You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.read more
Marie Forleo: Hey everyone. It’s Marie Forleo and welcome to another episode of MarieTV and the Marie Forleo Podcast. So you are in for such a treat today. I have one of the world’s most in demand makeup artists, Miss Mally Roncal. She is incredible. So some of her clients include Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, and she’s also got her own line of cosmetics called Mally Beauty. And get this, she sold over 1.6 million eyeshadow kits on QVC. And every single time she goes on, man, they just sell like hotcakes. But what I love most about her is her energy, her spirit, and the stand that she takes for being fully yourself. I think you’re going to love this one. Enjoy.
We’ve got so much to talk about. I have admired you. I’ve heard about you. I’ve loved on you from afar. So we’re going to go in a bunch of different places today. But let’s take it back to what I feel like is such a beautiful piece of who you are and who you’ve become and why you do what you do, which is your mom. And such a beautiful figure in your life, I know that you shared she was diagnosed with cancer before you were one. She was sick throughout your childhood. In your book, you wrote, “As far back as I can remember, she did all she could all the time to make sure I would be ready for what life was going to throw at me, even if we did some things a little early.” I’d love you to talk about that, kind of do it now feeling and just knowing that any time was a gift.
Mally Roncal: Yes. So first of all, I’m ovulating. So I’m probably going to cry at least, I don’t know, four or five times in the time talking to you. And the fact that I’m just looking at your sweet face and it’s just empathetic and beautiful and it makes me feel good. So I will cry just looking at you. So that’s number one. Everybody asks to know how was that, growing up. Now, first and foremost, I will tell you, they gave my mom after they diagnosed her with cancer, it was the ’70s, they gave her six months to live. She did live for 17 years. Marie, let me tell you, it was by her passion, by her love of life, by her faith, by the fact that she looked at this child that she worked so hard to conceive and she said, “Oh, hell no, I’m not going anywhere until I know she’s okay.”
And yes, we did have this crazy whirlwind of… it was almost like a family romance because we were like, we don’t know how much time we have. So we’re going to live every day as if it were our last. So she was very effervescent and fierce and fabulous. And she loved Gucci and lipstick and the hair. She was. She was very fierce. She was OB/GYN. She delivered over 1,000 babies in her lifetime. She loved the babies. She loved the children. She’d love to like just be in the moment. So she would say things like, “You know, Melissa…” My real name’s Melissa. She’d be like, “You know Melissa, I really want to go to Europe.” And like, I kid you not Marie, the next day we were on a plane to Paris. She would just do it. She would say, “You know what? We don’t know what we have.” One day she says to me, wakes me up early in the morning on a Saturday. She says, “Melissa, let’s get up before daddy and drive to New York City and buy all our friends Cartier watches.”
I’m like, “Okay.” So the next thing you know, we’d be in the car. Side note, we ended up, we didn’t go, we bought everybody Louis Vuitton purses. I’ll never forget. She was like, “Oh, I can’t afford all these watches. Let’s go get some purses instead.” Anyway, but this was how I grew up. This was the feeling of like, life is short, take every minute. And while it was a blessing, of course it was a little extra. All right, let’s be honest. So it was a little extra, I wouldn’t have changed it for one second because it taught me how precious life is. It taught me how precious each moment is. Even the hard moments, even the things that are painful or scary or difficult.
I learned this at a really early age. I think that that was something that made me who I am, which is why I am who I am. Again, team extra for the win, we’re big. You know, I know look, I’m talking to the queen over there. So I know that that’s how we do, but you love with all your heart, you give with all your heart because you never know… I mean, look at the world we live in now. You never know what tomorrow brings.
Marie Forleo: That’s right.
Mally Roncal: So that’s really been… That was a gift I think that she gave me and now I’m married to Phil who you saw as we were trying to figure it out the computer and three little girls. I try to give them those moments as well. And just saying, “You know what? We’re not going to waste a minute.” And that’s what we try to do.
Marie Forleo: Tell me about your mom and makeup and how that connection was made. Did your mom love makeup?
Mally Roncal: Oh my gosh. She was a drag queen like yours truly. So we love a little bit of makeup. We love a little hair, a little high heel. You know what I’m saying? So it was always like that. Honestly, I know it sounds like a Lady Gaga song, but the truth of the matter is I was raised in her boudoir with her. I’m an only child. I’m a girly girl. I’m a girl’s girl to the core, all that stuff. So our connection was really through that beauty moment. So she’d be putting on her makeup and I would share with her and we would talk. And this was something that we would have some of our deepest conversations while we were doing our faces together. I wasn’t really doing my face, I was a kid, but although let’s be honest, I was in makeup long before any child should have been, but whatever.
Marie Forleo: So was I, actually. I loved makeup. I love makeup so much. It was like art. I was like blah.
Mally Roncal: And you’re a jersey girl, Miss Thing. So I love it. I love it. So anyways, so that was always a really big part of our connection, so much so that every time she would get sick or anytime she would… she was in and out of remission for all those years. They’d be pushing her out in the stretcher from our house and she’d say, “Honey, pack my makeup,” because that was like her thing. And that was my job that I would follow her in the car with my dad behind the ambulance and I’d have the makeup in my hands and I’d be like, okay. Because for her, it was really about… Marie, it was like, I mean, yes, it was for her. I think this is a very kind of like a female thing, a woman thing, was she wanted when she was even at her worst, she wanted to have her face on so that she could look good, feel good.
But also because, so when other people would come visit her or the nurses or the doctors, or the friends who would come in, they wouldn’t be like, “Oh, Pilar, I’m so sorry.” She didn’t want anyone to feel bad for her. So in a way it was sort of like a shield, a mask, a protection for the people that she loved. I don’t know. I’ve been in a lot of… My dad’s a psychiatrist. So we’d been through a lot of home therapy on this one, to understand is that where my desire came from. I mean, aside from the fact that I’ve––just like you––I have always loved it and just, it was fun. There’s definitely a connection there between makeup and love and protection and strength and putting a face on for the world, I guess. So I’ll let you know, I’m still working it through.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. I feel like those kinds of deep questions, they have a way of… your lens changes on them over time and you see new facets of the connections and the multidimensionality of this incredible soul that is your mom. And that gave birth to this incredible soul that is you, that is now passed down to your kids as well. It’s usually never a simple answer, right? It’s usually a couple of layers of society and who we are and our big hearts and then our artistic expression as well of how we want to make ourselves in this world. So you made the journey from pre-med to makeup. Tell us about that.
Mally Roncal: Well, the irony of it all is I don’t know if I actually really wanted to be a doctor per se. As much as I wanted to be like my parents or I wanted to be like my mom. So going into this whole story, so there was my mom. My mom was this firecracker and fierce and was loving and oh, she wanted to hug you and, like, hold you and love you. And she would kiss you. And it was just this love personified. Then there was my dad, my dad who, thank you, Lord Jesus, is still around doing his thing. He is a psychiatrist. We lovingly call him Confucius. So he is very zen, very chill, very like the conversations can take hours, but he’ll figure it all out for you.
And like when I was young, Marie is so funny. So he’d be like, “Okay, so you have a math test tomorrow.” And I’d say, “Yes.” He’s like, “Okay, so you, me and mommy, we’re going to hold hands and we’re going to form an energy circle. And when we form this energy circle, it will bring all of the positive vibes to the test.” I know. So we’d be holding hands a little… My mom would be like, “Okay.” But meanwhile, my dad is like serious man, like this energy is going to bring positive and whatever.
So I was raised with both of those kinds of sort of spiritual bases. One of his like positive energy, strong is going to bring it back to you. And the other one is quiet strength that’s going to talk to your angels, talk to your energies, that kind of thing. I loved both of it. I love both of those energies. So I think that being the doctor was more along the lines of, I just wanted to love people. I wanted to help people. I wanted to affect people the way I saw my parents doing it, because when I actually got to pre-med, I was like, “This is hard.” I was like, “Can we just cut to the chase where we like, love on people and make them feel good at the end?”
So anyway, at that point in college my mom had already passed away and I had always loved obviously makeup and beauty and I’m 106. So they didn’t really have makeup artists schools back then. You know what I mean? It was not like it is now. We all know now it’s everywhere, but at the time it wasn’t really a thing. But I did love fashion and whenever I ended up switching to fashion design, because I was like, that’s the closest thing to the industry and I always loved it. So the transition was actually quite smooth.
My father, I think knowing in his heart that that was probably not the best for me, he said, “Whatever you want to do, I’m going to love you and support you. And you have the fire of your heart, like your mother, so you’re going to make it whatever you do.” So I feel so blessed to always feel safe, to always feel like I had backup. And as a mother, that is the only thing that I’m very passionate about is that no matter what you want to choose in this life, as long as you’re not an asshole, guess what? We’re always going to be there to support you.
Marie Forleo: So did you apply to a fashion school and then just followed your heart into makeup? Or how did that leap happen?
Mally Roncal: Okay. So again, how the universe works is always amazing. So I grew up right outside of New York City in Upstate New York. So about an hour and a half in Orange County. So after my mom died, I was a senior in high school. I was actually, again, God works in great ways because I was actually going to go to Boston University and I had this whole plan and I was going to go to medical, whatever. But my mom died and I did not want to go too far away from my dad. So I ended up at a school called Marist College in Poughkeepsie. I figured it’s good. I can come and visit dad but I lived on campus, all that kind of stuff. Well, when I decided that I didn’t want to do that, there was a fashion department there that was run by this very fabulous, amazing gay guy that was just like he had moved to the country after living in New York and designing for years.
And I was like, “That’s where I want to go.” That’s just kind of how it happened. And again, I was just following my whisper. I was following, even as a teenager, I always was taught to just listen to the whisper because it’s never going to put you in the wrong way, as long as you’re tight with it. You know what I’m saying? As long as you really are listening and opening your heart. So I ended up there. I ended up moving to New York, like as soon as like, diploma in hand, bye, and went and that’s when it all kind of turned into the magical, crazy drag queen-laden world that we live in.
Marie Forleo: So I want to talk about the journey. Once you were in the world of beauty, the hairdresser, who said to you that you’re too much, that your makeup and your style were over the top and that it made you question yourself. I would love you to tell us that story and what happened then with like the two gigs after, because I feel that so many folks that listen to the show and that tune in… And again, I’ve been told this so many times in my life…
Mally Roncal: Oh, you?
Marie Forleo: “You’re too much. You’re so much girl, just pipe down.” So tell us those stories.
Mally Roncal: I find it so hard to believe, Marie, that people have told you, you were extra. Shocking. No, I know. Well, we’re sisters in that way and I love that. So yes so it was early in my makeup artist’s career and I was just hustling. Just doing your thing, whatever gig you can get, you’re going to go, you’re going to go for it. I was lucky enough to actually end up with a really great agent because for years I was just hustling on my own. I was just getting my jobs and billing. I was like making it happen. I ended up getting attention of this great agent. He took me on by some… That’s a whole other conversation another day, that it was like shocking that just sometimes it just happens for you and you have to run in that direction. So anyway, he gets me this job.
He says, “Listen, you’ve got a great gig, great photographer, superstar model, great hairdresser, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You can do this and get in on this team.” Because I know, you know all about this with your choreography, all that stuff, when you get in like kind of a team or a click or a group, you guys can just like ride it up together. You know what I mean?
Marie Forleo: Absolutely.
Mally Roncal: So Jim says to me, my agent’s like, “You can get in with this. This is great for you. You never know what could happen.” So I go and I’ve always again loved a lot of a lot and had hair and lashes and makeup and the whole thing. Now, remember, this is… I’m going to call it like, maybe like late ’90s sort of, that time. And makeup artists at that time didn’t wear a lot of makeup. They were very artsy. You know what I’m saying? Like very like ponytail, t-shirt.
Marie Forleo: Understated.
Mally Roncal: Yeah. Like chic because I don’t take a shower, not like that, but you know what I mean?
Marie Forleo: Different look.
Mally Roncal: Like that, different look.
Marie Forleo: Yeah.
Mally Roncal: So we go have a great time, do fantastic makeup. As far as I’m concerned, I was so proud of myself and the pictures are amazing, blah, blah, blah. So we go home and the hairstylist who’s like real big says to me, he’s like, “Come here. I want to talk to you.” I said, “Okay. What’s up? What’s up?” He’s like… in my mind, I’m like, “This is it. This is it. I’ve found my new best friend.” He’s like, “I want to tell you the truth. And like, everybody loves you. He’s like, the makeup was great. Your energy was great. You were just fantastic.” He’s like, “But can I give you a little advice?” And I was like, “Okay, sure. I have no problem with constructive criticism, hit me, whatever.” He’s like, “This thing you’re doing…” And he kind of like hand scans me, right? Like up and down. He’s like, “The hair, the makeup, the lashes, it’s like, this is not what a real artist looks like.” He’s like, “If you really want to be taken seriously in this business, I suggest you drop the shtick, you go back rethink about what you really want, because I have to tell you the truth, everybody was laughing at you.” And I said, “Oh, okay.” So I was crushed.
Marie Forleo: Mally.
Mally Roncal: I know. It was like being lifted up to the highest part of the rollercoaster and then just dropped.
Marie Forleo: Yeah.
Mally Roncal: So I went home. I was married to Phil. And he’s like, “Well, how was it? It was so great.” Because you knew a lot was riding on this job. And I said, “They were laughing at me.” I said, “They thought I was a joke.” And Phil who, as you may know, does not mince words. He said, “Fuck those people.” And literally, I said I know and I said yeah.
Marie Forleo: I love Phil, I just got to say, hey, I’m like hugging on Phil right now in my mind. I’m doing standing ovations, the wave is happening in my head. That’s what’s happening, stadium full. Go ahead.
Mally Roncal: And honestly, obviously Marie, he felt that I… and in your heart you feel that, but when you’re young and you’re starting a career and you just want everyone to like you and you just want to win and it’s all well and good, but I wasn’t that strong of a person at that time. I didn’t know that that is how I should feel. So now I’ll quickly move through. So the time I got another job, I said, “Phil, I know that you say should be me, but I have to try.” So I went to the next job, I remember I said, “Can I borrow one of your t-shirts?” Eew, I used one of Phil’s t-shirts because it was big and I put on jeans and flip flops and I wore my hair in a ponytail and I wore no makeup. I’ll never forget, I wore no makeup. I went to the job and you and I have that thing. Like if you’re there and you’re excited, you’re going to give it all you got.
I had nothing. I had nothing. The makeup was okay. I wasn’t doing high kicks behind the photographer. I wasn’t like motivating everyone, “Come on, guys. Let’s have a great shoot.” It was like, I just wasn’t me. So I went home, said to Phil, “You know what? You’re right. I don’t care if I have to work at a Clinique counter in the suburbs for the rest of my life, I’m going to do makeup the way I want to do makeup. I’m going to do makeup in my style. I’m going to do makeup the way I want to do it. And if I’m never a superstar, then that’s fine with me because I’m not going to let them change who I am.” And he was like, “Yes.” So the next day I go to work, Marie. Girl, if you think that RuPaul wears a lot of makeup when she’s in drag, I scared myself in the mirror. Okay.
Because I said, I have lashes, a few stacks. It was like, the hair was big, the gloss and the whole thing. I went to this job 100% me and I kicked and I screamed and we danced at the end of the day, the photographer was like, “Wow.” He’s like, “I’ve never experienced an energy like yours, who you are.” He said, “As a matter of fact, I got my first big gig doing the cover of a magazine. I’m going to cancel that makeup artist and please tell me, you will be there.” Yes. I know.
Marie Forleo: I have this highlighted, be you and you’ll win every time. Right? Be you and you’ll win every time.
Mally Roncal: Yeah. I mean, that’s you. That’s you. You are that.
Marie Forleo: Thank you. I mean, just being totally honest, it always doesn’t feel like that, but it’s such an interesting thing because I think for anyone who does anything in a public arena, you’re on QVC, you’re everywhere. You’re on all the shows. I think this is just a natural function. It’s like folks who don’t really know you make assumptions and they think you’re kind of putting on an act or you’re putting on this thing. And I’m like, “Y’all, if you had a camera in my house, you’d see, I’m actually 10 times more nutty in my… Like, I actually tone it down for you guys because…” You know what I mean? Just like learned over 20 years, not always, but you know, sometimes. So I just so appreciate you for that energy. And I feel like in this world, both in contextually what we’re experiencing right now, but also always to be a human who is fully expressed through love.
That’s really what it is through your love of life, your love of other people, your desire to want them, if you’re around them, to feel your appreciation for them and appreciation for life. I just adore you. I want to talk about some of your amazing clients for a minute. So how the hell did you become Beyonce’s makeup artist? Like tell us this story.
Mally Roncal: You know what? It’s kind of another one of those stories that has this kind of a message because there was no plan. There was literally like, I did not wake up that morning knowing that I was going to meet or do Beyonce’s makeup at all, I was actually… So again, this is years ago. Gosh, she was 19, I guess.
Mally Roncal: I know, isn’t that wild? I don’t know. I can’t remember. It’s all one big mishmash, especially in 2020, you don’t even know what day it is. But it was right when she was on the cusp of becoming Beyonce. Like she was Destiny’s Child Beyonce. She was perfect. But she was actually in that movie, remember that movie, Austin Powers?
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Mally Roncal: And she said, “I’m Foxxy Cleopatra and I’m a whole lot of woman,” with the big afro. So anyway, so she was going to the premiere of the Austin Powers movie. And I guess what happened, this was in New York. I guess the makeup artist didn’t show up or there was the cancel or whatever, whatever my agent calls me and he says, “Get your shit together. You’re going to do this girl named Beyonce. I was like, “Oh yeah. Okay. I know Beyonce, duh. Right.” She’s like, “She’s going to a premiere, whatever, go to a hotel, you’re all set, blah, blah.” I’m like, “Okay.” So I go and I’m really like, obviously excited because she’s gorgeous. And she’s Beyonce, even though she wasn’t Beyonce, she was still Beyonce. So we go, I get ready, I do her. She’s… First of all, she’s perfect and stunning and amazing and all of it. I know. Yeah. It’s just all that.
Marie Forleo: We love her so much. Yes.
Mally Roncal: Exactly, right. So she shows up she’s in this like gold encrusted ball gown. Like no shoes, just this big curly, blonde afro, not a stitch of makeup Marie and make it so mad, not a stitch of makeup on that face. And it’s like the color of coffee and cream. Like it’s just this like whatever. She walks in and I was like, “Oh.” I couldn’t even breathe. I looked at her face and you remember, like again, the late ’90s it was all about a beat, like thick foundation and a lot of eyebrow and everything was really like lots and lots of makeup. I knew how to do that obviously or whatever. But when I looked at her, I had this thing in my belly, this little like whisper again, this little tickle and said, “You cannot put makeup on that face. Like you just can’t like, you’d have to just leave it and let the world see that because it’s nothing… they ain’t ready for that, all that.” So I’m sitting there doing her face literally 10 minutes. And you know because you get beat all the time. You get glam and you know, it can take when Gregory is doing your hair and the makeup’s getting done, it can take a long time.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Mally Roncal: So literally 10 minutes I kid you not. And I said, “Okay, I’m done.” And she was like, “Boo.” So makeup takes two hours. And I don’t know where this came from, this vomit of the mouth. I said, “Girl, your face and my makeup, it takes 10 minutes and you’re ready to go.” And she was like, “Okay. Who is this wild, little crazy Filipino chick?” Because I don’t know but she gives me this, look that in my mind is her saying like, “Okay, well you realize this could ruin your career if this is not what you want it to be, but I’m going to go for it.” And sure enough, she gets on her stuff and she walks out the door and I was like, “Oh boy, I hope that was a good idea.” Because literally Marie, we’re girls have a little concealer. Maybe I put some gloss on her, a little mascara, but no lashes, no foundation, nothing. I just sent her and this ball gown, it was just like this great little moment.
So anyway, I’m on my way home. And Phil’s like, “So how was it?” He’s always like been the cheerleader waiting and he knew, you know. And I was like, “I think I’m going to throw up,” and he’s like, “Why?” I said, “I did this thing to her that I just no one’s ever done before. And I just feel like it was the right time for the world to see.” He was like, “Did you trust your gut?” And I said, “Absolutely.” He said, “Well, then let’s see what happens.” So this is years ago, there wasn’t this thing. So we didn’t have Instagram the minute you like take a dump, it’s not on Instagram. You know what I mean?
Marie Forleo: I love those days.
Mally Roncal: Remember, I know, it was nice to… Exactly. So I had to wait like a week before the pictures came out and like Us Weekly magazine. I know. I’m looking at the pictures and I get this phone call from Yvette Noel Shore who’s her publicist. Who’s still to this day. I mean, just together forever. She says to me, “Okay, Mally, here’s the deal.” I said, “Okay.” She says, “There were three different premiers, New York, LA and London, three different makeup artists.” I said, “Okay.” She said, “We are about to embark on a world tour. We are about to blow her up. This is her time,” she said, and she pointed to the picture that you did. And she said, “Call this girl and see what she’s doing for the next year. This is what I want to look like.”
Marie Forleo: Oh, I just got so many chills. I can’t even handle it right now.
Mally Roncal: Girl, right.
Marie Forleo: The power, the instinct and oh.
Mally Roncal: So that was my thing. And I was like, oh my God. So listen to your feelings, even if they’re crazy. So that was the one thing, because I was like, “Okay, I’m going to play it safe.” My first quick gut was like, “I’m going to play it safe. I’m going to do what I know. I’ve seen the pictures. I know what to do here.” Tons of incredible artists have touched that face. And I know I can recreate something similar. But I said, “I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right. Doesn’t feel like that’s what I should do.” So even if it feels crazy… That’s what I tell my girls. I’m like, “If something feels crazy, if you still feel, if it’s in here…”
Marie Forleo: Yes. You got to trust it.
Mally Roncal: You got to trust it.
Marie Forleo: My mom gave me that gift too. Okay, one more question before then we go to Mally Beauty, which is, I love your tagline. Okay. So RuPaul, right? RuPaul, amazing. What’s it like collaborating with RuPaul?
Mally Roncal: I can’t, first of all, you need to meet him, but if you haven’t already.
Marie Forleo: I have not. But let’s make that happen.
Mally Roncal: Yeah. Hello. Thank you. First of all, we all know fabulous on the outside. We all know that, right. That’s undeniable, but the most spiritual, most incredible energy, like you were in the room with this human and you feel vibrations that you’ve never felt before. My friend, Isaac Mizrahi says, he’s like a prophet. Like you almost can feel like the Universe and God and Mother Nature coming through him. Like, he’s so amazing. So I am so grateful that he collaborated. I mean we’ve known each other for years and we’ve obviously always stayed in touch and followed and whatever. But when my team came to me and they were like, who’s your dream collaboration?
And now obviously everybody expects you to say like Angelina Jolie or whatever, whatever. I didn’t even blink. And I just said RuPaul. And they were like, Oh. And it was funny because when I said it, it’s almost like everybody went, “Yeah. Like, duh, like that’s who it should be. Like there’s really nobody else.” Because it’s not only the love of makeup, but it’s the love of humanity and the love of what’s right. And the love of this LGBTQA+ community side. I got to get all the letters because there’s more letters on there now from when… Remember, I told you I’m 105 years old, I got to… when you add letters, you got to write them like down.
Marie Forleo: That’s right.
Mally Roncal: And supporting all people and all love. And obviously his taste is incredible. And let me tell you something that man had his hands on every single aspect of every single thing. I just don’t know if you can see. Every…
Marie Forleo: I can see. Gorgeous.
Mally Roncal: Right. Isn’t it heaven? I mean like literally there was not one thing that went untouched and many, many, many times when… I’m going to send you all this. Many times when you’re working with someone, collaborating, they’ll say, “Oh yeah. Okay. That’s great. Just put my name on it. I’m good. You like it. Good. Okay. Whatever.” No he was, is still, we’re still in collaboration. We have another palate coming out and another set. I know. So it’s very exciting. So anyway, so that’s great. Listen, I, like you, am very passionate especially as I get older about surrounding myself, only with the people and energy that… I’m done, I’m done. I always say I will no longer allow myself to be around people that make me feel bad about who I am.
Marie Forleo: Your tagline for Mally Beauty, “We believe the things that make you different, make you beautiful.” Okay. As a woman you’ve sold more than… I don’t even know. You correct me if this number is wrong. 1.6 million Mally Beauty eyeshadow kits on QVC. And every time you go on, lady, you sell out fast. I love that because you know me, I love business. I love watching people succeed. I love seeing people win. What would you have to say to anyone who is wanting to get their products out in the world? Whatever that may be.
Mally Roncal: Okay. So I launched on. Okay, so Mally Beauty was born in 2005. So it’s been 15 years. We actually, thank you lord Jesus. We started actually on QVC, so very funny story and I’ll make it short. We, at the time, early 2000s, I was building Mally Beauty. I was also working like around the clock, living on airplanes as a celebrity makeup artist, like literally never home and just on the grind. I was also the spokesperson for a bunch of lines. I was a spokesperson for Sephora. I mean, I was very, very busy. So I knew I wanted to start Mally Beauty. I knew that I wanted to do more. I love doing celebrities. I loved all of that stuff, but something was missing because I needed to connect with people like you and me and just women that just wanted to feel good. And it’s funny, Phil always says that makeup has always just been the excuse for me to try to touch people because I love people like you, I love just helping and watching people win and watching people feel good.
There’s like nothing. So I love a makeover like when you see somebody walk out and they’re like seeing themselves for the first time. That fills my heart with so much joy. But anyway, so at the time I wanted to launch in a way that not many people had. So remember being the spokesperson for Sephora, they were like, “Great. Let’s do it, we’ll do it in the stores, you know, blah, blah, blah.” And I was like, “Well, I have this crazy idea that I want to do it on television.” And there’s this thing called QVC, which is like a shopping channel and they were like, “Yeah, no.” Because at the time QVC was not the beauty mecca that it is today. It was not considered high end.
Marie Forleo: Cool.
Mally Roncal: Yes. Was not considered cool. But being Filipino, I was raised on QVC. I mean, I think I learned half of my English language watching QVC. And also remember the point that there was not YouTube back then. So there was really, unless you were reading a magazine and looking at a picture how to, you couldn’t teach somebody how to do a smokey eye per se, without reading it or there was just no other way. So I knew somehow in my heart and my dad actually knew. My dad was the one that told him, “If you’re going to launch Mally Beauty, you should do it in QVC because then you can talk to people on television.”
Marie Forleo: I love your dad. I love him so much.
Mally Roncal: He’s so cute. So anyway, so getting back to your question. So anyway, we went there, we launched, they gave us a one hour show to launch, which was very, very rare. We were very blessed and we sold out in 36 minutes like everything, every single piece was gone. I know it was… Girl, let me tell you something, I don’t do drugs, but I would tell you that if I knew what drugs felt like, I can probably guarantee that feeling was somewhere in there. It was fantastic. So my point is this, if there’s somebody that is wanting to start a business and I got to tell you, especially during this time, the quarantine and where we’ve been and all that kind of stuff, I feel like there’s so many people that are now finally taking a chance on their dreams and saying… They’re either doing two things.
They’re either like retreating back and going like, “Okay, I’m just going to sit here. I’m going to wait and see what the world brings.” And then there’s the others who are coming forward and stepping and saying, “You know what? I’ve waited too long. This is my moment. I’m going to start my dream now.” And that, I know you and I are both like, “Rah, rah, yes, let’s do it. Go for it now.”
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Mally Roncal: But my idea is this, which is the same as every other thing that I’ve told you in this hour we’ve been together is follow your instinct. Follow your true, authentic self, follow whatever you’re feeling. Another thing, I know this sounds like, I don’t know weird, but don’t just do something that you’ve seen somebody else do and it worked for them. Do something that is so authentically 100% you, that nobody can copy it. Nobody can give that spirit. Nobody can create the same energy that you are creating, because I’m going to tell you something. There’s a lot of makeup in the world. There’s a lot of singers in the world. There’s a lot of dancers. There’s a lot of people who make cabinets. There’s a lot of people who, I don’t know, are chefs, whatever. Right. But what can you bring to the table that is so you. That is so in your soul, that is so in your spirit that people go, “Okay, I want some of that. I want some of that.”
Marie Forleo: That’s different. I haven’t felt that before. Yes.
Mally Roncal: Yeah. So I think that’s the thing, because you know, we’re not reinventing the wheel. Like this is a lip gloss. Yeah, there’s a lot of lip glosses out there, but no lip gloss in the world has the same Mally love, has the same ingredient, has the same energy, has the same… When you put it on, are you feeling that same? That’s what I believe. So you can have all the money in the world. You can have all the influence. You can have all the followers, but if you don’t have your spirit in something, then you have nothing.
Marie Forleo: I just wish I could reach through this screen and squeeze you in a way that was safe and I can’t.
Mally Roncal: Me too.
Marie Forleo: But we will get there at some point.
Mally Roncal: I don’t know.
Marie Forleo: I adore you so much. Now, if anybody, of course, they’re going to be so inspired by this episode. If they want to follow you, if they want some Mally Beauty of their own, tell us where they can find you, all that good stuff.
Mally Roncal: Thank you. Okay. So on Instagram is my favorite place in the world, almost too favorite. I mean to the point, come on now. I’m so Mally Roncal on Instagram and we’re also on Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff. But Mally Roncal is my home there for me and for the love and the positivity preaching and all that kind of stuff that I love to do. Mally Beauty of course, is the brand and we are at QVC and Mally… actually, mally.com is the makeup. It’s all connected. If you go to Mally Roncal Instagram, I’m going to send you all to all the arms, to all places.
Marie Forleo: I love it.
Mally Roncal: And I’m just going to keep on watching you and being inspired by you and loving your… Oh my God, girl, I think you were in Austin. No, you were in London and you posted a video of you dancing in like a bodega.
Marie Forleo: Yeah, a candy store.
Mally Roncal: Candy store, girl I think I sent that to every person I know. And I was like, whoever this person, I mean, I obviously knew who you were, but I was more like, “I just need to be with her. That’s it. I’m going to just show up at her front door.”
Marie Forleo: Yes, please.
Mally Roncal: I was in love with you even more from that moment. And I just love that you just let your crazy funny, silly flag fly, and you’re still also so smart and so passionate and so caring and you really want to make a difference in this world. I feel that, and I love that so much. So thank you for being you.
Marie Forleo: So for everyone watching, I actually want, I’m really curious. There’s so many gems dropped in this interview. Please let us know what hit you the most and why. And of course, how you can turn that insight into action for your own life starting now as always the best conversations happen at the magical land of marieforleo.com. So head on over there and leave your comment now. And if you’re not yet subscribed to our email list, please hop on it. We give great content every week and I share some personal insights that I don’t always put on the social media. So definitely hop on. Mally, you are a gift to this world. Thank you for everyone watching until next time. Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world really does need that very special gift that only you have. We love you and we’ll see you next time. Thank you.
Mally Roncal: I love you. Oh God, you made me cry.
Marie Forleo: Hey you having trouble bringing your dreams to life? Well, guess what. The problem isn’t you. It’s not that you’re not hardworking or intelligent or deserving. It’s that you haven’t yet installed the one key belief that will change it all: Everything is Figureoutable. It’s my new book and it’s available now at everythingisfigureoutable.com.