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Essie Cosmetics to take part in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Nail care brand Essie Cosmetics is making its mark on Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for spring 2012 by creating exclusive backstage nail looks.

The Essie team, and founder and creative director Essie Weingarten, will lend beauty expertise throughout the week. Essie will collaborate with such designers as DKNY, DKNY AMEX, Pamela Love, L.A.M.B., Zac Posen, Carolina Herrera and Tory Burch. Essie also is working with Haven Spa to provide color inspiration for Prism, Edun, Rebecca Minkoff and Preen. Chado Ralph Rucci also will use Essie nail color in its fashion show.

"Well-manicured hands are the ultimate fashion accessory," Weingarten stated. "Whether you’re inspired by what’s hot now or your own personal color choices, every woman can agree: Nails are an essential form of self-expression, both on the runway and every day. We are thrilled to be a part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to help inspire the season’s most important trend statements."

Manicurist Elle Gerstein, famous for perfecting the tips of Blake Lively and Jennifer Lopez, will lead a team of nail professionals in creating many of the Essie nail looks seen on the runways.

Also during Fashion Week, Essie will partner with Teen Vogue at Fashion’s Night Out, offering free manicures at the Sept. 8 Teen Vogue Block Party in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Gerstein will be there as well, dishing about the latest tips and nail artistry trends for fashion-goers this season. Nail fanatics can chose from Essie’s latest fall 2011 collection, or choose from custom nail art designs created especially for Fashion’s Night Out by Essie and Teen Vogue.

Essie also will team up with Allure in the Allure Pop-up Salon at The Empire Hotel. The salon is designed to serve as an oasis for Fashion Week VIPs, who are invited to stop by for a manicure or nail polish change in between shows.

Making Fashion Week extra-special for Essie, the nail brand will celebrate its 30th anniversary. "My entire life I have been in pursuit of two goals: creating the most fabulous colors and helping women feel pampered and beautiful by giving them the perfect manicure experience. I am inspired by color all around me, and I’m so thrilled to share it with women everywhere," Weingarten stated.

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Kroger beefs up presence in Memphis market with Schnucks acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS — The Memphis-based Kroger Delta Division, a division of Kroger on Friday announced its purchase of eight Memphis-area Schnucks stores. In addition, Kroger has acquired seven convenience stores that will be remodeled under the Kwik Shop banner and will be operated by Tom Thumb, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kroger. The Schnucks grocery stores will be converted and re-opened under the Kroger name over the next few weeks.

"For over 60 years, Kroger has proudly served the Memphis community," stated Mark Prestidge,Kroger Delta Division president. "Kroger has demonstrated its commitment to the Memphis area by investing more than $70 million on remodels, expansions and fuel centers over the last five years."

Currently, Kroger operates 37 stores in the Memphis metropolitan area. The Schnucks’ acquisition will bring that number to 43, with two of the acquired Schnucks locations replacing two smaller existing Kroger locations. The market will be new for Tom Thumb, which currently operates 116 stores in Florida and Alabama.

"We plan to convert these stores and re-open within two weeks after they close. Our primary goal is to minimize the inconvenience to our customers as we transition the stores to Kroger," Prestidge said. "While the acquired stores will be temporarily closed during the conversion process, the pharmacies and in-store banks will be accessible and remain open to customers during regular business hours. … Pharmacy customers in the Schnucks locations that will close permanently will have their prescriptions available at the nearest Kroger pharmacy to avoid any disruption in service."

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Back pain intensity increases with weight, study finds

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — Overweight people with lower back pain is more intense than people of normal weight with back pain, according to a recent study published in the Sept. 15 issue of Spine.

The study sets up another comorbidity associated with being overweight.

The results showed that heavier people had higher levels of back pain intensity. For each five-unit increase in body mass index — equivalent to the difference between being classified as overweight or obese — the odds of high-intensity back pain increased by 35%. For back pain disability, the association was even stronger: 66% per five-unit increase in BMI.

However, the increase in back pain at higher BMIs was specifically related to increased fat mass. For each 11 pounds increase in body fat mass, the odds of high-intensity back pain increased by 19%. For increased fat mass in the lower limbs, the increase was 51%. In contrast, lean body mass was unrelated to back pain. Thus, the increase in back pain intensity among people with higher BMIs was wholly related to their higher body fat content — not just the fact that they were heavier. People with higher body fat also had increased disability from back pain.



The study included 135 participants, ranging from normal weight to obese. All completed a standard questionnaire to measure low back pain intensity and related disability. They also underwent a test called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for detailed assessment of body composition, including measurement of fat and lean body mass.

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