Your Cosmetic Portrait by Helena Rubinstein, 1935

Your Cosmetic Portrait by Helena Rubinstein, 1935 in Beauty is Power by Mason Klein, 2015

Your Cosmetic Portrait by Helena Rubinstein, 1935 in Beauty is Power by Mason Klein, 2014

I’ve been reading a fascinating book on beauty care expert Helena Rubinstein, Beauty is Power by Mason Klein. It is the companion volume to an exhibit of the same name that recently closed at the Jewish Museum in New York, something I would have loved to have seen.

Rubinstein was already in her mid forties when she opened up her first salon in New York, after first gaining success in Melbourne, Paris, and London. Perhaps this explains her attention to the “mature face.” Unusual for her time, she also made makeup for darker complexions. The African American dancer Josephine Baker used her foundation in a color called Crème Gypsy.

Older women might have been happy to see themselves included in the chart above that shows just where to apply rouge. However, I wondered why there was such specific advice for different facial shapes in youth, but only one for the mature face.

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2 Responses to Your Cosmetic Portrait by Helena Rubinstein, 1935

  1. JetSetSewing says:

    That makes me think of the two very red dots of powered rough high on my grandmother’s cheeks in the 50s. And the lipstick that would never come off of my cheeks when she gave me a smooch.

  2. I had that exhibition on my list of things to see the last time I was in New York, but I just did not have time. I really hated it because the last day I was there I had breakfast with my friend Monica and she said it was so good.

    I can’t imagine wearing rouge that high on my cheeks!

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