Makeup artist Mally Roncal, known for the celebrities she works with and the line of beauty products that bears her name, loves to tell women how to highlight their best features and bring out their natural beauty. But she is just as eager to encourage them to take care of their health.
Mally grew up in the shadow of breast cancer, and it’s left her with an enduring passion for helping women to value and take care of themselves.
“I’ve worked with all these people and we all have this in common – we want to stay around for our family and friends,” she said. “We all deserve and want to have the best health for ourselves. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what I learned from my mother.”
Her mother, a glamorous Ob-GYN, was diagnosed with breast cancer when Mally was just an infant. Dr. Pilar Roncal was told she had no more than six months to live. Determined to raise her daughter, she survived until she was 49 and Mally was 17, but the disease was an ever-present reality.
“We lived every day as if it were her last,” Mally said. “She packed so much love and excitement into those 17 years that I hardly feel I missed a thing.”
Mally set out to become a doctor like her mother, but in college was lured by her interest in fashion and beauty. She graduated with a degree in fashion and fine art and set off to design clothes. She soon followed her interest in makeup and that led to working with stars around the world including Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Teri Hatcher, Celine Dion, Lee Ann Womack, Ashlee Simpson, Angelina Jolie, and Heidi Klum. Eleven years ago, she launched her own line of makeup, Mally Beauty.
“I didn’t set out to create my own line, but I saw a need out there for something that was easy to use and that would last all day,” she explained.
While she is busy with her career and her three young daughters, she makes the time to take care of her health. That’s something her mother taught her starting early on.
“She never knew how much time she would have, so she wanted to make sure that I knew how to take care of my own body,” Mally said.
After her mother’s death, Mally was surrounded by the love and support of women in the community. That taught her the importance of looking after each other. Now she shares and practices what she’s learned.
Mally carefully monitors her own health throughout the year and is diligent about getting an annual mammogram. Given her history, the 3D mammography available at Ella Health is especially important, she said. This advanced technology provides more information making it easier to detect invasive breast cancer. She also encourages others to look after their health.
“It is so important for women to be proactive and get the care they need,” she said. “Early detection is really important. If there is something wrong, you want to be able to take care of it right away. The people around you are counting on you.”