September 24, 2010 | Maybelline heiress will sign her new book | Maybelline heiress will sign her new book

Sharrie Williams, heir to the Maybelline cosmetics legacy, grand niece of the founder, and family steward of the vast documentation that traces Maybelline's history, is on tour to promote her new book, "The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It."

Her tour will bring her to the Earth Song bookstore in Del Mar from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 2.
The Maybelline story is pure glamour and glitz and it goes like this:

In 1915, when a kitchen stove fire singed his sister Mabel's lashes and brows, Tom Lyle Williams watched in fascination as she performed a "secret of the harem," mixing petroleum jelly with coal dust and ash from a burnt cork, and applied it to her lashes and brows. Mabel's simple beauty trick ignited Tom Lyle's imagination and he started what would become a billion-dollar business and remains a viable American icon after nearly a century. He named it Maybelline in her honor and began selling mascara and brow powder.

According to press materials advancing the book, throughout the 20th century, the Maybelline Company inflated, collapsed, endured, and thrived in tandem with the nation's upheavals - as did the family that nurtured it. Setting up shop first in Chicago, Williams later, to avoid unwanted scrutiny of his private life, cloistered himself behind the gates of his Rudolph Valentino Villa and ran his empire from a distance. 

Now after nearly a century of silence, this true story celebrates the life of an American entrepreneur, a man whose vision rocketed him to success along with the woman held in his orbit, Evelyn Boecher, who became his lifelong fascination and muse.

Captivated by her "roaring charisma," he affectionately called her the "real Miss Maybelline," and based many of his advertising campaigns on the woman she represented: commandingly beautiful, hard-boiled and daring. 

Boecher masterminded a life of vanity, but would fall prey to fortune hunters and a mysterious murder that even today remains unsolved. 

The book tells it all, and includes eye-candy glamour shots of Hollywood beauties and starlets, which proves something most women already know ... a little mascara can take you a long, long way.