Despite Receding Ecomony, Makeup in Brazil to Grow

Posted: October 23, 2014

The Brazilian beauty market is growing rapidly despite Brazil’s receding economy. The new "Consumer Trends Analysis: Understanding Consumer Trends and Drivers of Behavior in the Brazilian Make-up Market" report by Canadean finds that the desire to look beautiful among young Brazilian women is stronger than the recession.

According to the report, the value of the makeup market in Brazil will increase from R$7.1 billion in 2013 to R$13.4 billion by the end of 2018, despite the downward spiral of the rest of the Brazilian economy, which has been registering negative economic growth in three of the last four quarters. This shows that the Brazilian makeup market is booming, even in times of low consumer confidence and in poorer areas of the country.

The Desire to be Beautiful

According to Canadean data, the desire to look beautiful is a strong driver behind the growth in the Brazilian makeup market, motivating 21.4% of makeup consumption. Canadean also finds that the average consumer of beauty products in Brazil is young and female; Brazilian women applied a makeup product 24 billion times in 2013, accounting for 85% of all makeup applications. Moreover, women aged between 16 and 34 carry out 40% of makeup applications.

“Young women seek a professional image in the workplace, and are more willing to experiment for special occasions," says Kirsty Nolan, analyst at Canadean. "They are also more likely to follow the fashion, regularly changing their makeup look to keep up with the latest trends.”

Key for Success: Direct Sales and Private Label

Selling products directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location is very popular in the Brazilian makeup market. Direct sales provide an enjoyable experience for consumers, as they can take a little time out to browse the catalog and build a good relationship with their local sales representative.

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A Climate Mitigating Energy Strategy

An interesting article I read on sourcing GREEN energy from the sea

natural gas bridge and climate mitigation

Belaboring the obvious, Haewon McJeon, an economist with the U.S. energy department and lead author of a new report in the journal Nature, Climate change: A crack in the natural-gas bridge (behind a pay wall) says in a Scientific American article,   "The climate change problem requires a climate change solution.”

The article points to the fact that abundant natural gas is not that solution because as well as coal it replaces renewables and nuclear energy and its low cost means more of this carbon dioxide emitting fuel will be used.

It seems to me the missing takeaway from this piece is climate change is essentially a zero sum game. Global budgets for energy and mitigation of the damage they do are finite.

Money invested in ineffective energy transitions, adaptations to one meter of sea level rise when as much as twenty meters may be built in or feel good exercises like the People’s Climate March are little more than money down the drain and takeaway from real solutions that would remedy the damage that has been done, remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, avoid adding more carbon to the system and produce at least as much energy as is currently derived from fossil fuels.

It beggars belief that 10 billion people on this planet could require less energy than is currently being produced. It will take time however to replace what we have so the first requirement has to be to try to remedy the damage that has been done by buring fossil fuels as we transition away from them.

Nature has afforded two analogies for how this can be accomplished.

First sea levels declined in 2010-11 because more precipitation fell and was retained on land than evaporated from the ocean's surface. As pointed out here and here we can amplify this benefit by damming up water in regions expected to receive more precipitation due to climate change and moving some of the excess to drying regions; producing hydro power in the transition.

Second atmospheric temperature measurements have remained relatively constant this century even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased because of increased heat uptake by the oceans. As has been noted in this forum on many occasions this outcome can be replicated with heat pipes that overcome the natural tendency for heat to remain near the ocean’s surface.

Movement of surface ocean heat to deep water is an opportunity to produce at least as much energy as is currently derived from fossil fuels while avoiding the worst consequences of climate change.

To get this offshore generated energy to market electricity has to be converted to an energy carrier like hydrogen and in this regard the electrolysis process developed by the Lawrence Livermore team lead by Greg Rau not only takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and ocean, it neutralizes the acidification of the seas that is currently threatening marine life.

Every watt of power produced by this method is a step down the road to climate recovery and avoids exacerbating the problem.

As the benefits of this solution begin to be realized more and more pressure will be brought to bear for an accelerated movement away from fossil fuels.     

A hedge is an investment intended to offset potential losses/gains that may be incurred by a companion investment.

Trillions have been invested in fossil fuels and increasingly the sanity of these bets is being called into question. The rational approach would be to hedge the climate and economic consequences of these fossil fuel positions.

Failure to hedge these bets could well lead to economic as well as environmental collapse in the near future.

"The climate change problem requires a climate change solution.”

It's just sound economics.

Photo Credit: Climate Change Mitigation and Natural Gas/shutterstock website

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Patented Subductive Waste Disposal Method claimed by some the state-of-the-art and most viable solution to the problem of nuclear waste, NZ 232248 90/01/25, US 5,022,788, 91/06/11 and Canada 2,005,376-3, 89/12/13.

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Cheaper silicon means cheaper solar cells

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have pioneered a new approach to manufacturing solar cells that requires less silicon and can accommodate silicon with more impurities than is currently the standard. Those changes mean that solar cells can be made much more cheaply than at present.

A new method of producing solar cells could reduce the amount of silicon per unit area by 90 per cent compared to the current standard. With the high prices of pure silicon, this will help cut the cost of solar power.?

“We’re using less expensive raw materials in smaller amounts, we have production fewer steps and have potentially lower total energy consumption,” PhD candidate Fredrik Martinsen and Professor Ursula Gibson of the Department of Physics at NTNU explain.

They recently published their technique in Scientific Reports.

Their processing technique allows them to make solar cells from silicon that is 1000 times less pure, and thus less expensive, than the current industry standard.

Glass fibres with a silicon core

The researchers’ solar cells are composed of silicon fibres coated in glass. A silicon core is inserted into a glass tube about 30 mm in diameter. This is then heated up so that the silicon melts and the glass softens. The tube is stretched out into a thin glass fibre filled with silicon. The process of heating and stretching makes the fibre up to 100 times thinner.

This is the widely accepted industrial method used to produce fibre optic cables. But researchers at the Department of Physics at NTNU, working with collaborators at Clemson University in the USA, are the first to use silicon-core fibres made this way in solar cells. The active part of these solar cells is the silicon core, which has a diameter of about 100 micrometres.

Lower energy consumption

This production method also enabled them to solve another problem: traditional solar cells require very pure silicon. The process of manufacturing pure silicon wafers is laborious, energy intensive and expensive. “We can use relatively dirty silicon, and the purification occurs naturally as part of the process of melting and re-solidifying in fibre form”, says Gibson. “This means that you save energy, and several steps in production.”

It is estimated to take roughly one-third of the energy to produce solar cells with this method compared to the traditional approach of producing silicon wafers.

Gibson has worked for several years to combine purification and solar cell production. She got the idea for the project after reading an article on silicon core fibres by John Ballato at Clemson University in South Carolina, who is at the forefront of research in fibre optics materials development.

“I saw that the method he described could also be used for solar cells,” she said, “and we developed a key technique at NTNU that improved the fibre quality.” Gibson and her research group began to work with Ballato, who is a co-author of the article published in Scientific Reports.

Silicon rods

The new type of solar cells are based on the vertical rod radial-junction design, which is a relatively new approach. The design uses less pure silicon that a planar cell, Martinsen explains, and then launches into a crash-course on the inner workings of a solar cell: photons of different wavelengths are absorbed in different layers of the silicon wafer. They generate free charges, or charge carriers, which are then separated to provide electrical energy.

These charges need to be close to the electrodes and close to the p-n junction to be captured. The p-n junction is the active region in the device - where different types of charge carriers are separated. If the charge is not captured, the energy dissipates and goes to heating up the solar cell itself.

In a traditional solar cell, the journey from where a charge is generated to the surface can be quite long. This means that highly purified silicon is required. But with silicon fibres, there is a junction all the way around the fibre. The distance from where the charge is generated to where it is captured is quite short. Charge carriers can be captured effectively, even when using impure silicon.?

“The vertical rod design still isn’t common in commercial use. Currently, silicon rods are produced using advanced and expensive nano-techniques that are difficult to scale,” Martinsen says. “But we’re using a tried and true industrial bulk processes, which can make production a lot cheaper.”


The power produced by prototype cells is not yet up to commercial standards. Contemporary solar cells have an efficiency of about 18 per cent. The prototype created by NTNU researchers has only reached about 3.6 per cent. Gibson and Martinsen still have faith in the potential of this production method, and are working to improve the design and fabrication processes.

“These are the first solar cells produced this way, using impure silicon. So it isn’t surprising that the power output isn’t very high,” says Martinsen. “It’s a little unfair to compare our method to conventional solar cells, which have had 40 years to fine-tune the entire production process. We’ve had a steep learning curve, but not all the steps of our process are fully developed yet. We’re the first people to show that you can make solar cells this way. The results are published, and the process is set in motion.”

The next step is to refine production, make larger and more effective solar cells, and couple multiple cells together.

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Garnet Ceramics for Lithium Batteries

Garnet Ceramics for Lithium Batteries

Garnet Ceramics may be the future for lithium batteries (high-energy ).
Scientists have found some exceptional properties in garnet, which could enable development of higher-energy battery designs.

The team led by ORNL used scanning transmission electron microscopy to look at the interactions in a cubic garnet material called LLZO, at an atomic-level . The material was found to be highly stable in a range of aqueous environments, thus making it a promising component in new battery configurations.
Researchers seek to improve a battery's energy density by using a pure lithium anode (this metal offers the highest known theoretical capacity) in an aqueous electrolyte with the ability to speedily transport lithium.

ORNL scientists tend to believe that the LLZO would be an ideal separator material. Many new generation batteries use these two features [lithium anode in aqueous electrolyte], but integrating both into a single battery, poses a problem, because the water is very reactive with lithium metal. The reaction is very violent, which is why you need a protective layer around the lithium.
Battery designers can either use a solid electrolyte separator to shield the lithium, but options are limited. LAPT or LISICON, which are often used as separators of choice, tend to break down under normal battery operating conditions.
"Researchers have endlessly searched for a suitable solid electrolyte separator material for years. The requirements for this separator material are very strict. It has to be compatible with the lithium anode, due to its (lithium’s) reactivity, as well as be stable over a wide pH range. Lithium batteries are known to have an alkaline environment.
The researchers used a technique called atomic resolution imaging to monitor structural changes in LLZO when immersed in a range of aqueous solutions. It was observed that the compound remained structurally stable over long periods in a wide range of pH (across neutral and extremely alkaline environments).
"This solid electrolyte separator remains stable even for a pH value higher than 14," Ma said. "It gives battery designers more options for the selection of aqueous solutions and the catholyte." Catholyte is the portion of the electrolyte close to the cathode.
In lithium-air batteries, researchers have tried to avoid the degradation of the separator by diluting the aqueous solutions, thereby rendering the batteries heavier and bulkier.

With LLZO solid electrolyte separator, dilution of the aqueous electrolyte is not required, thus increases the battery's energy density.
Higher-energy batteries are in demand for electrified transportation and electric grid energy storage applications. This has lead researchers to explore battery designs beyond the limits of lithium-ion technologies.
The researchers intend to continue their research by evaluating the LLZO garnet's performance in an operating battery. Coauthors are ORNL's Chengdu Liang, Karren More, Ezhiylmurugan Rangasamy, and Michigan State University's Jeffrey Sakamoto. The study is published as "Excellent Stability of a Li-Ion-Conducting Solid Electrolyte upon Reversible Li+/H+ Exchange in Aqueous Solutions."
This research was conducted in part at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The research was supported by DOE's Office of Science.
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The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference:
Cheng Ma, Ezhiylmurugan Rangasamy, Chengdu Liang, Jeffrey Sakamoto, Karren L. More, Miaofang Chi. Excellent Stability of a Lithium-Ion-Conducting Solid Electrolyte upon Reversible Li /H Exchange in Aqueous Solutions. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201408124

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Tags: batteries, deep cycle, garnet ceramics, lithium

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Inter Parfums Reports 6% Increase For Q3 2014

Posted: October 23, 2014

Inter Parfums, Inc. announced that for the three months ended September 30, 2014, net sales of the company’s ongoing brands (excluding Burberry brand sales) increased 6.0% to $134.2 million, as compared to $126.6 million for the corresponding period of the prior year.

Discussing European-based operations Jean Madar, chairman and CEO of Inter Parfums noted, “Once again, new fragrance introductions helped drive sales of our three largest brands. Jimmy Choo sales rose 23% due in part to the successful launch of Jimmy Choo Man and the continued popularity of the brand’s signature scent. Montblanc brand sales were up 10% with the spring launch of the new men’s line, Emblem, along with steady gains from the brand’s Legend fragrances. The introduction of our first Karl Lagerfeld fragrances for men and women over the summer also contributed to top line growth, adding $3.7 million in incremental third quarter sales.

“Our U.S.-based operations performed well during the third quarter, posting a 7% increase in sales. Agent Provocateur was a contributor to this growth, with the spring launches of Fatale and Fatale Pink in international markets followed by an exclusive U.S. launch at Saks Fifth Avenue. Alfred Dunhill brand sales also improved on sales of its legacy fragrances along with Desire Black, which launched in the spring. Additionally, the incremental contribution of Oscar de la Renta fragrances helped to lift sales in the third quarter.”

Russell Greenberg, executive vice president and CFO stated, “Based upon our year-to-date performance, our expectations for the fourth quarter, and despite the recent strength of the U.S. dollar versus the Euro, we are reaffirming our 2014 guidance of $495 million in sales which represents nearly 15% growth of our ongoing brands."

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Basics of a Solar Generator

Basics of a Solar Generator

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Will Improved Energy Efficiency Lead to Increased Energy Consumption in the Developing World? Quite Possibly

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Photo Voltaic Electricity from the Sun

Photo Voltaic Electricity from the Sun

In this article we shall dwell upon the mechanism of  Producing Photo Voltaic Electricity from the light of the Sun. 
Photovoltaic principles are used to produce electricity. A solar panel (PV panel) is made of silicon, which becomes charged when subjected to sunlight. The electrical charge is consolidated in the PV panel and directed to the output terminals as Direct Current.

Photo-Voltaics essentially means Volts produced by photons. The panels are made out of silicon wafers, which let out (release) electrons when impinged upon by photons ( light). This is a rare property of some semi-conductors.

The intensity of Solar radiation changes during the course of the day, year and weather conditions. To facilitate calculations in planning a system, the total amount of solar radiation energy is expressed as Peak Sun Hours. United States Department of Energy indicates the amount of solar energy that hits the surface of the earth every +/- hour is greater than the total amount of energy that the entire human population requires in a year.

We had discussed the components of a solar generator in one of our earlier posts.

Solar Panels: The output of a solar panel is usually stated in watts (V x A = W)
Since the intensity of sunlight contacting the solar panel varies throughout the day, we use the term "peak sun hours" as a method to average out variations into a daily average.

Battery: Deep Cycle batteries are preferably used in Solar Generators for back-up. Lead-acid batteries are the most common in PV systems because their initial cost is low. Lead-acid batteries are available in both wet-cell (requires maintenance) and sealed no-maintenance versions.

Using an Inverter: An inverter is a device which changes DC power stored in a battery to standard
120/240 VAC electricity (also referred to as 110/220). In an inverter, direct current (DC) is switched back and forth to produce alternating current (AC). Then it is transformed, filtered, stepped, etc. to get it to an acceptable output waveform. The more processing, the cleaner and quieter the output, but the lower the efficiency of the conversion. The goal becomes to produce a waveform that is acceptable to all loads without sacrificing too much power into the conversion process.
Inverters come in two basic output designs - sine wave and modified sine wave.

Efficiency Losses:
In all systems there are losses due to such things as voltage losses as the electricity is carried across the wires, batteries and inverters not being 100 percent efficient, and other factors. These efficiency losses vary from component to component, and from system to system and can be as high as 25 percent.

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L’Oréal USA Signs Agreement To Acquire Carol’s Daughter

Posted: October 20, 2014

L’Oréal USA announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Carol's Daughter. Following a multi-channel distribution model, Carol's Daughter offers a comprehensive range of products that are available at specialty beauty stores, mass retailers, on HSN, through e-commerce and at Carol's Daughter branded stores in New York City. For the 12 months ending September 30, 2014, Carol's Daughter had net sales of $27 million.

"Carol's Daughter possesses an expertise in the multi-cultural consumer segment, a rapidly expanding market that represents an important growth opportunity in the beauty industry," said Frederic Roze, president and CEO, L’Oréal USA. "This acquisition will enable L’Oréal USA to build a new dedicated multi-cultural beauty division as part of our consumer products business and strengthen the company's position in this dynamic market."

Carol's Daughter will continue to operate out of its New York City headquarters under the brand's current leadership team. The acquisition, according to the company, further enhances L’Oréal USA's roster of American brands, which includes Maybelline NY, Kiehl's, Essie, Urban Decay, Clarisonic and NYX.

"I have worked hard for the past 21 years nurturing my brand and am thrilled that we will have a new home with L’Oréal USA," said Lisa Price, founder and president of Carol's Daughter. "L’Oréal has a proven track record of helping established companies achieve their full potential while staying true to the core of the brand and they have an understanding of the future of multi-cultural beauty. I could not be more proud to begin this next chapter of the Carol's Daughter brand with them. I know that my mother (Carol) is smiling as well."

Headquartered in New York City, Carol's Daughter is an American multi-cultural beauty brand with a pioneering heritage in the natural beauty movement. Created by in 1993, the brand caters to a diverse, rapidly growing market and has established a loyal consumer following across the country.

Related Topics: Acquisitions (Marketers)

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Promising Ethnic Beauty Market Gives Way to Intensified Competition

Posted: October 17, 2014

The multicultural beauty products market continues to outpace the growth of the overall market for cosmetics and toiletries, posting a 3.7% increase in 2014, reports Kline Company in its soon-to-be-published Multicultural Beauty and Grooming Products: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities.

Rapidly growing ethnic populations have given way to intensified competition, with multicultural beauty marketers breaking boundaries between general and multicultural beauty. According to Kline, on one end, there are brands such as Carol’s Daughter that are positioning away from being an exclusive ethnic brand to now also target a broader audience, regardless of ethnicity. This holds particularly true in the natural personal care segment, where popular ethnic hair brand Shea Moisture, as an example, is now rebranding to become suitable for all consumers.

“This widening approach helps move multicultural brands beyond the ethnic section of the beauty aisle to sit side-by-side nationally advertised brands,” says Donna Barson, senior associate at Kline’s Consumer Products practice. “However, this audience expansion needs to be done without alienating long-time consumers who might feel deserted if they feel like their brand no longer speaks exclusively to them.”

Concurrently, mainstream brands continue to develop tactics to capture a growing percentage of the ethnic personal care market. While mainstream brands like Revlon, Lancôme and Cover Girl have long reached ethnic consumers via the creative use of spokesmodels and targeted advertising, the approach for many brands has become even more savvy and genuine. Some brands, including Estée Lauder and Shiseido, use beauty advisors who speak the language of the local ethnic community (whether it is Mandarin, Vietnamese or Spanish, as examples) to create a greater connection with these consumers. Some also launch products targeting certain ethnic groups in the United States that are simultaneously released in that group’s country of origin.

Beyond the movement of mainstream companies into the multicultural space opening possibilities of more MA in the coming years, it will also be beneficial for consumers as they will be provided with a wider array of products targeting their needs. Smaller multicultural companies will also need to innovate in order to gain sales and create a niche for themselves or position themselves for a potential acquisition. In addition, the competition coming from the general market is also blurring the lines and challenging multicultural marketers.

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