NEW YORK--The Cosmetic Executive Women 1998 Beauty Awards were held Thursday at the Waldorf Astoria, and seven cosmetics companies were honored with prizes for the best new products launched last year. But the prize that stirred by far the most emotion was the Beauty Editors' Choice Award, which went to makeup artist and author Kevyn Aucoin. In a video that left many in the audience teary, Aucoin talked about how he felt so ugly and awkward as a child that he was drawn to makeup to help others, and eventually himself,feel beautiful. Then newscaster Diane Sawyer delivered a speech that was both humorous and moving, saying Aucoin not only "makes you cherish your imperfections," but he makes you look like "the frigging ceiling of the Sistine Chapel!" She also held him up as "proof of the existence of God." Aucoin was so overwhelmed by the praise that he barely managed to stagger up to the dais to accept the award. After the audience dried their tears, various celebrities, including actresses Lela Rochon and Joely Fisher, presented the product awards. As in the past, the awards were voted on by the 800 executive members of CEW. To help consumers identify the best new beauty products, CEW created a special seal that winners can reproduce on packaging and promotional material. "The fact that these products have been selected by industry experts gives them a credibility that's invaluable," noted Jean-Hoehn Zimmerman, president of CEW. The results of the contest are as follows: In the prestige category, Christian Dior's Mascara Flash won best new cosmetics product and Estee Lauder's Uncircle Eye Treatment for Dark Circles was chosen as the best new skin care product. In the best new bath, body or sun product category, Lancome's Re-Source Drenching Body Spray and Estee Lauder's Self-Action Sunless Super Tan tied for first place. In the mass distribution category, Revlon's Top Speed Nail Color took home honors for best new cosmetics product, while Biore's Pore Perfect Deep Cleansing Strips took home best new skin care product. The best new bath, body or sun product prize went to Avon's Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard. The best new hair product prize was grabbed by L'Oreal Kids 2-in-1 Shampoo. This fall, the winning products will be showcased by Federated Department Stores and Rite Aid Drugstores. Federated will feature the winning products in a Federated Beauty Focus catalog, and Rite Aid will include the winners and nominees in a "Back to School" circular. Both retailers will include the products in their fall promotions and tag them at point of sale. The winners will also be featured in a special advertising section in the July issue of InStyle magazine.
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