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Trying something new epitomized the key theme for Cosmetics Executive Women (CEW) at the organization’s 17th annual Beauty Awards, held last week at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan.

This story first appeared in the May 27, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In addition to handing out awards in 26 categories, CEW partnered with Foursquare to create a brand page,, showing where those winning products could be purchased (and, upon check-in at said stores, will get tips on the award winners sold there) and encouraged attendees to tweet during the ceremonies (a challenge, given reception issues in the Grand Ballroom). As well, three new awards were given: an Eco Award sponsored by Givaudan, which was awarded to Yves Rocher North America for its Culture Bio, and Best Seller Mass (done with Symphony/IRI data) and Best Seller Department stores (measured by The NPD Group data), which went to Maybelline Falsies by Volum’Express and Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, respectively.

Carlotta Jacobson, president of CEW, noted that the new measures were added with the intent of raising awareness and leveraging the awards to drive sales of winning products. QVC will air award winners on July 13, and the retailer will include a story about them in its monthly catalogue; CVS has created a multiplatform approach with e-mail blasts, newspaper ads, online ads and social media outreach. plans online promotion, with Lord & Taylor, Target and Macy’s planning in-store and online promotions, and on HauteLook, a flash sale event is being created with winning brands, Facebook co-branded promotion, Deal of the Day partnerships and promotions. As well, Jacobson appeared on NBC’s “Today” show to highlight the winning products.

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After the ceremony, Jacobson reflected on the purpose of the award process as a way of identifying the best products so consumers can make an intelligent choice. “We are creating the buzz,” she said, adding that hopefully the CEW seal will spur sales. “If we can be successful with the stores, then we have succeeded,” she said.

Barbara Zinn-Moore, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of beauty and home for Lord & Taylor, was calling her sales team from her table as awards were announced. “Within an hour, every award-winning product we carry will have a winner’s seal on it,” she said. “Customers look for these seals to help them break through the clutter. They give products a great authority.”

The acceptance speeches generally were dutiful in pointing out the contributions of colleagues, copiously thanking retailers for their support and acknowledging the help from consumer magazines. But there were some poignant moments, also. Janet Pardo, senior vice president of product development at Clinique, saluted her co-workers, especially global brand president Lynne Greene. “When you shoot for the moon,” Pardo said, “you land among the stars.”

Heidi Manheimer, chief executive officer of Shiseido Cosmetics America, reminded the audience of the immense pain being suffering in Shiseido’s earthquake-wracked homeland. “We would like to dedicate this award to all our colleagues in Japan, who are facing challenges on a daily basis.”

“Oh my God, this is better than the Oscars,” exulted Samy of Samy Fat Hair. “The fatter your hair, the thinner your hips, baby,” he cooed. Samy joined the chorus of end-of-the-world jokesters, with one final shot: “if the world ends tomorrow, we are all winners.”

Mario Cantone emceed the awards for the seventh year, and he wasn’t shy about letting some speakers know they’d run over their allotted time. “Your speeches are too long — give it up!” he bellowed. Before the next winner ascended the stage, he shook a finger at the audience and intoned: “Short and sweet!” (Most kept to the dictate, with just an overjoyed Samy extolling the virtues of America violating Cantone’s command.) Cantone also added a few light moments, especially while riffing on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child’s mother. “This is what straight men want? She looks like a bulldog!” he opined.


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