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Borghese Cosmetics: Marcella Borghese, the founder of a prestigious Italian cosmetics line

Princess Marcella Borghese sounds like the name of a fairy tale heroine. Yet this Italian princess really did exist and founded the line of prestigious cosmetics named after her, Borghese Cosmetics.

The Princess Entrepreneur: The Story behind Borghese Cosmetics

Marcella Borghese, entrepreneur and founder of Borghese Cosmetics – Photo from Fototeca-gillardi

Marcella Fazi married Prince Paolo Borghese, Duke of Bomarzo in 1942. This famous aristocratic family’s illustrious ancestors included a Pope, several cardinals, and a sister of Napoleon who also married into the family. The Villa Borghese was the original home of the family and they owned the beautiful Borghese Park in Rome, near the Spanish Steps.

Charity work for orphans and looking after her two twin sons, Francesco and Livio, were Marcella’s main concerns, at first. She had helped her mother with charity work so she was used to it and liked it, but the enterprising young woman wanted to have her own career. The Italian nobility, especially the women, usually didn’t work in those days – they managed their estates and created memorable gardens instead – although Prince Paolo became the President of General Motors in Italy.

Borghese products botanical line – Photo from Borghese

The secret recipes of Borghese Cosmetics

Many aristocratic Italian families commissioned their own cosmetics and skin creams. Firstly, the Borghese cosmetics’ secret recipes were made using fruits and other natural ingredients. After her sons grew up, Marcella decided to create a small range of lipsticks based on these formulas. Only two colors were available in those days. One was for brunettes and one for blondes. However, the Princess wanted to make lipsticks to match the colors of women’s clothes and hair. She also imagined naming the lipsticks after her favorite jewels.

Pope Pius XII, giving his blessing to Borghese Cosemetics

Borghese Cosmetic’s body care cosmetics line – Photo from Borghesi

The family opposed the idea at first but relented when Pope Pius XII gave the cosmetics his blessing. “The Pope was proud of what I was doing,” she told Kimberly Goad of the Dallas Morning News. “He used to come around and visit every Christmas. He told all of us, “You must remember times are changing.”

In 1956 Marcella traveled to America to meet Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon. He helped her to create her cosmetics line and bought it as a subsidiary of the company. Then, one of Marcella’s first collections included brightly colored lipsticks and nail colors to match the vivid colors of her friend, Pucci’s knitwear.

Indeed, the innovative Princess of Borghese Cosmetics was one of the first people to create a skincare line that was based on the natural therapies of a spa. For example, her Montecatini Cosmetic line, named after her favorite spa, an ancient town in Tuscany, used the healing properties of the Terme di Montecatini mud and the mineral waters.

The products were tested by the Montecatini Dermatological Institute and are said to have anti-ageing properties.

The fame of Borghese Cosmetics – Mud products, praised by product reviewers

Advanced Fango Active Purifying Mud Mask
Advanced Fango Active Purifying Mud Mask from Borghese Cosmetics – Photo from Borghese

Borghese Cosmetics are famous for their ‘fango’ (mud) products, which have been praised by many product reviewers. Glamour Magazine, for example, suggested that women with dry hair try Fango Active Mud for Hair and Scalp

The Princess continued to be very involved with the cosmetics line until she died at 90 in 2002. Georgette Mosbacher, the new owner, and CEO of Borghese Cosmetics decided to reinvent the struggling company. She choose to do so by producing colors and textures influenced by the top Italian designers and introducing new products, such as the Spa Kits that can be used at home.

The love of cosmetics, inherited by Marcella Borghesis’s grandson

Prince Lorenzo Borghese
Prince Lorenzo Borghese – Photo from Popsugar

Handsome Prince Lorenzo Borghese, Marcella Borghese’s grandson, inherited her love of cosmetics. He produces skincare and accessory line for pets called Get Royal Treatment. He launched it in memory of his beloved dog, Belle, who died of cancer in 2005. Moreover, the new star of The Bachelor, a reality TV show in the US, hopes to choose his bride from 25 young and pretty American girls chosen to appear on the program. The kind Prince definitely wants to marry someone who shares his love for animals!

The growth of Borghese Cosmetics – Nowadays, known as Borghese Roma

Today, Borghese Cosmetics is known as simply Borghese and is based in Rome, Italy.

The brand has continued its rooted Italian legacy and delivers self-care that ignites your best self with effective treatment experiences up to our modern times. They deliver everything for all needs, from skincare, eye care products, body masks, cleansers, moisturizers, and scrubs to make-up products. They are also perfectioned in delivering gifts and sets collections with products related to each necessity.

Lisa-Anne Sanderson

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2 years ago

In the 80s I was a Princess Marcella Borghese represented in Balimore, MD USA. I loved the products and actually wrote a commercial for acting class before they even advertised! The samples were always in demand. It was always an Honor to be affiliated with such a beautiful story, company, and product. CHEERS! 💋

Joan V. Da Corta
2 years ago

I started using Borghese products at the age of 33 and I am now 75. People are amazed when I tell them my age and they comment on how beautiful my skin is. I tell them it is due to the Borghese products. Thank you Borghese, keep making your wonderful products.

3 years ago

Such a strong woman!! 🙂

3 years ago

Wow it looks really cool but it is probably out of my budget

3 years ago

A Family cosmetics business lol