ALLOU IN DISTRESS: Allou Healthcare Inc. has consented to an involuntary bankruptcy court petition filed against the firm by three lenders in a Brooklyn federal bankruptcy court, and said it has hired Richard A. Sebastiao as chief restructuring officer. The lenders — Congress Financial, Citibank and LaSalle Business Credit — forced Allou into bankruptcy court after discovering that the distribution firm’s assets and inventory were insufficient to satisfy their claims, which total at least $67.7 million. Allou saw more than $80 million in inventory destroyed in a warehouse fire. The firm is not implicated in the fire and it is suing some of its insurers, seeking more than $100 million.

CALLING ALL ENTRIES: The Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors Association is soliciting entries for its eighth annual Cosmetic Entrepreneur Awards for Leadership. Awards will be presented to manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of componentry and/or services to the cosmetics industry during ICMAD’s 30th annual meeting and dinner on June 5 in New York. The entry deadline is April 21 and forms can be obtained at or by calling (800) 334-2623.

DOLLARS OFF: Despite what retailers call a brisk start, buyers said L'Oréal plans to cut pricing on its Body Expertise body care collection by $1 to $2. The soothing green products, merchandised on a floor display in most doors, have already been heavily promoted with

$1 coupons on the displays and money off coupons in major women’s magazines. The six items, already sold in Europe, represent L'Oréal’s entry into the budding home-spa market in the U.S. Selling out rapidly is Exfotonic, a exfoliator priced at $14.99.

FLOWER POWER: Susan Curtis, a homeopath and a director at Neal’s Yard Natural Remedies, is hoping no one will ever have to read her new book "Surviving With Natural Remedies" (Winter Press). The book, released late last month in the U.K., describes natural remedies for the diseases and emergency situations that have been dominating headlines for 18 months, including anthrax, smallpox, radiation and post-traumatic stress disorder.

DERM BOOK: Dermatologists Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, who launched the Rodan & Fields treatment brand a year ago, have completed a book called "Unblemished" (Atria), which is slated to bow next spring. But that’s not the only news on the doctor duo’s skin care marketing front. Rodan & Fields launched in Nordstrom in San Francisco on Thursday and is simultaneously conducting what it calls "Radiant Results: Clinic-in-the-Round," an in-store event. Rodan & Fields also is carried in the Studio at Fred Segal, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom in Las Vegas.

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