AT THE turn of the last century, a young business woman called Florence Nightingale Graham travelled from rural Canada to New York, where she opened a salon on Fifth Avenue.
The woman went by the name of Elizabeth Arden and the salon, with its famous red door, would mark the start of a company that, now, is worth more than $1bn.
Arden’s company was born of her belief that ‘to be beautiful and natural is the birthright of every woman’ and her company revolutionised the beauty industry. It was the first to introduce a full line of skincare and colour cosmetics, makeovers, travel-sized products and more.
The iconic Eight Hour Cream was created in the 1930s and was one of the first times that anti-inflammatory beta-hydroxy acid was used for cosmetic purposes. Arden used it to soothe her thoroughbred horses’ legs and the name came about after a client said she used it on her child’s skinned knee and “eight hours later” it was better.
In 2001, French Fragrances Inc acquired the Elizabeth Arden company and the following year Welsh actress Catherine Zeta -Jones was named global spokesperson for the brand.
In the past few years, the company has taken on the Juicy Couture fragrance brand, launched the first Alberta Ferretti fragrance and relaunched Halston fragrances. A hundred years after she started it, Arden’s business is now a $1.3bn company, with products sold in more than 100 countries.
If you buy just one product: Make it Eight Hour Cream (€26.50). This soothing balm, with the love-it-or-hate-it scent, can be used on lips, dry elbows, eyebrows, cuticles, insect bites and windburn, or as a gloss for lips, lashes and cheeks.
Celebrity fans: Victoria Beckham, Agyness Deyn, Thandie Newton, Myleene Klass, Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger and Rachel Bilson.
Price: Products start at ¤21
Where to get it: Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide at larger Boots and leading department stores.
More info: www.elizabetharden.com