“Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.” – Helena Rubinstein
About Helena Rubinstein
Helena Rubinstein (born Chaja Rubinstein, December 25, 1872 – April 1, 1965) was a Polish American businesswoman, art collector, and philanthropist. A cosmetics entrepreneur, she was the founder and eponym of Helena Rubinstein Incorporated cosmetics company, which made her one of the world’s richest women.
Diminutive at 4 ft. 10 in. (147 cm), Rubinstein emigrated from Poland to Australia in 1902, with no money and little English. Her stylish clothes and milky complexion did not pass unnoticed among the town’s ladies, however, and she soon found enthusiastic buyers for the jars of beauty cream in her luggage. She spotted a market where she began to make her own.
Known to her customers only as Helena, Rubinstein could soon afford to open a salon in fashionable Collins Street, selling glamour as a science to clients whose skin was “diagnosed” and a suitable treatment “prescribed”.
Sydney was next, and within five years Australian operations were profitable enough to finance a Salon de Beauté Valaze in London.
As such, Rubinstein formed one of the world’s first cosmetic companies. Her business enterprise proved immensely successful and later in life, she used her enormous wealth to support charitable institutions in the fields of education, art and health.
At the outbreak of World War I, she and Titus moved to New York City, where she opened a cosmetics salon in 1915, the forerunner of a chain throughout the country. This was the beginning of her vicious rivalry with the other great lady of the cosmetics industry, Elizabeth Arden. Both Rubinstein and Arden, who died within 18 months of each other, were social climbers. And they were both keenly aware of effective marketing and luxurious packaging, the attraction of beauticians in neat uniforms, the value of celebrity endorsements, the perceived value of overpricing and the promotion of the pseudoscience of skincare.
Called “Madame” by her employees, she eschewed idle chatter, continued to be active in the corporation throughout her life, even from her sick bed, and staffed the company with her relatives.
Rubinstein died April 1, 1965 from natural causes and was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Queens. In 1973, the company Helena Rubinstein, Inc. was sold to Colgate Palmolive, and is now owned by L’Oréal.
One of Rubinstein’s numerous mantras was: “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.”
(Source – Wikipedia)