Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day: American Beauty Trivia

Happy American Independence Day!!! A few bits of trivia about the largest beauty industry in the world for you to chew on along with your tofu hot dog (or, for non-American readers, while you patiently wait for Americans to come down off this weekend's nationalist high; we apologize for our absence but can't help ourselves).

1) Estee Lauder (whose birthday was July 1, incidentally) got her start in high school, helping out at her chemist uncle's stop after classes. She worked with him to develop the Super Rich All-Purpose Cream; when the owner of the salon where she got her hair done complimented her on her skin, Estee returned with samples of the cream and gave demonstrations, and a business was born.

2) San Francisco-based BeneFit Cosmetics developed one of their most popular products, BeneTint, at the behest of a stripper who requested a potion to make her nipples look more pink.

3) Madame C.J. Walker is known for being the first self-made female millionaire in America, but her inspiration is less touted. Suffering from stress-related alopecia, she tried a variety of products to prevent her hair from falling out. Then she had a dream in which "a big Black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up for my hair. Some of the remedy was grown in Africa, but I sent for it, put it in my scalp, an din a few weeks my hair was coming in faster than it had ever fallen out."

Nail guru Deborah Lippman used to be a pro jazz singer. Guess that's why she knows the blues.

5) Legendary Charlie perfume was named after Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon. Why Revlon and not Revson? He partnered with a chemist, Charles Lachman, to develop the line's first product, a nail polish.


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