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Edition details


Publication date
11th March 2013


Gallic Books


Extent (number of pages)

Kate Bignold & Lakshmi Ramakrishnan Iyer


UK, Europe & Commonwealth (excl Canada, Australia, New Zealand): Exclusive

BIC category

US publication date
15th July 2014



Helena Rubinstein

(Helena Rubinstein: La Femme qui inventa la beauté)


She understood women. She understood beauty. And she started a revolution.

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She understood women. She understood beauty. And she started a revolution.

Helena Rubinstein was born into a poor Polish family at the end of the nineteenth century; by the time of her death in 1965 she had built a cosmetics empire that spanned the world.

When Rubinstein opened her first salon in Melbourne, her scientific approach to beauty was an instant sensation. Women just couldn’t get enough of her innovative advice on skincare, and her beauty products were constantly sold out.

Having conquered Australia, Rubinstein went on to open salons in Europe and America, at a time when women were barely seen in business, let alone running their own multinational companies.

Dressed by Chanel and Yves St Laurent, painted by Salvador Dali and Picasso and mingling with Colette and Proust, Helena Rubinstein not only enjoyed unbelievable success, but was also instrumental in empowering and liberating women.

Helena Rubinstein was a total original, and her legacy can still be seen today in the methods used to market and manufacture cosmetics.

This is her amazing life story.

‘A must-read for beauty addicts’ Sunday Times Style
‘Riveting. Helena’s rags-to-riches story is the stuff of romantic fiction’ Hello
‘This vivid account pops with fascinating detail and reads like fiction. Wonderfully, it isn’t.’ Elle
‘As flawless as Helena Rubinstein’s skin and as captivating as the Polish-born Jewish beauty magnate’s 70-year reign, this brilliant biography stands as a fascinating history of ‘make-up’.’ Australian Women’s Weekly
‘This biography recreates the legend behind the businesswoman, which lies at the heart of so many of the quests of important women during the twentieth century.’ Marie-Claire
‘Required reading’ Vogue
‘This globe trotting biography is both epic and intimate as it befits the woman it calls “the Polish Scarlett O’Hara”‘ More magazine
‘Informed, informative, insightful, entertaining, and highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library biography collections’ Midwest Book Review
‘Fitoussi proves that fact is more astonishing than legend.’ Booklist
‘Engaging biography … The lively prose brings life to Rubinstein’s “impossible character”’ Publishers Weekly
Bonus Material
Michèle Fitoussi: Why I wrote about Helena Rubinstein
Michèle Fitoussi Interview
Woman’s Hour Feature
The Express on Helena Rubinstein
Mail Online on Helena Rubinstein
Michèle Fitoussi

Meet the author

Michèle Fitoussi was born in Tunisia to French parents, and has lived in Paris since the age of five. She worked as a journalist at Elle Magazine for 25 years, interviewing world leaders in areas as varied as politics, human sciences, sports, literature and the media. She is also the author of scree…

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