TOP NOTES

MAC’S HIGH NOTE: MAC’s crusade against HIV/AIDS took to the stage earlier this week when its VIVA GLAM III spokesperson, Mary J. Blige, headlined at the Fourth Annual Race Against Poverty Awards at the United Nations General Assembly. This year’s Awards honored individuals worldwide for their work towards breaking the silence surrounding HIV/AIDS. MAC Cosmetics raises money and awareness of HIV/AIDS through the MAC AIDS Fund and by donating all proceeds from the sale of MAC’s VIVA GLAM lipstick.

ALBERTO EARNINGS: Alberto-Culver Co. reported fourth-quarter earnings rose 12.7 percent to $28.1 million, or 44 cents a share, as gains in its Alberto VO5 and St. Ives Swiss Formula brands in its North American units helped results. Sales rose 13.5 percent to $594.5 million. Sales in its Sally Beauty Supply operations rose 20 percent, lifted by acquisitions of its full-service professional Beauty Systems Group.

DOCTOR’S CLINIQUE: Diagnosis: Great Skin, a fully booked three-day seminar, which runs through Saturday and sponsored by Clinique at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship, is designed to reinforce the brand’s heritage with doctors.
The promotion may be repeated in other doors, said Doreen Olore, vice president of promotional marketing and special events for Clinique.
Each of the 90 consumers booked for the appointments fills out a profile with basic questions about her skin. Next, she heads into a diagnostic room, where Rosemarie Sparacio, Clinique’s director of clinical testing-research and development, uses three machines — a sebum meter, a moisture meter and an ultrasound machine — to test the skin’s surface oil, moisture and density.

BEAUTY AND THE BLOCK: This Saturday, the block between West Broadway and Grande will become a carnival of beauty. The second annual Beauty Block Party, hosted by Allure’s editor in chief Linda Wells and publisher Suzanne Grimes, has some of beauty and Hollywood’s top names involved, including Evelyn Laude and Sarah Michelle Gellar. The event will feature vendor-sponsored booths such as Chanel’s Lip Print Psychic Reader and Shiseido’s Zen Zone massages, as well as consultations from stylists Frederic Fekkai and Stephen Knoll.

VINTAGE BEAUTY: Caudalie, the skin care line made from grape seed extract, is launching a new product next month called Eau de Raisen. This liquid, which comes in a 3.4-oz. spray bottle, can be used to hydrate the skin and set makeup. The key ingredient is water extracted from the juice of grapes at the start of the wine-making process. In this case, the grapes used were from the 1999 harvest of Chataue Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux, France. Eau de Raisin will retail for $12.

UNILEVER APPOINTMENT: Michael Indursky has been appointed to senior vice president of strategic planning and marketing of Unilever Cosmetics International. In his new position, Indursky will manage the development of business strategies that support the growth of fragrance and cosmetic businesses worldwide. Indursky was previously category director for the Global Face Care Innovation Center.

LANCOME ADDITION: Maeve Coburn has been appointed to senior vice president of marketing at the Lancome Division of L’Oreal USA. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the development and execution of all marketing strategies for the Lancome brand. She also will oversee all U.S. print and broadcast advertising. Coburn was formerly general manager of L’Oreal Ireland.

TIFFANY’S CRYSTAL: Tiffany & Co. will be adding a crystal perfume flacon to its signature fragrance collection. The limited-edition piece has an embellished sterling silver stopper and is hand-engraved with Tiffany & Co. 925. The 1-oz. flacon will go on sale this fall and will retail for $350.

DOUGLAS IN FLORIDA: Douglas Cosmetics, the European cosmetic and fragrance retailer, opened its first Florida location today. The 5,000-square-foot store, located in West Palm Beach, will carry prestige lines such as Estee Lauder, Hermes and Ana Sui. The opening marks Douglas’s 10th U.S. foray.

DIP THIS: Arriving on mass retailer shelves this week are three new products under the decades-old hair gel brand Dippity-do: Dippity-do Ultimate Hold Sport Gel, Dippity-do Unscented Hold Sport Gel and Dippity-do Ultimate Hold Sport Spray Gel.
Products will retail between $1.89 and $2.59. Dippity-do, which originated in the mid-Sixties as a setting gel for women, will now be positioned as a styling gel for men. The White Rain Company, parent of Dippity-do, as well as hair care brands White Rain, Mink Difference, Toni, Adorn and The Dry Look, has secured Denver Bronco’s quarterback Brian Griese as Dippity-do’s spokesperson in radio and print advertisements.
An advertising budget of $7 million will support Dippity-do, which is expected to register $10 million in sales its first year on shelves, according to White Rain president Gary Raymond.

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