Elizabeth Arden

From ArticleWorld

Elizabeth Arden was born in Canada as Florence Nightingale Graham. A businesswoman, she built a cosmetics empire in the United States.

Elizabeth Arden, the person

Born in 1878, Arden lived in Ontario until she was 24 years old when she moved to New York City to live with her older brother. She was initially employed as a bookkeeper for E.R. Squibb Pharmaceuticals and later worked for early beauty culturist Eleanor Adair as a treatment girl. In 1909, Arden formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, another beauty culturist. After the dissolution of the partnership she coined the name “Elizabeth Arden” for a business based on the name of her former partner and the Tennyson poem “Enoch Arden.” She traveled to France in 1912 and learned beauty and facial massage techniques, returning with a collection of makeups (mostly rouge and tinted powders) that she had created. At the time, it was only acceptable for performers to wear makeup, but she popularized it in North America – and introduced the concept of makeovers.

She married Thomas J. Lewis, a banker, in 1915 and became an American citizen. The divorced in 1934 and a second marriage to a Russian prince lasted only 13 months.

She became active in the racehorse industry in the 1940s and 50s with her Maine Chance Farm, owning 1947 Kentucky Derby Winner Jet Pilot as well as 1945 Eclipse Award-winners Star Pilot and Beaugay.

She died in New York City in 1966 and was interred in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery as Elizabeth N. Graham.

Elizabeth Arden, the cosmetics

International operations began in 1915. During the 1920s and 30s, Arden opened salons across the world.

To recognize the changing needs of American women who were entering the workforce during World War II, Arden developed Montezuma Red, a lipstick for women in the armed forces that matched the red on their uniforms. She also showed women who were working for the first time how to apply makeup and dress for careers.

Arden is known for her “Total Look” line, which featured eye, lip, check and fingernail colors that were all matched or coordinated. “Maine Chance” was the name of an exclusive resort and health spa in Maine that catered to clients like Mamie Eisenhour.

In 2003, the company was bought from Unilver by FFI, which is listed on NASDAQ as RDEN. Catherine Zeta Jones is the current spokesperson.