LEGAL EAGLE: Redken Laboratories, a division of L’Oreal USA, was awarded $331,000 in compensatory and punitive damages on February 15 when a Dallas jury found Vincenzo Russolillo, a known diverter, and David Gustafson, operator of Sam’s Distributor’s in Frisco, Texas, guilty for tortious interference of contract, fraud and conspiracy. The defendants were found to be secretly operating a Redken distributorship in Sherman, Texas by using a third person as a front, and then diverting nearly three-quarters of all the professional products they received, about $150,000 at salon cost.

FINANCIAL MOVE: Michael J. Nicholson has been promoted to vice president, finance at Victoria’s Secret Beauty, a business of Intimate Brands, Inc. Nicholson, previously controller, reports to Jill Granoff, senior vice president and chief administrative officer. l

CAT’S MEOW: Catherine Hickland, who portrays Lindsay Rappaport on One Life to Live, is playing a different character these days — that of a cosmetics entrepreneur. Hickland, who started out as a makeup artist while still a struggling actress, launched Cat Cosmetics, a color collection based on what Hickland deems essential. Items in the line range from $12 for an eye pencil to $65 for the Cat Kit, a palette containing two bronzers, four eye shadows, a blush and three lip glosses. The line is available at and

NEW LOOK: L.A. Looks has extended its mass market styling aids line with new formulations and higher price tags. Five products — three for women and two for men — make up the new “Pro” assortment and are priced between $2.25 and $3.49, approximately a dollar more than the current 21-stockkeeping-unit collection. Trade-ups could begin as soon as April, when the gels, designed to strengthen, straighten and offer sun protection, join the others. The original line, which ranked number two in dollar and unit movement for 2000 according to Information Resources, was refurbished in December with modern packaging.

FIRST SPEAKER: First Lady Laura Bush — a Cover Girl makeup fan, according to People magazine — will serve as keynote speaker at an April awards luncheon for young female volunteers. Six honorees were chosen for the Cover Girl-Seventeen magazine event after thousands submitted descriptions of public-service acts. Winning activities ranged from disaster relief to self-esteem workshops for women. First- and second-place winners will divide $90,000 in scholarship and charity funds. Pop and R&B singers Jessica Simpson and Brandy will also be guests at the fourth-annual ceremony, held in Washington D.C.