Elizabeth Arden’s real name was Florence Nightingale Graham. Her real mink fur eyelash were apparently, rather inspired by the original Florence Nightingale, hence the name. She changed her name to Elizabeth Arden, in the early 1900s. Elizabeth came from her first business partner, Elizabeth Hubbard and the name Arden from a poem by Alfred Tennyson, called Enoch Arden.
Oifae Elizabeth was born in Ottawa, Canada. Her mother was a hardworking housewife to 4 kids and her father was a butcher. Her path to owning, what is now one of the most recognizable cosmetic brands in the world, was not a direct one. She worked as a bookkeeper, a dental assistant, a secretary, a nurse and in several salons as a treatment girl until she formed her partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, another, beauty real mink fur eyelash in 1905.
She opened up her first beauty salon in New York in 1907. It was on 5th avenue and it had a red door, to get more attention from passers by. (Red door and 5th avenue have both been used as names for some of the Arden fragrances) In 1912, she traveled to France to further her education of facial massages, beauty techniques, and cosmetic creams.
One of the things Arden noticed while on this trip was how much make-up the foreign women wore in comparison to American women. At the time, the only women who ever really wore make-up, were stage performers, and prostitutes. However these fashionable, foreign women, were all wearing rouge and eyeliner. She returned to America and began her first line of color cosmetics, the first of its kind to be available in the U.S.
Along with being the first to produce color cosmetics, in particular eye real mink fur eyelash ,she also produced the first waterproof mascara (although there is some debate on this from her rival Helena Rubenstein) and the first ‘fluffy’ face cream, (as in one not so thick that you could plaster walls with it, like the previous creams)
She was extremely savvy when it came to business and was not only prepared for the first world war but also the second, by stocking up on all her raw materials early on and then focusing on her domestic real mink fur eyelash as opposed to foreign ones. She established one of the very first ‘beauty salons’ that women could book them selves into, lose weight, get treatments and slather themselves in Arden creams for a whole week to the cost of 500 dollars. (wonder what the converts to in today’s dollar?) By the mid 1930′s there was over 20 Elizabeth Arden salons all over the world.
It was all of this strategic business planning, along with her incredible innovative creams, real mink fur eyelash, and new make up products that saw her company through all of the tough times to become the the world wide phenomenon that it is today. I could go on and on about her, as I think I really barely scratched the surface of the accomplishments this incredible woman achieved throughout her life.