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War Paint: Madame Helena Rubinstein and Miss Elizabeth Arden, Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry 1st Edition

16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471487784
ISBN-10: 0471487783
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War Paint: Madame Helena Rubinstein and Miss Elizabeth Arden, Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry + The Powder and the Glory + Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty
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Editorial Reviews

Review

* ""...is exhaustingly, admirably researched..."" (The New York Times - Book Review section, Februsry 15, 2004)

Review

"The amount of research and meticulous personal data in [your] book is really quite remarkable and compelling. It provides a wealth of information from which to draw wonderfully three-dimensional characters and humanizes this iconic twosome."–Raquel Welch

"I have seldom enjoyed a book so much as WAR PAINT. The research is staggering - I loved all the detail about society and the arts in Paris, New York and London that so beautifully set our two heroines in context during such a long span of years - well done - it was a wonderful read. Thank you for so much enjoyment."–Lulu Guinness

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471487783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471487784
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is such a juicy story. Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein were two glamorous divas, who come to life and the stories of their personal and business lives are fascinating. The author describes the rivalry between these two women with rich details, describing how their animosity fueled their growing empires. The story is even more interesting because of the times in which they lived, and Woodhead does a great job of explaining their very glamorous social circles. I can't wait to share this book with my friends, especially those who love fashion.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on December 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Rubinstein and Arden had a rivalry that you might compare to that of Jack Benny and Fred Allen--i.e. one largely conducted for publicity reasons. Lindy Woodhead has donesome amazing research, can you imagine, she spent months kneeling on the floors of Krakow parishes to find just the right birth certificate for Helena (nee Chaja) Rubinstein--not an easy thing to do, especially given the fact that Rubinstein lied about her age by several years! And in every case Woodhead goes the extra nine yards to try to distinguish what is true and what is false about her two millionairesses. They were among the first to sell American women the "culture of beauty," to insist that the cosmetics they sold would bring the consumer a whole zeitgeist of pleasure, not just individual beauty treatments. To this end they conspired with Madison Avenue and devised decades worth of intriguing, perhaps misleading advertisements.

In the end what lets us down is the feeling that perhaps the two women aren't actually that different, and it gets confusing trying to remember their slight differences--which of the two was four feet ten, while the other was five foot two? A depressing business saga of how the mass public can be manipulated with great success, but they will pay you back in the most final way--they will forget you as soon as you're not alive any more.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dwight Dekeyser on September 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've waited thirty years for this book and I was not disappointed. I have read separate biographies of Rubenstein, Arden, Lauder, and Revson; this is by far the best. If you have any interest in beauty, glamor, art, social history, fashion, business or just a good story about two extraordinary women who created empires out of nothing, this book is for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joyce B. Alcoreza on December 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a delight.

War Paint gives us two biographies, a juicy bit of history, a slice of art, some romance, some business insights, a bit of drama, heaps of inspiration, and a lot of entertainment.

The thickness of the book is daunting, but considering what it offers it is certainly worth every page. The stories of these two remarkable women set amidst the landscape of the fashion industry in their time will certainly find a place in every reader's heart.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book goes into so much detail about the early days of makeup industry. Some parts were a little dry. with a little too much information. Overall I enjoyed it.
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By Lindseymain on April 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used to go to the Red Door salon when I lived in California and after that started hearing the interesting stories about Elizabeth Arden....she and Helena Rubinstein were true trailblazers. Book has a lot of humor, found myself laughing out loud while reading!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Lee Pyle on September 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I knew a fair amount about Helena Rubenstein, but knew little about her rival Elizabeth Arden, and this book pulled no punches about their rivalry. It was a time when those two created their own fortunes and companies from the ground up, something that doesn't seem to happen in the cosmetic industry today. It seems all you have to do is be a "media darling," sign a contract, and your name is plastered all over all kinds of products. Helena may have been rithless to those around her, but Miss Arden seemed to take great delight in backstabbing and the like. I'm sure I'm prejudiced, but Madame Rubenstein, albeit tiny, cut a regal figure,and to me,Miss Arden was a bit on the frumpy side. A very enjoyable book for those interested in the battle between those two.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had read this book before and wanted to give it as a gift to someone who will enjoy the background to the cosmetic field of today. Good read. Came in a timely fashion and as described.
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