At all times, women sought to preserve youth and beauty. The first beauty of St. Petersburg, Zinaida Yusupova, was no exception.
They said she was “beautiful with that beauty, which is the symbol of the epoch”. With all the luxury and wealth surrounding her, Zinaida dressed very simply in her daily life, did not wear jewelry, and paid much attention to charity.
In the notes of her son, Felix Yusupov, there are often enthusiastic descriptions of the mother: “Mother was delightful. Tall, thin, elegant, dark-skinned and black-haired, with eyes shining like stars. Smart, educated, artistic, kind. Nobody could resist her charms. However, she did not swagger with her talents, but she was simplicity and modesty.”
Not only relatives admired Zinaida Nikolaevna.
Critic Goloushev S.S. once wrote: “Take, so to say, a portrait of Princess Yusupova! Why can it be interesting to me? Meanwhile, I am passionately in love with this portrait. I have never seen this woman in reality, but I see the marquis of our time that sits in front of me. I feel this woman of beau monde in all the attributes surrounding her: in this little dog lying beside her on the sofa, in the satin and knickknacks around. I feel that this woman lives a special life, perhaps completely alien to me, at some particular height from everything around her, separated, detached from everything, tender, graceful and refined, and she lives exactly the life that marquises lived once. This white powdered hair, this strange posture - all these grants the right to say that she is the marquise of our time."
In his memoirs, Felix Yusupov wrote: “In her seventy-five years, her complexion was like that of a young lady. My mother never blushed or powdered, with exception to the only same lotion her maid Polina prepared for her all the time... and the recipe is simpler than simple: lemon juice, egg whites, and vodka. ” This magical secret was once told to the grandmother of the princess, the niece of Prince Potemkin, by Catherine the Great.
The notes did not preserve the proportions of the ingredients of the miraculous lotion, but it is quite possible to try to repeat it. Lemon juice is good at whitening the skin, egg white contains a lot of protein and smoothes the skin, and alcohol-containing products help to reduce inflammation. The main thing is to remember that everything is good in moderation.
Still, the main secret of Zinaida Yusupova’s beauty was not those miraculous creams or lotions, and not even luxury that was available to her for most of her life. She always "carried the light in herself", which was noticed by everyone fortunate enough to be in her close circle.
A great place in the life of the princess occupied the service to society. She had many institutions under her patronage: shelters, hospitals, gymnasiums, churches, not only in St. Petersburg but also throughout the country. During the Russo-Japanese War, Zinaida Nikolaevna was the chief of a military ambulance train at the front, and sanatoriums and hospitals for the wounded were organized in the Yusupov palaces and estates.
A famous artist Serov, who performed one of the most beautiful portraits of Zinaida Nikolaevna, once said: “If all the rich people, princess, looked like you, then there would be no room for injustice.” And the princess replied: "Valentin Aleksandrovich, injustice cannot be eradicated, and especially not with money."