1.14.2011

WAR PAINT: ELIZABETH ARDEN - VS- HELENA RUBINSTEIN

Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein

Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein were two most fabulous divas, and their business lives are fascinating. The author describes the rivalry between these two women in great detail.

Illustrating how their mutual animosity fueled their empires. The story is even more interesting because of the times in which they lived


Elizabeth Arden used modern mass marketing techniques to bring her cosmetic products to the public. She also opened and operated a chain of beauty salons and beauty spas. Her birth name was Florence Nightingale Graham (!!). Full biography HERE

 Elizabeth Arden December 31,1884 - October 18,1966

Only "working" girls and performers wore face and eye makeup before Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein invented the modern age of cosmetics in New York in the early years of the last century. For 50 years these bitter rivals never met, though they lived and worked only blocks from each other.



Helena Rubinstein December 25, 1870 – April 1, 1965

Rubinstein was born Chaja Rubinstein full biography HERE

Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein were both conflicted emotionally and perhaps fictional enemies. They both understand the saying that there is no such thing a bad publicity.

Their personalities were very opposite... Arden loved the refined, quiet country club life; Rubinstein was citified and edgy. But they were fixated on the exact same concept: Enhancing a woman's appearance was not vanity it was necessity!

Their war between competitors changed the corporate structure of American business forever and improved the woman's place in decision making of spending in the US.

Why did these two titans who never met carry so much animosity towards one and other? Did they understand the motivation that each provided the other? I would hope they were that intelligent. Competition is a very strong motivator and nothing feels as energizing as putting your competitor in the dirt. They needed the other to succeed and succeed both women did!

Fabulous story on Elizabeth Arden on The Painted Woman Blog



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