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03-08-13 | Posted by

Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW, for those in the industry) hosts its Beauty Insiders’ Choice Awards Product Demo each year to expose CEW members to the crème de la crème of beauty products, in various categories from haircare to fragrance to skincare and makeup. Each year, hundreds of brands show off their innovations to members of the industry who sniff, swipe, and slather products to really learn how they differ from the competition. And the entire idea is for CEW members to learn about all the entrants so they can VOTE for their favorite in each category.

Finalists will be announced in each category soon, but before that can happen, CEW members will vote for their favorites (voting this year is incredibly tech savvy, with members able to make their selections through tablets and smartphones). A CEW Beauty Award is one of the highest in the industry, and something brands continually strive for. “For consumers, the CEW seal stands for a superior beauty product because it is the only award selected by industry insiders,” says CEW President Carlotta Jacobson.

There were many new trends on display at the demo with products beautifully arranged in department-store style, allowing CEW members to learn about the product nominees without actually plunking down a credit card. Beauty icons and favorites from Birchbox, CVS Beauty Club and Crest were there, and QVC partnered with CEW for the first time this year with the intent of selecting six finalists and one ultimate QVC winner to appear in a summer segment.

Birchbox at the CEW Product Demo; a special edition
CEW box will appear in the summer

Trends for 2013

CEW President Carlotta Jacobson minced no words when she assured us that luxury and prestige products were growing now more than ever. “As far as skincare goes, there are a lot of spot treatments, and serums for age spots,” she says. Lip hybrids are growing like mushrooms; and multitasking products, especially those with an anti-aging component to them (including lip products) are the rage as well.

Lip Hybrids: Put aside everything you know about your mother’s lipstick. Lip hybrids are a new breed, and offer moisture and enduring color, two features that are no longer mutually exclusive. From nominees that include YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain to Lancome Rouge in Love, the offerings in this category are multiplying.

Gel Nails: “Nail care is huge,” says Jacobson, and consumers are dressing up their digits with nail art, bling stickers, and gel nails. Jacobson also says that she is seeing a lot of products that were previously in the domain of professional treatments (including gel nails) that are now available at home. So, products like Mally Beauty 24/7 Gel Polish Nail Color, and Sally Hansen Salon Instagel Strips are truly a home run.

Bold Brows: Big brows are back, and the number of serums and gels needed to tame and maintain them are growing. Think Laura Geller Brow Sculpting Marker and Elizabeth Arden Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum for starters, and you get the idea.

Skin Volumizers: Because of the significant loss of collagen, skin volumizers have become all the rage, with products like Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting Serum becoming more popular. Others in this category include the popular Avon Anew Clinical Pro Line Eraser Treatment.

Spot On Treatment: As Jacobson mentioned, spot treatments are becoming very popular, with products for dark spots and fixes for blotchy, uneven skin becoming all the rage. Products like Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum and Origins Dr. Weil Mega bright Skin Tone Correcting serum fall into this category.

Apart from these trends, nail lacquers, beauty gadgets, and eye brightening treatments continued to surge. Jacobson says that luxury and prestige are two sectors that pretty much have no brakes: people are eager for all of them.

The demo ushered in over 2,100 CEW members and over 600 products in various categories from prestige skincare to indie makeup brands. To see a list of nominees, visit www.cew.org. The finalists will be announced after the voting process has completed (CEW members have until March 20 to submit their vote), and the winners will be announced on May 17 at the annual Beauty Awards Luncheon to be held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

You can win a CEW Product Demo Gift Bag worth $2,000 by participating in our Twitter Chat next week, at 1pm EST, on March 12. Tag all your responses with #beautybag. Eligible participants should follow @BeautyintheBag and @CEW_NY on Twitter.

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