Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

February 16th, 2015

What is your favorite season of the year?

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Now that the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day are over with, can we get back to normal eating patterns? Of course there is nothing like comfort food when the thermometer is below zero (caution, food alert below!).

While I didn’t have a chance to watch the 40th Anniversary of SNL, my problem is that I remember the premier season all too well.

Hot new hair products coming out this Spring:

Brazilian Blowout b3 Brazilian Bond Builder. b3 Brazilian Bond Builder is a one-step professional tool that can be mixed into any color formulation to help re-attach and build bonds.

Pai-shau (Passion for Life) is the new hair care line from previous executives of Moroccanoil. The signature product Biphasic Infusion is a breakthrough elixir containing the highest content of their Exotic Tea Complex.

CND has finally unveiled its new LED light. Design-driven, the light actually cures only the fingertips allowing the hand to be LED-free. MSRP will be $299.95. Look for a May launch and we will have some extra goodies for the launch. It can be used for both Shellac and Brisa systems. To compliment the new light will be their Xpress5 Shellac top coat that will remove in only 5 minutes.

A-Cups by ForPro is a runaway success. So much that the starter kit is sold out until April. We are working quickly as we can to get new inventory into stock.

Also hot are the new 10-Minute Therapeutic Paraffin Hands and Feet from Paraffin Wax Works. Proof that innovation sells.

Paraffin Wax Works 10-Minute Therapeutic Paraffin Hands

Speaking of which Apple’s new iWatch goes on sale in April. $350 will get you a basic model, $1000 stainless and for $4000, gold. Rumor on the street is that Apple will deliver an electric car within 10 years. Can you imagine the technology behind that?

Here’s the thing about time. It zooms by way too fast but then we all want Spring to come as fast as possible. Does New Year’s Eve seem like 6 weeks ago?

Shake Shack went public and a business with less than $5 million in profit is now worth more than $1.5 billion. They just opening in Las Vegas and recently Chicago. 600 calories each for their 3 signature items: Cheeseburger, fries and fat-laden custard shake. An entire day worth of calorie consumed in 15 minutes (or sooner). But I am sure it is tasty.

T or F? We never get tired of looking at pictures of tasty food? But what is the burger without the fries?

OK, I knew it. You want the shake too.

Frozen Custard

OK now I am hungry. Looking forward to steam veggies and whitefish for dinner tonight. How about you?

Happy Monday!

Happy New Year 2015!

January 6th, 2015

How long will gas stay under $2 a gallon?

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The New Year came in with a bang with icy cold conditions and the price of oil plummeting as never before. This will certainly be the year of the perspective.

Perspective A: Gas under $2 a gallon is great news right? Sure thing for delivery companies, airlines and raw material producers.

Perspective B: Gas under $2 a gallon is bad news right? Sure thing for the part of the economy that has helped grow the economy over the past 6 years. Who wants to invest in fracking and oil exploration when costs exceed revenues?

Perspective C: Consumers will spend more money on goods and services since they don’t have to spend money filling their tanks? True but consumers have a history of fading their savings quickly and reallocating their budgets so their net gain is minimal. Hence the surge in new trucks and SUV’s and the death of hybrids and small cars.

Perspective D: All of this is bad for Russia, Venezuela and other oil producing countries? Yes but at what cost? Europe is tied to this mess and now Greece is getting ready for another default and with talk about them leaving the Euro, what good is going to come from this?

OK so what does all this have to do with beauty? The same thing it has to do with who is going to win college’s first national championship and who is going to win the Super Bowl. Not much of anything.

Sorry but I have to mention that amazing MSU comeback victory against Baylor. Even non-MSU fans have to admit it was quite a feat. T or F? Baylor will be celebrating prematurely in future games?

Sorry but I have to mention the Lions finding yet another way to lose a playoff game. Oh sure the team and diehard fans can fault the ref for picking up the flag on the pass interference call. But really, the Lions gave the game away once again. If they just won in Green Bay, none of this nonsense would have ever happened and they would be preparing for this Sunday’s game instead.

Vicki Peters didn’t make it to 2015 passing away just a couple days before New Year’s. I knew Vicki way back when and she did a great job making a name for herself in the nail business. Sadly she passed away from cancer.

What’s going to be hot in beauty this year? Check out THEBEAUTYBOOK 2015 Spring edition and find out.

The Beauty Book

My next blog will mention my favorites for 2015. I will briefly mention the new Amber A-Cups by ForPro and Caption nail polish line by Young Nails as name-brand favorites. The concepts are amazing and products perform flawlessly.

Shizaaam!

This will be the year of the Apple watch, 5-minute pizza franchises and the end of cupcakes. It will be the year U-M fans can finally start smiling although those smiles will be short-lived. It will be 15 years since Y2K and one can only wonder where 15 years went. It will be the year both Bill Gates and myself turn 60 and TNG turns 30. It will be also mark my 25th anniversary and second grandchild (first girl!). It will also be the year that the FED finally raises short-term interest rates and both the GOP and Dem’s figure out their running mates in 2016. All in all, it will be another interesting year in which nothing really much matters except staying healthy. And with that my friends is my wish for all in 2015. The rest will take care of itself.

Happy New Year 2015!

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY- Oh My OPI!

December 12th, 2014

Do you plan on seeing the movie FIFTY SHADES OF GREY?

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The movie, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY premiers Valentine’s Day 2015. What a perfect day to launch what promises to be one of the most erotic movie series of all time. I read the book and let me say that it was memorizing and the expression, “Oh my” will never be the same. The movie should be extremely popular for the age group that spends the most money on nail polish so it is no wonder that OPI (now referring themselves as THE GLOBAL SALON BRAND) is launching its own collection.

The collection titled appropriately enough “Surrender to Color” features 6 iconic shades that reflects the theme of the movie. They include Cement the Deal, My Silk Tie, Dark Side of the Mood, romantically Involved, Embrace the Gray and Shine for Me. If you are wondering why you don’t see the colors it’s because I can’t post them until the new year. But let me say they are mostly gray’s with one standout red. (However, you can Google search and see the colors for yourself).

I don’t know about you, but this is exactly the sort of thing OPI and the salon industry need to do better: Focus on youth. Apparently there will be three versions of the movie worldwide: 2 rated R and one rated NC-17. I am wondering how many teenagers will sneak in to get a taste of grey.

Regardless if the movie does well or bombs, the pre-movie excitement is sure to build in January and up to Valentine’s Day. THE INDUSTRY SOURCE will be shipping the collections January 5 as they are made available to us. That gives salons and spas a good five weeks to get their dibs on the first 2015 sultry hot fad. Oh my!

Happy Friday!

Out Of My Mind On a Friday Mornin’

December 5th, 2014

According to Business Week, Taylor Swift is the music industry. Do you own at least one of her albums?

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Isn’t it strange how time plays game with our minds? Thanksgiving is already more than a week ago, Christmas is only 20 days away, yet events that took place in April and May seem like they happened last year.

If you are wondering why I haven’t blogged much lately there are a few reasons. One is that it is catalog season and today we just finished THEBEAUTYBOOK Spring 2015 edition. Second, the industry has been very quiet for a long time. And last, many of the things I want to write about will come next month as we have many exciting things happening at TNG in 2015.

Looks like Procter & Gamble is tired of the pro beauty business and they are selling their Wella division (includes Sebastian and Nioxin). They are seeking $6.2 billion and they paid more than $8 billion not that long ago. As the industry has moved to booth rental, the direct sales approach has become more difficult. Also P&G wants to focus on $10B+ brands and who can blame them? Who is going to buy Wella? If Unilever wants to play in the pro sandbox in a bigger way, it will pick it up to compliment TIGI. The other logical company is Henkel but with already owning Schwarzkopf and many other brands, this may be dilutive. L’Oreal would be interesting but then again, does L’Oreal need another pro brand? The last consideration would be private equity who has a love affair with companies that have a great brand name. But is there a single one that wants to get involved with hair color and education? Goldman Sachs certainly has its work cut out (yes, that is a pun).

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday both passé’ events, and with teen retailers struggling (Aeropostle is closing 25% of its stores; dELiA’s shut down; Five Below under target), what is retail going to look like in 2015? Will JC Penney, Kmart and Sears be around within the next 2-5 years? Shopping patterns are so different today. Fashion retailers such as Zara and H&M that can make clothes found on the runway within weeks and flash sites such as Groupon and Zuilly that offer incredible daily deals are doing brisk business.

What’s hot for Christmas? Anything FROZEN. Disney hit a grand slam with that one. iPhone 6. Apple can’t keep them in stock. Can you believe they will sell more than 80 million of them this quarter? But what other items are must haves? Even 50” TV’s at $200 are a yawner and tablets at $29 are ho-hum.

We are looking for the next Miracurl. C’mon Conair and Helen of Troy, put your creative minds to work.

I wondered when we selected the Jolly Snowman and Happy Penguin for Christmas which design would do best. Looks like the Penguin 51% over the Snowman. Who knew the Penguin was a Republican.

Are you loving gas at under $3 a gallon or what! in some places the price dipped below $2 a gallon. This is equivalent to getting a $500 to $1000 rebate check from the government. Winners: Airlines. Have you noticed ticket prices doing down? HA!

All MSU had to do was beat OSU at home to be in the championship game series. Amazing how the margin of winning and losing today is so narrow.

When was the last new brand of pro hair care or nail care launched? This tells you what experts all along have known as fact. Competition spurs innovation. Now that the industry is controlled by public companies, most of which own pro companies but they make up such a small part of their overall business, why bother with innovation? And start-ups find it near impossible to get consumer awareness and distribution.

Which industry has the most innovation this decade? Adult beverages. Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is so hot production keeps on doubling and tripling. Craft beers, homemade vodkas and the list goes on.

Happy Friday!

Hong Kong Beauty Capital of the World

November 18th, 2014

Half of the USA is snow-covered. Are you ready for winter?

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Hong Kong is a true marvel. More than 7 million people live in the city in an area smaller than NYC. Hong Kong is divided by Victoria Harbor. Kowloon, the main city is one side and Hong Kong Island is on the other. The airport itself is only 14 years old and built on reclaimed land. The bridge from the airport is more of the same. Engineering all around HK is phenomenal.

Cosmoprof Asia is the largest beauty show in the world. It takes up the entire HK Convention Center. Now let me say that the convention center is five levels, each the size of a football field or larger. In all there were more than 2400 exhibitors and many had booths outside the main halls due to sold out status. In fact, there were a few in the bathrooms because they desperately wanted to be part of the show (OK, I may be exaggerating a bit). The show is three days and takes every minute to walk the entire area. And it is as busy as Disney World during Christmas.

The show features different areas including beauty salon; nails; skin care; hair care and packaging. By far the busiest area was skin care. I would say it was 95% Asian attendees, many of which were there for themselves. I found few Americans and a small percentage of Europeans. While the show was well managed you needed plenty of patience to navigate the aisles and restaurants. Few people were friendly or smiled.

Most interesting was the Asian obsession with skin care machines. There were more than 50 stands offering very expensive machines that did everything from cellulite reducing to fat drainage which is more amazing since the Chinese are not overweight. The nail care section was the smallest. CND was present but OPI wasn’t. Very few USA companies made the journey. Hair care was boring and there was nothing new introduced in the appliance category. I’m sure the factories are upset that Babyliss had nothing new for them to knock-off.

Although there was some cash’n’carry, there were few luggage totes being dragged around. Most people were well dressed and professional. Very if any big bags were passed out. Security was tight and badges were checked often. Compared to Las Vegas, this show is far superior although much different. One thing for certain is that this show is all about beauty and well worth attending at least once to experience it.

A few fun facts I learned being in HK: It is among the most expensive city in the world. Prices for food are outrageous since most everything is imported. Luxury car tax is 1.2 times the value of the car. 80% of the population practices Buddhism (visiting one of the Temples was an amazing experience while 70% of the population practices Daoism (many practice both). 35% of the population lives in subsidized housing. Luxury housing starts at $1000 per square foot and goes up to $7000. HK is only 6500 miles from LA, a short 13 hour flight! HK became part of China in 1997 after being ruled by the British. Smoking is prohibited in public spaces. And finally HK is ultra clean, ultra modern and very safe for a city of its size.

TNG STRIDES To A Cure

October 23rd, 2014

How many charitable organizations do you donate to per year on average?

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Saturday October 11, 2014 was another magical day in downtown Detroit. More than 15,000 individuals gathered around Ford Field and partook in the annual ACS STRIDES walk. More than $1 million was raised.

TNG was once again a proud sponsor and this marked the 10th consecutive year doing the event. We have raised more than $2 million for ACS.

This year more than 150 walkers came out to support our cause and together we have raised more than $70,000 to date. The stories being told, the inspiration being shared and the hope generated all makes this an amazing event. The 3-mile walk started late but the sun was shining and smiles were seen all over downtown Detroit. Below are a few pictures taken by  our infamous photographer, H. Lots of fun by all.

Making Strides 2014

Making Strides 2014

Making Strides 2014

Making Strides 2014

Making Strides 2014

Making Strides 2014

Making Strides 2014

Making Strides 2014

OPI INFINITE SHINE Has Arrived!

October 1st, 2014

What is your favorite holiday of the three coming up in order?

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THE INDUSTRY SOURCE is first to receive OPI INFINITE SHINE and all I can say is that the response has been fantastic. By popular demand, I have posted each of the 30 shades plus the PRIMER and GLOSS. With the nail industry reeling due to saturation of product, it is refreshing to launch a new innovative brand that will bring excitement back to the category.

Brains & Bronze IS L23 604829

Can’t Be Beet!Can’t Be Beet IS L13 604819

Endurance Race to the FinishEndurance Race to the Finish IS L06 604812

From Here to EternityFrom Here to Eternity IS L02 604808

Get Ryd-of-thym BluesGet Ryd-of-thyn Blues IS L16 604822

Girls Without LimitsGirls Without Limits IS L04 604810

GLOSS Top CoatGLOSS Top Coat 604806

Grapely AdmiredGrapely Admired IS L12 604818

In Pursuit of PurpleIn Pursuit of Purple IS L11 604817

Indignantly IndigoIndignantly Indigo IS L17 604823

It Never EndsIt Never Ends IS L29 604835

Maintaining My Sand-ityMaintaining My Sand-ity IS L21 604827

Never Give Up!Never Give Up! IS L25 604831

No Stopping Me NowNo Stopping Me Now IS L07 604813

Pretty Pink PerseveresPretty Pink Perseveres IS L01 604807

PRIMER Base CoatPRIMER Base Coat 604805

Raisin’ the BarRaisin’ the Bar IS L14 604820

Relentless RubyRelentless Ruby IS L10 604816

Running With the In-finite CrowdRunning With the In-finite Crowd IS L05 604811

Set in StoneSet in Stone IS L24 604830

She Went On and On and OnShe Went On and On and On IS L03 604809

Staying NeutralStaying Neutral IS L28 604834

Steel Waters Run DeepSteel Waters Run Deep IS L27 604833

Strong Coal-itionStrong Coal-ition IS L26 604832

Tanacious SpiritTanacious Spirit IS L22 604828

To Infinity & Blue-yondTo Infinity & Blue-yond IS L18 604824

To the Finish Lime!To the Finish Lime! IS L20 604826

Unequivocally CrimsonUnequivocally Crimson IS L09 604815

Unrepentantly RedUnrepentantly Red IS L08 604814

We’re in the BlackWe’re in the Black IS L15 604821

Withstands the Test of ThymeWithstands the Test of Thyme IS L19 604825

You Can Count on ItYou Can Count on It IS L30 604836

 

Happy & Shiny Wednesday!

OPI INFINITE SHINE SOLIDIFIES THIRD CATEGORY OF NAIL COLOR

September 24th, 2014

How far are the Detroit Tigers going to go?

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OMG! Are you old enough to remember Spic and Span? Do a Google search and you will learn that two housewives invented it in 1933 and the name came from the word “clean.”

We love clean. Clean homes, clean clothes, clean cars, clean skin.

We also love shiny. Shiny shoes, shiny cars, shiny hair and shiny nails. In fact the two hottest categories in beauty right now are focused on shiny hair and shiny nails.

All of which brings me to one of the most exciting launches in 2014 and perhaps the most important one for OPI since their launch of nail lacquer. It’s called INFINITE SHINE.

ISD02_36PC_WallDisplay

What makes INFINITE SHINE a game changer is that it actually solidifies a third and final category for nail color. CND’s Vinylux created the category and now INFINITE SHINE will make all other nail polish brands come out with their own extended wear polish.

INFINITE SHINE’s brand promise is this: Shine until you remove the polish. We’re not just talking amazing colors and amazing results that last between 7-10 days, we’re talking about amazing shine.

Now I do have some reservations about all this shine. For instance, when wearing INFINITE SHINE and driving, users must be careful that the sun’s reflection doesn’t hit the nails. People will be focused on nails more than ever and accessories such as handbags and shoes may drop in popularity. And can you image those shiny nails on a yoga mat? Downward dog will never be the same.

All kidding aside, INFINITE SHINE confirms the third category of nail color.

  • Category 1: Regular lacquer that lasts 3-5 days for those that love quick changes.
  • Category 2: Extended wear high shine lacquer that lasts 7-10 days.
  • Category 3: Gel color that lasts two weeks and longer.

I have been testing INFINITE SHINE for the past week at one of our signature salons. Results have been impressive. The owner of the salon asked a very good question: “How much should we charge for this?” Here is what I told her:

  • Category 1: Current manicure price
  • Category 2: Add $5 to current manicure price
  • Category 3: Add $15 to current manicure price

The fact that INFINITE SHINE does not require LED or UV light and removes with any polish remover will be a huge selling point to consumers. Plus the fact that OPI will spend $$$$ on consumer advertising, INFINITE SHINE will be a requirement to have in your salon/spa.

THE INDUSTRY SOURCE will be receiving the first shipments of INFINITE SHINE in the U.S.A. We are now accepting pre-orders on our website and all orders received by October 17 will receive free shipping. But don’t wait too long, the goods won’t last long.

Happy Wednesday!

Time for Salon Owners and Booth Renters to Raise Prices

September 11th, 2014

Would you pay $2 more for your mani/pedi/haircut services?

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In case you were trapped in a cave the past couple of days, you know that Apple once again set the bar on innovation with their new Apple Watch, NFC payment system called Apple Pay and introduced two new iPhones that do everything except print money. At the same time, Radio Shack announced it most likely will file bankruptcy shortly.

McDonald’s is having it’s most difficult time in 10 years while Chipolte keep rolling along even as it recently raised prices. McCafe isn’t hot while Starbucks keeps climbing even with its new pricing scheme and hand-brewed “French Press” style coffees for $2.50 a cup. Those businesses with a focus on quality can charge more money and make more money. Those businesses with a focus on the lowest price have to compete with Amazon.com and the dollar stores. Even Walmart can attest that is no fun.

The one thing Tim Cook did not mention on stage this week was that his Apple devices can cut hair or color hair; perform a mani or pedi; or complete a facial or massage treatment. Consumers are king and make all the decisions now. So when it comes to beauty services, they have one decision to make: Home or salon?

If they pick salon, that means they see value and are willing to pay for value. So why are so many salons and booth renters practically giving away their services? Top end destination spas learned long ago that their clients are willing to pay for pampering. Go to Vegas and the average price of a 50 minute massage is $150 before tip. And they are busy. Very busy. Mani’s are $40 and pedi’s are $75.

Right now I pay $16 for a mani, $29 for a pedi and $35 for a haircut. The salons I visit are very busy and the prices are very low. If the prices were raised to $17 or $18 for a mani, $38 for a pedi and $38 for a haircut, do you think the business would go down? Of course not. Just as consumers are comfortable and habit-driven to get their coffee, lunch, groceries and so forth, they are habit-driven to get their personal services. When Lifetime Fitness opened its new Executive club and took the #1 yoga place with them, members went along for the ride and paid.

The salon/spa business is tough like every other business today. Now is the perfect time to access pricing and raise prices based on the services, amenities and experience offered. The race to the bottom is one that no one wins.

Happy Thursday!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

August 27th, 2014

Would you spend $50 for a bottle of nail polish

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UPDATED September 24, 2104: The latest details on OPI INFINITE SHINE on this week’s blog post or view the product line.

One of my favorite readers reminded me that I haven’t blogged this month and that would be the first time since blogs were created. OMG, with that I wondered what happened to August, what happened to summer (that never came) and are those yellow busses actually back on the road. Actually this has been a busy month celebrating BUB’s birthday, plus a trade show and finalizing plans for 2015. YIKES, 2015 is around the corner.

Speaking of birthday’s, the one and only Tony Cuccio just celebrated his 60th. I remember seeing his photo when he was 18 selling nail polish on Venice Beach. Happy Birthday Tony!

We spent a few days in Seattle and one must do the Pike Street market. It truly lives up to its reputation. If you love fresh seafood and fish, this place is for you. Two pound lobster tails galore, quarter pound prawns and hundreds and hundreds of pounds of wild salmon and halibut. They sell more than 5000 bouquets of flowers a day at $5 to $10 a pop. Seafood chowder is among the specialty things to eat and is quite good. It is also the home of the original Starbuck’s. We waited in line for 30 minutes just to get to the front of the store and then decided to bale. Starbucks is everywhere in Seattle but I thought Tully coffee was even better.

black 15in1 Miracle Hair Treatment won Good Housekeeping’s Hair Award for best frizz and shine product.

Just completed my annual physical. The doctor asked his usual 50 questions like “Do you have this or do you experience this,” and I thought and figured out that eventually I will be answering yes to those questions. YIKES!

Michigan State is the team to beat this year. Now that we won the Rose Bowl last year, can we match up to the hype this year? Season starts Friday night.

OK, I know the bacon craze is alive and well, but does America really need this???

IMG_1192

Here is a startling statistic for you. In the U.S., there are more than 1.3 million licensed hair and nail professionals. 92% work independently. The study put out by the PBA claims there are only 92,000 or so salons that employ full time employees (more than one). Average hours worked is less than 30 per week.

OPI is launching its new7-10 day nail lacquer later this year and THE INDUSTRY SOURCE will be pioneers in launching the line. Stay tuned as this is OPI’s first innovation since they were acquired by Coty and it promises to be a huge launch. Unlike CND’s Vinylux, this system requires both a special base and top coat. 30 shades at launch. Stay tuned!

How can I not share this with you: Inside the original Nordstrom’s we came across this display:

Yep, the famous shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, came out with his signature red in a nail polish (far right). Price: $50. Demand was so high and it sold out so fast that the company fast tracked the collection and added another 30 shades that launches this week.

Or if you prefer you can pick up a pair of these instead for only $1095.

Happy Wednesday!


CND Shellac Summer Splash Collection