Photo Credit: Cew.org
The CEW Product Demo is one of the most highly attended events each year, drawing industry executives and beauty junkies eager to survey the beauty landscape and take home a suitcase-sized goody bag of products to try. What sets the CEW Beauty Insider Awards apart from all the others is that the only voters are the 900 bonafide CEW members, all of whom are invested in the industry from editors, product developers, cosmetic chemists, marketing and branding experts, to makeup artists and influencers.
Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street, over 800 products from 433 brands were showcased this year. Over the years, the event has blossomed to max out three floors of beauty brands and innovative exhibits, as well as bars and snacks to keep up your stamina while walking the aisles. As CEW President Carlotta Jacobson said, “Now in our 24th year, this event just keeps getting bigger every season, and we have to turn people away.”
Aside from the big guns like Lauder, L’Oreal, LVMH, P&G and Johnson & Johnson, every year features a slew of first time entrants and emerging product niches. The beauty market is constantly expanding and newbie brands are gaining traction, which keeps us on our toes.
Several new categories were introduced this year; Indie Hair, Niche Fragrance, and Nutricosmetic Products, all of which attracted much attention with trending brands like Goop, Well Within, Ouai Hair Care, and Sakara Life. Packaging Innovation and Formula Innovation were new categories for 2018. Natural makeup as a category has a life of its own, with a plethora of new green brands entering this year.
Doctor-created brands as well as professionally dispensed brands sold through spas and physicians continue to grow. Alastin made its debut with its signature sunscreen Hydratint, hair supplement Nutrafol, SkinFix, Specific Beauty by Dermatologist Heather Woolery Lloyd and Dr. David Colbert’s New York Dermatology Group, among others. There was a surge of acne and anti-aging products at almost a 50/50 ratio, plus sheet masks, facial oils, and tools galore. Another newbie that caught our eye was VOLOOM Rootie the Root Lifter.
I always look for what’s new in the Best Beauty App category, and Skingenie stood out as one to try. The toughest categories to vote on are Prestige face and eyes because it’s so hard to choose just one product for the win. I was happy to see some of my own favorites from Kevyn Aucoin, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Laura Mercier. As expected, Fenty Beauty made a big splash with a few products for consideration. Lips, lashes and brows definitely reigned supreme.
The Iconic Beauty category always stands out for me, featuring brands with products that have become cult classics, such as Morrocanoil, NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash, Beauty Blender, Cetaphil Cleanser and CoverGirl LashBlast. The Most Buzzed About Beauty Collaboration featured 13 entries of clever partnerships, like Conair’s Dry Shampoo Brush with Batiste Dry Shampoo and Gigi Hadid x Maybelline The Jetsetter Palette.
The finalists for the 45 awards categories featuring skincare, hair, makeup, mens, fragrance and many others, will be revealed on April 2, 2018. The winners will be announced at the CEW Beauty Awards Luncheon on May 8th to a packed Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria. Good luck to everyone; the stakes are high!