Women Helena Rubinstein By Paul César Helleu

Published on October 26th, 2009 | by Yellow Magpie

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Helena Rubinstein: A Woman Who Made Beauty Her Business

Helena Rubinstein By Paul César Helleu

Helena Rubinstein cosmetics are known, used and loved by women throughout the world.

The Rubinstein name is synonymous with glamour and beauty but Helena Rubinstein was a hard nosed business woman who built an empire from very little.

The eldest of eight children, Chaza Rubinstein was born in 1870, in Krakow, Poland, to Agusta Gitte (Gitel) Scheindel Silberfeld Rubinstein and Naftali Herz Horace Rubinstein.

Helena Rubinstein

Helena Rubinstein

Chaza claimed she studied medicine in Switzerland and according to herself gave it up because ‘she fainted in the wards’.

Australia

At the age of 18 she emigrated to Australia, where she changed her first name to Helena. The women in Australia admired her creamy skin, so Helena had her mother send over the jars of the face cream she used in Poland.

A year after arriving in Australia, Helena Rubinstein opened her first shop, in which she sold creams she made from lanolin, pretending it had come from the Carpathian Mountains.

Australian women loved the product and soon Helena’s sister Ceska joined her in the business.

London

Ceska soon took over the management of the shop while Helena flew off to London where she opened a beauty salon.

Soon after she met an American journalist named Edward Titus and the couple married in 1908. The couple had two sons Roy, born in 1908, and Horace born in 1912.

Helena balanced family life with developing her creams and establishing herself socially in London. Meanwhile her husband Titus helped with her advertising campaigns

In 1914 the family moved to Paris where she opened another beauty salon, this became a further success. The family stayed in Paris until the outbreak of World War I, when they moved the United States.

Helena Rubinstein's House In Krakow, Poland, Photo By  Sebastian Nanek Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

Helena Rubinstein’s House In Krakow, Poland, Photo By Sebastian Nanek Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

United States And Helena Rubinstein’s Success

In America, Helena opened more beauty salons starting in New York where she opened the first Maison de Beaute, located on West 49th street. She gradually branched out to other major cities.

Like in Australia, American women couldn’t get enough of her creams and department stores vied with each other to stock her products. Helena then began to distribute her products through specially trained sales girls in department stores eventually having her own counters.

In 1928 she sold her controlling interest in her United States business to Lehman Brothers for over $7m, as she wanted to concentrate on the European market, however she wasn’t satisfied Leman’s were maintaining the high quality she had built her reputation on, so she bought back the business a year later for $1.5m.

Her empire continued to grow, and she became famous for her collections of paintings, jewellery and sculpture.

In 1938 she and Titus who was a philanderer by all accounts, were divorced, and later that same year Helena Rubinstein married Russian, Prince Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia.

The Helena Rubinstein Foundation was founded in 1953 in order to fund education and research.

Helena Rubinstein died of natural causes on April 1, 1965, she was 94 years old. She revolutionised the world of make-up in a manner which took the world by storm.


Further Reading

Check out Yellow Magpie’s Helena Rubinstein Quotes: Talk From The Queen Of Make-up for the great make-up dame’s thoughts on a variety of subjects dear to her heart.

For more insights into this fascinating woman read War Paint: Madame Helena Rubinstein and Miss Elizabeth Arden, Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry. This book gives a riveting insight into Rubinstein’s rivalry with Elizabeth Arden.

Amazon.co.uk
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom you can access War Paint: Madame Rubinstein And Miss Elizabeth Arden here:

Amazon.ca
For those living in Canada you can obtain War Paint: Madame Rubinstein And Miss Elizabeth Arden from here.

Amazon.de
For Germany: War Paint: Madame Rubinstein And Miss Elizabeth Arden.

Amazon.fr
For France: War Paint: Madame Rubinstein And Miss Elizabeth Arden.


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3 Responses to Helena Rubinstein: A Woman Who Made Beauty Her Business

  1. Pingback: Helena Rubinstein Quotes: Talk From The Queen Of Make-up

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