EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS: A trio of big names were pulling out all the stops Thursday night to make sure XCD, a new men’s grooming line, gets off to a good retail start. Drugstore chain CVS, New Jersey Nets basketball star Jason Kidd and King of Shaves owner KMI had hosting duties at a party at rapper Jay-Z’s hot spot, 40/40 Club, to launch the five-item XCD line, which is now being sold in approximately 2,500 CVS stores nationwide. Kidd is a spokesperson for King of Shaves, XCD’s marketer. CVS category manager for men’s grooming, Lanny Lewis, was on hand to promote XCD, a line that comes as close to a true men’s beauty product as any in the mass market. More than 400 guests tried for a glimpse of Kidd, and to grab free samples of Enhancer, a self-tan face moisturizer designed to deliver results in less than three hours, and Perfecter, a smoothing and mattifying face gel. Products retail for $15 each.

STAR TREATMENT: The Ted Gibson salon, located at 184 Fifth Ave., opened this week. Partners Ted Gibson and Jason Backe are responsible for the new full-service salon; both are former educators for the Aveda Corp. Gibson’s work has also appeared in Vogue, Glamour and Marie Claire. While the pair aims to offer personal, specialized services to their clients, the salon’s designer, Kimberly Peck, makes sure it will all be done with style. After clients indulge in a scalp, neck and shoulder massage in one of the salon’s two private shampoo rooms, they can view fashion and art films on LCD monitors. There is also a private room for celebrities and special guests.

HOME FREE: George Little Management, the group that puts on trade shows, such as the Gift Show and Extracts, is expanding its presence in the housewares market with a new event, New York Gourmet Housewares, to be held annually beginning October 2004. The show will be positioned with three other shows GLM puts on at that time, Extracts, New York Home Textiles and Surtex Gallery.

PERSONAL BEST: Getting in shape at home can fall short of the gym experience for many reasons, especially if the only tunes available are from the radio or MTV. Tony Little, one of America’s best-known infomercial hawkers —known for selling the Gazelle Glider — plans to make working out at home as motivating as the gym with Fit Trax, three CDs containing Cardio Funk, Cardio Pop and Cardio Rock. Each includes music for beginner, intermediate and advanced workouts, as well as warmup and cool-down segments. Artists featured on the CDs include Fatboy Slim, Sheila E. and Billy Squier. Little’s CDs will go on sale nationwide Tuesday, in Tower Records and Wal-Mart. Each CD retails for $16.98.WHITE ON: Bill White has been named national sales manager for One Minute Manicure, the maker of professional nail and skin care products. In this new position, White will oversee, direct and coordinate the company's sales process and implement programs for new business development and market expansion.He will also direct the national sales representative groups. Prior to joining One Minute Manicure, White served as the vice president of national sales for Seche International Inc., a natural nail care company.

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