Thursday, July 25, 2019

remember the familiar advertising slogan, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe It’s Maybelline

 ” It might be one of the last legacies handed down from the original family of an American dynasty. Although the company now known as Maybelline New York was acquired by L’Oréal Paris in 1996, Maybelline remains a household name.
One of the original family’s direct descendants, Sharrie Williams, has authored, The Maybelline Story…and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It, to tell her family’s own fascinating story.
The office in her attractive, yet beautifully stylish adobe-style North Scottsdale home, is neatly stacked with a rich collection of photos and memorabilia. She tells the story of how the vision of her grandfather’s brother founded the American make-up giant, Maybelline Cosmetics.

The book is a true page-turner, each chapter leaving the reader wanting more. In the Preface, Alan Andrews Ragland, describes company founder, Tom Lyle Williams, as “a self-made man—a boy from small- town American who, through determination, great ideas and plain old hard work, created an astonishingly successful company called Maybelline.”
In 1915, Mabel Williams, inspired her brother, Tom Lyle, to formulate an eye-beautifying product called, “Lash-Brow-Ine.” Today’s version of that original product still claims to be the best-selling mascara of all time. Tom Lyle, bought the company that became known as Maybelline with a $500 loan he borrowed from his brother, Noel J. Williams
That company, named in sister Mabel’s honor, would eventually become the leading cosmetic industry giant in America.

As the story goes, after witnessing his sister Mabel, “replacing” her singed eyebrows and lashes with a mixture of burnt cork and petroleum jelly, Tom makes a tremendous discovery. He realized that the way actresses made their eyes so compelling on screen could be easily replicated for non-starlets with a few ingredients in their proper ratios.

Sharrie Williams relates a colorful story of how her great uncle, the middle son of an American family (with roots going back to the 1600s, that include Benjamin Franklin, the founder of West Point and a leader of the Boston Tea Party) played a pivotal part in American history, creating a company with a product that has become a familiar household name.
During the “roaring ‘20s,” the “flapper era” would provide a devoted following for the eyelash and eyebrow beautifiers that Maybelline produced. The demand for Maybelline products was so great that even through the Depression the company remained successful.
“Hollywood and Silent Films were a key ingredient in making Maybelline, the great company it became during the 20th century,” Sharrie explains.
Some of the famous faces over the years who have represented the Maybelline Cosmetics Company have included: Gloria Swanson, Jean Harlow, Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard, Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, Lana Turner and Loretta Young.

After the company sold in December 1967, Linda Carter of Wonder Woman fame became the face of Maybelline for a time. After it sold again to Loreal Paris, Maybelline New York’s famous Super Models representatives have been the likes of Christy Turlington, Kirstin Davis, Miranda Kerr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Melina Kanakaredes, and Sheetal Mallar. Julia Stegner, Jessica White, Emily DiDonato, Lisalla Montenegro, and Shu Pei.
The author grew up in Southern California leading a middle class lifestyle until the sale of the Maybelline Company made her father an overnight multi-millionaire, which she says turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. Sharrie reveals candidly her own realization about beauty, from the inside out.

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