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Estee Lauder Story Told

March 29, 1985|BETTYJANE LEVINE

Cosmetics queen Estee Lauder phoned from Palm Beach to say she's finished her memoirs, entitled "Estee," and that they'll be published by Random House this year.

Did you really brew the first batch of Youth Dew in your bathtub, as legend has it? we asked.

"Good grief, no," she replied.

Were you really the person who invented the gift-with-purchase idea?

"Yes, I was first."

Lauder said she got her start by renting a small counter in a New York beauty shop, where she sold skin creams formulated by her uncle, a Hungarian skin specialist.

"I'd always give my customers a little something extra when they bought my skin creams," Lauder said. "Maybe a little face powder in an envelope or something like that." And that's how the now-ubiquitous gift-with-purchase began.

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