Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Maybelline Story Review: There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to eye makeup.

Take the history of Maybelline. In 2015 the global makeup brand was in the midst of its centennial celebration, complete with multiple star-studded parties.  But before all the blushes and BB creams, it was about a family company creating cosmetics for the eyes.
Sharrie Williams, an original descendant of the family that started the brand, detailed Maybelline’s rise to popularity and prosperity in her book “The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It."
How well do you know Maybelline? Here are

some fun facts:

■ How it started: In 1915, Mabel Williams burned her eyebrows and lashes. Unsure how long they would take to grow back, she burned a piece of cork, mixed the ashes with petroleum jelly and applied them. The jelly soothed the burn and the ash gave her brows and lashes definition. Her brother, Tom Lyle Williams, noticed how darkening them made her eyes pop, and it gave him an idea for a new kind of makeup.

■ Creating a category: At the turn of the 20th century, eye makeup was mainly worn by silent film stars to highlight their eyes on camera. For most women, options were limited to lipsticks, rouges, creams and powders. With a $500 loan, from his brother Noel J. Williams, Tom Lyle Williams launched a product called Lash-Brow-Ine for “beautifying lashes.” In those early days, it was a cake of black material in a little red box that women applied with a tiny brush. It sold for 25 cents.

■ What’s in a name?: Before Maybelline, there was no name for mascara. The company coined the term in the 1930s as a derivative of the French word mascaro, a product     used to  darken men’s facial hair. 

■ A makeup mainstay is born: In 1971, Maybelline debuted its Great Lash mascara — recognizable for its iconic pink-and-green packaging inspired by fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer’s vibrant hues and prints. It’s been a staple on drugstore shelves and in cosmetics bags ever since. In 2000, a tube was sold every 1.2 seconds, according to brand reports.

■ Advertising king: Quality and affordability aren’t the only reason Maybelline has made its mark. “My great-uncle wanted to be remembered as the king of advertising,” Ms. Williams says.

■ Branching out: By the 1970s, Maybelline was more than just eye makeup. There were lip glosses, blushes and much more. L’Oreal acquired the brand in 1996 and moved it to New York, where it continues to churn out new products and is a regular sponsor at New York Fashion Week.
Sara Bauknecht: or on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG.By Sara Bauknecht / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Monday, February 11, 2019

Maybelline's first African American model featured in 1959 Ebony Magazine ad. "Black Women in History Month".

Je'Taun M. Taylor ; Maiden name Je T'Aime Mason (origin of French word Je T'Aime, meaning "I Love You".)  She was born and raised in Chicago, IL at Cook County Hospital on August 8, 1923. Je'Taun was a very gorgeous, respectable, talented lady with a beautiful soul that shined through her heart of Gold. Her ample wittiness, and extremely broad sense of humor is what made her one of a kind. Je'Taun was all about succeeding and conquering your dreams.

Her vivacious spirit, and distinguished determination is what led to her success, but her strong faith, willingness to give, and readiness to learn is what grounded her foundation and legacy. In the late 1930's Je'Taun attended cosmetology school as well as receiving a certificate in Real Estate, while also venturing off into her own endeavors intending to capitalize off of her business ventures.

Some of those ventures included modeling. She also enjoyed altering and modeling clothes. During that time period it was very hard, especially as a woman, to be recognized, considered, or even taken serious due to not only the societies cliche' about how they portrayed women at the time, but as well as characteristic's as simple as the color of her skin. She had to fight for what she wanted. She often stated that she had to be unique in an indifferent world, she had to make a difference, do something that made a statement, and make her mark in this world. She always talked about the promise land...I'm guessing it refers to all the sacred and anointed blessings God has promised each and every one of us.

 We all have our own unique gifts and talents that He only gave to us. While doing so she also made all her loved ones a believer of Christ, with a hopeful future. She grew up in a Christian home. Her grandmother, Ruth Brown, was a Christian Science Minister. Je'Taun carried her grandmothers strong christian faith on through many generations. She gave everyone she came into contact with hope, chance, encouragement, wisdom, and unconditional love just as God does.

 While yet building her modeling career, She had her first child Janice Jackson in 1941. Soon after starting her career, she gained a promising future in modeling with the well known makeup company Maybelline. She was ecstatic to form such a promising future doing exactly what she had wanted to do. She took great joy in modeling for Maybelline. Her career continued to advance with Maybelline, as well as the few business ventures she did with Christian Dior.

 After becoming a bit more successful She then met and married Henry C. Taylor the Vice President of REO movers and van lines, Inc in Chicago, IL. Henry C. Taylor was the brother of Robert Rochon Taylor, 

 Taylor, Robert Rochon (1899–1957) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed  The first African American Chairmen of Chicago Public Housing who is the great-grandfather of 

Valerie Jarrett (Senior Advisor of President Obama), and son of 

Robert Robinson Taylor Robert Robinson Taylor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   the First African American Architect to Graduate MIT.

 After they married she then had her last two children Cherie J. Taylor in 1953 and Joseph Taylor in 1960 her oldest being 12 at the time. All while raising her three children, helping to keep up a household she still managed to pursue her modeling career. She continued modeling until shortly after the death of her 6 month old son in 1961 due to pneumonia. Proceeding her mourning she discontinued her modeling career and decided to dedicate her career path to Realty, so she could spend more time with her family and children. Her husbands business had became very successful during that time, so after working for Travis Realty Group in Chicago, IL for a little under a decade, her first grandchild La'Shaun M. Taylor was born in 1971, where Je'Taun then decided to retire her busy career life at the age of 48 and became a successful stay at home mom. Her and Henry traveled a lot and continued to raise their grandchildren, and her great grandchildren, while continuing to teach and apply the same methods she learned during her successful career path.

After a few years of success with the REO business Henry then sold his proportion in the business, retired and bought a lounge named The Hide Away in Vandalia, Michigan where he and Je'Taun bought a retirement home in Three Rivers, Michigan. In 1984 Je'Taun suffered another loss of her oldest daughter Janice Jackson due to a tragic house fire. Despite her continuous trials and tribulations, Je'Taun still managed to find beauty in the ashes.

 She lived by the famous Bible scripture "Weeping may endure for the night, but Joy cometh in the morning" -Psalm 30:5... 

Proceeding Janice's tragic death 3 short years after Je'Taun and the Taylor family received another heart wrenching loss. Henry C. Taylor passed away on February 16th 1987 two days before his 75th birthday due to a heart attack. Leaving only Je'Taun, her daughter Cherie, her grandchild La'Shaun and great-granddaughter Joyce J. Taylor here with us. The Taylor family decided to stick together.

 They stayed in Michigan for another decade where her great grandchild La'Shaun married and had 5 children. In 2003 Je'Taun and the Taylor Family proceeded to move back to Her home state in Chicago IL. where they moved into a southern suburb and continued to make ends meet. While raising her grandchildren,

 Je'Taun passed down her many talented gifts such as sewing, modeling, making clothes, designing, and her many cosmetology tactics. She always said don't show the world what you been through by how you look, show them with actions...always look your best, forgive never forget, and love  conquers all sin.

She left behind unforgettable lessons and a golden legacy to live by. In 2008 at the age of 85, Je'Taun suffered from a stroke that left her paralyzed on the whole right side of her body.

Thus, causing her grandchildren to step up and extend the same love that was once given. Although some of her independence was altered, her grandchildren still often caught her applying her makeup and perming her hair. 
 After 5 years of enduring the effects that the stroke caused, on September 12, 2013 Je'Taun proceeded in passing onto a better place.

 She leaves behind her daughter Cherie Taylor, her grand daughters La'Shaun Taylor, Michia Casebier and Kimberly Hicks, as well as her great-grandchildren Joyce Taylor, Antonio Taylor, Charde' Haynes-Taylor, Chane' Haynes-Taylor, Thomeshia Muse, Jadai Echols, and Juanita Echols who all reside in Chicago IL as of 2016.  

 Lessons she passed on--- Stand up and make a name for yourself! Capitalize off your talents. She lived by love, and always kept the faith and respect of Jesus Christ no matter how burdened the suffering. One thing she often said that we all should live by is: You can have it all, then lose it all, and then you'll have nothing...but as long as you keep God you'll always have everything.

A tribute video to their Grandmother, Je'Tuan Taylor



Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Maybelline's Success Story up until now was a lost thread in the American Fabric

Tom Lyle Williams at 19 years of age in 1915.
By 1929 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 Theatre 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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Maybelline moves from being King of the classifieds to Queen of the Drugstore in 1932

Vintage Drug Store Advertising Banner announcing Maybelline sold in it's original 75 cent box.

The original Maybelline box was sold only through classifieds in newspapers and magazines and wrapped in brown paper to protect a woman's reputation between 1915 and 1933.

Today this original Maybellne box is almost
 100 years old.

Maybelline brought a new flux of young customers into Drug Store's hoping to be discovered in Hollywood.
Maybelline was positioned at the front door of the drug store to encourage impulse buying.

Another drug store strategy was to place a carton of Maybelline boxes on the lunch counter and near the cash register to encourage ladies to grab it before they left the store.

A vintage Maybelline sign found in early drug stores.

The original Maybelline brush fit perfectly in the little red box.
During the Depression, the price of Maybelline was dropped to 10 cents and packaged in a much smaller box than the 75 cent version.  Now every woman could afford a box of maybelline and have beautiful eyes.

The Maybelline Girl now on carded merchandise, was introduced in the early 1930's at the drug store.

Color was added in the late 1930's.

A 10 cent Depression size brass tin of Maybellne Eye Shadow, featuring the original Maybelline Girl.

It was the beautiful advertising that brought the crowds of women into their local drug store for a box of Maybelline in 1932.

Maybellilne's Before and After Ad's were first seen in vertical  advertising found in news papers and magazines in the early 1930s.

The Film Cleopatra staring Claudette Colbert, inspired this before and after ad in 1934. 

Big Stars like Jean Harlow along with the Good Housekeeping seal of approval expanded Maybellines credibility in the 1930

Thursday, January 10, 2019

"What will readers take from the Maybelline Story" Interview by Athena Karsant, Internationally renowned Master Corrective & Cosmetic Tattooist in Beverly Hills & San Francisco.

 Sharrie Williams author of The Maybelline Bo
Sharrie Williams
I am so very excited and honored to have my second guest blogger (the first was my daughter Krysten)! Sharrie Williams is the author of The Maybelline Story. She is the heir to the Maybelline legacy, is Tom Lyle William's great-niece and the granddaughter of Evelyn Boecher Williams. I am so excited to have the beautiful and wonderful Sharrie on my blog this week and I know you will enjoy every word below - I surely did! 

As a blogger yourself, what advice can you give others and myself about the blogging world?

I find it incredible how a blog grows organically just by showing up at the computer everyday and posting good material.  Three years ago I was excited to receive 66 hits my first month.  Now I can't believe I have over 35,000 hits a month.   Of course adding Twitter followers has been a big boost and Facebook expanded my online presence as well.   

Like Mabel in the book that burnt off her eyelashes on a hot stove, can you share some of your makeup secrets?

After I finish putting on my eye shadow I dab the tiniest bit of eye cream on my lids. This is an old Hollywood Movie Star secret I learned from my grandmother.  Another favorite trick of mine is, once I have my face make up and powder on, I buff it with a terrycloth washrag so it doesn't look thick and dull.  I also blot the oil during the day with rice paper or sometimes even a piece of a toilet seat cover in a public restroom.  Try it you'll be amazed. 

What is your must have Maybelline product?

I still use Great Lash mascara. The number one mascara in the world and I like Maybelline mineral Power make-up. (It looks great after being buffed.)

What inspired you to write this book?

It's been a long process.  My grandmother began telling me the Maybelline story when I was a young girl and the seed was planted.  After her untimely death I was determined to finish it.  I knew that if I didn’t tell the story it would be lost forever and that would be a shame.  The Maybelline Story is a thread in the fabric of American history and a big part of vintage Hollywood glamor.  I also wanted my great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, the founder of the Maybelline Company to be remembered for his tremendous contribution to the Cosmetic industry as well.  

What is the best benefit to you being the heir of the Maybelline dynasty?

Growing up with a great uncle who made my life so magical.  It wasn't about the money; the money only complicated matters and destroyed us in the end.  It was about being so close with my cousins and the fun of sharing our excitement as the Maybelline grew into a global giant.  Now as an older woman I hope to give back some of the wisdom and strength I gained ridding this roller coaster experience.

Growing up did you understand your family dynamics and who your great uncle was and how he contributed to the world of beauty?

My grandmother, Evelyn Williams was married to Tom Lyle's brother Preston, my grandfather.  After Preston's death, at only 37 years of age, she and my 12-year-old father followed Tom Lyle from Chicago to California.  The three of them remained extremely close and loved to talk about the good old days when Maybelline was a little mail order business sold through the classifieds in Movie magazines.  I was so fascinated by their stories as a little girl that all I wanted to do was hear more, as often as possible.  Soon I became my grandmother’s little protégé and eventually her little clone.  So yes I was indoctrinated at an early age with the rules of the game, the family dynamics and I did know and appreciate the tremendous contribution Tom Lyle bestowed on women and the world of beauty. 

Original Maybelline 1916
What advice can you give others who want to follow in your uncle’s shoes? For the underdogs.

Tom Lyle Williams was the biggest underdog of all, of course.  That's what the Maybelline Story is all about.  He started out with nothing more than a good idea, lots of determination and a $500 loan from his brother and turned it into a worldwide brand.  It's all about building your brand and your reputation.  Brands come and go if it's not built on integrity.  Like doing a blog...It takes about three years before you really see results and during that time, you develop discipline and determination, or you give up and never see the results of your labor.  As my great uncle would say... It's easy to be excited and happy when it's new and easy... the true test of success, is keeping the momentum going during the down cycles.  If you believe in your project, you have to keep going even though it might take years.  It took me 20 years to get published and I wanted to give up and burn my manuscript all the time.  When I least expected it, the miracle happened and now the energy I put forth building that momentum is expanding the blog and my voice into the world - Because I never gave up.

What is this book about? Is there anything in this book that you did not publish? Care to share?

The Maybelline story is about a young 19-year-old entrepreneur who rides the ups and downs of life while building a little company called Maybelline. It’s also about his incredible sister-in-law, Evelyn Williams, (my grandmother) who is so deeply affected by vanity it leads to ultimate destruction.  In the midst of all the drama I grow up trying to sort out what's real and what has real value.  The book is a rags to riches story with an interesting morale in the end you won't forget.

Will there be a second part to your story?

There definitely should be, because everyone is asking me what happened to all the people they either loved or hated.  I do have a 350-page manuscript that is ready to go when the time comes.  But for now a movie or HBO series would be my next goal.

Who are your greatest influences and why?

My father Bill Williams was Tom Lyle's nephew and godson.   He grew up at the Villa Valentino in Hollywood where he learned the secrets to his uncle’s great success.  My father was an extremely talented interior designer and builder.  When my home burned down in the 1993 Laguna Beach, California Firestorm I lost everything because I wasn't home.  I wanted to give up and die, but it was my father who held me together and helped me get back on my feet.  I thrived because of his determination to see me overcome my doubts and succeed.  He designed and helped me rebuild my home, than helped me research and write my book.  I learned so much from him and now carry that spirit of “Yes I can!” with me to pass onto the next generation.  

What will readers take from this great read?

They will be inspired to make their dreams come true and believe anything is possible if they just keep going and never give up. 

What was the best advice your uncle or mother gave you about beauty?

My mother believed that beauty was an inside job.  That who you are n the inside is reflected on your face.  You see beautiful young girls turn into nasty middle-aged women and bitter old ladies.  All the Maybelline in the world can't cover up the truth of who you are inside.  If a woman doesn't grow, change and accept life she will remain a spoiled unattractive child in an aging body.  All women must work on their attitude and mature within, to keep their youthful effervescent beauty into old age.   Like the saying goes, Maybe She's born with it... Maybe it's Maybelline.

Describe your best achievement with your family name and without?

My best achievement with the Maybelline name so far, is writing my book and becoming a positive role model for women who want to achieve their goals.  It's not about make-up for me anymore; it's way beyond make-up.   Without the Maybelline name, my biggest achievement is being Mom and Nana and a positive role model for my family I grow into old age.  

Evelyn Williams (Nana), Bill Williams (my dad), Sharrie Williams (me)
& Tom Lyle Williams (my great uncle) 1965
What was your favorite childhood memory?

Going up to my great uncle's home in Bel Air California with my family and playing with him in the pool.  I remember he was such an unassuming man that he'd actually wear swim trunks pinned at the waist because the elastic had stretched out.  Here was a man who could afford the best and yet was so comfortable with himself around his family; he didn't need to show off.  On the other hand he was so generous hat he gave millions to them after the sale of the Maybelline Company in December of 1967.

How old were you when you learned about Permanent Makeup? Did your grandmother or anyone in the Maybelline family know about Permanent Makeup or have any?

I know permanent makeup has been around since the 1930's if not before, but I don't remember anyone in my family ever talking about it.  Probably because Maybelline was designed for women with light brows and lashes, so it never seemed necessary to have it done until now.

What are your current thoughts on cosmetic tattooing & permanent makeup?

I became aware of the process about 10 years ago, after a friend of mine had her brows, lips and eyeliner permanently applied.  She looked years younger and only needed Maybelline Mascara to complete her glamorous look.  My brows have faded to the point of being invisible and I'm seriously considering having permanent makeup done this year.  However, I would only trust the process to an artistic genius with years of experience and a talent for perfection.  Athena Karsant is the best in the business and would be my choice for sure.  Be sure to check out Athena Karsant's post on my Maybelline Book Blog…Click here to read Athena's guest blog!

Follow her blog: The Maybelline Story

Thank you Sharrie for sharing some of your incredible story! To learn more about Sharrie and The Maybelline Story, visit her blog. To learn more about Athena Karsant visit her website.