Culture Magazine

"What Will Readers Take from the Maybelline Story" Interview by Athena Karsant, Internationally Renowned Master Corrective & Cosmetic Tattooist in Beverly Hills & San Francisco.

By Sharriewilliams
 Sharrie Williams author of The Maybelline Bo

Sharrie Williams

I am so very excited and honored to have my second guest blogger (the first was my daughter Krysten)! Sharrie Williams is the author of The Maybelline Story. She is the heir to the Maybelline legacy, is Tom Lyle William's great-niece and the granddaughter of Evelyn Boecher Williams. I am so excited to have the beautiful and wonderful Sharrie on my blog this week and I know you will enjoy every word below - I surely did! __________________As a blogger yourself, what advice can you give others and myself about the blogging world?I find it incredible how a blog grows organically just by showing up at the computer everyday and posting good material.  Three years ago I was excited to receive 66 hits my first month.  Now I can't believe I have over 35,000 hits a month.   Of course adding Twitter followers has been a big boost and Facebook expanded my online presence as well.   Like Mabel in the book that burnt off her eyelashes on a hot stove, can you share some of your makeup secrets?After I finish putting on my eye shadow I dab the tiniest bit of eye cream on my lids. This is an old Hollywood Movie Star secret I learned from my grandmother.  Another favorite trick of mine is, once I have my face make up and powder on, I buff it with a terrycloth washrag so it doesn't look thick and dull.  I also blot the oil during the day with rice paper or sometimes even a piece of a toilet seat cover in a public restroom.  Try it you'll be amazed. What is your must have Maybelline product?I still use Great Lash mascara. The number one mascara in the world and I like Maybelline mineral Power make-up. (It looks great after being buffed.)What inspired you to write this book?It's been a long process.  My grandmother began telling me the Maybelline story when I was a young girl and the seed was planted.  After her untimely death I was determined to finish it.  I knew that if I didn’t tell the story it would be lost forever and that would be a shame.  The Maybelline Story is a thread in the fabric of American history and a big part of vintage Hollywood glamor.  I also wanted my great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, the founder of the Maybelline Company to be remembered for his tremendous contribution to the Cosmetic industry as well.  What is the best benefit to you being the heir of the Maybelline dynasty?Growing up with a great uncle who made my life so magical.  It wasn't about the money; the money only complicated matters and destroyed us in the end.  It was about being so close with my cousins and the fun of sharing our excitement as the Maybelline grew into a global giant.  Now as an older woman I hope to give back some of the wisdom and strength I gained ridding this roller coaster experience.Growing up did you understand your family dynamics and who your great uncle was and how he contributed to the world of beauty?My grandmother, Evelyn Williams was married to Tom Lyle's brother Preston, my grandfather.  After Preston's death, at only 37 years of age, she and my 12-year-old father followed Tom Lyle from Chicago to California.  The three of them remained extremely close and loved to talk about the good old days when Maybelline was a little mail order business sold through the classifieds in Movie magazines.  I was so fascinated by their stories as a little girl that all I wanted to do was hear more, as often as possible.  Soon I became my grandmother’s little protégé and eventually her little clone.  So yes I was indoctrinated at an early age with the rules of the game, the family dynamics and I did know and appreciate the tremendous contribution Tom Lyle bestowed on women and the world of beauty. 

Original Maybelline 1916

What advice can you give others who want to follow in your uncle’s shoes? For the underdogs.Tom Lyle Williams was the biggest underdog of all, of course.  That's what the Maybelline Story is all about.  He started out with nothing more than a good idea, lots of determination and a $500 loan from his brother and turned it into a worldwide brand.  It's all about building your brand and your reputation.  Brands come and go if it's not built on integrity.  Like doing a blog...It takes about three years before you really see results and during that time, you develop discipline and determination, or you give up and never see the results of your labor.  As my great uncle would say... It's easy to be excited and happy when it's new and easy... the true test of success, is keeping the momentum going during the down cycles.  If you believe in your project, you have to keep going even though it might take years.  It took me 20 years to get published and I wanted to give up and burn my manuscript all the time.  When I least expected it, the miracle happened and now the energy I put forth building that momentum is expanding the blog and my voice into the world - Because I never gave up.What is this book about? Is there anything in this book that you did not publish? Care to share?The Maybelline story is about a young 19-year-old entrepreneur who rides the ups and downs of life while building a little company called Maybelline. It’s also about his incredible sister-in-law, Evelyn Williams, (my grandmother) who is so deeply affected by vanity it leads to ultimate destruction.  In the midst of all the drama I grow up trying to sort out what's real and what has real value.  The book is a rags to riches story with an interesting morale in the end you won't forget.Will there be a second part to your story?There definitely should be, because everyone is asking me what happened to all the people they either loved or hated.  I do have a 350-page manuscript that is ready to go when the time comes.  But for now a movie or HBO series would be my next goal.Who are your greatest influences and why?My father Bill Williams was Tom Lyle's nephew and godson.   He grew up at the Villa Valentino in Hollywood where he learned the secrets to his uncle’s great success.  My father was an extremely talented interior designer and builder.  When my home burned down in the 1993 Laguna Beach, California Firestorm I lost everything because I wasn't home.  I wanted to give up and die, but it was my father who held me together and helped me get back on my feet.  I thrived because of his determination to see me overcome my doubts and succeed.  He designed and helped me rebuild my home, than helped me research and write my book.  I learned so much from him and now carry that spirit of “Yes I can!” with me to pass onto the next generation.  What will readers take from this great read?They will be inspired to make their dreams come true and believe anything is possible if they just keep going and never give up. What was the best advice your uncle or mother gave you about beauty?My mother believed that beauty was an inside job.  That who you are n the inside is reflected on your face.  You see beautiful young girls turn into nasty middle-aged women and bitter old ladies.  All the Maybelline in the world can't cover up the truth of who you are inside.  If a woman doesn't grow, change and accept life she will remain a spoiled unattractive child in an aging body.  All women must work on their attitude and mature within, to keep their youthful effervescent beauty into old age.   Like the saying goes, Maybe She's born with it... Maybe it's Maybelline.Describe your best achievement with your family name and without?My best achievement with the Maybelline name so far, is writing my book and becoming a positive role model for women who want to achieve their goals.  It's not about make-up for me anymore; it's way beyond make-up.   Without the Maybelline name, my biggest achievement is being Mom and Nana and a positive role model for my family I grow into old age.  

Evelyn Williams (Nana), Bill Williams (my dad), Sharrie Williams (me)
& Tom Lyle Williams (my great uncle) 1965

What was your favorite childhood memory?Going up to my great uncle's home in Bel Air California with my family and playing with him in the pool.  I remember he was such an unassuming man that he'd actually wear swim trunks pinned at the waist because the elastic had stretched out.  Here was a man who could afford the best and yet was so comfortable with himself around his family; he didn't need to show off.  On the other hand he was so generous hat he gave millions to them after the sale of the Maybelline Company in December of 1967.How old were you when you learned about Permanent Makeup? Did your grandmother or anyone in the Maybelline family know about Permanent Makeup or have any?I know permanent makeup has been around since the 1930's if not before, but I don't remember anyone in my family ever talking about it.  Probably because Maybelline was designed for women with light brows and lashes, so it never seemed necessary to have it done until now.What are your current thoughts on cosmetic tattooing & permanent makeup?I became aware of the process about 10 years ago, after a friend of mine had her brows, lips and eyeliner permanently applied.  She looked years younger and only needed Maybelline Mascara to complete her glamorous look.  My brows have faded to the point of being invisible and I'm seriously considering having permanent makeup done this year.  However, I would only trust the process to an artistic genius with years of experience and a talent for perfection.  Athena Karsant is the best in the business and would be my choice for sure.  Be sure to check out Athena Karsant's post on my Maybelline Book Blog…Click here to read Athena's guest blog!Follow Sharrie Williams on TwitterFollow her blog: The Maybelline Story
Thank you Sharrie for sharing some of your incredible story! To learn more about Sharrie and The Maybelline Story, visit her blog. To learn more about Athena Karsant visit her website.To learn more about permanent makeup, visit Athena's procedure page.

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