These Are the Coolest Vintage Maybelline New York Artifacts at NYC’s Makeup Museum

December 22, 2020
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
maybelline new york makeup museum nyc

If you get excited at the mention of vintage beauty products, we definitely recommend taking a trip to the Makeup Museum in New York City. There, you can check out  historical makeup artifacts, from red lipsticks housed in bullet casings from the Suffragette era to original products from beauty mavens (and rivals), Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. The museum also houses artifacts from one of our favorite brands (from our parent company, L’Oréal), Maybelline New York


But if you’re not in New York City or can’t make it to the museum due to COVID-19 restrictions, not to worry! We’re sharing a glimpse into the exhibits on display right here. From the original ‘cake’ Maybelline mascara formula to Maybelline advertisements from the 1950s and beyond, here are the coolest Maybelline New York artifacts we spotted on our recent visit to the Makeup Museum.

A 1956 Makeup Commercial

This 1956 Maybelline New York commercial advertises a mascara, eyeshadow, eyelash curler and tweezers. The Makeup Museum exhibit points out how vastly different makeup advertisements are today, which. aim to empower women. Check out this 2020 Maybelline New York Makeup Commercial to see the contrast between now and then.

The Original 'Cake' Mascara

American businessman Thomas Lyle Williams created a mascara product for his sister Maybel, which eventually evolved into one of the first ‘cake’ mascaras: Maybelline Velvet Black. A cake mascara is a black pigment that’s housed in a tin and comes with a toothbrush-like applicator to help you coat and comb lashes for a defined and curled look.
maybelline cake mascara

The Innovative Maybelline Waterproof Ultra-Liner

This original waterproof liner is one of the first of its kind and has evolved into a product the brand still sells today. Check out the current iteration of the Maybelline New York Ultra-Liner Waterproof Liquid Liner here.
maybelline new york vintage ultra liner

The "Smart Woman" Ads

The exhibit has a variety of Maybelline ads, and one early ad advertises the Maybelline Mascara and Maybelline Eye-Brow Pencil for smart women. The “smart woman” catchphrase became a common theme in Maybelline commercials and ads to follow.

The Maybelline Automatic Overliner

This Maybelline eyeliner looks a lot like a waterproof liner we might use today. The ad recommends wearing this brown shade with a “mint-green underliner”, which would totally do today. We only wish the price, $2.00 MSRP, has remained the same.
maybelline vintage overliner

You can buy tickets for the Makeup Museum in NYC for the current exhibition: Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Makeup Museum NYC

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