There is an outstanding exhibition going on at the Paris Museum of Jewish Art and History about Madam Helena Rubinstein. I am inviting you to go see it – or go back – which I did. It is full of pictures, clothes, works of art, narratives, and products to pay tribute to this great adventure.
In parallel, the BIU (inter-university library) offers additional material, including old photographs or a list of more recent works dedicated to the saga of this great lady of beauty.
For those of you who would like to learn more, I encourage you to have a look at James Benett’s remarkable work, which you will find by clicking on the links below. You will discover an impressive quantity of all kinds of innovations developed by the brand: how the renowned “Crème Valaze” was created, based on a simple formula (already… how strange!), skin types, which are still a live baseline, but also those multiple beauty routines, or the famous automatic mascara, although we do not know if we owe it to pleasant naiads or to an Austrian inventor, creams based on hormones, and then on placenta extracts, instrumental beauty, with electricity as an active, or other salon instrumental techniques, Prince Gourielli men’s products, etc.
Let’s have a look on this example of innovation : on the left, the 1937’s Derma-Lens as used in Rubinstein’s New York salon, and on the rigt the 2018 Visia System currently used to assess the skin by many companies and labs.
There are too many innovation, I cannot describe them all. Find out about them in these associated links.
The two times I visited the exhibition reminded me of when I started in this venerable house in the late 1960s, with Jack Gobron, as R&d manager and a founding member of the French Society of Cosmetology, and Mike Kliffer, who later chose the world of nail varnish. Although it was quite a late period in the brand’s life, as a young cosmetician, I did discover quite a few aspects of it, such as this constant quest for excellence, conveyed by unlikely things for that time, like the research on ferments – still a much topical issue. I also wanted to remind you of the pretty innovative work done under the leadership of Pierre Fodor in relation to the space exploration. Or of the first products that stimulated the natural tan (Golden Beauty). The brand was, again, ahead of its time.
For those who will decide, either to visit the exhibition*, or to read the dossier – why not do both! – have a nice visit!
Thanks again to James Benett.
Jean Claude LE JOLIFF
- MAJH – 71 rue ru Temple – 75003 Paris