Beauty

Mally Roncal Is the Opposite of a Gatekeeper

That unfettered passion for the power of makeup sets the tone for Mally Beauty’s latest campaign, a video called “Life Is Better With Makeup,” which shows women doing everyday tasks (like getting stuck in traffic) and not-so-everyday tasks (like giving birth) in various versions of glam makeup. 

“I always wanted to give men and women permission to live their fierceness,” Roncal tells me in the same encouraging voice we hear in the video’s voiceover. “I’m not saying, oh, you have to wear makeup every day. It’s a choice. It’s like choosing joy. It’s like choosing fun. If you follow me on Instagram, you see that many, many days, I have my glasses on, my hair is up, I have no makeup on, and we’re running around the house screaming, and I’m cooking. I feel as comfortable in that skin as I do in a full beat. But the idea is just being unapologetic about how you wanna live.”

It’s there on Instagram where Roncal, a rightfully self-proclaimed “positivity preacher,” provides makeup tips and tricks to her followers. And while that may be the norm for beauty influencers on social media, it’s something that was practically unheard of, not to mention nearly impossible when social media was in its infancy, two decades ago. 

“I’ve always been the one to want to put out my secrets or my tips or how to do things. I used to do a lot of photoshoots, and we would do those, like, Vanity Fair covers, and 10 celebrities would come up to shoot,” Roncal recalls. “Some makeup artists were very secretive, and they would put up the screen so no one could see what they were doing. I was always that makeup artist that was like, ‘Come on, let’s party.’ And I would do my client in front of everybody. Then I’d grab the photo assistant and be like, ‘Here, I’ll show you how to do it on you.’ I’ve always been that person.”

But Roncal is just as much a content observer as she is a content creator. In the 17 years since Mally Beauty’s inception, she has watched social media’s influence on beauty change dramatically. And as much as she loves the trend-launching and sharing nature of platforms like Instagram and TikTok, she sees an inevitable downside, especially for young participants. 

“That’s a thing that I don’t love about the whole TikTok world and all the [makeup] stuff [teenagers] look at it — they’re like, ‘Well, that doesn’t look like me, so I’m doing it wrong and I’m bad and I’m ugly.’ And it’s like, no, no, no. It’s about educating yourself,” Roncal says, telling me that she prioritizes protecting the spirits of those who watch her videos. “I think we need to make sure that we tell everyone to embrace the trends, have fun with the trends, but customize it for you so that you get the result that you want.”