The Beauty Report

Helena Rubinstein and the first institutes for men

Helena Rubinstein was nearly 70 years-old when she decided to focus on skincare for men. Her husband, Artchil Gourielli, might have been younger than her by a quarter of a century, but she found him tired-looking, and deplored his lack of skincare routine. She was convinced that he could be more attractive if he just made an effort, which led her to think about skincare products for men…

The Pioneer

As was her nature, Helena Rubinstein never stopped innovating, and such was the case when she decided to look into men’s skincare. No-one had thought about it until this moment. Madame had noticed that women often bought two pots of moisturizer, one of which they would offer to their husbands. It was up to her to launch the market of men’s personal hygiene. Not only this, but she wanted to open a boutique exclusively dedicated to men’s skincare. It was on 53rd Street, at the corner of the Rubinstein building, that she opened the Gourielli Apothecary.

A New Market

Madame was well aware that packaging for masculine products had to be different. Her team got to work on a refined grey design, decorated with the Gourielli coat of arms. The creams were placed in pots that resembled those seen in apothecary boutiques during the early 20th century. In the store, a pharmacist would offer recommendations to clients. This outlet rapidly became a real institute, and counted Tony Curtis among its regular clients. However, in 1950, it seemed that Helena Rubinstein was too ahead of her time… the salon didn’t have a large enough client base, and it closed its doors a year later.

The pioneering entrepreneur never stopped innovating. Far from giving up after a failure, Madame started thinking about new skincare ranges for women. Once again, success was waiting in the wings…


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