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

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 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
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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 (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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By mestrand on January 13, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book leaves out no detail! An amazingly-thorough record of the ladies--and gentlemen--who pioneered the beauty industry. It is rather dry at some points, but I think the author wanted to be THE historical authority on Rubinstein and Arden. She seems to include everything, which is both interesting and tedious.
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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a young man I had the pleasure of meeting Madame at her 625 Park Avenue Apartment in New York. She was an amazing person who made eye contact with you that you could never forget. The book covers all well. I also had several times with Miss Elizabeth Arden. I was a cosmetics buyer for one of the largest department stores in America during the 1960 and 1970's
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