Thomas Lyle Williams
Wholly owned subsidiary
New York City, New York, United States
Maybelline LLC, branded as Maybelline New York, is a major American makeup brand sold worldwide and a subsidiary of French cosmetics company L'Oréal.
The Maybelline Company was created by a 19-year-old entrepreneur named Thomas Lyle Williams in 1915. Williams noticed his older sister Mabel applying a mixture of Vaseline and coal dust to her eyelashes to give them a darker, fuller look. He adapted it with a chemistry set and produced a product sold locally called lash-in-brow-line. Williams renamed his eye beautifier Maybelline, in honor of his sister Mabel, who gave him the idea. In 1917 the company produced Maybelline Cake Mascara, "the first modern eye cosmetic for everyday use" and Ultra Lash in the 1960s, which was the first mass-market automatic.
In 1967, the company was sold by Williams to Plough, Inc. (now Schering-Plough) in Memphis, Tennessee. The entire cosmetic production facility was moved from Chicago to Memphis over one week-end. In 1975, the company moved its factory to Little Rock, Arkansas, where it is still located. In 1990, Schering-Plough sold Maybelline to a New York investment firm, Wasserstein Perella & Co. Maybelline Operational Headquarters remained in Memphis until being sold in 1996, when headquarters moved to New York City. The makeup factory moved to Brooklyn in 2000.
Maybelline received a boost when the company hired Lynda Carter as the company's beauty fashion coordinator after her television series ended; she also appeared in several of its television and print advertisements. Josie Maran, Miranda Kerr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Melina Kanakaredes, Zhang Ziyi, Siti Nurhaliza, Fasha Sandha, Sheetal Mallar, Julia Stegner, Jessica White and Kristin Davis have endorsed Maybelline products. The current faces of Maybelline are Adriana Lima, Christy Turlington, Kemp Muhl, Emily DiDonato, Jourdan Dunn, and Gigi Hadid.
In 1991, the company adopted its advertising slogan “(Maybe she's born with it.) Maybe it's Maybelline.” which is still used today. The company was acquired by L'Oréal in 1996. Acquiring Maybelline gave L'Oréal access to mass markets in cosmetics.
Maybelline has released several new products, including 'Eye Studio' collection for eye products, 'Fit Me' collection for foundation/facial products, and new 'Color Sensational' shades for lips. Currently, Maybelline is the Official Makeup Sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
There is reasonable evidence that claims that Maybelline products were tested on animals are not wholly unfounded. During 1989 L'Oreal ceased to test finished products prior to their launch on the market and has committed to developing alternative methods. Although according to a 2010 report, it is required by law in some countries to continue with animal testing. The company has made a commitment to "work with the authorities in these countries and sharing knowledge about alternative testing methods". According to their website, L’Oréal no longer officially tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.