Executives from top beauty manufacturers and retailers converged at the posh Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, FL for The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting April 21-24. Here are some of the topics that were top of mind.

* David Greenberg, President, Maybelline New York*Garnier*Essie said he was pleased by this year’s level of senior retail executive engagement, especially since one of his goals at the show was to focus his conversations on retail innovation and how to create exciting consumer experiences. Particularly prescient for David was Walgreens’s CEO Greg Wasson’s comments on the role of the community drugstore in fostering both physical and emotional well-being, given the state of consumer health care today.

* Revlon’s Julia Goldin, Global Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President, said meetings with retailers at NACDS Annual provided interesting ways of uncovering opportunities for mutual growth with key U.S. and international customers. Julia said Revlon remains optimistic about the future potential for the mass cosmetics market in 2012 and 2013 based on Revlon’s strong innovation pipeline, support plans, marketplace execution, as well as strong consumer engagement with the category.

* Kiss Products said that while salon owners are seeing an uptick in women coming back for services, the at-home nail craze shows no signs of abating. With that, Kiss discussed its latest innovation, Kiss Ever Lasting, an at-home gel nail product.

*Multicultural remains a big buzzword. Drug store execs used NACDS Annual to build contacts to help them find more products targeting women of color. Even brands that traditionally offer limited color choices, such as Burt’s Bees, are expanding to take into consideration the color needs of Latina, African-American, Asian and multi-race consumers. And, showing its beauty commitment to Puerto Rico, Walgreens is opening its first Look Boutique there in May.

*Retailers, both beauty and non-beauty focused, see the benefit in being a launch pad for brands: Ulta is becoming a go-to for beauty launches; Family Dollar is expanding by 500 units and is extending more into beauty; Sam’s Wholesale Club is looking for vendors to partner with for cosmetics.

*Recent data shows that one in four purchases of fragrance is made online. In turn, a topic at Annual was how drug stores need to get more savvy online to join uncover avenues to keep people coming to stores to “touch and feel” the merchandise.

* Hands down, the most sought-after executive at NACDS Annual was Walgreens President of Daily Living and Solutions, Joe Magnacca. He was the man of the moment.

* L’Oréal USA was unofficially voted “best party” by show attendees as it welcomed dozens of retail and supplier executives and was hosted by Maybelline New York*Garnier*Essie’s President, David Greenberg; L’Oréal Paris’s President, Karen Fondu, and Active Cosmetics’s President, Henric Sark. The event tipped its hat to Mad Men with 1950’s decor and a Frank Sinatra crooner. The room literally dripped in flowers and got spirits soaring for the remainder of the four-day show.

PHOTO CAPTION (Clockwise from top left): John Tse of London Drugs with Eric Weeks and Bill George of Markwins; Beth Stiller and Joe Magnacca of Walgreens; Ingrid Jackel and Jeff Rogers of Physician’s Formula; Ulta’s Barbara Zamudio; poolside meeting tables; Conair’s Paulette Heller, Roberta Bacik, Robin Linsely, Ron Diamond and Christine Lebert; makeup artist Marsha Foster-Chilko making over Wakefern/ShopRite’s Debbie Ammons at P&G’s Beauty & Grooming boutique