Our Founders

Picture of Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden

Ms. Elizabeth Arden, née Florence Nightingale Graham, was born December 31, 1878. A legendary innovator, entrepreneur and a pioneer in the beauty industry, she introduced American women to groundbreaking products and lived by her mantra, "Go out and make your mark."

In 1910, she opened the first Red Door Salon on Fifth Avenue in New York City. In her lifetime, Ms. Arden opened 41 salons, in some of the most cosmopolitan cities in world, inventing the concept of total beauty and wellness.

Ms. Arden promoted the idea that beauty was within reach of all women and developed innovative products, and packaging that women not only needed, but desired, including the cult-classic Eight Hour Cream and the legendary Blue Grass fragrance. An avid supporter of women and women's rights, she created a bold red lipstick to be worn in solidarity by the marching suffragettes. She would later go on to create Montezuma Red, a shade designed to complement the uniform of female armed forces members during World War II and advertising campaign to support the integral role of these women's service to the country.

Considered the original beauty influencer, Elizabeth Arden had many notable beauty innovations and first-of-its-kind services. She introduced eye makeup to America, created the first travel-size products, pioneered beauty tutorials and makeovers and was the first in the beauty business with a team of traveling saleswomen. Her many innovations led to Elizabeth Arden being the first businesswoman on the cover of TIME magazine.

She famously said, "It's remarkable what a woman can accomplish with a little ambition." Holding true to that notion, Ms. Arden created both an empire and a new industry, forever making her mark in beauty and on the role of women in business. Her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation, quality and excellence as well as to the beauty and power of all women remain the soul of the brand today.

Picture of Charles Revson

Charles Revson

Charles Haskell Revson was born October 11, 1906 in Boston. In 1932, brothers Charles and Joseph Revson, and chemist Charles Lachman, founded Revlon. An American businessman and philanthropist, Revson believed, "in the factory we make cosmetics; in the store we sell hope."

A strategic and skilled salesman, with an eye for color, Revson invented a revolutionary nail "cream enamel," formulated with pigments in a wide variety of fashion shades, providing superior performance to the transparent, dye-based products of the time.

Revlon began with a single product - in salons, with the belief that women would enjoy a manicure after having their hair done. He developed new colors each season to compliment women's apparel. Soon, Revlon nail enamel was seen on fashionable women's nails everywhere—including on the cover of Vogue.

Within a few years, he expanded his business to drug and department stores and had 21 shades of Cream Nail Enamel in 1938. By 1942, Revlon became a multi-million dollar company and, by the end of World War II, it was one of the U.S.'s top five beauty brands.

Focused on quality and driven by fashion, in 1939, Revson introduced a range of lipsticks to match his Creme Nail polish and advertised the two products together as "Seen on the Fingertips and Lips of the nation's smartest women…" This marked the beginning of his expansion into other beauty product categories.

A strong believer in advertising, and a marketing genius, he developed exotic and romantic names for his products, such as Fire and Ice, Cherries in the Snow, Plum Lightning, Moon Drops, and Ultima II. Revson was a pioneer and by 1956, was the sole advertiser of the hit gameshow The $64,000 Question. Revson was the first brand to sign an ambassador, Lauren Hutton for Ultima II, and brought on Richard Avedon as her exclusive photographer.

By the early 1960s, Revlon had subsidiaries in France, Italy, Argentina, Mexico and Asia and had successfully entered the fragrance market. In 1973, Revlon launched Charlie, a fragrance that personified the independent woman of the 1970s and was an instant global success.

Revson managed Revlon for 50 years. He served as the President of Revlon from 1932 to 1962, and then Chairman, until his death in 1975.

Today, Revlon is sold in 150 countries. Known for his perfectionism, relentless drive and attention to detail, Revson created one of the most globally recognized and enduring beauty brands today.