There is one country on every beauty enthusiast's list of favorites that usually flies under the radar: Poland. Polish companies and professionals have a long and very successful history in cosmetics and they keep creating products with outstanding quality and state-of-the-art innovation!Let's have a look at some interesting facts you probably didn't know.
Helena Rubinstein & Max Factor - the pioneers
Helena Rubinstein whose real name was Chaja Rubinstein was born in Krakow in 1872 and emigrated to Australia early in her life. There she started to sell her beauty cream with the key ingredient, lanolin (it was readily available in Australia, the nation of million sheep :)) right out of her suitcase. Soon she found an investor for her Creme Valaze – as it was known by then - and her way to fame has begun. After Australia, she established locations in London and Paris but eventually the outbreak of World War I forced her to move to the US. Helena - together with her biggest rival Elizabeth Arden - revolutionized the beauty industry and established luxury beauty salons across the globe. Today Helena Rubinstein Inc. is owned by L’Oréal and her rivalry with Elizabeth Arden has been eternalized in the Broadway musical War Paint.
Maksymilian Faktorowicz was born in 1877 in Poland and started to work as a child next to a famous wig maker and cosmetician of the Russian Grand Opera. After an adventurous early life at the court of the Russian elite, he has escaped to the US in 1904 where he established a chemist's shop and then later earned fame (and an Oscar!!) as a film makeup artist. He was the one who invented the tube packaging for color cosmetics as well as such now-obvious makeup items like eyebrow pencil, lip gloss or concealer.
Believing that every woman should have access to the Hollywood glamour, in 1920 he started selling cosmetics to everyday woman and the Max Factor empire was born. Today the brand belongs to Procter & Gamble.
Inglot - Poland goes big again
Wojciech InglotWhat you might have known is that Inglot is a Polish company as well (we have one flagship store in Zürich). It was founded by Wojciech Inglot in 1983. Make-up and cosmetics were still hard to come by in the communistic Polish era and Inglot found its niche in the ever-growing beauty needs of its customers focusing on bright colors and affordable quality. By now, the originally one-man-show Polish chemical company became an international cosmetic giant with roughly 600 flagship stores and counters worldwide (they have one huge store on Time Square as well). They produce their cosmetics as well as the entire set-up of their flagship stores in-house!
Yonelle - the newest gem
Jolanta Zwolińska and Małgorzata Chełkowska
The company was founded by Jolanta Zwolińska and Małgorzata Chełkowska in 2013. They are both outstanding and well-known experts in cosmetology in Poland and came together to create a brand that is based on the latest scientific advancements. Malgorzata's PhD dissertation focused on how active substances in cosmetics can penetrate the skin, an old problem most skin care companies struggle with. The two ladies together created a patented technology called NANODISCS ™ where nano-sized discs are filled with active ingredients and so can be carried through the epidermal barrier (upper layers of your skin). Like that, active ingredients such as retinol, hyaluronic acid or vitamin C can have an enhanced - often by over 300%! - effectiveness.
In Poland Yonelle products are already better selling than Lancôme or Estée Lauder (check douglas.pl)!