TOP NOTES

NAILING IT: Shiseido Co. Ltd. has developed a super-quick-dry nail enamel that dries in 45 seconds in water. According to Shiseido, the advanced technology incorporated in the enamel is a world first. The new nail enamel, called Aqua-Dry Nail, will launch in Japanese department stores under the Shiseido S brand on Nov. 1.
The main ingredient used in the enamel incorporates a resin-like coating to provide a gloss finish, enhance the film and prevent peeling; a solvent to dissolve the coating ingredient; and a thickener to formulate the coloring agent in a stable manner. After application, the enamel dries when the solvent volatilizes and the coating ingredient then hardens on the nail’s surface. The solvent used melts the coating ingredients and is water soluble. The new enamel can be air-dried like ordinary enamels or dried by placing one’s fingers in water after application.
The S brand was launched in Japan in 1996 and generated sales of $40.7 million in 1999. The Aqua Dry Nail line includes six shades, each of which will retail for approximately $14 in Japan. The initial rollout will include 40,000 units. Shiseido has not announced the timing of the product’s debut in the U.S.

DELL’ACQUA DEBUT: Italian designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua used his recent show in Milan to introduce his first fragrance, Eau de Aqua. The scent is a floral musk, with top notes of pelargonium, coriander and lathyrus; heart notes of rose, peony and hibiscus; and a base of sandalwood, incense and musk.
The line, which launches in Italy this November and in world markets in spring 2001, includes eau de toilette, bubble bath and moisturizer. Approximate prices in Italy range from $19 for the 50-ml. perfumed deodorant to $51 for the 100-ml. eau de toilette. The ad campaign features Helena Christensen dressed in a sheer, wet Alessandro Dell’Acqua shirt against a Monte Carlo background.

BEAUTIFUL SMILE: Sephora is thinking of beauty differently these days. It’s joined forces with Operation Smile, a private, not-for-profit medical service organization that provides reconstructive surgery to young people in developing countries and in the United States. “This is a great way to give back,” explained Tanya Pushkine-Rojas, cultural director at Sephora.
According to Pushkine-Rojas, Sephora will use various methods to support the organization, including the February launch of a Sephora lip balm on the Rosie O’Donnell show. All proceeds from the lip balm will be donated to Operation Smile. Other plans include the sponsorship of a child by individual stores and a day in which every Sephora store worldwide would donate a percentage of sales to Operation Smile.

ON THE CATWALK: Fred Farrugia, Lancome’s international artistic director of makeup, will be handling the backstage beauty chores for the Jeremy Scott show in Los Angeles on Oct. 27. Scott will be presenting the spring collection he showed in Paris last week. Farrugia, who will use items from the aquatic-inspired spring collection he designed for Lancome, will be assisted by his team and Ross Burton, Lancome’s national makeup artist.

WEB BATTLE: Beauty e-tailer Parfumsnet.com has appealed last week’s ruling by the Commercial Court of Nanterre that prohibits its selling Parfums Yves Saint Laurent and Parfums Van Cleef & Arpels products, company president and chief executive officer Patrick Raibaut confirmed. As reported, the ruling was lauded by prestige beauty manufacturers looking to guard their image on the Internet.
YSL and Van Cleef are not alone in their fight; L’Oreal also brought the Web site to court this week, since it sells its brands such as Ralph Lauren, Cacharel and Giorgio Armani, among others, without permission, a company spokesman said.
In another intellectual property right issue, Parfums Thierry Mugler’s out-of-court settlement with Molinard was approved by the Commercial Court of Paris this week. This follows an appeal by Molinard of the 1999 ruling that found its Nirmala scent too closely resembles Mugler’s Angel.

LOOK BOOK: Later this month, Frederic Fekkai will introduce his first book, a style guide that promotes individuality. Titled “Frederic Fekkai: A Year of Style,” the book offers advice on everything from parting your hair to packing an evening bag, as well as day-by-day tidbits in datebook format. The book will retail for $35.

CHARITY AUCTION: Starting this month, Cosmetic Executive Women will hold a series of auctions on eBay.com to benefit Cancerandcareers.org, a Web site it developed to help career women coping with cancer. More than 170 auctions, featuring such items as a Vera Wang evening gown and personal makeover from Bobbi Brown, will be posted over a seven-week period.

FEATURE STORY: Sally Hansen and Glamour magazine this week announced the winners of their Best of You contest, in which women were asked to submit photos of their best physical feature and tell how it helps them help others. Winners were selected in the hands, feet, legs and lips categories and they received makeovers and a weekend in New York.

CLEAN TEAM: When Brian Cohn’s mother brought her son some soap from a spa she visited in Mexico, little did she know he would turn the present into a new career. Cohn loved the soap so much, he teamed up with his friend, cosmetics display designer Walter Schoenborn, and created a company to begin importing the seaweed soap and other products made by the Mexican manufacturer.
What was so great about this soap? Cohn’s family runs a tire distributorship in Brooklyn — “A dirty business,” he said — but he has sensitive skin. The soap got him clean, but didn’t irritate his skin.
Waterstreet’s seaweed soap, plus a new baby soap, can be found at Henri Bendel, Beauty.com and Waterstreetbody.com. The company plans to add a kelp shampoo and conditioner and two new soaps to the line in the not too distant future.

BONUS EDITION: Groupe Clarins will proceed next week with a 1-for-7 stock bonus issue to shareholders, increasing the number of shares outstanding to nearly 22 million. Undertaken to increase liquidity and “in recognition of the company’s gratitude to its shareholders,” the 2.7 million new shares will qualify for dividends as of the start of the current year. It marks the 12th bonus issue since Clarins was listed on the Paris bourse in Dec. 1994. As a result, the conversion rate for convertible bonds first issued in Feb. 1997 will move up to 1.81 shares per French Lyons from 1.58. Shares obtained through Lyons conversion prior to or on September 22 will be entitled to receive shares in the bonus distribution.

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