Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some excellent serums and a few noteworthy moisturizers; praiseworthy concealers; a handful of well-formulated makeup products including foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick.

Weaknesses: No products for those battling blemishes; several products whose sunscreen lacks sufficient UVA protection; most of the foundations with sunscreen fail to provide sufficient UVA protection; lackluster eye and brow pencils; some problematic lip color products; jar packaging weakens some otherwise great formulas.

Former nurse Elizabeth Arden was a pioneer in the beauty industry. At the turn of the 20th century, Arden began her legacy when she opened her first salon, with the now-familiar red door. Over the next several years she introduced new products and services to women unaccustomed to such choices, and almost single-handedly made it acceptable for modern women to wear makeup. And while Arden understood and met these beauty needs, she was also adept at self-promotion and packaging, helping to solidify the idea that what holds the product should be as beautiful as the woman who uses it. She was the front-runner in the cosmetics industry for quite some time, until another young go-getter by the name of Estee Lauder began her own empire—one that would eventually lead to the Elizabeth Arden line being almost an afterthought in the mind of many consumers.

Not only has Arden's image been diminished over the years due to odd distribution patterns (consumers were getting mixed messages as this prestige line began showing up in drug and discount chain stores), but also through their own formulary mistakes and seeming unwillingness to pay attention to current research. Given the history of this line and several outstanding products they've produced in the past, it's very frustrating that what's offered today is such a mishmash of good and bad, with a hefty dose of average. Arden still has several sunscreens that fall short by leaving out sufficient UVA protection. In contrast, Estee Lauder and the Lauder-owned lines have their sunscreen acts together and consistently impress by including other state-of-the-art goodies to amplify the environmental protection of their moisturizers.

Many of Arden's products also contain potentially problematic ingredients or are packaged in a way that puts the light- and air-sensitive ingredients at risk of breaking down shortly after the product is opened. Given Elizabeth Arden's (the woman) pioneering, innovative spirit, we can't imagine her being completely pleased with the state of her namesake skin-care line (Arden passed away in 1966). Having the gorgeous Catherine Zeta-Jones as a spokesmodel for most of the early 2000s may have raised more interest in this brand than in years past, but a pretty face and eye-catching ads don't always translate to good skin care, as evidenced by the reviews on this site. There are some very impressive products in this line, but it's definitely one that demands careful attention to what you're buying lest you put your skin at risk.

For more information about Elizabeth Arden, call (800) 326-7337 or visit www.elizabetharden.com.

Elizabeth Arden Makeup

Cosmetics trailblazer Elizabeth Arden may have been single-handedly responsible for bringing modern makeup to American women (she opened the famous Red Door Salon in 1910 and formulated the first blush and tinted powders in 1912), but today's lineup of Arden makeup has far more disappointments than its pioneering namesake would have liked. Most of the Arden foundations with sunscreen either leave out the five prime UVA-screening active ingredients or because their SPF numbers are unnecessarily low. Either way, only one of the foundations with sunscreens can be relied on as your sole source of facial sun protection.

In contrast to the mostly disappointing foundations, you'll be pleased with what Arden offers for concealer, eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara. Each of these categories has some brilliant products to consider, and they serve to prove, at least to a modest extent, that Elizabeth Arden makeup is not to be counted out just yet. The remaining products have little to extol, either because they are truly ineffective or because the competition has Arden beat by a mile. A continual bright spot for Arden is that their tester units are typically well organized and the colors are grouped so it's easy to zero in on what you like.

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+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Best Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara Elizabeth Arden Regular Mascara  $20.00
Best Ceramide Ultra Lift and Firm Concealer Elizabeth Arden Liquid Concealer  $19.50
Best Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum Elizabeth Arden Serums  $74.00 0.95 fl. oz.
Best Ceramide Cream Blush Elizabeth Arden Cream/Cream-to-Powder Blush or Bronzer  $24.00
Best Pure Finish Mineral Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 Elizabeth Arden Tinted Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen  $30.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Best Face Powder Brush Elizabeth Arden Brushes/Applicators/Curlers  $28.00
Best Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss Elizabeth Arden Lip Gloss  $18.00
Good Moisture Shield Lotion SPF 15 (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $62.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Good All Gone Eye and Lip Makeup Remover Elizabeth Arden Eye Makeup Removers  $16.00 3.40 fl. oz.
Good Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 20 Elizabeth Arden Mineral Foundation  $39.50
Good Hydra-Splash Alcohol-Free Toner, for All Skin Types (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Toners  $19.50 6.80 fl. oz.
Good Overnight Success Skin Renewal Serum (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Serums  $49.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Good Prevage White Concentrated Brightening Serum (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Lighteners Without Hydroquinone  $125.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Good Intervene Timefighting Radiance Serum (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Serums  $49.50 1.00 fl. oz.
Good Intervene 3-in-1 Daily Cleanser Exfoliator Primer (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Cleansers/Soaps  $21.50 5.00 fl. oz.
Good Ceramide Skin Smoothing Loose Powder Elizabeth Arden Loose Powder  $30.00
Good Ceramide Ultra Lift and Firm Makeup SPF 15 Elizabeth Arden Cream Foundation w/ Suncreen  $42.00
Good Ceramide Plump Perfect Targeted Line Concentrate Elizabeth Arden Serums  $65.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Good Flawless Finish Bare Perfection Makeup SPF 8 Elizabeth Arden Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen  $33.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Good Perpetual Moisture 24 Lotion (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $42.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Good Ceramide Ultra Lipstick Elizabeth Arden Cream Lipstick  $22.50
Good Color Intrigue Gel Eyeliner with Brush (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Liquid/Gel/Cream/Cake  $22.50
Good Exceptional Lipstick (Discontinued) Elizabeth Arden Cream Lipstick  $20.00
Good Prevage Anti-Aging Moisture Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 Elizabeth Arden Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $129.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Good Hydra-Gentle Cream Cleanser, for Dry/Sensitive Skin Elizabeth Arden Cleansers/Soaps  $22.50 4.20 fl. oz.
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