It’s all about the indies.
Indie brands dominated the 24th annual CEW Beauty Insider Awards, held Friday at the Hilton Hotel in New York’s Midtown. Entrants to the Indie category increased 26 percent from 2017, and a new award, Indie Hair, was established. A series of indie brands snapped up trophies, including Ouai Haircare, Supergoop, Briogeo, Pacifica, Chuda Skincare, Pixi, Sakara Life, The BrowGal, Beautyblender and Drunk Elephant. The latter two brands each won two awards.
“We’d always get the feedback that it’s only the big companies that win,” said Carlotta Jacobson, president of CEW. “But that’s the shift we’re seeing through [the Awards]…the way the industry is changing. The indie brands are really having an effect, when you see them win this many awards.…I don’t think we’ve [ever] seen it as much.”
Even non-indie winners deviated from traditional legacy brands. In the prestige antiaging category — steeped with big beauty names like Clarins, Elizabeth Arden and Clinique — Amorepacific Corp.’s Laneige won for its Water Sleeping Mask. In makeup, Pixi’s Matte Last Liquid Lip won Best Mass Lip Product, up against Covergirl, L’Oréal Paris and Revlon.
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“It’s not the same players…we’re seeing the membership recognize [that] it’s not only the big companies with interesting products,” Jacobson said. “And it’s really [reflective of] a shift in consumer preferences toward [niche brands].”
While not technically indies anymore, brands acquired by the beauty behemoths also received several awards. Oribe — acquired in December by Kao for an estimated $400 million — won two awards. L’Oréal-owned Urban Decay and It Cosmetics and The Esteé Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned Becca Cosmetics each won awards as well. “It’s the brands that were bought who are bringing in the awards, not the heritage brands — that was interesting,” Jacobson said.
This year, CEW teamed with The NPD Group to track growing segments and introduced five new categories: Indie Hair, Nutricosmetics, Niche Fragrance, Packaging and Formula Innovation.
Here, the 2018 CEW Beauty Insider Award winners: Acne Treatment: Philosophy Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Exfoliating Clay Mask, Mass Antiaging: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream; Prestige Antiaging: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, Mass Bath and Body: Aquaphor Ointment Body Spray; Prestige Bath and Body: Ouai Haircare Rose Hair and Body Oil; Best Beauty App: Perfect Corp. YouCam Makeup, Mass Best Seller: Herbal Essences Bio:Renew, Prestige Best-Seller: Philosophy Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Exfoliating Clay Mask; Cleanser and Scrub: Shiseido Cosmetics America Waso Soft and Cushy Polisher; Mass Eye Makeup: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise; Prestige Eye Makeup: Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette; Eye Treatment: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix Synchronized Recovery; Mass Face Makeup: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint; Prestige Face Makeup: NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer; Hair Coloring Product: L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color; Hair Shampoo/Hair Conditioner: Oribe Gold Lust Pre-Shampoo Intensive Treatment; Hair Style/Hair Care: Oribe Swept Up Volume Powder Spray; Hair Tools: Drybar Wrap Party Curling & Styling Wand; Mass Iconic Beauty: Dove White Beauty Bar; Prestige Iconic Beauty: Beautyblender Original Beautyblender; Indie Brand: Drunk Elephant; Indie Hair: Briogeo Hair Care Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo; Indie Makeup: The BrowGal The Weekender; Indie Skincare: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial; Mass Lip Product: Pixi by Petra Matte Last Liquid Lip; Prestige Lip Product: NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment; Lip Treatment: Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm; Makeup Tools: Beautyblender Beautyblender Swirl; Men’s Grooming: Tom Ford Beauty Shave Cream, Men’s Scent: YSL Beauty Y Eau de Toilette; Men’s Scent Perfumer: Dominique Ropion, IFF; Mass Moisturizer: Aveeno Positively Radiant Overnight Hydrating Facial; Prestige Moisturizer: IT Cosmetics Secret Sauce; Most Buzzed About Beauty Collaboration: Becca Cosmetics Becca x Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette; Nail Product: Essie Treat Love and Color In Sheers to You; Derek Lam 10 Crosby Parfum Stick; Niche Fragrance Perfumer Award: Clément Gavarry, Pascal Gaurin, Yves Cassar and Laurent LeGuernec, IFF; Nutricosmetic Product: Sakara Life Beauty Chocolates; Skincare Tools: Rodan and Fields Redefine Amp MD Micro-Exfoliating Roller; Sun Product: Supergoop! Super Power Sunscreen Mousse SPF 50; Women’s Mass Scent: Pacifica Beauty Aromapower Hardcore Happy; Women’s Prestige Scent: Gucci Bloom; Women’s Scent Prestige Perfumer: Alberto Morillas, Firmenich; Packaging of the Year: Derek Lam 10 Crosby Parfum Stick; Innovation of the Year: Geltor, Inc. N-Collage; Sustainability Excellence: NaturaBrasil; QVC 2018 Beauty Quest: Chuda.