With over 800 products from 433 brands showcased at this year’s CEW Product Demo held at the Metropolitan Pavilion Thursday, indie brands were able to stand out among the more established players.
“The market is growing and smaller brands are winning,” said Jill Scalamandre, CEW chairwoman and president of the Global Makeup Center of Excellence at Shiseido Americas. “This is a time where the little companies are where you’re looking.”
Among the indies, natural makeup stood out as a key trend with brands like Babo Botanicals, Lashfood and Inika Organic showcasing a diversified offering of color cosmetics.
“Natural [beauty] is getting more upscale and sophisticated,” Scalamandre continued. “It used to be all cardboard and vanilla, now it’s getting better.”
Two new categories, Indie Hair and Niche Fragrance, also brought in new indie players. Indie Hair saw innovations from brands like Lubricity Labs, a natural antifrizz smoothing treatment, and Seven Hair Care, a line of professional-grade hair care. Niche Fragrances also brought in indie brands, like Meera Gandhi, Jivago and Melanie Martinez.
Other new brands vying for a nomination for an Indie Beauty Award were Deck of Scarlet, Pour Moi Beauty, Nurture By Nature and Well Within.
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“The indies we’re showing are much cleaner and more natural,” said Carlotta Jacobson, CEW president. “They’re much more inventive and personalized.”
The CEW also introduced a new Nutricosmetic Product category for ingestible supplements. This category saw submissions from brands like Dope Naturally, Goop, Hum Nutrition, Ouai Hair Care and Sakara Life.
Packaging Innovation and Formula Innovation were also two new categories, which honor innovative designs and ingredient formulation, respectively.
The CEW Demo is one of the most highly attended events each year, drawing industry executives and beauty lovers to check out what’s new in beauty.
The finalists for the 45 awards categories covering skin care, hair care, makeup and fragrance, among others, will be revealed on Apr. 2. The winners will then be announced at the CEW Beauty Awards Luncheon on May 8.