Helena Rubinstein holding one of her masks from the Ivory Coast, 1934. Photograph: George Maillard Kesslere. Helena Rubinstein Foundation Archives, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, Gladys Marcus Library, Special Collections.

I have been waiting for months, with very bated breath, for Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power at The Jewish Museum. It finally opened in October, and I just managed to get myself there after a super busy fall. It was indeed worth the wait. I have long been fascinated by Helena Rubinstein, a self-made global cosmetics magnate, entrepreneur, art collector and patron. She had a brilliant 60-year career and, arguably, single-handedly changed the way beauty and beauty products and treatments were perceived and made accessible in the first half of the 20th century. She also significantly set the standard for the salon as experience, hers each uniquely designed and filled with works of art. This stunning exhibition presents some 200 objects from Rubinstein’s personal collection, including paintings, jewelry, and clothing, as well as advertisements and samples from her cosmetics line. She was an early and important collector of African and Oceanic sculpture, which is amply represented in the show. She was also friend to and subject for many European modernists whose work, including a number of portraits of Rubinstein herself, form an essential part of the installation. Standouts for me were the selection of Helena Rubinstein products and packaging and the numerous beauty manuals and books she wrote. And there was something about her Venetian Rococo Mirror that drew me in, so personal and so evocative and reflective of a remarkable life lived, in absolute beauty.