As the young and fashion conscious wife of the Duke of Bomarzo and Prince of Sant’ Angelo of San Paolo in the 1940s, Princess Marcella Borghese was accustomed to having custom toiletries, including cosmetics, made for her as was the practice of many aristocratic families of the time
. Created from secret recipes using the natural ingredients that were readily available around her home in the Villa Borghese in Rome, Borghese wanted to create a range of lipstick using the family recipe as only two...
colors were available at the time—one for brunettes and one for blonds. Borghese ran into opposition from the family and it was not until Pope Pius XII gave her venture his blessing did she proceed.
Partnering with Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon, Borghese created a cosmetic line in the mid 1950s that became a subsidiary of Revlon. Revlon, the department store standard of the time, was losing market share to newcomer Estée Lauder with their prestige cosmetic branding and distribution strategies. To combat this, existing cosmetic companies began to introduce their own luxury brands of which Revlon launched products by Borghese.