четверг, 19 июня 2008 г.

BE AN OUTRAGEOUS OLDER MAN Action Guide For Men 50 & Beyond

Bard Lindeman, a prize-winning syndicated columnist and author presents an outrageously good read to help the male species learn about aging. His column, In Your Prime, has been published for 17 years and currently appears in 40 ,newspapers nationwide. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience on the subject of aging through his years as a newspaper journalist, magazine editor and author. Defining outrageous as "a code word for the independent, free-thinking, strong-willed mature adult" Lindeman divides his prose into six categories: get outrageous; the outrageous mind; the outrageous body; outrageous actions; outrageous relationships and your outrageous spirit.

This book is about caring and sharing. Lindeman cares about aging; it has been a major focus throughout his career. He shares his experiences and the experiences of others. The combined stories are full of wisdom and suggestions for what has worked and what can be used as a guide for readers interested in being the best that they can be in life's journey. Although the title suggests it is only for men, anyone who enjoys good writing will find Be an Outrageous Older Man fun to read. He loves what he does and it shows.

Irresistible Recipes For An Animal-Free Diet

The authors are longtime friends, having backgrounds in baking and catering, and self-described "lazy vegetarians" whose love of animals inspired them to "go vegan." They present 13 chapters full of vegan recipes organized by category of milks and beverages, soups and stews, side dishes, entrees, breads and muffins, desserts, odds and ends and kids stuff. The last chapter, "Vegan House and Home" covers household cleaners, pet products and has recipes to use to avoid materials containing animal products.

How it all Vegan! is a great book for vegans, helpful for vegetarians thinking about it and informative for the rest who are open minded. NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL earth's secrets and recipes for skin, body and spirit

Dawn Gallagher, text by Melanie Menagh Universe Publishing New York, NY $29.95/hardcover 192 pages

Drawing from her studies in anthropology and her travels around the world, fashion model Dawn Gallagher presents an organic, multicultural approach to beauty care in this colorful, informative book. Natural Beauty is filled with organic beauty recipes using such basic ingredients as avocado and banana as well as easy-to-perform relaxation rituals designed to nurture a healthier, happier lifestyle.

She presents the treatments that women of different cultures have sworn by since ancient times. With step-by-step instructions and photographs, Gallagher demonstrates how easy the treatments are to prepare and apply at home.

For the spirit, Gallagher shares her knowledge of Eastern relaxation exercises, meditation and yoga.

A Woman's World

Dancing, manicures and facials, oh my!

Every year since 1993, for one day, Cleveland Community College transforms into a fantasy for all things feminine. On Saturday, Woman's World was held once again, providing attendees with information on health, beauty and finance.

"It is a one-stop shop for women in our community to come find out how to take better care of themselves," said Spirit of Women Coordinator Paula Vess.

Groups of women lined the exhibit walkways waiting for their chance to receive a health screening or manicure. Others favored free samples from food vendors. Some took the opportunity to register to vote or participate in free events such as shag dancing.

"Exercise doesn't have to be boring or hard," Vess said of the various dancing events available during the day. "It can be fun."

Other events included an "Exercising with Baby" seminar and a speech by Kathryn Hamrick, former "Farmer's Wife" columnist.

Hamrick focused on heart disease -- something she's battled for years -- during her speech in the crowded community college auditorium.

"We need to learn to listen to what our body is telling us about heart disease," she said to avid listeners. "Some of us have risk factors that you can do something about and you're not aware of it, or you're not admitting it. And one day you'll be up here making a talk like this, and you didn't have to be up here."

Back in the main show room, attendees could receive facials from the Esthetics Department at CCC. Vicky Jones, a volunteer representing Cleveland Regional Medical Center, took the chance to try it.

"I enjoyed it very much," she said just a few minutes after the facial. "I would've liked to had it longer."

Health, beauty products to help you recover from party season

You may party as if there is no tomorrow, but tomorrow always comes _ along with puffy eyes, dark circles and other signs of late-night revelry. Here is a sampling of products designed to brighten your eyes, invigorate your skin and help banish the after-party blues.

_ Apivita Party Recovery Kit ($16 at apivita.us): Included are cleansing tissues with chamomile, apricot face scrub, eye mask with ginkgo biloba, face mask with orange, and a stimulating mask for legs and feet.

_ Wei East Chestnut Natural Face Lift ($38 at weieast.com): Sagging dull skin is toned and lifted in 10 minutes, thanks to the healing properties of green tea, Chinese chestnut and wild honey.

_ Philosophy Dark Shadows ($33 at Sephora stores, philosophy.com): Silicone-based brightening balm reduces the appearance of bags and puffiness.

_ SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque ($45 at skinceuticals.com): Hydrating masque plumps the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and droopy skin. Keep it in the refrigerator for a refreshing boost when applying.

_ Tracie Martyn LotuSculpt Eye Pads and Activator ($45 and $55 at traciemartyn.com): Fine lines and dark circles appear less obvious as eye pads moisturize and soothe.

_ timeBalm Concealer ($16 at Sephora stores and sephora.com): Beeswax-based concealer helps cover wrinkles and dark circles.

Health, beauty products doing well abroad

Despite the country's economic trouble, baht appreciation and rising oil prices, Thailand's health and beauty industry remains in good shape, with exports expected to fetch not less than US$2.6 billion at the end of this year.

According to Siripol Yodmuangcharoen, the permanent secretary of the Commerce Ministry, the healthy and beauty business was expected to grow to at least $2.6 billion this year from $2.467 billion in 2006, boosted by strong demand and quality Thai products.

During the first nine months of this year, Thailand shipped health and beauty products worth of $1.614 billion. The major contributors were cosmetics, soap and skin-care products, which generated $1.186 billion, a rise of 65 percent over the same period last year.

Medical products also recorded strong growth of 24 percent, with shipments worth of $164 million and medical equipment generating $274 million, up 19.9 percent.

The exports excluded medical, hospital and spa services.

According to Mr Siripol, Thailand's medical and hospital services are expected to draw 1.54 million foreign patients this year and 1.69 million in 2008, compared with 1.4 million in 2006. The industry is forecast to generate 36 billion baht this year.

Last year, more than 3.6 million visitors received spa treatments in Thailand, 80 percent of whom are foreigners, generating income of more than $115 million .

Encouraged by the growth prospects, Benjawan Ratanaprayul, deputy director-general of the Export Promotion Department, said the department was studying a new export strategy to focus on the health and beauty industry and encourage more Thai spa operators to go overseas, particularly in target markets such as Japan, Europe and the United States.

Kulnuj Kusolvitya, managing director of Abajour Co (Ramburi spa products), said that despite the high demand abroad for spa products, competition was more intense as well.

She said the company had therefore shifted its strategy to sell more services such as consulting, training , and product and accessories development.

The company exports spa products to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, France, Italy, the UK and the US.

Wireless tracking system would monitor when patients take meds

Grandpa off his meds again? A new business partnership may be able to help.

Confidant Inc. of Durham has partnered with packaging company MeadWestvaco to a develop a wireless tracking system that can monitor when patients take their medications.

The partnership, which will target drug and health-care companies, hopes to start selling next year.

Confidant, an 11-employee business founded in 2003, develops mobile-phone-based communication systems that record and transmit patient data for hospitals and other health-care providers.

"If we can also capture information about patients' prescription adherence, we'll have an even fuller set of data for health-care providers to deliver quality care," said Thomas E. Wall, vice president of business development and marketing.

Patients who deviate from their medication treatment programs risk complications and cost the health-care system about $177 billion a year, according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education. The new tracking product under development could save much of that money, Wall said.

As part of the strategic partnership, Confidant will develop wireless communications to link patients and caregivers.

MeadWestvaco Health & Beauty Packaging will craft electronically equipped packages for drugs and medical-devices that transmit data within those systems.

Care providers, for example, will be able to monitor the blood-sugar level and insulin intake of a diabetes patient, Wall said. Unlike traditional pill bottles, packages would have to be designed with the capability to count off specific units of drugs as they are dispensed.

The system begins with a mobile phone that is programmed to capture data from home medical devices or prescription drug packages. It uses Bluetooth short-range wireless technology to transfer the data. The phone then automatically transmits the information to a server where it is cross-checked with patients' medical histories and treatment programs.

"This is an opportunity to reach out to new audiences and improve the lives of patients relying on medication to take control of their health," Wall said. He said the system would also work as a behavior modifier, detecting when patients lapse on their prescribed regimens and issuing reminders.

Wall said that apart from packaging know-how, MeadWestvaco, based in Glen Allen, Va., has relationships with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals needed to market and sell the system.

"We're now trying to define how exactly the product will be used and what investment level is needed," he said.

There will be a children's area.

Turning Pennies into dollars

Nexia's Black Chandelier Launches Friends & Family Promotion

Nexia Holdings, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: NEXA), a diversified holding company, announced the launch of its new online Friends & Family grassroots marketing campaign for its Black Chandelier retail clothing division. This campaign is based around empowering one of its most important consumers to help ensure a healthy and prosperous business, Nexia's shareholders and employees.

Richard Surber, CEO of Nexia, said, 'We have had a tremendous response from our investors who have expressed a great interest in our products, and so we listened and developed an innovative campaign to answer their requests. We will be issuing a promotion code to investors to send out to their friends and families so they are empowered to directly affect the bottom line of our business in which they believe in.'

The promotion code is a 15% discount offered only to friends and family members of Nexia Holdings and its subsidiary Black Chandelier. The code will be sent out via email and investors will also be receiving the promotion code to distribute to their friends and family. 'We expect sales to increase from everyone's efforts,' said Mr. Surber. To learn more about this promotion, please go to www.nexiaholdings.com or request your code by emailing Mr. Surber directly at Richardsurber@nexiaholdings.com.

Andy Montana, Business and Branding Director of Black Chandelier, said, 'I expect the sales of www.blackchandelier.com to exceed some of our brick and mortar retail locations in a short period of time. I have paid close attention to similar campaigns and formatted this promotion similar to DirectTV, whose large marketing campaign is based around a referral program. All in all, our investors have told us how much they love the Black Chandelier clothing line and they want to see us succeed. This campaign is a way for them to make a significant return on their investment.'

Black Chandelier will be launching the campaign throughout the week of June 4, 2007. It will run for 30 days and will only be available by being a friend or family member of a stockholder or Nexia Holding's family of employees. This unique promotion is expected to significantly increase revenue. Nexia Holdings values each shareholder and would like them to know that their opinion and feedback is valuable and well respected..

Women's Expo offered health, beauty tips for women

Small business owner Gennifer Brinker so enjoyed last year's Women's Expo that she decided to attend it again this year.

"It's great to be able to come to one place where you have so many vendors offering all sorts of information," said Brinker, a massage therapist. "It's also nice that it's geared toward women."

In addition to being informative, Brinker said, she felt the expo was also a way to do some networking.

Once again, Yuma Regional Medical Center and the Yuma chapter of the American Business Women's Association teamed up for the fourth annual Women's Expo held Saturday at Yuma Civic Center.

"We do this because we want to celebrate women in our community and the important role they play in it," said Mary Jane Cambers, membership chair for the Yuma chapter of the American Business Women's Association. "There are a lot of women-related interests being represented here."

Billed as a day of pampering, professional enrichment and fun, the event offered more then 80 exhibit booths from local businesses, including a Spa and Beauty Lounge that featured live makeovers.

"It's also a place to come and pamper yourself, which is one of the reasons we are doing it before Mother's Day," Chambers said.

In addition to how-to demonstrations, there were massages, speakers and free health screenings throughout the day.

Other events were a Chat-and-Cook demonstration with techniques on healthy cooking and a box-lunch seminar that gave advice on how a woman can start a fitness program with her girlfriends.

The expo ended with a Wear Red For Women Fashion Show for heart health.

"In between each outfit, we give out heart health tips," said YRMC spokeswoman Machelle Headington. "The seven warning signs of heart disease for women are different than for men."

Event organizers estimated that this year's expo drew about 2,500 people

SPA OF THE STARS

A GLAMOROUS RETREAT ON THE SHORES OF LAKE GENEVA PROVIDES A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WITH SOME SERIOUS PAMPERING . . .

The French have an expression: 'Reculer pour mieux sauter.' It roughly translates as: 'Take a step back so you can make a better leap forward.' This would be an apt motto for Evian's Hotel Royal, set in the town where the world-famous mineral water has its source. Here, the prevailing ethos is that rest, relaxation and a programme of re-energising through careful nutrition and massage are the keys to health, beauty and personal improvement.

Unsurprisingly, the hotel, which was a big hit with the eight premiers who slept happily beneath its baroque ceilings during the 2003 G8 summit, has now become an established destination for mothers and teenage daughters on bonding missions.

I went with my 18-year-old daughter, Freya, and we discovered that the hotel, where lounging about is seen to equate with good behaviour, emanates such an atmosphere of luxurious calm that it is the perfect location for intimate conversations.

Now that having a child in your 30s is the norm, many mothers are coming to the end of their attract by date just as their daughters are flowering into young, womanly loveliness. But this is the perfect time to go on a spa break together.

While daughter is being advised on exercise, nutrition and the de-beautifying effects of nicotine -- which, coming from someone other than her parent, is all the more effective -- mother can quietly go about attempting to halt the disintegration evidenced by crepe neck and inquiring whether she ought to go on plant-based HRT.

The spa occupies one wing of the hotel and you are encouraged to go there in your white towelling dressing gown and slippers.

My daughter had received the Abhyanga massage, which involved 'pressure, stroking, friction and vibration', and her feedback was all positive. At an average 75 minutes long, each Oriental massage leaves you so relaxed that you are reluctant to return directly to your room or poolside lounger.

Instead, you need only take a few steps into the spa's Aga Khan room, where you can lie down, enveloped in a white linen duvet, to 'recover from the recovery'. It recreates the reassuring sense of being in the nursery under the care of a nanny.

For the older client, the spa's director, Dr Evelyne Reyt, offers a blood analysis to determine your speed of ageing and which mineral supplements would be appropriate for you. I also received an astonishing seaweed firming mask, which saw off my crepe neck for a good three days.

It was a handsome waiter in morning dress who recommended a reflexology session with Eliane. He had tried it himself and confided: 'She's something special and I cry for two or three hours afterwards. I don't know why. She just relieves me.'

Sounded good, and so I did some research and discovered that Eliane Charles Portier, an expert on shamanistic medicine as well as reflexology, has healing skills which are recognised by clients who return to her again and again from around the globe. I had to try her out.

The results were certainly interesting. I was dumbfounded when, after a brief study of my feet, she diagnosed an emotional issue lurking just beneath the surface of my consciousness, and even gave a date for its onset. She then, somehow, exorcised it. 'Go on -- it's good to cry,' she urged.

Freya, on the other hand, was clinically exhausted, she said, and needed much more rest than she was getting. After our treatments, we went into a profound sleep, swaddled in the recovery beds of the Aga Khan room.

Regarding fatigue, I was already extremely pleased that I had not scored an own goal by taking an exhausting long-haul flight somewhere exotic for my period of R&R. British Airways flies to Geneva at convenient times in just 75 minutes from both Gatwick and Heathrow -- and from there, the Royal is a 45-minute drive away. It's practically on the doorstep.

There are other advantages, too. As my daughter's role model, I have only myself to blame if her behaviour is unladylike. But levels of elegance and sophistication at the Royal, which is surrounded by a 45-acre park between the Alps and Lake Geneva, are so civilising that the hotel could almost double as a finishing school.

Door banging and boisterousness became a thing of the past in this ordered and genteel environment. 'Go on, Mummy,' Freya would say, holding the doors open for me.

Indeed, as we dined in the Cafe Royal, the grandest of the hotel's restaurants, where the vaulted ceilings were hand-painted by Gustave Jaulnes in 1909, we were surrounded by chic Euro-Sloanes with perfect manners.

And it rubbed off on Freya. I noticed her resisting the temptation to chase the waiter into the kitchen when he failed to bring the dreaded ketchup, and sitting up straight and eating with her mouth shut of her own accord. It was a mini-miracle.

There were ample opportunities to bond with the Euro-Sloanes, both in the hotel's billiard room and on the ski slopes, which were only 15 minutes away. A day's skiing, complete with equipment and passes, can be easily arranged for a small supplement -- in summer, guided mountain walks on these wild flower-strewn slopes are offered instead. I also made sure that Freya brushed up on her foreign languages by telling staff that they should serve her what she wanted only if she asked for it in French.

Kylie Minogue comes here from time to time -- the staff described her as 'really kind and sweet' -- but most guests are chic French and Swiss haute bourgeois, English gentlemen and the odd, slightly edgy-looking, twentysomething Russian billionaire.

Forty per cent are families -- there are unlimited things for children to do and those above two can be billeted into a supervised children's camp or teenage Fun Club, leaving the parents free to loll on poolside loungers, in the Turkish bath, the sauna or in a curiously reinvigorating dark room with a sparkling ceiling of tiny lights.

And joy of joys -- dogs are welcome, not in the public rooms, of course, but you can see them trotting through the lobby en route to their masters' quarters.

A door from the spa leads directly into the Jardin de Lys restaurant, and you can go there in your towelling robe. We ate lunch there every day.

Most teenagers, like their parents, want to eat as much food as possible without becoming 'gross', and to this end, hotel chef Michel Lenz has spent years devising dishes of visual beauty and seemingly substantial appearance, but with only a relative handful of calories.

Six or seven courses will arrive at your table, each served on the finest gold-edged porcelain.

You will be eating for ages and it is almost impossible to believe that crevettes on rocket, followed by sorrel soup, followed by risotto, followed by sea bass, followed by cheese, followed by passion fruit, could possibly be less than 400 calories -- yet the quantities and display have been carefully devised to amount to no more.

Obviously, it is up to you whether you wave away the bread basket and the excellent wine, but you will not need them. These are the lightest of menus, designed to promote optimum digestion with potent nutrients and vitamins, and seasoned with plants that stimulate and invigorate your Qi (energy).

Even without the spa and the synergetic cuisine, you could not help but feel better just by visiting Evian. Not only does the water, best drunk at room temperature, have its source here, but the small town stands 500m above sea level -- apparently, the optimum altitude for fresh air.

And from your balcony, the view across Lake Geneva, whether milkpond mild or faintly choppy, also has its own therapeutic potential.

There is no need to leave the boys behind. The Russian billionaires spend time in the casino, five minutes from the hotel, where big and small amounts of money can be won and lost. There is also the Evian Masters Golf Club for those who fancy a knockabout.

Meanwhile, the little ones will have a whale of a time learning to cook, painting posters or rehearsing for plays put on for the parents.

I was urged by another guest, a rippling-torsoed French banker and one of the few I saw taking advantage of the spa's gym, not to miss the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, a 35-minute boat trip across the lake.

No sports enthusiast could fail to be thrilled by the displays of clothing of legendary athletes, such as the boxing boots of Muhammad Ali, and there's a video theatre where you can watch footage from every Olympic Games that has ever been filmed. I watched l936, with Edward VIII presiding.

But most important, our visit offered a rare opportunity for us to be quietly together without the backdrop of English voices.

It is always refreshing to have a break from your own usual domestic persona. When else does one have the chance to be with one's daughter for 24 hours a day in conditions where the only requirement asked of you is that you relax as much as possible and beautify yourself as much as possible?

With everything done for you, and not even any mess to tidy, you cannot help but be happy.

When you feel refreshed and beautified, you are in the perfect frame of mind for bonding -- and besides, it seemed that all the other teenagers there were simply too relaxed to answer back or stay up beyond ten o'clock.

As a result, everyone just cosied down into their luxurious, linen sheeted, hospital-cornered beds as the electric shutters glided noisily down.

It is a happy atmosphere and no wonder 70per cent of the staff have served for more than ten years. On my first night in the restaurant I began to ask the maitre d': 'Est-ce que c'est possible . . ?'

With a plomb, he interrupted me: 'Oui.'

• Royal Parc Evian, South Bank of Lake Geneva: 00 33 4 50 26 85 00; royalparcevian.com. Doubles start from ?203. BA flies to Geneva from ?68 return.

Women's Expo Saturday in Victorville

VICTORVILLE -- In addition to what is likely to be beautiful weather Saturday, the Women's Expo will have 60 vendors this year -- a record number.

"We're just glad it's not snowing this year, like it was last year," said Kevin Younkin, director of live events for ClearChannel Radio.

The free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, Building 2, is designed "to have women come and get pampered a little, and meet businesses in the High Desert that have products and services for women," Younkin said.

The highlight is always the fashion show, sponsored by Wal-Mart, which will be on the stage at noon.

Booths will include businesses in health, beauty, florists and chiropractors. There will be live presentations and free samples.

There will be raffle drawings all day for gift packages worth no less than $25. Each vendor is providing at least one raffle item. There will be about 100 raffle prizes, including gift certificates and gift baskets.

Stage demonstrations will feature local medical groups speaking on health and nutrition issues and a discussion of retirement planning.

Real Beauty, Real Health

From a concealer that fights blemishes to an eye cream that targets fine lines, we tested hundreds of products to find the 14 best, the healthiest ones for you. Read the rave reviews from our judges--dermatology experts Lisa Donofrio, MD, Sandy Tsao, MD, and Grace Pak, MD. Then turn to page 112 for more on why these are the year's very best.

BEST FOUNDATION

"I never imagined this white liquid could turn into a foundation," Tsao says. "But it provides excellent coverage and lasts all day."

BEST HAND PRODUCT

"You can use this as an all-over exfoliator--on your feet, elbows, even on those hard-to-treat bumps you get on your upper arms," Donofrio says.

BEST FACIAL CLEANSER

"This foamy cleanser is great if you want to pare down your skin-care routine," Pak says. "It cleanses, tones, and removes makeup all at once."

BEST CONCEALER

"Some concealers leave a mark where you apply them," Tsao says. "But this one blends perfectly, and it comes in 12 shades so you wilt easily find your match."

BEST SUNBLOCK

"You won't use a sunscreen if it's difficult or messy to apply," Pak says. "This one is quick-drying and won't drip into your eyes."

BEST MASCARA

"This clear base coat hydrates and thickens lashes," Tsao says. "Follow with a light swipe of mascara."

BEST EYE CREAM

"This product absorbs quickly," Donofrio says, "so there's no shininess around the eyes that could accentuate imperfections.

BEST SHAMPOO

"Try this once a week as a clarifying shampoo," Donofrio says. "The fruit acids help get rid of styling-product buildup."

BEST FOOT CREAM

"Apply to feet before bedtime," Pak says. "The humidity under the sheets helps skin absorb the cream."

Get glowing: Our dermatologist-approved head-to-toe skin savers will do the trick. See page 112 for more product details.

Hair Rx: Get great-looking locks with our winning products that strenghthen and protect. See page 112 for more product details.

BEST BODY LOTION

"I love the high concentration of alpha hydroxy acids--30 percent more than most body lotions," Pak says.

BEST CONDITIONER

"This is all natural: no parabens or preservatives,," Donofrio says. "And the strummer scent! I wish it could be bottled in a perfume."

BEST MOISTURIZER

"An excellent moisturizer that's best for sensitive and easily irritated skin," Pak says.

BEST STYLING PRODUCT

"YOU can't beat this product's versatility." Donofrio says. "It enhances curls and smooths flyaways."

BEST LIP CREAM

Glides on easily to help heal cracked lips," Tsao says. "You can use it alone--it's colorless--or as a base under your lipstick."

Smoking among women has yet to peak, new report warns

TOBACCO use among girls and women worldwide is rising and threatens to become a global epidemic, a report released in July by the International Network of Women Against Tobacco found.

Although men's smoking rates have peaked and are slowly declining, if current trends continue, the proportion of female smokers could jump from 12 percent to 20 percent by 2025, according to the report.

"At this point, we have no clear evidence that this will stop without concerted effort," said Lorraine Greaves, the network president and executive director of the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health. Greaves discussed the report during the July meeting of the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Washington, D.C.

The report found that tobacco use is becoming largely a problem of women who are marginalized due to factors such as social status, race, age, sexual orientation, disability and addiction. Poor women are also increasingly becoming smokers, the report found.

The report attributed the increase in female smokers primarily to marketing, through which advertisements often portray smoking as a path toward emancipation, health, beauty and slenderness, and to the increased tobacco production in developing countries. The report also faulted the growing use of tobacco product placement in the movies.

The report recommended targeting programs and policies specifically at women, including classroom education, women's support groups, door-to-door campaigns and public service announcements.

Beauty, health now drive profits at drugstore chain

Shoppers Drug Mart Corp.'s new one-stop-shopping format helped drive a 16 per cent increase in second-quarter profit with strong sales tallied right across the country, Canada's largest drugstore chain said yesterday.

Shoppers said net earnings were $80 million, or 37 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 18, compared with $69 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue increased to $1.62 billion from $1.49 billion.

"Across the board we had good growth," chief executive Glenn Murphy said during a conference call, noting that gains were made in health, beauty and convenience categories.

The results were in line with an analyst forecast of 37 cents per share on revenue of $1.61 billion, according to Thomson Financial.

Sales at stores open a year or more increased 5.2 per cent, which analyst Irene Nattel of RBC Capital Markets called "very impressive."

Prescription sales jumped 9 per cent to $764 million, accounting for nearly half of the sales mix.

Front-of-store sales, which include cosmetics and over-the-counter medications, rang up $860 million.

Reduced interest expense and a lower income tax rate also underpinned the growth in net earnings for Shoppers, which has 927 Shoppers and Pharmaprix drugstores and 51 Shoppers Home Health Care outlets.

Murphy said the retailer plans to expand by building more stores and remodelling more than one-quarter of its shops to conform with a revamped prototype that exceeds 10,000 square feet.

Those stores, which will total 270 by the end of 2005, feature expanded beauty boutiques, healthy-living centres, convenience groceries and digital photo services.

"We have about a dozen to 15 stores that have full-time and part-time nutritionists in them, something we have been experimenting with," Murphy said.

During the second quarter, 18 drugstores were opened or acquired and three closed. The company also added two home health-care stores.

Health, beauty products entrepreneur in Tulsa, Okla., has Hispanic focus

Tulsa newcomer Antonio Perez knew all about the city's flourishing Hispanic population when he relocated from Southern California with his family last year.

The Los Angeles businessman had relatives here, one of several reasons he left behind the congestion and high prices of the West Coast for a less-hectic lifestyle.

"I was looking for a nice, quiet place to live," Perez said. "I moved to Tulsa to take it easy and relax. Then I saw all this."

What he found was a community ripe for business expansion, and it didn't take long for the 20-year veteran of the wholesale industry to start building a name for himself among Tulsa's Hispanic residents.

Within months of his arrival, Perez bought a building to house the Tulsa counterpart of his Los Angeles company, Perez Distributing, which supplies Hispanic-brand health and beauty products to chain retailers such as Walgreen and Kmart.

Then last December, he purchased Las Americas, a 10,000-square-foot Hispanic market and restaurant at 2118 E. Third St. that opened two years ago.

His most recent investments are an enclosed shopping mall on the southeast corner of 21st Street and Garnett Road, and a lot with a small house next to Las Americas.

So far, Perez has made a hefty investment in the properties, including $650,000 for Las Americas and $1.7 million for the mall, located in the heart of the Hispanic business district in east Tulsa.

Bank of Oklahoma and Commercial Federal Bank are helping to finance the ventures, Perez said.

The mall, called The Executive Mall, will be renamed Plaza Las Americas. A second Las Americas market, covering about 7,000 square feet, is scheduled to open there in early 2005.

With another market, Perez will double his staff to about 50 people.

"I saw the potential this store has," he said of Las Americas.

The grocery side of the operation had been closed for almost six months when Perez bought the business. Though the previous owners were at first netting $85,000 a month in sales, "this month we'll probably do $160,000," he said.

Revenues have jumped because the market's food and general merchandise prices are now lower, there is a better mix of national and Hispanic products -- many from Mexico -- and customer service has been improved with an increased staff, Perez said.

"Based on my experience, I haven't seen anything like this."

More authentic Mexican dishes have been added at the restaurant, complementing a Tex-Mex menu that draws non-Hispanic diners all the way from downtown.

Yet Perez's interest in providing a taste of home to Spanish-speaking people is definitely on target.

Hispanics make up the largest ethnic segment in the United States, with nearly 40 million consumers and the buying power of more than $630 billion, a study by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies shows.

Mexicans make up about 58 percent of all Latinos in the United States, according to the Census Bureau, and state census statistics show even more clearly Oklahoma's demographic shift.

Hispanics make up 5.2 percent of the state's population, an increase of 108 percent since 1990. Tulsa County has experienced a 181 per cent increase in its Hispanic population in the past 13 years, the census shows.

Mexicans make up 72 percent of all Oklahoma Hispanics, and Mexicans represent 75 percent of Tulsa's Hispanic population.

People such as Perez are making Tulsa more inviting and strengthening the city's economy, said Fred Ramos, director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"That's good that we have people coming here and investing in Tulsa," he said.

July's 5 best body & mind boosters

1 GET SMART SMILE ADVICE

Wondering which tooth-beaching technique is best or why your gums bleed when you brush? On Dental Awareness Day, July 18, you can get free one-on-one advice from a dentist by calling the Smile Line, at 800-SMILE-33. The hot line is staffed from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET by dentists affiliated with the Academy of General Dentistry. The rest of the year, you can ask questions Online at agd.org: you'll get an answer emailed back to you within 24 hours. 2 DITCH THAT HANDS-FREE PHONE

Think using a hands-free phone behind the wheel is sari? Think again. In a recent study at the University of Utah, a driving-simulation test showed that drivers using a hands-free cell phone reacted more slowly to braking and caused more rear-end collisions than those not using a phone. So save routine chats for the home or office, and if the call is crucial, pull over. 3 want to be more efficient? Quit multitasking

Juggling many projects is inefficient, according to research at the University of Michigan. When people were asked to switch back and forth between tasks, such as doing math problems and sorting pictures, they took longer to complete each job than when they worked on them one at a time. "When you shift your attention from one thing to another, you have to remember where you stopped and then start your train of thought again," says David Meyer, Ph.D., an author of the study. "If you have tasks that can be done in modest chunks of time--say, 45 minutes--it's better to stick with just one from start to finish." 4 MEMORIZE ANYTHING WITH THIS QUICK TRICK

Maybe you've thought of something for your to-do list but don't have paper and pencil handy, or you need to remember talking points for a meeting. Try this proven memorization technique from a study at University College in London: Picture yourself walking down a road you know well, and then put images of the things you need to remember at specific spots along the route. When it's time to recall those items, mentally retrace your steps. The researchers found that many people with good memories aren't more intelligent than the rest of us, they simply use savvy spatial techniques. 5 lower your cancer risk: cut meat and dessert

A new study found that women who ate the most red meat, desserts, refined grains, and fats were 46 percent more apt to get colon cancer than those who ate the smallest amounts of these foods. He culprits: carcinogenic substances (such as nitrates in processed meats) and increased insulin secretion from sugar and refined grains. To be safe, eat fish, poultry, whole grains, and produce (shown here) instead.

British Health, Beauty Retailer Still Confident despite a Profit Slide

High Street stores group Boots, Britain's biggest health and beauty retailer, turned in a pedestrian performance over the first half, with profits falling by almost 3 percent despite good increases in sales over the second quarter.

The results were, however, at the top end of analysts' expectations and chief executive Steve Russell declared himself "encouraged" by the pre-exceptional profit of UKpound 279.6 million.

He said Boots' full-year performance will be in line with its expectations and that the first-half outcome had been hit by UKpound 40 million of investment in the core Boots the Chemist chain, together with a UKpound 14 million increase in pension costs.

New products boosted like-for-like sales at the chain by 5.7 percent over the second quarter but the group is still struggling to turn these into profits.

Group sales advanced by 4.4 percent to UKpound 2.4 billion in the six months to 30 September but the core retail chain saw profits fall by 6.1 percent to UKpound 256.4 million.

The Wellbeing Services side, which takes in Boots Opticians, dentistry and chiropody, made losses of UKpound 16.1 million.

Russell made no comment on current trading but said: "We have the right product ranges and promotional plans for the important Christmas trading period.

"I am confident that we will deliver a full-year performance in line with our expectations at the start of the year."

The interim dividend is raised by 3.7 percent to 8.4 pence.

Health, Beauty Hub Needs Action Now, Says Head of Thailand Cosmetic Group

The government should speed up plans to position Thailand as a regional hub for the health and beauty business before losing the opportunity to other countries, according to Ketmanee Lertkitcha, president of the Thai Cosmetic Manufacturers' Association.

With advanced production technology and rich resources of herbal products, Thailand had a good chance to achieve its goal, she said.

However, China would pose a big challenge, as it was promoting Shanghai and Guangzhou as major centres for cosmetics manufacturing, she said.

To surpass China, Ms Ketmanee suggested the government cut taxes on raw materials quickly to help the local industry improve its competitiveness.

The Thai cosmetics industry had experienced 20 percent annual growth for the past three years, spurred mainly by the rising popularity of herbal cosmetics, she said.

Thailand has about 700 manufacturers of cosmetics, of which 30 have export reputations.

Deputy Commerce Minister Suvarn Valaisathien said that high import tariffs on raw materials, along with less attractive packaging, were the key impediments to more exports of Thai cosmetics.

Thailand's tax rates of 30-32 percent on selected chemicals were higher than those of Malaysia and the Philippines, which were also considering further reductions, he said.

The time-consuming registration process of the Food and Drug Administration was also an obstacle to the business, he said.

Dr Suvarn made the comments at the opening yesterday of the Thailand Health & Beauty Show, which will run until Sunday, with some 400 exhibitors at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.

The Commerce Ministry said that exports of health-care and cosmetic products in the first half of this year were worth 9.7 billion baht, up 23 percent year-on-year. Toiletries and skin-care products accounted for two-thirds of the value. The country's major markets for the goods were Asean (53.7 percent), the European Union (7.5 percent), and Japan (5.6 percent).

Attendance at Next Health, Beauty Show in Thailand Expected to Rise

The Export Promotion Department expects more visitors to attend the Thailand Health and Beauty Show this year due to eased visa formalities.

Overseas visitors can now stay in Thailand for up to a year, as long as they can provide evidence of income from their home country or an overseas financial institution, according to Banphot Hongthong, the department's director-general.

The exhibition, from Sept 19-22 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, will showcase products and services from traditional massage and medical treatment to cosmetic surgery facilities, and health foods.

Last year, the event generated 25 million baht worth of orders on the spot.