Helena Rubinstein – Queen of cosmetics
Helena Rubinstein was the famous entrepreneur, founder of the cosmetics line and chain stores in the US, France and the UK.
In 1950, she was one of the richest women in the world. She had no money, no education, and no one to help her. All she had were 12 jars of face cream and a lot of energy and ambition. She turned these into a cosmetics empire.
Helena (her real name was Chaja Rubinstein) was born on December 25, 1872 in Krakow. She was the oldest of eight girls. Helena’s father wanted her to be a doctor. But she hated medicine and left school. Then he wanted her to get married, but she refused. In 1902, she went to Australia, to live with a cousin and an uncle. Helena didn’t speak English, had no money and no plans. She had beautiful skin and told some of the women about the face cream.
Hot, dry weather in Australia is bad for the skin. And women wanted to have great cream. Helena borrowed $1,500 and opened a shop to sell the cream. She worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week. She lived simply and saved all of her profits. All this time, she thought only of work and success. She left Australia and went to Europe to learn more about the science of beauty.
In 1908, Rubinstein opened a shop in London. It was a big success.
Edward Titus convinced her to marry him. In 1909, they had a son. Two years later, she moved her family to Paris and opened another shop. In 1912, they had another son. Helena wasn’t a very good wife or mother. Rubinstein was a workaholic. She dreamed only of expanding her business.
In 1915, Rubinstein moved her family to the United States. She wanted to open a shop in New York City. By 1917, she had seven shops in the United States and one in Canada. Thousands of shops and department stores sold her products.
People called her “the beauty queen”.
She never stopped working, and she ignored her family. Her husband once told her, “Your business is your life.” They divorced in 1930.
In 1938, she married Prince Gourielli. He was 20 years younger than she was, and he had no money or power. But he was a prince and she liked that very much. When he died in 1956, she didn’t even return from her vacation for his funeral.
Rubinstein continued working until she died at the age of 94. Rubinstein died on April 1, 1965 in New York, USA.
Salvador Dali immortalized Helena in the image of a female Prometheus, chained to a rock with her own green dress.
Rubinstein was the first who classified skin types – dry, normal, oily.
She created a waterproof mascara, the first in the world means for deep skin cleansing, the first cream with vitamins, moisturizing liquid cream.