BEAUTY RULES: Beauty evidently pays off. With just over 205 ad pages in its October issue — an increase of 25 pages over 2012 — Allure is celebrating both its 17th annual Best of Beauty list and the second-largest issue in its 22-year history.

While ads certainly were providing smooth sailing, Allure editor in chief Linda Wells likened the category to Diana Nyad’s record-breaking swim from Cuba to Florida. “Her journey was fraught with sharks, jellyfish and squalls,” said Wells. “Kinda sounds familiar, right? Every task, whether it’s in the lab or in the Florida straits, has its challenges. And the only way to succeed is to do what Diana Nyad did every time she failed. She learned what to adjust. She consulted experts. She tweaked her strategy, and she persevered. There aren’t a lot of new frontiers to conquer the way Nyad did. The mountains have been summited. The lightbulb has been illuminated. Even the mascara has been de-clumped. But there are always better solutions to age-old problems, and that’s what each of you winners has figured out.”

This story first appeared in the September 11, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Best of Beauty ceremony, held Monday at Jazz at Lincoln Center, honored 246 products vetted by the magazine’s editors, as well as dermatologists, makeup artists, hairstylists and cosmetics chemists. The October issue, which contains the list, hits newsstands on Sept. 17.

Categories ranged from The Big Breakthroughs, intended to honor innovative products such as the T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i hair dryer and Color Wow Root Cover Up; Cheap Thrills, which honored products under $10 including Cover Girl Clean Whipped Crème Foundation, and Top Splurges, which included Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Excess Mascara and Clé de Peau Beauté Rose Synactif, a scent which is said to make skin-care products more effective. A complete list can be found at

“This list moves more than $226 million of products every year,” said Agnes B. Chapski, publisher of Allure. Some of those products headed home with the roughly 500 beauty executives in attendance, who left rolling suitcases stuffed with about $1.9 million worth of products from companies eager to reach the event’s beauty influentials. She added that the beauty and personal-care market in the U.S. is currently about $66 billion in the U.S. yearly and expected to grow to $72.6 billion by 2016.

For the first time ever, Wells added, Allure is aggregating posts related to the awards on a special social media wall on dedicated to Allure’s Best of Beauty. “What is a win if it isn’t celebrated and shared?” said Wells. “Or, to put it another way, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to tweet it, does it make a sound? We at Allure want your success to make a lot of noise. Our growing social network has become a huge platform of beauty enthusiasts who are passionate about the products we pin, post, tweet, and Instagram — and these women are really noisy. I’d love you to brag a little and share your wins on Twitter, Instagram and Vine using the hashtag #BestofBeauty,” said Wells.

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