Canada’s makeup mogul
The incredible Elizabeth Arden
Before Florence Nightingale Graham, the founder of Elizabeth Arden, entered the market, cosmetics were considered disreputable. But the Woodbridge, Ontarioborn entrepreneur changed that perception, aided by the rise of the Hollywood movie close-up.
Her career began with a move to Manhattan, which saw the opening of her first salon in 1910. Prior to that, she had studied nursing in Canada, becoming fascinated with the ointments used to treat burn victims.
Nightingale soon changed her name to Elizabeth Arden, the name of her salon, and expanded the brand to France and Australia.
Arden’s success endured through the Great Depression, and she opened salons worldwide. She even branched out into horse racing, with her thoroughbred Jet Pilot winning the Kentucky Derby in 1947.
The in-store makeover was her idea, as was travel-size makeup and the high-end spa. Arden was also a dedicated suffragette, supplying red lipstick to 15,000 of her fellow feminists during a 1912 march for women’s rights.
Always cagey about her age, Arden passed away in 1966.
Canadian-born Elizabeth Arden helped shape the cosmetics industry after opening her irst salon in 1910.