Millions around the world know the name Elizabeth Arden and believe it to be the name of the founder of this global beauty empire. Interestingly enough, that is not true. The name of the woman who began this cosmetics firm was Florence Nightingale Graham, and she was born in the late 1870s.
She began her life as a nursing student dependent upon a wealthy aunt to fund her education. Tiring of it, she dropped out of school and headed to NY to work as a bookkeeper to make ends meet. This was a fateful event because it introduced her to the science behind skincare and cosmetics.
After that, she sought employment with a beauty culturist, a precursor to a cosmetologist, and began performing beauty treatments on clients. By 1909 she had started a firm of her own and named it Elizabeth Arden, opening her first storefront in NY.
She pursued expertise in her field through training in France in the art of facial massage and beauty techniques. This helped her discover how to create tinted powders and rouges, and she was soon being recognized as a top name in beauty.
Through her salons, she was creating a trend in which makeup was no longer relegated to the lower classes. In fact, through her upscale reputation and position, she created the need for makeup as part of a truly "ladylike" presentation. However, it was not the garish dashes of colour that had earned makeup a dubious reputation throughout history. Instead, her studies showed her that makeup was to be scientifically produced, and colours were to coordinate with skin tone and natural colouring. She pioneered the concept of a "makeover" and insisted that consumers should learn not just what to buy and use, but how to do it properly.
Her marketing efforts were also legendary as she went after the middle and upper classes and learned how to talk directly to women who were in their middle ages or thought to be "plain" in their appearance. To these groups, her products offered a fresher face and more beautiful appearance.
She was such an epic success story that she was at one time known to be one of the richest women in the entire world.
Though the name Elizabeth Arden is no longer synonymous with ladylike beauty simply because the notion of anything being lady like has fallen out of fashion, it remains one of the most trusted names in beauty and cosmetics. It is still the top of the list where scientific formulations are concerned, and its skin care and cosmetics lines are believed to deliver the results promised.
The product lineup available through specialty retailers and high end department stores includes:
It was more than 100 years ago that the woman who would become Elizabeth Arden was born and first discovered the secrets of attaining beauty. She learned that it was equal parts science and art, and she showed women of her era that they could help themselves to feel more beautiful than ever when they know how to use the right products and treatments.
That same philosophy applies today. Though the Elizabeth Arden products of our era are quite different from those of the early to mid-1900s, the goal remains the same. To give women what they need to achieve the look they want, and to do so using only the finest ingredients and most well informed methods.
ElizabethArden.com. Her Story. http://www.elizabetharden.com/Elizabeth-Arden-Biography/her-story,default,pg.html