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The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 86: Gill Paul (A Beautiful Rival)

Charlie and Gill Paul (A Beautiful Rival) discuss the working lives of and rivalry between businesswomen Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, and the antisemitism in the US during WW2. We also discuss our views of Wallis Simpson.

We spoke about Gill’s book The Second Marriage (Jackie And Maria in the US) in episode 42
The Powder And The Glory
Lindy Woodhead’s Warpaint
Cosmetics And Skin
Gill’s Another Woman’s Husband
Wendy Holden’s The Duchess

Release details: recorded 20th July 2023; published 13th November 2023

Where to find Gill online: Website || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram || TikTok

Where to find Charlie online: Twitter || Instagram

You can contact the show at

Go back to the list of episodes


01:03 Why these women?
02:20 Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein hated each other but they never met…
02:59 Elizabeth’s and Helena’s backgrounds
07:28 The work Arden and Rubinstein put in to become successful
10:30 How Gill wrote her versions of Elizabeth and Helena
11:29 Elizabeth Arden’s snobbery
13:46 The antisemitism in the West despite those countries going to war, particularly that coming from Arden
17:49 Irene Delaney, Elizabeth’s forgotten 40-year-long PA
20:34 Moving factual events round to suit the narrative
22:24 Elizabeth employed her rival’s ex-husband!
24:14 Advertisements and selling the companies
28:03 Helena Rubinstein’s first husband was the publisher of Lady Chatterley’s Lover
29:40 Rubinstein created the idea of skin types
32:39 The Suffragettes apparently wore lipstick on their marches, and talking about Gill’s next book
34:53 What other people might Gill write about in future
36:33 Discussing our views of Wallis Simpson


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