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

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

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Maybelline Story Video produced by L'Oreal has a few discrepancies, but, gives a fun overview of their history

Mabel Williams, wasn't trying to win over her boyfriend by having beautiful eyes.  Maybelline was first Lash-Brow-Ine in 1915 not 1913 and Tom Lyle was a young entrepreneur, not a chemist.

Mabel Williams, Maybellines namesake.

In the video, the narrator infers that this picture is of Mabel's boyfriend (in the middle) and Mabel Williams.  The boyfriend is actually her father,  Thomas Jefferson Williams and her brother Tom Lyle Williams on the left.  They are standing in front of Tom Lyle's new convertible Paige Detroit, parked in front of the first Maybelline building in 1916.

Read the real story of the birth of Maybelline and the Williams family, in The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

"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."

Copyright Anne Mount. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memorial Day Celebrating and honoring Maybelline family Men who served in the Armed Forces in WW1 and WW11

My grandfather, William Preston Williams, with his parents Susan and TJ. TJ was  proud his son was fighting for his Country like so many Patriots that went before him in the Williams Family.

Maybelline's namesake, Mabel Williams on the left with her brother Willliam Preston Williams, Helen, Frances Allen Williams, Bennie Gibbs and Tom Lyle Williams in front of his new "PAGE "Convertible in Chicago. 

Maybelline Ad during WW11, promoting War Bonds

My father, Bill Williams, in the Philippines 

                        Maybelline Ad during WWll.

My Father's first cousin, Noel A. Williams,  joined the Navy right out of High School.

            Noel A. in his Navy uniform during WWll.