The newest black beauty icon in the US, Wendy Darling, has made her mark as a superstar and the face of beauty for decades.
In this series, we take a look at some of the most famous and popular black beauty brands and brands that use her name.
In the US alone, there are more than 20 beauty brands that have a “wendysdarling” brand, and she has become a household name.
But it wasn’t always so.
“She was always an outsider,” says Kelly Lyle, a beauty brand ambassador and founder of the black-and-white, vegan-friendly Lyle Beauty Group.
“It was just her brand that had a unique flavor and she could go into stores and have a conversation with customers and really speak to the consumer.
And that was really her strength.”
Lyle was a big beauty fan growing up in Alabama, so she found herself drawn to the brand.
“I had always wanted to do something for my community, and it was always my dream to be a part of something, because it was something that I wanted to participate in,” she says.
When she first started working for Lyle in 2006, she was working in a makeup department, and when the store became a little more crowded, she took a job as a sales rep.
That job eventually became a makeup line, which soon expanded to retail stores.
“The sales department was just getting bigger and bigger and, like, bigger and larger,” Lyle recalls.
“And we were just getting more and more busy, and there was no time to really spend on the makeup department.
So I just thought, well, what am I going to do with my life?”
She ended up working at a makeup store in California, where she got a job selling hair and body products.
Lyle says that while the business was “pretty cool,” the atmosphere was “really hostile.”
“People would come in and stare at you like, ‘How are you doing, Wendy?'” she says, “and they’d talk to you like you were crazy.
And I just wanted to just be myself.
I just kind of had to learn to be cool.”
The next step for Lacy was to make a skin-care line, but Lyle didn’t have the funds to build a brand.
She decided to work at Lyle’s Beauty and Shoe store, which had a makeup shop that wasn’t even open yet.
Lacy eventually ended up selling the company to a friend, and now she runs her own beauty line, LyleBeauty.
“If it wasn.
[She] would be selling hair products, but it was a lot of work,” says Lyle.
“So, that was the first time I really had a business.
So it’s a pretty big step.
I still don’t think I’ve really gotten over it yet.”
And, for a lot, that step was also intimidating.
“One of the first things that I had to do was make sure that I wasn’t being called racist, or ‘you n****r bitch,’ or ‘f**k you,'” she says with a laugh.
“That was definitely one of the things that scared me the most.
Because I think I’m a really positive person, I think that my success was based on my successes, but at the same time, I just didn’t think that I was going to have success because I wasn.
It just felt like, oh, my God, that I’m going to get hate mail.”
But Lyle found that it was the negative reactions that were the hardest.
“We got the most hate mail, but I’m not like a hateful person,” she recalls.
In fact, Lacy says she gets the most negative mail on the street, when people ask her to show off her makeup collection.
“People will walk up and say, ‘Hey, Wendy, what are you selling?
What are you gonna sell?
What do you think you’re gonna do with your money?’
It’s kind of hard to just explain to people what you’re selling,” she laughs.
“But then they start to ask me, ‘Are you sure?
Are you gonna buy this?'”
That’s when Lyle learned how to “speak my mind.”
“I just started to realize that people didn’t understand that there was a place for me, and I wasn’e trying to make people feel like they were doing me a favor by buying my products,” she continues.
“They were just looking for me to do what they needed me to, and that was it.”
Lacy is currently working on a new line called Lyle-Soy, which is based on her family’s soybean farming experience.
She hopes to launch it by the end of the year.
“Honestly, I was like, I want to get this out there,” she explains.
“Now, people don’t know me,