Helena Rubenstein (1872-1965) has been a constant source of inspiration for me since starting Bloom Cosmetics. Her empire began its life in 1902 in Melbourne where she established her first salon de beauté selling her 'Crème Valaze' face cream containing lanolin from local fleece.
I managed to get my hands on two second hand books written by Helena Rubenstein (I found them in the basement of a second hand bookstore in NY in the 90's). My Life for Beauty was first published in 1930 and The Art of Feminine Beauty in 1965. Helena Rubenstein was a true entrepreneur and female warrior and so ahead of her time.
Helena Rubenstein had her portrait painted by numerous famous artists including; Salvador Dali, Raoul Duffy, Picasso and William Dobell. The painting above was painted by Graham Sutherland OM and depicts Helena Rubenstein at age 83 wearing a red Cristóbel Balenciaga brocade gown standing with dignity and strength. This painting hangs in the incredible National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.
Study in ink and chalk on paper for the portrait by Graham Sutherland