They are not quite the Oscars — at least not yet — but the NYX FACE Awards are pretty darn huge for the six finalists the L’Oréal-owned cosmetics brand announced today.
Exhibiting a wide range of makeup expertise and audience sizes, the finalists vying to become the beauty vlogger of the year are Alexa Poletti, Brianna Fox, Haley Wight, Laura Sanchez, Fernanda Machado and Kristi McKee. On YouTube, their subscriber bases total roughly 27,000 to almost 833,000, numbers that are likely to rise due to their involvement in the event held on Aug. 20 at The Novo by Microsoft in the entertainment complex L.A. Live.
Now in its fifth year, the NYX FACE Awards — FACE stands for Fine Artistry of Cosmetic Elites — is a boon both to YouTubers and the brand. Conor Begley, cofounder of the social media research firm Tribe Dynamics, explained the vloggers participating gain exposure while generating an enormous amount of free content for the brand.
“[Finalists] basically go from being an amateur to a professional YouTube makeup artist overnight,” said Begley. “You are taking people who aren’t well-known, and you are accelerating them into the spotlight. They are going to remember that NYX did that, and that is going to engender their loyalty as content creators, which results in them talking more about NYX from a content creation perspective.”
Finalists endure a long process. Starting on April 4, vloggers in the U.S. and Canada began submitting videos to be considered for the awards. The field then is culled to 30 contestants by May 6, and the remaining contestants are challenged four times by NYX to submit themed makeup videos. The public votes on the videos to winnow the field to six finalists. Thousands of people entered the competition and hundreds of thousands of votes were cast.
A panel of judges selects the winner of the NYX FACE Awards, who receives $50,000 and a year’s supply of NYX merchandise. This year, the panel includes makeup artist Ve Neill, Nylon editor in chief Melissa Giannini, Refinery29 beauty director Megan McIntyre and YouTube star Ingrid Nilsen. Social-media powerhouse Kandee Johnson will host the award ceremony and the first NYX FACE Awards winner Charis Lincoln, aka Charisma Star, will emcee the program. Chloe x Halle, Alyssa Edwards and The Haus of Edwards are slated to perform.
“There is no other makeup competition like the NYX FACE Awards,” said Johnson. “It attracts people from all over the Internet. Many of the contestants are self-taught but have incredible talents with makeup. To see what they do is really amazing, and to know that it’s the biggest award show of its kind makes it a real honor to be a part of.”