In 2005, New York-based celebrity makeup artist, Mally Roncal, debuted her eponymous beauty collection, Mally Beauty, on QVC. It sold out in 36 minutes. The company literally exploded on the beauty scene thanks to its long-wearing, high-pigmented cosmetics and vast offerings — including professional-grade tools. In 2011, the brand generated an estimated $75 million at retail. Many milestones followed for the entrepreneur—and speedbumpswho has always maintained a devotion to empowering women, even before the movement’s recent momentum. Over the years, Mally has sold her products in everywhere from Ulta Beauty to Kohl’s, collaborated with Disney on a Frozen capsule collection, and in 2015, Mallygirl LLC was bought by Beauty Visions, an affiliate of TPR Holdings. This past March, Guthy-Renker Ventures bought a minority interest in the color cosmetics brand with marketing plans to expand Mally direct to consumer, via T.V. and e-commerce. Next year she will unveil her Mally x RuPaul line. Here, highlights from Beauty Insider’s 5 Minutes with Mally.
Beauty Insider: What’s your biggest lesson learned?
Mally Roncal: When I first started working as a celebrity makeup artist, I showed up dressed to impress – Dolly Parton style! Full face of glam makeup, highest heels and my hair high to the heavens. I was told that no one would take me seriously if I showed up to these opportunities dressed that way. I took that advice and tried to arrive at a job soon after that with no makeup and casually dressed. I didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t perform with all the love and spirit that was in me. No matter what people are saying about you, stay true to who you are. It’s the only way you win. You are who you are and owning that and being proud of that is only going to help you succeed.
BI: If you could change one thing about your brand, what would it be?
MR: I had my own YouTube channel back in 2006, Behind the Curtain, that featured a behind-the-scenes look at my life. We also hosted a USTREAM channel where I would demonstrate tutorials and talk about the hottest beauty trends and the most sought-after makeup tricks. I stopped doing this a few years after, but in today’s ever evolving landscape of the beauty industry, I wish that I had continued doing it. I’m starting to do more Instagram and Facebook LIVE tutorials because I love being able to connect with my Mallynistas.
BI: How did your partnership with Guthy-Renker come about?
MR: It has always been a lifelong dream of mine to work with Guthy-Renker. We had spoken in the past but the timing didn’t line up for us. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and timing is up to the universe. I’m so incredibly excited and grateful to be working with this team. It’s a tremendous opportunity.
BI: How will you be involved in this partnership?
MR: I get to speak to them on a near daily basis. I love that while I can feel completely confident in their work they also embrace the fun, fierce and fabulousness that is Mally Beauty. Their campaigns reign supreme for television and digital advertising featuring major influencers and celebrities.
BI: Which product (not your own) is your favorite and why?
MR: The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler is just the best of the best. It is simply magical and has worked on every single client of mine over the years.
BI: Best advice for newbies entering the business today?
MR: You don’t need to be fierce or a bully to get by. I believe in leading with love and encouragement, and surrounding yourself with the same positive energy by your team. Positivity is powerful and in my opinion, critical when starting your own company.
BI: If you were to write the note found in a fortune cookie, what would it say?
MR: Sometimes you have to play by the rules and sometimes you just gotta go gangsta!