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The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It
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The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In 1915, when a kitchen stove fire singed his sister Mabel's lashes and brows, Tom Lyle Williams watched in fascination as she performed a "secret of the harem"-mixing petroleum jelly with coal dust and ash from a burnt cork and apply it to her lashes and brows. Mabel's simple beauty trick ignited Tom Lyle's imagination and he started what would become a billion-dollar bus ...more
Paperback, 377 pages
Published June 30th 2014 by Bettie Young's Books (first published August 10th 2010)
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  292 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not the inspiring story I was expecting. It plays out like a soap opera, which is not my cup of tea. I love the history and informative aspect, but more than anything it is a deeply sad story. I probably wouldn't have been disappointed so much if I knew what I was getting myself into.

The writing felt like a high school student's paper that needed tweaking for a better flow. I understand that a person can have several names, but multiple characters with multiple names = unnecessary pauses to the
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting! It's a novel not a biography. Fast read!
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not only do we know Maybelline as a major American cosmetics company, but Maybelline was actually the name of the founder's sister. Tom Lyle Williams was the actual founder of Maybelline and through his business acumen and entrepreneurial talent, came up with a product women are still using 100 years later. It was through his family, especially his sister-in-law Evelyn, herself a glamorous and fashionable woman of her times, that Maybelline became a national presence in the cosmetics market.

Jennifer Leo
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting memoir of a member of the family that founded the Maybelline cosmetics company. I love reading about the early 20th century and was surprised to learn Maybelline was headquartered in Chicago, my favorite city. The family story seemed a little soap opera-ish, but then so are many family stories, I guess, if you dig deep enough. I was most interested in how the business started and kept going even during incredibly hard times like the Great Depression and World War II.
gloria segal
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Lyle the man behind the dynasty

Excellent book about a very young entrepreneur and his vision. His employees would consist of his family. What's great about the book is that you step into each person's life. The Depression, Wars, family joy and sorrow saw them through and added to Tom Lyles success.
Linda Myers
This was certainly an educational read into the lives of a most promenante family.

I enjoyed this book as I was able to live life on the 20's and 30's of this country. The lives of the Williams family are well laid out and tragic.
Linda Heuschkel
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read but lengthy!

I like the extensive detail regarding the building and maintaining the Maybelline brand! Probably would be a better read of in book form so you could see how long the book was.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this non-fiction read. A fascinating family - sad and amazing at the same time. Very good writing - I felt like I was reading a novel.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. Although I couldn't shake the feeling that small sections were embellished / made up (namely in the early years prior to author's birth).
Kaia Lehtsaar
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting book about complex dynasty and story behind gigantic makeup brand
Amy Farley
An Insider's Story

An engaging read. More memoir than biography, with a personal view of a private family. An amazing family history of a company that swallowed a family.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beauty is only skin deep

What a tumultuous family. Driven by making money, and keeping money, the chaos and problems that so often come with money affected them all.
Nancy F. Mynard
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
after reading the Bettencourt affair about L'Oreal, this family was a group of angels. very insightful.

Americana, story behind the products, image, image, image. be careful what you wish form you might get it,
fascinating story
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Growing up in the 70s, the time of discos and over the top makeup, teenage girls, myself included, wanted their lashes as dark and full as possible. We all had the pink and green tube of Great Lash mascara in our makeup bags. I’m middle-aged now and still have Maybelline mascara in my makeup bag. The only difference is I am a little more judicious in my application. So naturally when Sharrie Williams, grand-niece of Tom Lyle Williams; founder of Maybelline, asked if I was interested in reviewing ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting. I did not know any of this. Easy read.
Deb Gripp
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed
Very interesting story about the Maybelline dynasty. Tom Lyle Williams was a self made entrepreneur at a young age. He was and remained always interested in making money for his extended family. Because family was so important to him, he provided for all in his family. He also warned family members to be careful of frivolous spending and investments. Unfortunately some family members were careless and trusted some very obvious deceitful and conniving characters. It was an amazing legacy about a ...more
Julianna Mauga
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of the Maybelline story before, so I was excited to read this book. I'm so glad I did because I absolutely loved it! With the interesting lives of all the characters involved I found the book hard to put down. I was actually disappointed when it came to an end.
Catherine Kastner
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story about a business empire, personal loss/tragedy in a time where the country struggles. Its a very good book about the making of Maybelline and its struggles and triumphs. You won't regret reading it.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good - felt for a book written by a member of the family, the viewpoint was objective and even-handed. Fascinating story if you'ver ever been involved with a family business.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by this one... it was given to me by a friend and I didn't think I would be interested in it at all. However, once I picked it up, I enjoyed it... very interesting history.
Mar 20, 2016 added it
Shelves: library
Both a history lesson and fun romp into the invention of a woman's staple cosmetic! Can't stop singing "Maybelline ... why can't ya be true ..." everytime I think about it!
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Laura Bingham
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Nov 01, 2017
vicki coley
rated it it was ok
Sep 10, 2017
Sharon Yu
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Apr 13, 2019
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Mar 13, 2014
Greg McMullen
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May 06, 2018
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Jan 05, 2016
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Podcast interview with Sharrie Williams 1 1 May 07, 2016 11:37AM  

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