I am deeply grateful for the woman that gave us the gift and tools for pampering!
Her name is Elizabeth Arden and she graciously taught American women the art of pampering themselves. While doing this noble act, she trail-blazed her way in the previously impenetrable male dominated world of business. Businessmen severely underestimated the buying power of the female consumer and were left in the dust by Arden
In an era when it was generally only acceptable for entertainers and prostitutes to wear makeup, Arden introduced make-up to the American housewife.
Positively every woman in the United States used Elizabeth Arden creams, perfumes and cosmetics, including Marilyn Monroe. Elizabeth was an unstoppable powerhouse created absolutely everything what we know today as the $150 billion global health and beauty industry.
She was divinely inspired (obviously) when she opened the first modern day spa and beauty salon. In 1915 she began franchising these temples to beauty called The Red Door that are still in fashion today!
She also formulated and manufactured her own cosmetic line and used modern mass marketing techniques to bring her products to the public. Additionally, she introduced the concept of the "makeover" in her salons. A t
rue visionary, she also pioneered restorative exercises based on yoga – nearly 100 years ago!
The great empire began when she changed her nameto Elizabeth Arden when she opened her first day spa and salon on 5th Avenue in New York City (for good reason, as she was born Florence Nightingale Graham!)
In 1912, Arden traveled to France to learn beauty and facial techniques used in the Paris beauty salons. She returned with a collection of rouges and tinted powders she had created.
Constantly revolutionizing what we take for granted as the beauty industry, Arden collaborated with A. Fabian Swanson, a chemist, to create a face cream. The success of the cream and corresponding lotion led to a long-lasting business relationship. This revolutionized cosmetics, bringing a scientific approach to formulations. Other innovations included creating foundations that matched a person's skin tone; creating the idea in which lip, cheek, and fingernail colors matched or coordinated.
She was extremely savvy at marketing and knew how to brand the coordinating cosmetic colors. She called it the "Total Look" and to market this concept, she made the first cosmetic commercial ever. It was shown in movie theatres across the nation.
During World War II, Arden recognized the changing needs of the American woman entering the work force. She showed women how to apply makeup and dress appropriately for careers outside the home. She created a lipstick for the women in the armed forces that would match the red on their uniforms.
Beauty was her bag and she had her crimson painted fingernail hands in anything within the realm. It was only a matter of time that she branched out into the fashion business in 1943 with notable designers like Charles James and Oscar de la Renta ON STAFF (as in You guys work for me!)
Expanding internationally began in 1915 when she started opening salons across the world.. In 1935, The New Yorker Magazine states that "There are only three American names that are known in every single 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 wrote that Arden's products are sold even in Tibet.
Elizabeth Arden died in New York City in 1966. At the time of her death, her estate was worth $30 to $40 million and she had over a hundred salons worldwide. In March 2009, a documentary called The Powder and the Glory aired on PBS portraying the competition between Elizabeth Arden and her industry rival, Helena Rubenstein.
For nearly100 years and over 40 years after her death, her legacy continues. Elizabeth Arden products continue to be in the latest fashion magazines and her brand consistently has the most famously beautiful cover girl as the spokesmodel.