BEAUTY CARE

Mode Cosmetics unveils new kabuki brush

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALBANY, N.Y. Mode Cosmetics, a cosmetics line created by second-generation cosmetics purveyors and beauty entrepreneurs Cristina Samuels and Jennifer Isaac, is launching for 2009 its MODE Professional Kabuki.

Designed and created by Samuels and Isaac, the makeup brush is made with pure dye-free and cruelty-free toray to achieve the softest, smoothest feeling on the skin. It is ideal for vegan, vegetarian and eco-friendly beauty shoppers.

The makeup brush promises to never scratch or irritate skin and will not shed. It is available in May and has a suggested retail price of $10.

Mode, which positions its products as accessible luxury with prices ranging between $3 and $10, offers more than 260 SKUs. The products are formulated with many natural, organic and biodegradable ingredients and are housed in chic recyclable packaging.

The products are sold in select supermarkets, pharmacy retailers and specialty stores, as well as at www.modecosmetics.com.

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Physicians Formula reports net loss in Q4

BY Antoinette Alexander

AZUSA, Calif. Physicians Formula Holdings posted a net loss during the fourth quarter, as consumer spending slowed and retailers tightened inventory control. The beauty company expects the challenging retail environment to continue in 2009.

Net sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008 were $28.2 million, compared with net sales of $33.9 million in the year-ago period.

Net loss for the quarter was $24.5 million, or a loss of $1.80 per diluted share, compared with net income of $4.9 million, or a gain of 33 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges, adjusted net income per diluted common share for fourth quarter 2008 was 13 cents.

Net sales for the full year 2008 were $114 million, up 2.2% compared with net sales of $111.5 million for 2007. Net loss for 2008 totaled $19.8 million, or a loss of $1.41 per diluted share, compared with a gain in the year-ago period of $8.7 million, or 60 cents per share. Excluding non-cash goodwill and intangible impairment charges, adjusted net income per diluted common share was 47 cents for 2008.

“Our 2009 strategic initiatives, including new product offerings, our new communication, promotional and merchandising platforms, were designed to raise the profile of our brand, to continue to push the boundaries of innovation and to improve the shopping experience,” stated Ingrid Jackel, chairwoman, CEO of Physicians Formula. “However, during the first quarter of the year, retailers continue to operate under unprecedented tight inventory control programs and, in addition, we are experiencing smaller pipeline orders compared to last year?s larger pipelines from space gains. We expect 2009 will continue to be a very challenging retail environment for our industry.”

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Estee Lauder completes senior management succession

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK The Estee Lauder Co., whose brands include American Beauty, Flirt!, MAC and Clinique, has completed its previously announced senior management succession plan, the company stated.

The appointments will be effective July 1, the start of the company’s fiscal year 2010. The succession plan was first announced in November 2007. The company’s board of directors last week approved the completion of the plan.

As president, CEO, Fabrizio Freda, who is currently president, COO, will be responsible for developing the company’s overall vision, strategy, financial objectives and investment priorities. He will be accountable for the achievement of the company’s overall corporate performance objectives, including revenue, profit and return on invested capital goals. Freda will also become a member of the company’s board of directors as of July 1.

William Lauder, the company’s current CEO, will become executive chairman and will serve as chairman of The Estee Lauder Companies’ board of directors. As executive chairman, Lauder will partner with Freda to create long-term shareholder value for the company’s investors. Together with Freda, Lauder will help drive and support the company’s brand and global expansion opportunities in addition to his day-to-day management responsibilities.

Leonard Lauder, the current chairman of the board, will remain on the board and become chairman emeritus.

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