Muses

Helena Rubinstein (1872 - 1965)

Born and raised in a poor jewish family in Poland, Helena Rubinstein settles in Australia in 1896, fleeing her condition and eager to make a living. Rapidly, observing Australian women’s skins attacked by the powerful sun of their country and admired for her very own pale complexion, she decides to open a beauty parlor and teach women how to heal their derma. Success is fast and Helena Rubinstein conquers the world from Paris to New York with her health and beauty advices - she celebrates the practice of gymnastics, invents the first waterproof mascara, establishes several skin tightening methods and even praises the use of vibrators - as she believes ‘there are no ugly women, only lazy ones’. Extremely rich, the businesswoman fills her closets with Elsa Schiaparelli and Paul Poiret designs - the French designer also decorates her Parisian institut - wears layers of opulent jewelry and collects the art of Marie Laurencin, Man Ray and Andy Warhol while Salvador Dali paints her portrait. Yet, the quintessential self-made woman and feminist, Helena Rubinstein is tyrannic and as if often happens in larger-than-life destinies, leads a discouraging intimate life. To her, what counted was that ‘beauty is power’.

Tags / Helena Rubinstein - Cosmetics - Muses - It Women - 1930s - Beauty
Helena Rubinstein by Andy Warhol in Kyoto, Japan, 1957
Helena Rubinstein by Andy Warhol in Kyoto, Japan, 1957
Helena Rubinstein in New York home at 625 Park Avenue by John Rawlings, 1944
Helena Rubinstein in New York home at 625 Park Avenue by John Rawlings, 1944
Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Helena Rubinstein XIX 27-11-1955, 1955. Conté crayon on paper, 17 1/4 x 12 5/8 in
Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Helena Rubinstein XIX 27-11-1955, 1955. Conté crayon on paper, 17 1/4 x 12 5/8 in
Helena Rubinstein by Man Ray, 1930
Helena Rubinstein by Man Ray, 1930
Helena Rubinstein with Pablo Picasso, 1956
Helena Rubinstein with Pablo Picasso, 1956
Helena Rubinstein wearing a Paul Poiret dress by Nickolas Muray, 1924
Helena Rubinstein wearing a Paul Poiret dress by Nickolas Muray, 1924
Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by Christian Moser, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by Christian Moser, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by Graham Sutherland,oil on canvas, 180.3 x 111.8 cm, 1957
Helena Rubinstein by Graham Sutherland,oil on canvas, 180.3 x 111.8 cm, 1957
Helena Rubinstein by Herbert Gehr, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Herbert Gehr, 1941
Helena Rubinstein, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein by Roberto Montenegro, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Roberto Montenegro, 1941
Helena Rubinstein's beauty salon, 1935
Helena Rubinstein's beauty salon, 1935
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Herbert Gehr, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by Herbert Gehr, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Prince Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia and Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Prince Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia and Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein salon by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein salon by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Pavel Tchelitchew, 1934
Helena Rubinstein by Pavel Tchelitchew, 1934
A fashion shoot for Bergdorf Goodman staged in the foyer of Helena Rubinstein's New York home at 625 Park Avenue by John Rawlings, 1944
A fashion shoot for Bergdorf Goodman staged in the foyer of Helena Rubinstein's New York home at 625 Park Avenue by John Rawlings, 1944
Helena Rubinstein, 655 Fifth Avenue. Hair dryers by Samuel H. Gottscho,1961
Helena Rubinstein, 655 Fifth Avenue. Hair dryers by Samuel H. Gottscho,1961
Prince Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia and Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Prince Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia and Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
The Full line of Helena Rubinstein beauty products by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
The Full line of Helena Rubinstein beauty products by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein by Alfredo Valente, 1958
Helena Rubinstein by Alfredo Valente, 1958
William Dobell, Portrait of Helena Rubinstein, oil on composition board, 77.4 x 77.2 cm, 1960
William Dobell, Portrait of Helena Rubinstein, oil on composition board, 77.4 x 77.2 cm, 1960
Helena Rubinstein salon by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein salon by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein by Margherita Russo, India ink and ink wash on paper, 1953
Helena Rubinstein by Margherita Russo, India ink and ink wash on paper, 1953
Helena Rubinstein salon by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein salon by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
William Dobell, Portrait of Helena Rubinstein, oil on composition board, 77.4 x 77.2 cm, 1960
William Dobell, Portrait of Helena Rubinstein, oil on composition board, 77.4 x 77.2 cm, 1960
Helena Rubinstein and Salvador Dali, 1943
Helena Rubinstein and Salvador Dali, 1943
Salvador Dali's painted panels for Helena Rubinstein's New York apartment, 1940s
Salvador Dali's painted panels for Helena Rubinstein's New York apartment, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein, 1962
Helena Rubinstein, 1962
Helena Rubinstein’s Paris apartment on the Ile Saint-Louis is 1951
Helena Rubinstein’s Paris apartment on the Ile Saint-Louis is 1951
Helena Rubinstein's triplex penthouse, 635 Park Avenue designed by J. E. R. Carpenter
Helena Rubinstein's triplex penthouse, 635 Park Avenue designed by J. E. R. Carpenter
Mae West and Helena Rubinstein on set of The Belle of the Nineties, 1934
Mae West and Helena Rubinstein on set of The Belle of the Nineties, 1934
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt standing beneath mural by Salvador Dali in her home, 1958
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt standing beneath mural by Salvador Dali in her home, 1958
Helena Rubinstein by Cecil Beaton, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by Cecil Beaton, 1930s
Prince Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia and Helena Rubinstein by Slim Aarons, 1950
Prince Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia and Helena Rubinstein by Slim Aarons, 1950
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1937
Helena Rubinstein by G. Maillard Kesslère, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by G. Maillard Kesslère, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by G. Maillard Kesslère, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by G. Maillard Kesslère, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by G. Maillard Kesslère, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by G. Maillard Kesslère, 1930s
Frida Kahlo with Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Frida Kahlo with Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein’s London apartment by decorator David Hicks, 1960s
Helena Rubinstein’s London apartment by decorator David Hicks, 1960s
Helena Rubinstein’s London apartment by decorator David Hicks, 1960s
Helena Rubinstein’s London apartment by decorator David Hicks, 1960s
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Graham Sutherland, 1957
Helena Rubinstein by Graham Sutherland, 1957
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Fernand Léger, Interior, study for The Three Women, 1921. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Gift of Madame Helena Rubinstein
Fernand Léger, Interior, study for The Three Women, 1921. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Gift of Madame Helena Rubinstein
Helena Rubinstein’s Paris apartment, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein’s Paris apartment, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein by Paul César Helleu, 1908
Helena Rubinstein by Paul César Helleu, 1908
A masked woman in a foaming milk bath at Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1937
A masked woman in a foaming milk bath at Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1937
Sun bath at Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Sun bath at Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Helena Rubinstein with two of her sisters Manka and Stella, 1920
Helena Rubinstein with two of her sisters Manka and Stella, 1920
Helena Rubinstein's apartment in Paris, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein's apartment in Paris, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Helena Rubinstein by Ida Kar, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein by Ida Kar, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Woman receiving treatment through the Derma-lens at Helena Rubenstein's New York salon, 1936
Woman receiving treatment through the Derma-lens at Helena Rubenstein's New York salon, 1936
Consultation with Helene Rubinstein herself at Helena Rubenstein's New York salon, 1940s
Consultation with Helene Rubinstein herself at Helena Rubenstein's New York salon, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Helena Rubinstein by Ida Kar, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein by Ida Kar, 1940s
Dorian Leigh by Richard Alvedon, dressed by Piguet in Helena Rubinstein's Paris apartment, 1949
Dorian Leigh by Richard Alvedon, dressed by Piguet in Helena Rubinstein's Paris apartment, 1949
Helena Rubinstein by Ida Kar, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein by Ida Kar, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Polaroid skin analysis at Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1941
Polaroid skin analysis at Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1941
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1937
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1937
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Helena Rubinstein by Ida Kar, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein by Ida Kar, 1940s
Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein, 1930s
Salvador Dali's painted panels for Helena Rubinstein's New York apartment, 1940s. Photo by Bradford Robotham
Salvador Dali's painted panels for Helena Rubinstein's New York apartment, 1940s. Photo by Bradford Robotham
Helena’s niece, Mala Rubinstein, leads a class of saleswomen, New York, circa 1937. Photo by Malcom Varon
Helena’s niece, Mala Rubinstein, leads a class of saleswomen, New York, circa 1937. Photo by Malcom Varon
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Helena Rubinstein’s New York salon, 1938
Helena Rubinstein by Leonard McCombe, New York, 1956
Helena Rubinstein by Leonard McCombe, New York, 1956
Marie Laurencin, Portrait of Helena Rubinstein, 1934. Courtesy of Private Collection, Stowe, Vermon
Marie Laurencin, Portrait of Helena Rubinstein, 1934. Courtesy of Private Collection, Stowe, Vermon
Helena Rubinstein's apartment in Paris, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein's apartment in Paris, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein's apartment in Paris, 1930s
Helena Rubinstein's apartment in Paris, 1930s
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