Elizabeth Arden

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Elizabeth Arden
Elizabeth Arden NYWTS.jpg
Elizabeth Arden (1939)
Born Florence Nightingale Graham
(1884-12-31)December 31, 1884
Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
Died October 18, 1966(1966-10-18) (aged 81)
Manhattan, New York City
Occupation Businesswoman:
Cosmetics
Racehorse owner/breeder

Florence Nightingale Graham (December 31, 1884 – October 18, 1966), who went by the business name Elizabeth Arden, was a Canadian American businesswoman who founded what is now Elizabeth Arden, Inc., and built a cosmetics empire in the United States. At the peak of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world.

Biography[edit]

Arden was born in 1884 in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada. Her parents had emigrated to Canada from Cornwall, United Kingdom in the 1870s. Her father, William Graham, was Scottish and her mother, Susan, was Cornish and had arranged for a wealthy aunt in Cornwall to pay for her children's education.[1] Arden dropped out of nursing school in Toronto.[2]

She then joined her elder brother in Manhattan, working briefly as a bookkeeper for the E.R. Squibb Pharmaceuticals Company. While there, Arden spent hours in their lab, learning about skincare. She then worked—again briefly—for Eleanor Adair, an early beauty culturist, as a "treatment girl".

In her salons and through her marketing campaigns, Elizabeth Arden stressed teaching women how to apply makeup, and pioneered such concepts as scientific formulation of cosmetics, beauty makeovers, and coordinating colors of eye, lip, and facial makeup.

Elizabeth Arden was largely responsible for establishing makeup as proper and appropriate—even necessary—for a ladylike image, when before makeup had often been associated with lower classes and such professions as prostitution. She targeted middle age and plain women for whom beauty products promised a youthful, beautiful image. In politics, Elizabeth Arden was a strong conservative who supported Republicans.[3]

Career[edit]

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." With a $6,000 loan from her brother, she then used the shop space to open her first salon on 5th Avenue.

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. She began expanding her international operations in 1915, and started opening salons across the world. In 1934, she opened the Maine Chance residential spa in Rome, Maine, the first destination beauty spa in the United States. It operated until 1970.[4]

The footstone of Elizabeth Arden
The grave of Elizabeth Arden in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

In recognition of her contribution to the cosmetics industry, she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by the French government in 1962.

Arden died at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan in 1966; she was interred in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York, under the name Elizabeth N. Graham.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sawyers, June Skinner Famous Firsts of Scottish-Americans Pelican Publishing, 1996; p. 11
  2. ^ Davidson, Hilary Frommer's Guide to Toronto 2004 ISBN 0-7645-4060-2; p. 262
  3. ^ http://womenshistory.about.com/od/fashion20th/p/elizabeth_arden.htm. Retrieved 15 May 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ McMillan, Susan (June 13, 2014). "Former Elizabeth Arden estate on Long Pond for sale". Kennebec Journal. Augusta, Maine. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

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