NEUTROGENA’S NEW FACE: “Californication” actress Natascha McElhone has been tapped as Neutrogena’s brand ambassador for facial moisturizers and treatments. McElhone will be featured in a national TV and print campaign as the face of the new Neutrogena Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration product line, which enters stores in February. She joins Diane Lane, Jennifer Garner, Vanessa Hudgens, Hayden Panettiere and Gabrielle Union, who also front the brand. McElhone stars in the Showtime comedy series “Californication” opposite actor David Duchovny.

RETAIL MOVES: At least two U.K. beauty retail executives are printing up new business cards. Gina Cowey has been named Liberty’s beauty buyer, while Catherine Miller was appointed divisional manager for Selfridges’ beauty hall in its Oxford Street flagship. Cowey, who took on her new role in January, replaces Angela Creasy as Liberty’s beauty buyer. Creasy, who left Liberty, spearheaded the specialty store’s beauty buying for 12 years. Cowey, formerly beauty apothecary buyer at Harrods, will work with Liberty’s recently appointed buying director Edwin Burstell. Miller, previously men’s wear sales manager at Harvey Nichols, will work with Selfridges’ Oxford Street store director Maeve Wall and David Walker-Smith, Selfridges’ director of men’s wear and beauty. Miller took on the position earlier this month, replacing Deborah Roberts, who joined Groupe Clarins last year.

CASTING A RETAIL WEB: United Perfumes is widening its retail reach. The London-based distributor, which markets the Olivina bath-and-body brand and Apothia, the fragrance and home-scent line, as well as Cire Trudon candles, will add an e-tailing section to its Web site in March. For an additional fix, Apothia is currently rolling out eight hand-and-body washes, and Cire Trudon’s 12-unit candle line is getting six new scents, including Ernesto, which is meant to recall a hotel bar in Cuba with notes of rum, bergamot, patchouli, tobacco and leather.

X MARKS THE SPOT:
G-Spot Cosmetics, which set up shop on London’s Conduit Street in March, is hoping to find a niche in the makeup market. The brand’s lineup includes foundation, lipstick, lip gloss, eye shadow and blush presented in black packaging designed to appeal to men as well as women. Its 700-square-foot store is meant to have a similar cross-gender allure. Lip gloss sells for $12 and foundation costs $20. The store and web site generate monthly sales of around $35,000, sources said.

LAB RESULTS: M Lab, the prestige treatment line by Milbar Laboratories, is ratcheting up strong sales despite tough times, according to Truitt Bell, Milbar’s president and chief executive officer. He said the brand’s revenues from September through December 2008 grew 100 percent, and full-year sales increased by 38 percent. Its Anti-Aging Treatment Cream is a Top 10 skin-care item among the 30,000 sold in Harrods. Bell attributed gains to promotions, where one gift-with-purchase event at Harrods helped the brand triple its customer base there in four weeks. An acne treatment is planned for February, and skin brightening products and tinted moisturizes are slated for fall.

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