Friday was Maybelline’s 100th Year of being in the beauty business. Imagine that! 100 years! So I thought I’d do a little tribute to the brand – no it’s not sponsored – sharing with you some of the things I just learned about the beauty products over the last 100 years.
First up, where or how did that name Maybelline come about? It was actually an amalgamation of the name Mabel and Vaseline. It all started in 1915 when Thomas L. Williams developed a mail order lash and brow beautifier called Lash-Brow-Ine, which was inspired by his sister Mabel. Who would have thought that those lash and brow thing-a-ma-jig came about in 1915! Wow! Then in 1920, it officially became Maybelline and was copyrighted. That was also when the Lash-Brow-Ine launched in a solid form. The waterproof liquid form came soon after and sold for… wait for this… 75 cents!!! What?! Yeah, makeup was so much cheaper back then!
10 years later, Maybelline released their first ever eyebrow pencil and eye shadows. Did you know that before that, most “nice girls” didn’t wear coloured eye shadow? Plus, they also launched their first cream mascara where no water was needed for easy application. Now I’m wondering how they used to apply mascara with water! I’m definitely intrigued now. The print ads that came out actually included ways that you could apply these eye shadows, educating women on the different eye colours that the different coloured eye shadows would suit. Hollywood actresses were used to encourage women to take that plunge into wearing coloured eye shadows.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that Maybelline started markeing on television. In fact, they were one of the first cosmetic brands to advertise on screens. That was also when they introduced their first automatic mascara the Magic Mascara. I’m guessing that’s what we use nowadays? You know something that comes from a tube and not having to brush it on via a cream cake in a palette?
Cue 10 years later and Maybelline delivers its pressed powder eye shadow, fine line automatic eye-liner pencil and starts distributing internationally, starting with Ecuador. That was also the time where Maybelline delved into the formulation of its waterproof mascara. And, I hope you’re sitting down because you won’t believe how much these were sold for each – $1. Yeah… that caught me off guard too!
1971 saw the birth of Great Lash, the mascara with a breakthrough formula that conditions as it thickens and is forever immortalised in a pink and green tube – you know, this is the now.
This was also when those “kissing sticks”, “kissing slicks” and “kissing potions” were released. Wondering what they are? Well they’re the 1970s version of our lip gloss now. I remember snagging my aunt’s kissing potion when I was little and wearing them. The yummy cherry taste didn’t hurt either!
The 70s and 80s saw Maybelline expanding to include product for face, lips and nails, thanks to my favourite actress, Lynda Carter of Wonder Woman fame! She was the face of Maybelline and showed that women CAN conquer the world – especially with mascara and lipstick 😉 .
So when exactly did their famous “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline” motto came about? That wasn’t until 1990 and also when L’Oreal acquired Maybelline. By then, Maybelline had already hit markets in the Asia Pacific, South Africa and throughout America. Call it world domination?
The dream matte mousse debut in the year 2000, giving women the world over a chance to have that matte finish with the air-soft formula.
Come 2015 and Maybelline is seen on catwalks of famous fashion parades around the world. And now, they’ve got a whole lot more in their range too. Who would have thought that it all started with the a lash and brow enhancer!
That was a quick look at Maybelline’s history over 100 years. Did some of the things you’ve just learned surprised you? I know I was surprised by the fact that mascara hadn’t always been the way it is now!