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Garden Variety: Fruit, Vegetable Beauty Wins Big at CEW U.K. Awards

Coffee beans, coconut and broccoli were everywhere.

LONDON — “Who knew that kale and broccoli could smell so amazing?” said Noella Gabriel, managing director of Elemis, as she picked up an award for the brand’s new Superfood Facial Oil, made with extracts from broccoli, poppy, cucumber, flax and rosehip seeds, at the annual CEW U.K. Beauty Awards in London on Friday.

Winning products’ ingredients came straight from the green grocers, part of a trend that’s sweeping through the beauty industry: Among them were Bean Body’s Coffee Bean Scrub; Yes To’s Coconut Ultra Moisture Conditioner; Burt’s Bees’ Cleansing Oil with Coconut and Argan Oils; Weleda’s Jardin de Vie Fragrance Collection, and Pai Skincare’s Head to Toe Hero Buriti Balm.

Pai Skincare said the balm took nearly three years to create and was a challenge to make as it does not contain any paraffin, oil or waxes — making it difficult to get out of a squeeze-y bottle.

The biggest winner at the event was Aromatherapy Associates, the British company founded in the Eighties that specializes in essential oils, aromatherapy treatments, bath and skin-care products. It won for the Best British Brand, Mass & Prestige award, beating Charlotte Tilbury and Liz Earle Beauty Co. Its products Inner Strength Soothing Face Oil, De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil, Revive Body Lotion and Revive Body Lotion also won in different categories.

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Edible ingredients were not the only focus on Friday: Charlotte Tilbury’s latest lipstick, fragrance and mascara won in three separate categories, while the Marks & Spencer brand Rosie for Autograph Amazing Radiance Cream won for Best New Makeup Product, Face. Among the other winners were Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation; Marc Jacobs Beauty, and St. Tropez’ Gradual Tan Tinted Everyday Body Lotion.

“Ever since St. Tropez was born, it’s been our mission to tan the globe,” said Jacqueline Burchell, global product and marketing director, adding that the product has been dubbed “filter in a bottle” for its blurring properties.

Cosmetic Executive Women U.K. is a not-for-profit professional organization with more than 1,000 members in the U.K. It is marking its 25-year anniversary this year. Each year, the brands submit new products for the awards and members vote following a demonstration event.

Caroline Neville, president of CEW, said the 17.5 billion pounds, or $22.54 billion, U.K. beauty industry is running at breakneck speed.

“The bar is being set higher and higher for brands’ engagement with customers” while retailers are under pressure to “create unforgettable in-store experiences” to ensure that customers keep returning to the high street, said Neville.

She added that, for customers, “price is less important than the feel-good factor” because beauty projects are an emotional purchase.

This year’s headline sponsors, Philips, Amazon Beauty and Marks & Spencer, spoke to three trends driving trends beauty today: technology, the Internet, and mass brick-and-mortar retail.