The Powder and the Glory
Filmmakers Arnie Reisman and Ann Carol Grossman collaborate on this documentary detailing the stories of Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein, who became the first highly female entrepreneurs in America by creating the global cosmetics industry. In the early 20th Century, make-up was worn almost exclusively by performers and prostitutes, and considered taboo for the average female. Enter Arden and Rubenstein, two immigrants who arrived in the United States without a dollar to their names, and created what would eventually become a $150 billion global health and beauty industry. Though both women lived and worked only blocks apart in New York City for over half a century, their paths would never cross as they competed to become the biggest cosmetics suppliers in the country. The advertising and marketing techniques they developed would become the cornerstone of the industry, transforming both women into household names while elevating their products from merely respectable, to absolutely indispensable.