Nicky Haslan

Two Manhattan Mascara Madams

War Paint: Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden - Their Lives, their Times, their Rivalry


Virago 498pp £20 order from our bookshop

FIFI BROWN POTTER Stillman Rockefeller McCormick (phew!) was the only person I have known who had a real set-to with Miss Elizabeth Arden. The much-married matriarch physically floored the famed Queen of Beauty after her salon staE had botched the tint of Fifi’s luxuriant locks (though, as Miss Arden’s Arizona establishment was called Maine Chance, she might have detected an element of risk in the hair-dye department). On the whole, Arden devotees were rather more gentle and gently rinsed matrons. As Florence Nightingale Graham, Arden had parlayed her way from dingy downtown Toronto to perfumed prominence up on New York’s Fifth and 57th, and desperately aspired to number among the socially secure herself. Her trademark lipstick-red doors opened especially wide at the drop of a blue-blooded name.

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