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Synopsis

A fascinating dual biography of the women who founded today’s beauty industry

They were both born in the nineteenth century in humble circumstances–Helena Rubinstein in an orthodox Jewish household in Kraków, Poland, Elizabeth Arden on a farm outside Toronto. But by the 1930s, they were bitter rivals in New York, the rulers of dueling international beauty empires that would forever change the way women thought about cosmetics, salons, and wrinkles. This riveting biography brings these two celebrated women to life, revealing the ruthless drive and innovative business strategies that took each to the top. Along the way, it offers an intriguing look at their personal idiosyncrasies (Rubinstein collected art, Arden racehorses), their checkered marriages, and the rarefied social milieu in which they both traveled.

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