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Beauty Beat: MD Beauty Still Growing Strong … DAKAR GOES 90210 … A NEUTROGENA FACE

MD Beauty’s prescription for continued expansion; Dakar goes 90210; A Neutrogena Face.

NEW YORK — MD Beauty, the company formed when beauty firm Bare Escentuals acquired and merged with cosmeceuticals brand MD Formulations two years ago, has prescribed continued expansion.

This story first appeared in the July 21, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Since the merger in 2001, sales at San Francisco-based MD Beauty have doubled to $150 million at retail and are expected to grow another 25 percent during the next year, according to industry estimates. Contributing primarily to expansion, executives hope, will be new U.S. stores under the Bare Escentuals name and a new men’s line within the MD Formulations assortment. But it doesn’t stop there.

“We have growth planned for MD Beauty internationally, in spa accounts and in specialty store distribution,” said Leslie Blodgett, president and chief executive of MD Beauty.

In the U.S., MD Beauty operates 18 freestanding Bare Escentuals boutiques today and the company plans to open two new locations — one in Minneapolis’ Mall of America by next month and its first New York store by the fall. Each new store is expected to do $2 million in its first year, according to estimates. Currently, there are 13 Bare Escentuals boutiques located in California, with three in San Francisco, while other stores are located in Georgia, Colorado and Pennsylvania. In addition to stores under the Bare Escentuals name, MD Beauty markets product lines within the division, including skin care, bath and body care and mineral makeup.

Internationally, products are distributed to spas and salons in 36 countries. There are currently no plans to open freestanding Bare Escentuals stores outside the U.S.

MD Formulations’ new men’s collection, which has been in the works since the formation of MD Beauty, is comprised of seven products, one of which — a 75-ml. shave cream for $22 — is brand new and six of which are existing products that were repositioned to target men. Prices in the line range from $22 to $53. It is projected to do up to $4 million in retail sales during its first year, according to sources. The full MD Formulations assortment is comprised of 66 stockkeeping units and, in addition to 120 retail stores like Ulta, Pure Beauty, Sephora and Bare Escentuals boutiques, it is carried in about 2,700 salons and spas in the U.S.

“Men want a simple, straightforward regimen,” said Blodgett, “[so] we created targeted outer packaging to help men find the most appropriate products for daily skin care.”

The brand’s incursion onto the men’s side is an approach that’s designed to build appeal for the brand among men, who can sometimes be intimidated by a large assortment of products that mainly target women, as well as to capitalize on the men’s spa category, one of the industry’s fastest growing segments.

“Today’s men are more interested in taking proper care of their skin than ever before,” Blodgett remarked. “And the men’s grooming market continues to be one of the fastest-growing categories of personal care products.”

— Matthew W. Evans

DAKAR GOES 90210
LOS ANGELES — Hollywood skin care maven Sonya Dakar has finally abandoned her 15-year-old, 1,000-square foot space in Hollywood for the big time: a 12,000-square foot glass compound in Beverly Hills, the former Arista Records headquarters, where she plans to expand beyond facials to head-to-toe wellness. For now, Dakar sees clients like Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst and Debra Messing on the second floor of the five-story space, but eventually operations will take up three levels and a roof deck with a view to die for. By November, the “Health Farm” will include spaces for total body skin care, scalp treatments, cosmetic and dental laser procedures, manicures, pedicures, acupuncture, yoga, Pilates, a vegan cafe and roofdeck cabana treatments. Dakar’s cult-favorite products, including Cellular Patch Cream and Drying Potion, will reside in a new 500-square-foot retail store, which she hopes will invite walk-ins as well as those who book appointments months in advance. But perhaps foot traffic isn’t the right term, since her new digs will offer valet parking, of course.

—?Marcy Medina

A NEUTROGENA FACE
NEW YORK — Actress Jennifer Freeman, known for her role on ABC’s “My Wife & Kids,” and guest appearances on “Lizzie McGuire,” “Even Stevens,” and “7th Heaven,” has been added to the lengthy roster of spokesmodels for the Neutrogena brand. Freeman joins Jason Taylor, Connie Nielsen, Mischa Barton, Kristin Kreuk, Mandy Moore, Angie Harmon and Julie Bowen.

—?Laura Klepacki