HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
The Marvelous M
Where Maybelline Became Famous
For more than 50 years, our three-story building was Maybelline’s headquarters. Right here on this corner at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, Thomas Lyle Williams grew a burgeoning cosmetics empire that made the glitz and glamor of Hollywood accessible to everyday women. Its Ridge Street entrance even flaunted an alluring cursive “M.”
An “M” is still engraved above the Ridge Avenue door frame.
Williams was inspired to innovate after watching his sister Mabel color her lashes and brows with coal powder, he and a friend developed an innovative new product — lash/brow makeup cakes. Their early version of mascara joined the skin creams, rouge and lipstick that were all the rage for creating beautiful faces in the Jazz Age.
Maybelline’s former Ridge Avenue offices, circa 1932
As you’ll see when you visit The Mabel Exchange, the building’s innovative style is still rich in detail and beauty.