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New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, Sprinkled with a Few Family Pictures

By Sharriewilliams


Hollywood Super Stars clamored to be featured in Maybelline color advertisements during the 1940s

During World War ll, Maybelline's market share skyrocketed, because so many women worked in air craft plants and refused to cut back on their cosmetics.  When the war ended Tom Lyle's thirty-year-old invention benefited mightily from the Postwar Boom when mascara and eye-shadow came out in matching colors - with new hues added every Spring and Fall - imitating the practice of fashion designers.  The increase in sales were dramatic and though in 1940 only one in four American women wore eye make-up, by 1949 this figure increased to three out of four, with Maybelline accounting for 45,000 units out of 51,000 eye products sold that year.  

New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures

Merle Oberon Known for her sultry good looks Merle Oberon played Cathy Linton in Wuthering Heights with Laurence Olivier in 1939.  The 1940's proved to be a very busy decade where she appeared in no less than 15 movies. 

Tom Lyle contracted major motion picture stars to appear in Maybelline's advertisements.  War-movies showcased them as the ideal Amercan image and young girls around the world purchased Maybelline at their local dime stores.
New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures

                                             Rita Hayworth

 Merle Oberon, Betty Grable, Joan Crawford  and Hedy Lamarr (click to see) were some of the GI's favorite pin-up girls. They were top box office queens during the war years and their image represented money in the bank for Maybelline.  


New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures

Betty Grable


Tom Lyle contracted Betty Grable for her sex appeal, moxy and girl next door image.She appealed to young wannabees who saved their grocery money to buy hope in a little red box.  Maybelline turned simple shop girl's into  sex symbols - inspiring soldier boys to get back home.  In fact a G.I.'s morale was often dependent on pictures of their girls with"Those Maybelline Eyes."

 Tom Lyle spent more on his beautiful movie stars as cover-girls than any other cosmetic company in history and it paid off in the 1940's beyond his wildest dreams.



New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford became the official face of Maybelline in 1945 after she won an Oscar for "Mildred Pierce."  Be sure to watch HBO's new version of "Mildred Pierce" with Kate Winslet airing Sunday March 27th.  This mini-series depicts the era, clothes and background painted in The Maybelline Story.  I'm sure if you watch the series and read the book at the same time you'll see The Maybelline Story come alive.

New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress. Though known primarily for her extraordinary beauty and her celebrity in a film career as a major contract star of MGM's "Golden Age.  She had a seductive look in her eye that appealed to Tom Lyle, because she targeted a certain audience of women who sought her sex appeal. 
Maybelline was synonymous with fashion, style and indisputable Hollywood glamor.  Here are a few of Tom Lyle's favorite movie queens of the silver screen during the 1940's. 
New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures
Dorothy Lamour starred in the "Road to..." movie series with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in the 1940s and 1950s. The movies were enormously popular during the 1940s, and they regularly placed among the top moneymaking films each year
New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures
The Unique Beauty of Gene Tierney - Excerpted from Michael Atkinson's essay, Dec 1994 Movieline magazine.  "Among faces, Gene Tierney's is a tournament rose, an Opaline study in serene, sexualized perfection, a mad musky Egyptian daydream of cat thoughts."
New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures
Lana Turner was discovered and signed to a film contract by MGM at the age of sixteen.
New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures
                Nothing has changed in 100 years 
                     Girls still want to stand out 


New Video: Maybelline 1940's Classic Ads, sprinkled with a few family pictures





Maybelline in the middle of Times Square, with eyes that stop traffic!


Read it all in The Maybellie Story
 and the Spirited family Dynasty Behind It.

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