MY LIFE FOR BEAUTY by Helena Rudinstein


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From a pot of her mother's face cream to a multimillion dollar cosmetics empire, Miss Rubinstein engagingly reveals the chutzpah which has driven her for 94 years. (She died recently, still active in decisions of state, packaging, marketing, developing new products of which she had over a thousand.) She says frankly that her consuming interest in business drove her first husband into another marriage. Her entire adult life since her late teens was spent peddling skin creams in swank beauty palaces; she opened the world's first beauty shop, in Australia, branched out to London, Paris, New York and wherever women had more money than self-confidence. Singlemindedly, she established the breakthrough from rice powder to the foundation mask, then appointed her younger sisters to hold the forts and defend the till. Along with her genuine dedication to skin improvement, she hawks such fragrant soft soap as, ""All the eye make-up on the market cannot illuminate eyes that have lost their interest in the world, and a woman in love with life has the best basic 'foundation' to be found anywhere."" (Behind her back, she says, her many apartments are called the ""Rubinstein Hiltons."") Many artists have painted her, not always charmingly. Dali chained her by ropes of emeralds to a high rock--(""He felt that I was bound by my possessions, which is very far from the truth."" Unlike many of her customers, she has no self-indulgence and writes without an ounce of flab. Recommended.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1966
Publisher: Simon & Schuster