Call it beauty’s ultimate swag bag. Since 1996, Allure’s Best of Beauty Awards has sent several hundred attendees — including cosmetics and fashion executives, models, top photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists — home with a hard-sided suitcase stuffed with products. The 450 attendees in October came away with a snappy metallic plum and silver suitcase with $2,300 in loot — everything from a 3.4-oz. Calvin Klein Euphoria eau de parfum to a Cover Girl Smoky ShadowBlast in plum.
Still, determining which of beauty’s heavy hitters will walk out with a prize — even though there are 232 awards on average given at each event — is no easy feat, said Allure editor in chief Linda Wells during an interview.
“We started out doing the Best of Beauty Awards and feeling maybe that this could be a dangerous operation because — what — we’re going to decide one mascara is the best mascara? Where does that leave everybody else? It was a real challenge when we started out, but we realized that we were really careful about how we report on it. We really try everything, and we argue about it and we put it through tests. We have a panel of experts — doctors, cosmetic chemists, makeup artists, hairstylists — who don’t have a financial interest in any company, which is harder and harder to find these days. They help us analyze claims and make sure that the products are living up to [them].
“So we really combine all those things together and then sometimes we just treat them the way that any kind of consumer would,” said Wells. “We use them, and we see how we look in the morning and how we look at the end of the day and after an exercise class or after cocktails. We try products every single day of the year. We’re not just doing it for the October issue and then not looking at it again.” And neither are the winners: Over the last year, 80 of them have used the Allure Best of Beauty seal on their packaging, and, according to an Allure study, the seal helps sell 85 million items a year.
Even those who aren’t selected for an award clamor to include their products in the event’s suitcase, said Allure spokeswoman Liz Bliss. “We accept requests to donate from all brands, [whether they are] mass, prestige or indie — it’s not just exclusive to advertisers or nominated companies,” she said. “The bag is highly coveted — to be in and receive. It is a great opportunity for all brands to get their products into the hands of the most influential people in the beauty industry.”
This year’s edition is scheduled for Sept. 14 at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Start pumping iron now so you won’t throw out your back picking up the swag.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over the top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
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
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
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