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Behind the brand: Maybelline

The Maybelline brand was created back in 1913 when a chemist, TL Williams, decided to help out his sister Mabel. Mabel's boyfriend Chet was in love with another woman, so to help Mabel get her man back TL blended Vaseline jelly with coal dust to create a lash darkener -- in other words, the first mascara! (Mabel and Chet were married a year later.)

And one year after that TL founded Maybelline Cosmetics; the name is a combination of Mabel and Vaseline. The range, which consisted of just one product, the mascara, was originally only available by mail order, but as the company became more successful, it went into stores.

Cosmetics giant L'Oreal bought the company in 1996 and in 1998 the range finally arrived in Ireland under the name Maybelline New York. The iconic pink-and-green packaging of Great Lash mascara was familiar to a whole generation of Irish women long before the brand reached our shores.


Maybelline, the mascaras in particular, have a cult following. Some well-known fans are Kelly Brook, Laura Bailey, Elle Macpherson, Donna Karan, Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista.

If you buy JUST one product

You could go for the classic Great Lash Mascara (e7.49), one is sold somewhere every 1.6 seconds. However, it's not my absolute favourite mascara so I'm going to suggest Dream Creamy Foundation (e12.34), a cream-whipped base created for drier skin. It was launched this year and is available in five shades.