She’s shared the same air with Beyonce, but honestly, that’s not even the most interesting thing about Mally Roncal. Her career began in fashion and pivoted into makeup, getting celebrities red carpet ready with more than just cosmetics… Mally is known and beloved for her energy and spark – exactly what her clients needed for an early hair and makeup call.
Now, she’s turned beauty into her empire as the founder and president of Mally Beauty. I cannot wait to hear all about that experience and how she’s turned her brand into an industry giant with staying power. In this conversation, Mally shares her story, the behind the scenes of starting and growing a beauty brand, all the ways she encourages beauty both inside and out, as well as what she wants the next generation of business owners and leaders to learn from her journey.
Not What She Planned
Mally Roncal thought she’d follow in the footsteps of her immigrant parents and pursue a career in the medical field, starting as pre-med in college. As it turns out, medical school didn’t have the fashion, glam, or makeup that Mally enjoyed so much. Instead, she pivoted to the fashion industry and got her foot in the door, building a fashion portfolio.
However, when she presented that portfolio to an agent, they didn’t see anything they could work with. What they did see, though, was a passion and energy in Mally that set her apart. Mally told me, “It was one of those weird things that my agent had the insight and he said, ‘you know what? You’re like a cup of coffee in the morning. You’re like a lover. You’re a nurturer. And I feel like celebrities need that. If they’re going to go out there and sing in front of like 20,000 people, they need somebody like you sitting behind the chair and saying, you can do this and also make them gorgeous.’”
Mally continued, “I became, by the grace of God, a very busy celebrity makeup artists living on the road for years.”
That career path was incredible, but Mally reached a pivotal point in her journey that left her feeling like something was missing. She explained, “I wanted to make makeup for people so that they could look and feel just as powerful as Beyonce standing in Madison Square Garden.”
That’s when she started Mally Beauty. At the time, there was no Instagram or TikTok to demonstrate and sell a product, so she turned to QVC for the launch when not a lot of people were choosing that route.
“That 17 years ago and I’m still here, jumping up and down, being crazy and telling everyone how to put on their eyeliner and how to make them look like they’ve had eight hours of sleep if they’ve been up all night breastfeeding their brand new baby,” Mally exclaimed. Gosh, I love her energy.
Celebs Are Just Like Us
I asked Mally what it was like working so closely with big name stars… We’re talking Beyonce, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez and the like. What would surprise people about these celebrities and the experience of working with them?
“It’s such an amazing gift because number one, you get a peek behind that curtain, right?” Mally continued, “And you’re looking at them like they’re super human and they have no insecurities and they don’t get boogers. The truth of the matter is, I ain’t gonna lie, they are kind of superhuman in a way that their work ethic is. I think they really inspired me when it came to work ethic and never giving up and never stopping. However, they all have the same insecurities, the same worries, the same fears. A lot of my clients have since also become mothers and have felt that pull of I want to go out there and slay this game, but I want to be home with my babies.”
Mally said that she sees a connection point with these celebrities, “We all feel similar things. I’ll do someone’s makeup and they’ll look at me and they’ll say, ‘is it good? Do we feel good? Are we ready? Are we ready to do this?’ Everyone needs that little hug, that little push, that little lift, and it doesn’t matter if you are one of the biggest celebrities in the world, or your best friend or your next door neighbor, we all need that hug and that nurturing and that loving. And that’s something that I am so honored and proud to do.”
More from Mally Roncal
There’s so much to Mally’s story and I don’t want you to miss a second of her lessons, her energy, or her spirit. She shares how and why her brand has lasted nearly two decades despite a competitive and changing market and so much more. Press play on this episode wherever you get your podcasts and follow along on Instagram @mallyroncal.