail-order business. Tom Lyle sacrificed. He invested every penny he could scrape together. By 1914, at the age of 18, he was making serious money with his novelty-catalog business. In 1915, he had asked his sister, Mabel, to join them. He put her to work counting orders. The business was making $36,500. a year, which is the equivalent of over a half a million dollars today.

Mabel's Accident Births a Maybelline Mascara Fortune

Tom Lyle's sister insisted on cooking for her brothers. While Mabel was making cake frosting one morning by melting sugar in a pan, the liquid got too hot. Flames shot up and singed Mabel's eyebrows and eyelashes. She looked like a bare-faced mannequin. But, Mabel was not deterred, either. She had been secretly reading movie star magazines. She had read that these starlets, like Gloria Swanson, used a concoction called, "harem secret," to make their eyes beautiful.

Mabel mixed ash from cork she burned, with coal dust, and blended this mixture by using petroleum jelly. She dabbed this goo onto her eyebrows and the tips of her eyelashes. The transformation was amazing. Mabel's eyes were stunning. Then, an idea struck Tom Lyle like a bolt of lightening. Of course, it wasn't the clothes or smiles that made Hollywood goddesses glamorous. It was their "eyes." Mascara was born. The name Maybelline came from Mabel and the Vaseline mixture.

Miss Maybelline and Mascara's Destiny

By the time the 1920's came roaring into Chicago, women had claimed the right to vote, hold hands with men in public, smoke cigarettes, and a whole lot more. They took full advantage of their new-found freedom. Tom Lyle's entire family was in Chicago at this time, helping in the business of making Maybelline mascara. Tom Lyle's younger brother, Preston, incredibly handsome, a WWI hero, was watching a Memorial Day Parade when he and Evelyn Boecher spotted each other. Evelyn also spotted Tom Lyle.

"She fell in love with both brothers on the same day," says Sharrie Williams, of her grandmother, Evelyn Boucher. Evelyn was one of three daughters of John Boucher, a wealthy plumber, who spoiled his girls rotten. Always dressed in fine clothes, refined by music lessons, Evelyn, Bunny and Verona defined elegance. It was Evelyn, however, who became Tom Lyle's muse, and helped catapult Maybelline into the mascara cosmetics market. Sharrie relates in her book, The Maybelline Story: "Destiny arrived right on time, in the form of Evelyn Boucher."

Miss Maybelline Stops Traffic

Evelyn married Preston, but she continued to be the eyes and ears for Tom Lyle when it came to women and what they wanted. She contributed many ideas for the Maybelline mascara ads that put the company on the map around the world.

"Nana had very good insight, " says Sharrie. "She was an observer, a people-watcher. She loved to go to public places. She'd watch what women were wearing, what they talked about, laughed about. She would take it all in, then she would be able to condense this information and tell Tom Lyle. They would have dinner together and she would let him know - this is what women are looking for. This is what they want."

One day, Tom Lyle asked Evelyn to pick up some flyers from the printers, that he was going to mail to dime stores around the country. This was the time when Al Capone and other gangsters practically owned Chicago. Drive-by shootings and loud-mouthed gangsters were part of the city's fabric. Clutching an arm-load of flyers, Evelyn was almost to the Maybelline building when a car backfired. Everybody ducked, thinking it was gunshot. Evelyn jumped and threw her arms into the air, releasing the flyers, which were picked up by the wind.

An astute newspaper reporter snapped her photo. The next day, the newspaper printed Evelyn's photo with this title: "Miss Maybelline Stops Traffic." Orders for Maybelline mascara came pouring in. As Sharrie recalls, in her book, The Maybelline Story: "My uncle said to Nana: ' Evelyn, with that one photo you've accomplished more for marketing Maybelline than any flyer ever could."

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

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