Since 1917 Maybell Labs. had another product which was an earlier version of what later would be the “cake mascara”. The product was not made with vaseline, but a mixture of sodium stearate soap and pigments, extruded into strips, stamped and dried. The product was applied with a small brush, which must be wet before rubbed into the cake. The origin of the name was attributed to a combination of his sister’s name, Mabel, and “vaseline”, but, as the product didn’t contain vaseline, it’s preferable to assume that it was only an extension of the word “Maybell”, the laboratories’ name.
Both products, Lash-Brow-Ine, and Maybelline, coexisted from 1917 until 1921; since that year, Maybelline was the only name for all the products, and in 1923 Maybell Laboratories were also renamed “Maybelline”. In 1933, they started to use the word “mascara” instead of “eyelash darkener”. At that time, Maybelline started to be a leader industry in eye cosmetics. In the next years, the company was expanded to Canada and Europe, and in 1966 they were selling more than $25 million a year, with more products in catalogue, like a self sharpening eyebrow and eyeliner pencil, and a “magic mascara” with a spiral brush. In 1967, Tom Lyle Williams sold the company to Plough; in 1990 was acquired by Wasserstein-Perella & Co., and in 1996 by L’Oreal USA, who actually owns the company, renaming it “Maybelline New York” in 2001.
Sources: http://www.cosmeticsandskin.com, by James Bennett; (2010) Encyclopedia of Hair, a Cultural History, by Victoria Sherrow; Maybelline, About Us: History: http://maybelline.co.uk; Riordan, Teresa, Inventing Beauty (2004); Williams, Sharrie & Youngs, B.: The Maybelline story and the spirited family dynasty behind it.