TOP NOTES

CHANGES AT TARTE: Troy Surratt, the makeup artist behind Tarte, the playful indie makeup line that launched last year, is leaving the company. Both Surratt and Maureen Kelly, president of the brand, stressed that it was an amicable split and that Surratt, who used to assist Kevyn Aucoin, wants to concentrate on his career as a celebrity and editorial makeup artist.

BREAKING GROUND: Beautymerchant Inc., which operates Internet site Beautymerchant.com, said Thursday it will open its first brick-and-mortar store in the fall in Boca Raton, Fla., under the name Beautyworks USA.

ALL ABOUT JOAN: Joan Rivers is keeping mum about her new fragrance, Now and Forever, for a few more weeks — but people are already talking about the party she’s planning for the unveiling. Scheduled to be held at her luxe New York apartment April 18, the fete’s guest list is quite glittery. But will Rivers provide fashion critiques that night? Stay tuned.

FIRST LADY LAUDS VOLUNTEERS: Guest speaker Laura Bush commended teen volunteers at the annual Seventeen/Cover Girl Volunteerism Awards ceremony in Washington Wednesday. “You are proof that the answers to many of our nation’s problems aren’t only found in the halls of Congress or in our state legislatures, but instead are found in our communities,” said Bush. “Your work demonstrates to others that American teenagers do care, and they care about causes greater than themselves.

BRAND AID: Fifteen indie brands have banded together to form a business support group called “i.e. beauty.” Three Custom Color Specialists, Heavy Duty, Delux Beauty and Jacqua Girls started the organization and have brought 11 other brands on board: Alchemy, Skin Alison Rafaelle, Anthony Logistics, Lippmann Collection, Lucky Chick, Philip B., Poppy, Selph, Tarte, Therapy Systems and Tony & Tina. The first meeting was held late last month.
“There are a lot of opportunities,” said Trae Bodge of Three Custom Color, referring to in-store merchandising, group manufacturing and employee benefits.”We’re talking about having i.e. beauty bays where we would share real estate, sales staff and training.” An i.e. beauty event is planned for Henri Bendel this summer.

NEW FACES AT LANCASTER: Annick Masseglia-Thireau has been appointed vice president of international marketing at Lancaster, succeeding Marie-Dominique Dutant. Masseglia-Thireau, 37, most recently held the position of international marketing director for Carita.

GIVAUDAN FIGURES: Givaudan announced sales for 2000 are up 6 percent over the previous year, to $1.4 billion. The firm showed a 14 percent net profit increase, to $150 million, while its gross profit margin rose by 0.3 percentage points, to 48 percent.
The company explained the increase as the result of efficiency improvements achieved through a shift toward global raw material purchasing, long-term supply chain improvements and the streamlining of its production base.

PRINTEMPS PRIZES: Printemps department store in Paris awarded beauty brands prizes at its Prix Printemps de la Beaute event.
Winners included: Flower By Kenzo, Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent, Estee Lauder’s Idealist skin treatment, Caudalie’s Emulsion Lift Age C80 body product, Chanel’s Rouge Lumiere makeup, L’Oreal’s Longitude mascara and Furterer’s Fioravanti shampoo. Parfums Christian Dior and Medicis each got an award for best sales achieved in the 17-door chain. Groupe Clarins won the prize for best podium at the flagship store.