Be it their skin or their minds, women have been radiating throughout the ages. StriVectin’s Intensive Illuminating Serum is brightening that’s light years ahead of its time — which got us thinking about other bright ideas from women who were light years ahead of their time.

The Elizabethan Age

Today we still reap the artistic benefits of England’s forward-thinking queen and her “Elizabethan Age.” Queen Elizabeth I of England (1558 – 1603) ruled for 45 years, all the while fostering literature, plays, and music throughout England. Many of Shakespeare’s plays were first performed in Elizabeth’s court and he even pays tribute to her in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”


Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) is often called “the first computer programmer” for her invention of several early computer programs. She expanded and simplified a device called Analytical Engine from a complicated vision into an early variation of the computer we recognize today. Her lasting effect on computing was so influential that we’ve even dedicated October 15 as Ada Lovelace Day to encourage more women like Lovelace to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The Theory of Radioactivity

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934), a physicist and chemist, was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. But why stop with just one Nobel? Her research on radioactivity led to receiving a second of one of the world’s highest intellectual honors, making her the first person (and only woman) to win a Nobel twice. Curie’s work on the theory of radioactivity lead to the invention of the X-ray machine, which is standard equipment in every hospital today.

Widespread Access to Birth Control

One of the most influential activists in the world, nurse Margaret Sanger (1879 – 1966) popularized the term “birth control” as she spread fact-based sexual education when it was still taboo to speak of such things. She opened the first birth control clinic in 1916 and founded the organization that was later named Planned Parenthood in an effort to make contraception more accessible. Women everywhere have Sanger to thank for her tireless work on behalf of women’s reproductive health.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

We challenge you to come up with a sweeter invention than the one by Ruth Wakefield (1903 – 1977), the woman who created chocolate chip cookies. While baking cookies as a chef at the Toll House Inn, she ran out of ingredients one day and decided to “make do” by adding Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate chips in her batch. The rest is delicious history.


Here’s a name you may remember from biology class. Chemist Rosalind Franklin (1920 – 1958) used X-ray diffraction to discover the “A” and “B” forms of DNA, which carry all our genetic information. One of her X-rays was crucial in identifying the structure of DNA, an invaluable scientific breakthrough that wouldn’t be completed for decades to come.

Naturally-Colored Cotton

Take a look down at your shirt. Chances are you have Sally Fox (1956 –       )  to thank for the naturally-colored cotton that many  clothing companies use in its fabric. Designers had always known about naturally-colored cotton, but Fox had the bright idea to breed (and patent!) colors that could be machine-spun. Her FoxFibre cotton revolutionized the cotton industry… and our outfits thank her.

Pro-Family Work Policies

Ranked as one of the most powerful businesswomen in the world, Marissa Mayer (1975 –    ) went from Google’s first female engineer to CEO at Yahoo. But Mayer also shines outside the boardroom. She had the idea to expand parental leave at Yahoo for new mothers and fathers. But what really makes new parents smile? They also receive $500 for necessary items like baby clothes and diapers. It’s ideas like this that make Mayer one of the brightest women working today.

This article was sponsored by StriVectin. For bright, youthful skin that radiates from the inside out, try StriVectin Intensive Illuminating Serum, Radiance Refining Moisturizer, or Instant Revitalizing Mask from the StriVectin Brighten & Perfect Collection.