Are niche brands hot again? It appears so, if the slew of small brands who walked away with trophies recently at Cosmetics Executive Women’s 19th annual CEW Beauty Insiders’ Choice Awards are any indication.
The roster of niche brands taking home awards proved to be the biggest new trend for the awards, noted Carlotta Jacobson, CEW president.
While there have always been niche winners sprinkled amongst the big-company honorees, this year the small-but-mighty proliferated — especially impressive, as the winners are selected by CEW’s membership of 5,500 beauty industry professionals, many of whom work for major corporations with large brands.
This year was one of firsts for the awards, said Jacobson. They included a retail partnership with Amazon.com to sell the winning products, up now; two limited-edition boxes being sold by Birchbox beginning in June; a CVS initiative to highlight winners to its loyalty-card holders, and an addition to CEW’s existing QVC partnership, creating a category called QVC Beauty Quest, which highlights indie brands. This year, that honor went to Neydharting Moor, which will be featured on QVC on July 19.
As well, this marks the first year CEW has presented awards in the skin-care tools and lip-treatment categories. “The awards were added to recognize these growing categories in the beauty marketplace,” said Jacobson. This year’s winning product for skin-care tools was NuFace Trinity Skin Boosting System with Microcurrent and Red LED, while the winning product for Lip Treatment was Fresh Inc.’s Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy. This year, CEW awarded 36 products across 30 product categories, along with Best Seller Awards, the Indie Beauty Award, Eco Beauty Award and QVC Beauty Quest Award. The award-winning products included bath and body care, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and the newly added skin-care tools and lip-treatment categories.
The winners are determined exclusively by CEW’s membership of 5,500 beauty industry professionals; 185 finalists were selected from more than 650 entries.
Actor and comedian Mario Cantone hosted the awards for the eighth time, using his trademark off-color humor to liven up the proceedings — and to keep long speeches to a minimum, to the delight of the roughly 1,000 beauty executives in attendance. “Take too long with your speech, and I’ll roast you the next time I get to the podium,” he warned. (It worked.)
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For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
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The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty