FOR MEN ONLY: A new men’s skin care line by Skin Authority is launching, called Skin Authority Man. Products include an Age Defying Daily Wash, an Age Defying Shave Serum, Age Defying Conditioning Toner — and Age Defying Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 UVA 4-Stars. Items contain Dry Finish Technology so they go on clear and absorb into skin and AOX Technology Boost, an antioxidant boost that enhances immune defense to accelerate healthy-looking skin. Skin Authority Man offers free phone and Web support by a professional skin care coach so consumers can use the line correctly. All products are free of parabens, formaldehydes, dyes and added fragrance.

SMOKIN’ RIHANNA: The mercury hovered in the 90-degree range when Rihanna opened her “Loud” show with “Only Girl” last Friday evening at American Airlines Center in Dallas, but it was even hotter above the stage when she concluded her last song, “California King Bed,” which doubles as the soundtrack for Nivea’s TV ad campaign.

An electrical fire broke out in the rafters, and burning embers began drizzling onto the stage. As black smoke began to billow and it became obvious that the flames weren’t pyrotechnics, an announcer decreed that the fire prohibited an encore and asked the audience of 12,500 people to evacuate, which they did quite smoothly as fire trucks pulled up outside. In the Nivea suite high above the fray, guests grabbed swag bags filled with Nivea Cream — said to be Rihanna’s favorite — as well as an iPod shuffle and a “Loud” CD and headed for the stairs.

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“Rihanna burned the house down,” quipped spokeswoman Lilian Bard. Now in its 100th year, Nivea signed the pop singer as its official spokeswoman to reach a younger, more diverse demographic and is sponsoring her international concert tour. Rihanna played Houston Saturday and appears Monday in Birmingham, Ala., in a show benefiting tornado relief efforts.

SULTRA PLUMPS DISTRIBUTION: Sultra, the Los Angeles-based hair tools company that began shipping to Sephora last year, has picked up 116 Nordstrom stores over the past two months and will soon be in Brookstone’s catalogue, according to owner and chief executive officer Dana Story, who was formerly president of GHD North America.

Beauty Systems Group distributes Sultra to the professional salon market. Sultra currently offers about 15 items ranging from blow dryers to liquid products to feather accents, and its bestselling tool is The Bombshell rod curling iron priced at $130. The $25 Feather Hair Accents have definitely been holding their own of late, though, and Story said Sultra has sold 45,000 units of them with a total of 200,000 feathers.

In the first quarter of next year at Sephora, Sultra will introduce what Story described as a pressing iron named Diva specifically for African-American hair that is expected to be priced around $225. During roughly six months last year, Story said Sultra generated $3 million in sales, a number he projected to increase to $7 million to $10 million for 2011.

DIAMOND GIRL: Two new shades will be joining OPI’s Designer Series this fall — DS Temptation and DS Bold. Designer Series shades include vivid hues and sparkling, glitter-packed textures featuring OPI’s diamond-dust formula. Suzi-Weiss Fischmann, OPI executive vice president and artistic director said rich colors like purple and red will be used as accent shades, and that Designer Series lacquers enhance these colors with “intense shimmer and unique texture.” The two new shades join nine other existing Designer Series shades.

MANA CREATES SUBSIDIARY, XANIA LABS: In reaction to the sluggish spa and salon industry, Mana Products has created Xania Labs, a wholly owned, direct to salon and spa subsidiary that looks to serve as a one-stop shop to fulfill clients’ needs. Named after the one of company owner’s favorite cities in his native Greece, Xania Labs addresses the changes in the salon and spa market due to do-it-yourself products and the economy. “We understand that today’s spa market and spa consumer are much different than they were in the past. The market has changed due to a proliferation of at-home treatment options, and consumer purchase patterns have changed with the advent of e-commerce and flash deal offerings. Those factors, coupled with a difficult economy and extended time between spa visits, led to the formation of Xania Labs,” said national sales director, Brenda Gallagher. Brands include Your Name Professional Brands, SKINSYNC and Mane Boost.

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