La Mer Hosts ‘Housewives' Party
LOS ANGELES — If most women are desperate to get their hands on a pot of Crème de la Mer, it should come as no surprise to see five of the six "Desperate Housewives" at Tuesday's cocktail party here for the Estée Lauder-owned skin care brand's new 21-day treatment, called Essence.

But even for La Mer president Lynne Greene, who admitted she doesn't watch the hit Sunday series as religiously as the rest of the country, the sight of Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Nicollette Sheridan, Felicity Huffman and Brenda Strong — all together and in the flesh in the Argyle Hotel's Tower Bar — had her mesmerized.

"We want to celebrate Essence on the West Coast after such a successful party in New York at Tina Brown's home," said Greene, referring to an East Coast launch event last month for the brand's newest product, which is contained in a very space-age-like tube system and boasts a ticket price of $2,100.

"We had wonderful women there," added Greene, "and this one has also turned out amazingly." Indeed, actors Geena Davis and Kyle MacLachlan, TV series creator Darren Star and newly appointed "Dateline" correspondent Julie Moran turned out for the glam party of 75. The West Coast event also promoted the newest novel by Candace Bushnell, "Lipstick Jungle." And Bushnell was on hand to clink champagne flutes with her Hollywood fans. Copies of the book filled goody bags, along with a small pot of La Mer moisturizer and La Mer lip balm.

"The book put me in such a good mood, because the women were powerful and determined but also really nice to one another," enthused Willow Bay, who hosted the evening with husband Bob Iger, president and chief operations officer at Disney.

So what really brought the "Housewives" out in force? "Bob made us come," joked Longoria. "Actually, it was Candace. I'm a big supporter of any creative, strong women, and Candace really opened the door for shows like ‘Desperate Housewives.'"

But Sheridan may have tipped their collective hand. When asked if she used La Mer, she immediately offered her allegiance to Nu Glow, boisterously teasing co-star Hatcher as she slathered a spoonful of cream on the back of her hand from a large jar of La Mer being passed around on a silver tray."If you're good," cried Sheridan, "maybe they'll give you a pot!"
— Rose Apodaca

Alberto-Culver Profits Up 3.7 Percent
NEW YORK — Alberto-Culver Co.'s third-quarter income for the period ended June 30 gained 3.7 percent to $53.4 million, or 57 cents a diluted share, from $51.5 million, or 56 cents, in the same year-ago period. Sales climbed 9.2 percent to $898.9 million from $823.2 million in the quarter. Its brands TRESemmé, Alberto V05 and St. Ives led the growth. For the nine months, income jumped 62 percent to $151.9 million, or $1.63 a diluted share, from $93.8 million, or $1.02, last year. Sales increased by 9.1 percent to $2.63 billion from $2.41 billion.
— Amy Choi

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