We know very little about Eleanor Adair the person, other than that she was born in Ireland in 1867 and from 1900 opened salons in London, Paris, New York and elsewhere. She also introduced Florence Graham (Elizabeth Arden) to the beauty business.
The Armand Company was founded by Carl Weeks in 1916. By 1927 it was the leading seller of face powder in the United States and, with revenues of $2.5 million, had an annual income exceeding that of either Elizabeth Arden or Helena Rubinstein at the time.
Founded in 1948 on a single product, a no-smear lipstick, the company had a meteoric rise in the United States in the 1950s due to extensive television advertising. However, its heyday did not long outlast the involvement of its co-founder, Hazel Bishop.
Robert Chesebrough began selling Vaseline Petroleum Jelly in 1870 but wholesale and retail druggists were largely disinterested in it. Sales were slow until he began sending out employees with carts to hand out free samples to housewives and doctors.
The Covermark line of cosmetics was developed because its founder, Lydia O’Leary, suffered from a large, raspberry-coloured birthmark that covered half of the left-hand side of her face.
In 1896, Frances Forsythe – using the name Mrs. Frances Hemming – opened an establishment in a converted front room of a house at 58 South Molton Street, London, to discretely sell beauty products.
Dorothy Gray was born Dorothy Cloudman in Gorham, Maine where she grew up on a farm. After moving to New York she worked for Elizabeth Arden as a treatment girl before opening her first New York salon on Fifty-Seventh Street in 1916.
In its heyday there were over 5000 Marinello salons across the United States, bringing Beauty Culture to middle and small town America.
No other cosmetic company is as closely tied to the development of Hollywood as Max Factor. This Hollywood connection might explain why stories of the early life of Maximilian Faktorowicz (Max Factor) read like a film script.
The rise of Maybelline from a small mail-order firm to a global cosmetics business is impressive. Its early fortunes, like those of Max Factor and the Westmore Brothers, were tied with the growing motion picture business in California.
In 1901, Fred W. Srecher registered the name ‘Pompeian Massage Cream and Skin Food’ for a cream he had spent many months formulating. By the end of the decade ‘Pompeian Massage Cream’ was the best-selling face cream in the United States.
Pond’s started out in 1846 as a patent medicine company when Theron T. Pond, a pharmacist from Utica, New York, began selling ‘Golden Treasure’, a homeopathic remedy he had developed from witch hazel.
In 1886, Harriet Hubbard Ayer founded the Recamier Manufacturing Company. Incorporated in 1887, the company’s product range addressed most of the beauty concerns of the day but did not include cosmetics such as eye make-up or lipstick.
Starting from modest beginnings selling nail polish, Revlon would become one of the largest cosmetics companies in the United States with a full range of cosmetics in its product line-up.
Although 1770 is given as the foundation date for the House of Yardley, the firm was actually established by Samuel Cleaver and it would be a new century before a Yardley owned the business.