Friday, February 29, 2008

News from The Council

The Personal Care Products Council is meeting this week in Boca Raton, Florida. Yesterday, Marc Pritchard, president of strategy, productivity and growth for The Procter & Gamble Company stepped down as chairman of the organization, having seen The Council through three years of change. The Estee Lauder Companies' Dan Brestle took over at the helm. Council president and CEO Pam Bailey said despite the name change, The Council remains "a traditional association focused on the priorities of our members, but in the new paradigm, our mission has expanded to tell the story of our commitment to safety." Bailey said that The Council's new consumer information Web site -- -- had 500,000 hits in its first full month of operation. The site gives consumers a place to go for information on product safety. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Live Up to Your Lipstick

That title line is from Geralyn Lucas, author of "Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy," and moderator of a panel discussion of "The Lipstick Theory," on this the first morning of the Personal Care Product Council (PCPC) annual meeting. The annual report of the PCPC's Look Good ... Feel Better (LGFB) program never fails to move me and all the people in the room, with very personal stories of cancer patients learning to apply makeup so that they can appear as normal as possible during very trying times. Lucas' feisty response to her cancer diagnosis is a real inspiration, as is the great work of LGFB. She says she wasn't much of a lipstick wearer before her cancer surgery, but she wore a great red lipstick to her operation and it helped see her through.

Lucas was joined on the panel by two breast cancer survivors and LGFB graduates along with Rick DeCecca, Estee Lauder trainer, global makeup stylist and LGFB volunteer, and Eivind Bjerke, LGFB volunteer cosmetologist, wig expert and Washington D.C. salon proprietor. Their stories both of survival and of voluntering for this fantastic program were incredibly inspiring. I urge everyone who can to get involved in this LGFB program in any way you can. More information is available at the Look Good ... Feel Better web site. Whether you make it, market it or wear it, this is one way we can all live up to our lipstick.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Professional Product Update

I had the great good fortune to get out of the cold of the U.S. midwest this weekend, to attend Durocher Enterprises The Business of Beauty on the Beach, in Miami. This was a conference for spa and salon owners and service providers and featured several interesting speakers who, for me, shed some light on the product needs of spa goers and some interesting buisnesses serving the spa market. Mary Blackmon, founder/CEO of shared results of a survey that said the majority of folks believe spa treatments are too expensive, that most go to feel pampered, and that massage edged out facial as the most desired treatment. I don't know if there are any big surprises there.

Nick Arrojo, hair stylist and owner of Arrojo Studio in New York, is known to many as the hair makeover guy on TLC's What Not to Wear. In addition to the studio, Nick has a product company, and says he is "navigating" that end of the business, aiming his products at the masstige market. More from Miami later, plus news from the Personal Care Products Council annual meeting being held just up the coast starting Wednesday.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Amazing Store Opening

Sue Katz and Lisa Thurman started Amazing Cosmetics in 2000 with their Hollywood favorite Amazing Concealer and they've been in the "spot" light ever since, launching product after product, and quickly hitting the counters in Nordstrom, Sephora and Ulta. This month, the pair made news with the opening of their first brick-and-mortar store, in their hometown of Libertyville, Ill. I asked Sue about the opening: "This has put an exciting spin on our business," she says. "We have been swamped. The store is tiny and we had lines of 30 deep all day! We are so glad that we hired enough makeup artists to staff the store. We are selling mostly our makeup but I love our jewelry from Roberta Chiarella--check out her website." Their excitement and optimism are great to hear, and we wish them much success.

p.s. Here's the link to Roberta Chiarella.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ode to the Odors of Violets

Michelle Krell Kydd, whose interests run to the olfactory and gustatory, sends an email when she posts something new to her blog, Glass Petal Smoke. Today I followed her link to a delightful ode to viola odorata and other members of the violet family. Her paean to the little blue flower muses over violet candy, liqueur and lavender violet vanilla bean sugar, and even includes two stanzas of Pablo Neruda’s Ode to a Cluster of Violets, that ends with the words we all cherish, “Better than any word/is the pulse of your scent.” A visit to Glass Petal Smoke is a fresh reminder of the undeniable links between flowers, food and fragrance. The personal care industry has certainly made connections between bakery and confectionary goodies, creating a patisserie of perfumes, creams and lotions for our enjoyment. I urge you to visit the site. I'd be very surprised if it didn't inspire a new flower and food scented beauty product.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Feel Good Lunch

I was in New York early last week for another GCI magazine Power Lunch, our name for getting together with a great group of industry people to talk about what they’re feeling good about. The weather cooperated beautifully, conversation flowed and the mood was upbeat and optimistic. Photos from the event are posted at GCI’s BeautyUnion pages. I was feeling pretty upbeat myself as I watched our guests leave the restaurant and head back to their hectic work lives. My question for you is, what are you feeling optimistic about?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Beauty Blogs Getting Attention

The times they are a changing. Writing for The New York Times, Kayleen Schaefer this week reported that cosmetics companies have a new view of beauty bloggers. But relations weren’t always cordial, as this paragraph from the report suggests:

“Bloggers’ inquiries for products started out as an annoyance,” said Alison Brod, whose namesake public relations firm represents the Laura Mercier and philosophy brands. “It was a cost for our clients. It didn’t seem fair that anyone could say whatever they wanted about a product and have an audience.”

These days, however, it seems it is a mistake to ignore them. While the impact of bloggers’ postings on sales is unclear, it is becoming apparent that their opinions are important. With numbers estimated in the thousands, beauty blogs are evaluated by the brands based on criteria ranging from the look of the site to comments from readers. And brands court the bloggers with samples, gifts and meals.

What’s your opinion of the beauty blogs? Are they any different than beauty columns in consumer magazines? Do you visit them as a reader and leave comments about products? Do you evaluate them as a brand owner? Maybe you follow them to get a feel for trends and consumer response to product types? Leave me a comment.