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Immigrant Of The Day: Elizabeth Arden of Canada

by Kevin R. Johnson

Elizabeth Arden (Canada)

180pxelizabeth_arden_nywts Elizabeth Arden (1878-1966) was born Florence Nightingale Graham in Canada where she lived until she was 24. After joining her elder brother in New York City, she worked briefly for Eleanor Adair, an early beauty culturist. In 1909, Arden formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, another culturist. When the partnership dissolved, she coined the business name "Elizabeth Arden." In 1912, Arden travelled to France to learn beauty and facial massage techniques and returned with a collection of rouges and tinted powders. Arden introduced modern eye makeup to North America and introduced the concept of the "makeover" in her salons. Arden collaborated with A. Fabian Swanson, a chemist, to create a "fluffy" face cream; the cream is called Venetian Cream Amoretta and the corresponding lotion is named Arden Skin Tonic.

In 1915, Arden married a U.S. citizen and later became a citizen. The same year she began international operations and started opening salons across the world. During World War II, Arden recognized the changing needs of the American woman and showed women how to apply makeup and dress for careers outside the home. She created a lipstick called Montezuma Red, for the women in the armed forces that would match the red on their uniforms. Arden is also notable for creating foundations that matched a person's skin tone; creating the idea of the "Total Look" in which lip, cheek, and fingernail colors matched or coordinated. Arden died in in 1966. Her cosmetics company continues to operate today, with its current "face" Catherine Zeta Jones.

January 4, 2008 | Permalink

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.