Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wellness Everywhere

Wellness was a big topic at last week’s Spa Symposium in Monaco and now beauty and wellness will share the stage at the upcoming edition of EXTRACTS: New discoveries in beauty and wellness, to be held at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, February 2-6. The word is that EXTRACTS is evolving as a result of its relocation to the massive venue. According to organizers, the show will still be targeted to spa, salon and specialty retailers, but will also attract buyers from specialty apparel boutiques and home fashion and lifestyle retail channels.

100 targeted personal care resources representing cosmetics, perfumes, skin care, bath and body care, beauty accessories, hair care, natural and organic products and well-being lines at EXTRACTS will share space with NYGIF show exhibitors.

I'm curious as to how you define wellness. Why do you think the word seems to resonate so well in the beauty industry? Has wellness made its way into your product mix?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Health and Wellness Reign in Monte Carlo

My associate, Melinda Taschetta-Millane, has been in Monte Carlo for The Monaco Spa Symposium. Health and wellness were the hot topics at the event and will no doubt factor into the beauty business for a long time to come. You can read her notes at the Skin Inc. blog. She makes note of a book you may not have read, Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich by Robert Frank, in her post Live From Monte Carlo.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Nanotech Debate Simmers

The U.K. Soil Association ban on nanotechnology in organic certified food, cosmetics and other products, got a fair amount of attention in the global press and on blogs. The New York Times technology blog raised some good questions. One key concern seems to be that announcements like this may bring about a slowdown in research on nanotechnology. It seems like this is a debate that will continue to simmer. What will it take to bring it to a full rolling boil?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ban on Nanotechnology

The Soil Association, the U.K.’s largest certifier of organic products, announced yesterday that it will not certify as organic any product containing manufactured nanoparticles. According to a press release from the organization, the ban applies particularly to health and beauty products, but also to food and textiles. “Ahead of the Government,” says the release, “we are the first organization in the world to take action against this hazardous, potentially toxic technology that poses a serious new threat to human health.” The new standard, which takes effect immediately, bans man-made nanomaterials whose basic particle size is less than 125nm and whose mean particle size is less than 200nm. The release does not mention any companies that have applied for organic certification for products containing such materials, but does mention a number of companies and products that do contain nanomaterials.

What kind of threat does a ban like this pose for new technology development in general? Is this a one-off ban on nanotechnology, or is there more to come? What will be the net impact of a ban like this on the cosmetic industry?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Off the Beaten Path?

I had a great visit late last week with Sue Katz from Libertyville, Illinois based Amazing Cosmetics. The eight year old company has grown at what she characterizes as a comfortable pace since introducing its popular concealer in 2000. The line that started with a cover up now includes about 50 SKUs, a size that Katz says lets it stay true to its commitment to complexion perfection. What’s next? Katz said Amazing Cosmetics is opening in two doors in Denmark and cutting the virtual ribbon on a new Web site in the very near future. You can read more about Amazing Cosmetics and a number of other Midwest U.S. beauty brands in the February issue of GCI magazine.

In a world cut down to size by the Internet and easy communication, how big a factor is location to the success of a beauty brand? If location is no longer a factor, what are the biggest challenges in starting up a cosmetics company today? Share your story here!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bogged Down in the Blogosphere

A reader pointed out to me last week that I hadn't posted to this blog since September, and while I was pretty embarrassed to have been caught neglecting the site, I chose to focus on the fact that BeautyUnion Today was indeed being read! This moment of truth came only a week after a friend in the industry, an avid blogger, asked me how it was going. I had to tell him the sorry truth -- that it had been quite awhile since I had posted an entry. And the thing is, I like blogging! I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I like to see my words "in print" considering the work I do. But blogging comes with the real possibility that a reader will respond with some immediacy to something I write and that, after all, is what it's all about -- getting a conversation going on a topic of mutual interest.

So, I resolve to post regularly to this site -- and that's a lot more fun than vowing to exercise five times a week. You can help me out by leaving a comment when you visit, and by using the survey link under my name on the first page of the blog to let me know the topics of interest to you. Let's get talking!