Friday, August 24, 2018

103 years of Maybelline Ads show how little has changed in beauty...The products may change, but their goals remain the same

while trends and looks superficially change, nothing has really changed fundamentally in beauty. Women still want lush lashes and brows and perfect skin 103 years later, though the way advertisers have marketed those products to women has changed.


 Maybelline got its start with a lash and brow product. In 1915, a young woman named Mabel Williams mixed coal dust with Vaseline and used it to beef up her lashes after singing them off in an accident. Her brother Tom Lyle Williams took the idea and ran with it, producing a product he called it Lash-Brow-Ine, that became popular via mail order. He called his new company Maybelline (Mabel + Vaseline) and a brand was born. 


In the '30s, brow pencils and eye shadow also came into vogue. This was also the birth of the makeup tutorial's earliest ancestor. The brand produced ads of Betty Grable demonstrating a three-step application process, which ran in popular magazines. The company also notes that in the '30s, the time of the Great Depression, women couldn't afford a new dress, but they could certainly afford a new eye shadow.


In the 1940s and 1950s, Maybelline introduced iridescent eye shadow sticks and liquid liner.  In 1959, the company launched its first "automatic" mascara (after Helena Rubenstein got one to market first), featuring a spiral brush in the tube, called Magic Mascara. During this era, Maybelline began distributing overseas.

By this point, Tom Lyle Williams was the Cosmetic King and Maybelline was Number one Globally.  Then in 1971, the company cemented its hold on women's lashes for good by launching the now-iconic pink and green Great Lash Mascara. In the late '60s, the company was sold to Schering-Plough.


 In 1974, the company launched its first lip products, which included products like Kissing Sticks, Kissing Koolers, and Kissing Potion. Kissing: very big in the '70s.


The brand started offering a full complement of products, including lipstick and foundation. Lynda Carter featured prominently in many ads during this decade, ushering in the era of the actress as spokes model. 


In 1990, Maybelline changed hands again, this time to investment firm Wasserstein Perella and Co. One of the most famous ad slogans of all time was also introduced during this decade: "Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline." (Admit it. You just sang the jingle in your head.) Christy Turlington featured prominently in commercials during the '90s.  L'Oreal acquired the brand in 1996 and still owns it. Over the last 20 years, the brand has signed buzzy models like Jourdan Dunn, Gigi Hadid, Adriana Lima, Freja Beha Erichsen, Jessica White, Charlotte Free and Shu Pei Qin, and sponsored global fashion week.  
Maybelline changed its Logo from "Maybe it's Maybelline," to "Make it Happen." 

 Gigi Hadid became the new face of Maybelline promoting her own product line under the  Maybelline  collection.

And it all started with a 19 year old boy with a good idea from his sister Mabel and a $500. loan from his brother Noel.


  1. The Mesmerizing Eyes by Maybelline. Enchanting eyes mesmerize.
    Lana Lipstick
    Patricia Powder
    Patsy's Powder Puff
    Rosey's Rouge
    Theda Bara Mascara
    Powder, puff, mascara, lipstick, and blush!
    From vanity cases comes beautiful faces. Join the Merry world of Maybelline and mesmerize!

  2. For the many faces of Eve.
    You are Eve, the eternal woman with one hundred faces to beguile and fascinate.
    Which face do you wear this evening, Eve? Remember your eyes hold the secret of your every mood. Look into your mirror. Are those the deepening, gleaming eyes of your siren face? Will a raised eyebrow announce the haughty queen? Or will those lashes turn shyly down? Your eyes speak for you, Eve. So make the most of their beauty - Always with Maybelline. For the most expressive eyebrows use Maybelline Eyebrow Pencil. For eyes that deepen and glow use Maybelline Eye Shadow. A touch of scintillation with Maybelline Eye Liner. Then lashes transform, curled and separated with the exciting Maybelline achievement, Maybelline Mascara. Let Maybelline reveal the hidden beauty of your eyes. For the many faces of Eve, Maybelline!