ELIZABETH ARDEN Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


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Name: Elizabeth Arden                                                                 
Born: 31 December 1878                                                                 
Died: 19 October 1966                                                                 
Elizabeth Arden (December 31, 1878 - October 19, 1966) was a Canadian                 
businesswoman who built a cosmetics empire in the United States.                       
Arden was born Florence Nightingale Graham in Woodbridge, Ontario, where she           
lived until she was twenty-four years old. In 1909 Florence Nightingale Graham         
dropped out of nursing school in Toronto.                                             
She joined her elder brother in New York City, working briefly as a bookkeeper         
for the E.R. Squibb Pharmaceuticals Company. While there, she spent hours in           
their lab, learning about skincare. She then worked - again briefly - for             
Eleanor Adair, an early beauty culturist, as a "treatment girl."                       
Still in 1909, Arden formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, another             
culturist. When the partnership dissolved, she coined the business name "Elizabeth     
Arden" from her former partner and from Tennyson's poem "Enoch Arden."                 
In 1912, Arden travelled to France to learn beauty and facial massage techniques       
used in the Paris beauty salons. She returned with a collection of rouges and         
tinted powders she had created. In an era when it was only acceptable for stage       
performers to wear makeup, Arden introduced modern eye makeup to North America.       
She also introduced the concept of the "makeover" in her salons.                       
Arden collaborated with A. Fabian Swanson, a chemist, to create a "fluffy" face       
cream. The success of the cream, called Venetian Cream Amoretta, and                   
corresponding lotion, named Arden Skin Tonic, led to a long-lasting business           
relationship. This revolutionized cosmetics, bringing a scientific approach to         
In 1915 she married Thomas J. Lewis, a banker, thus becoming an American citizen.     
The same year she began international operations and started opening salons           
across the world. By the end of 1930's, it was said that "There are only three         
American names that are known in every corner of the globe: Singer sewing             
machines, Coca Cola, and Elizabeth Arden." A fact proved by Heinrich Harrer in         
his book Seven Years in Tibet, where he stated that it's possible to buy Arden's       
product even in Tibet.                                                                 
During World War II, Arden recognized the changing needs of the American woman         
entering the work world. She showed women how to apply makeup and dress               
appropriately for careers outside the home. She created a lipstick called             
Montezuma Red, for the women in the armed forces that would match the red on           
their uniforms.                                                                       
Arden's drive for success cost her marriage to Lewis. They divorced in 1934. A         
second marriage to a Russian prince only lasted 13 months.                             
Although most of her commercial success was in cosmetics, she also pioneered           
restorative musical exercises based on yoga. She started a fashion business in         
1943 with notable designers like Charles James and Oscar de la Renta on staff.         
She was on the cover of the May 6, 1946 issue of Time magazine.                       
Arden is also notable for creating foundations that matched a person's skin tone;     
creating the idea of the "Total Look" in which lip, cheek, and fingernail colors       
matched or coordinated; and she was the first to make a cosmetics commercial           
shown in movie houses.                                                                 
The grave of Elizabeth Arden in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery