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Top Names in Beauty Honored at Inaugural American Influencer Awards

The inaugural event took place over the weekend in downtown Los Angeles.

Proper contouring and strobing skills were on full display this weekend during the inaugural American Influencer Awards for Beauty.

The awards program, which took place Saturday at The Novo theater in downtown Los Angeles, sought to highlight the best of the beauty influencer set across makeup, nails and hair. The event was put on by the Van Nuys, Calif.-based publication Beauty Launchpad and beauty sales organization The Kirschner Group Inc. of Valencia, Calif.

The ceremony was, sure, self-congratulatory. What awards show isn’t? It more importantly only continued to highlight the growing role of the influencer business when it comes to the sale and marketing of products. As Guy Tang, who took home awards for hair influencer and creative hair colorist of the year, told the audience, “We validate ourselves. I think that’s the most important thing. You have to know your worth.”

While an advisory panel of industry executives selected the nominees, it was the public who ultimately voted on the winners.

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Shameless plugging from the evening’s hosts Patrick Starrr, whose real name is Patrick Simondac, and Kandee Johnson — who managed to keep the program with 25 awards categories moving quickly enough — came as the pair jokingly peddled each other’s product collaborations on stage. For Johnson, it was her Too Faced eye shadow palette and holiday hair-care line with OGX Beauty and for Starrr a powder collaboration with MAC Cosmetics due out Dec. 14.

“For Patrick and I, collaborating with global brands like Too Faced and MAC Cosmetics, I just feel like this year has been a dream come true,” Johnson told the crowd. “To see where the beauty community was even five, six years ago, I don’t know if any of us would be where we are right now [if it weren’t] for the changes that have been in this community and all the hard work.”

Jamie Kern Lima, the cofounder and chief executive officer of IT Cosmetics, echoed that sentiment while up on stage to present an award.

“IT Cosmetics was built on word of mouth thanks to so many of you in this room, and it’s your expertise and authenticity that’s not only been a huge impact on IT Cosmetics, but also the entire beauty industry,” the ceo said. “Everything is changing.”

The weekend’s awards show isn’t an anomaly as more and more programs are created to honor the work of influencers. Revolve held its first #Revolveawards earlier this month. E-tailer MyDeal hosted its Top 50 Influencer Awards in Australia, while there was also the Influence Asia 2017 awards spanning multiple categories across seven countries earlier this year.

AIA attendees paid $44.75 to see their favorite beauty influencers in real life with award categories that included makeup tutorialist of the year to Jaclyn Hill, celebrity makeup artist of the year to Mario Dedivanovic of Makeup by Mario and wig master of the year to William Jackson who goes by Tokyo Stylez.

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