BEAUTY CARE

L’Oreal to open New Jersey facility in 2009

BY Antoinette Alexander

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. L’Oreal USA broke ground on Thursday for a new office facility here that is scheduled to open in 2009. The facility will house about 400 employees and will function as the beauty company’s New Jersey headquarters.

The company’s corporate headquarters will remain in New York.

The new office, located at Connell Corporate Park, will enable L’Oreal to bring together groups of employees who are currently working in different New Jersey locations.

The open-plan design will maximize natural light and the use of “green” raw materials, while minimizing the effect on the environment. It will be Gold Leed certified and will feature energy-saving systems throughout, including heating, air-conditioning and lighting that can be individually controlled. The furniture and other fixtures will be made from recycled and locally sourced materials.

The broader Connell Corporate Park campus will contain a fitness center and hotel and conference facilities, as well as an outdoor wooded area with features such as walking paths and streams.

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Whole Foods to highlight natural makeup in October

BY Antoinette Alexander

Looking to help its beauty shoppers better understand the benefits of natural cosmetics, Whole Foods Market is highlighting natural makeup during October.

As part of the effort, Whole Foods Market will carry an exclusive “fresh face starter kit” by Mineral Fusion for $20 during October (a $120 value), with a portion of the proceeds going to Pink United, a nonprofit organization that supports the fight against breast cancer.

Select stores will also have Mineral Fusion makeup artists on hand for natural makeovers. Several resources are available online, such as a mineral makeup video podcast at wholefoods.com/socialmedia/wholebody and Whole Foods Market’s “Glossary of Cosmetic Ingredient Functions.”

“There are many reasons shoppers should consider natural cosmetics,” stated Jody Villecco, national quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods. “You care about what you put in your body, so it’s logical to be concerned about what goes on your body. Natural cosmetics are made with the highest quality natural ingredients and, unlike conventional makeup, get their color primarily from plants and minerals which can be less irritating.”

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Playtex announces stockholder approval of Energizer merger

BY Antoinette Alexander

WESTPORT, Conn. Playtex Products announced on Thursday that stockholders have approved its merger agreement with Energizer Holdings, a maker of batteries and flashlights and the parent company of wet shave products manufacturer Schick-Wilkinson Sword. The deal is expected to close on or about Oct. 1.

Once the deal closes, Playtex will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Energizer and its common stock will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The deal, valued at about $1.9 billion, will add feminine care, sun care and infant care products to Energizer’s portfolio. It is expected to be accretive to Energizer’s earnings per share in fiscal year 2008.

According to Energizer chief executive officer Ward Klein, the deal makes sense, as both companies have similar customers and distribution channels in the United States and Canada, and there’s an opportunity for geographic expansion.

“We also believe there are significant integration and cost reduction opportunities for the combined businesses. Energizer will emerge with a more diversified portfolio of products, and greater scale in the personal care category, which will now be evenly balanced with our household goods business. It will also provide a platform for possible additional value-adding acquisitions,” said Klein in a previously issued statement.

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