We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who Was Helena Rubinstein?

By L. Brooks
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Helena Rubinstein built a business empire selling cosmetics at a time when there were few employment opportunities for women and most women did not wear makeup. She was born in 1870 in Krakow, Poland, which at the time was part of Austria-Hungary, and was the eldest of eight children. Her father was a shopkeeper.

At 18, Helena Rubinstein moved to Australia and while she was there, Helena began treating women's sun-dried skin conditions with a face cream formula developed by Jacob Lykusky, a Hungarian chemist. She soon set up shop in Melbourne and by 1908 had amassed enough money to leave one of her sisters in charge of the shop so she could move to London to expand her business. This was accomplished at a time when women rarely, if ever, received bank loans.

Once in London, Rubinstein met and married her first husband, Edward William Titus, an American journalist, and had two sons. By 1912, the family had moved to Paris, France. Helena Rubinstein's businesses were thriving and her Paris establishment became a salon. Socialites and celebrities were invited to her home for extravagant dinner parties. Her contact with the rich, famous, and notorious raised her social status and the popularity of her beauty products followed suit. While in Paris, Titus ran a small publishing company, which published the infamous Lady Chatterly's Lover.

With the outbreak of World War I, the family moved to New York City for safety and business opportunities. American women represented a new frontier for her growing cosmetic line. Her beauty program began with twelve skin treatments. When the women became accustomed to buying her skin care products at her spa, it became easier to persuade them to also try her powders and rouges. She and Elizabeth Arden became fierce business rivals; both women were very savvy about what it took to sell beauty products.

By 1937, Helena Rubinstein and Edward Titus ended what had become a tempestuous marriage. Titus had often been guilty of infidelity. A year later Rubinstein married Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia, who may or may not have been a prince of Georgia, which at that time was part of the Soviet Union. Gourielli-Tchkonia was more than twenty years younger than Rubinstein.

Helena Rubinstein was a study in contrasts. She had lavish tastes in art, furniture, fashion and jewelry; yet she would wear cheap nightgowns and pack her lunch in a brown bag. She could be very generous and became a renowned philanthropist, but did not help Marc Chagall get his daughter and son-in-law out of Nazi Germany. Perhaps that memory contributed to her decision to found the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion of Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv and other philanthropic causes in Israel. She died of natural causes in at the age 94 and is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Queens, New York.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.