Monday, September 15, 2014

Maybelline "firsts": Movie Star Displays, Carded merchandise, improved self-serviced racks and three-step eye make-up...mascaras, pencils and shadows,

Excerpt from The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.  

 Tom Lyle Williams was onto something that had eluded him, something far more exciting than any horse race or radio show. Tom Lyle marveled with Emery over two recent photos of Merle Oberon who’d been in a terrible accident the year before that left her face badly scarred. One picture had been taken of her without her make-up, and the pits and indentations in her skin showed up. Yet here was another picture that made her skin look flawless in spite of the damage. Make-up and clever lighting obviously helped keep her image stunningly beautiful without detracting from her exotic eyes, but something else was going on here. This was the faultless look Tom Lyle had dreamed of, and the image appeared in the kind of vibrant jewel tones that could only be the unique tri-color process from Technicolor. The photo in his right hand was ground-breaking. Technicolor had never been accomplished outside of moving pictures. Someone had worked with a lab to create a still shot from a reel of movie film. Excitement sent Tom Lyle’s pulse racing.

Thank you to my cousins, Ann Carneros, Linda Hughes and Donna Hughes for sending me the picture of Merle Oberon's Maybelline Display.  The vintage, late 1930's Display, was found in a second-hand shop and bought as a gift for Donna and Linda's mother, Shirley Hughes, (Shirley is Maybelline's namesake, Mabel Williams, daughter and my cousin Ann, is Noel J. and Frances Williams granddaughter.)  Siblings, Tom Lyle, Noel J. and Mabel Williams, were the original founder's of the Maybelline Co. in 1915.

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