Elizabeth Arden was pretty much the first lady of beauty, blessed with beautiful skin that she worked hard to emulate for others. Her birth name was Florence Nightingale Graham, after the original Florence Nightingale who essentially founded modern nursing – this is fitting because Ms Arden had worked briefly as a nurse and was inspired by the use of creams to treat burns. Her skin was so youthful, that at thirty years old she looked twenty. It was only when she died that the world discovered her true age of 81.
Elizabeth Arden was a maverick. She worked the New York circuit, charming her way from a bookkeeper at a pharmaceuticals company, to a beauty parlour assistant, to the proud owner of the world’s first red door salon on New York’s Fifth Avenue, which opened in 1910.
A Cult Classic
In 1930 the cosmetics entrepreneur created a product that’s been changing the face of beauty since its debut: the Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream. So celestial is this multipurpose balm that over 80 years later, the formula remains unchanged. Legend has it the name hails from a loyal client, who noticed the cream had healed her son’s skinned knee within eight hours. Ms Arden even applied it to her horse’s legs.