Indie Beauty Innovators

What does innovation in beauty look like in 2019? MSLK’s own Sheri Koetting and a panel of six industry buyers and influencers sat down to judge this year’s ICMAD Indie Beauty Innovators Awards. The awards, held at the end of July in Las Vegas, honored winners across 11 categories, from skincare and tools, to Green Innovator and Charitable Company of the Year.

The IBI Awards were created to “celebrate innovation across product development, brand stewardship and overall talent in the beauty industry,” giving spotlight to small-business entrepreneurs who have disrupted beauty with their ideas.

The esteemed panel of judges included (left front)Daniela Ciocan Founder of Access Beauty Insiders, (left middle) Sheri KoettingFounder of MSLK, (left back) Ian GinsbergPresident of C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, (right back) Jeb AlluredEditor in Chief of Global Cosmetics Industry Magazine, (right middle) Lara EurdolianInfluencer and blogger at Pretty Connected, (right front) Nina VargasEditor in Chief at LA Fashion Magazine, and Annie JacksonCOO of CREDO.

Prior to the awards, the judges met in June in Greenwich Village in New York City to pick their finalists. Topics like the list below were explored and debated:

• Does the product demonstrate originality?
• Does it influence or advance the category?
• Is there innovation within the category?
• Does it answer an unmet consumer or retailer need?
• Does it provide sales opportunity as well as creativity?
• Does it provide unique opportunities across the cosmetic business supply chain?
• Is there creative use of new materials, components, dispensers, and decorating processes?
• Is there effective brand messaging and shelf or display impact?

The winners were ultimately chosen for successful execution across multiple points above. During this process the judges enjoyed hearing where the market white space we are seeing and feeling in the studio aligned with retail buyers such as Annie Jackson, Founder of Credo and Ian Ginsberg, 3rd generation family owner and President of C.O. Bigelow.

We had the pleasure of attending the awards dinner and meeting many of the winners in person. Sheri was blessed to be able to announce and give away the award for Innovator of the Year to our friend and colleague, Alicia Grande of Grande Lash.

2019 Winners

Accessories/​Tools/​Brushes: NuFace, Fix Line Smoothing Device
Devices are still hot, and this product’s non-invasive microcurrents combined with a serum to deliver nutrients deep into your skin was a product stand out.

Bath & BodyQueen V, Rub Me The Right Way
Taking on feminine hygiene with speciality products that treat targeted areas of the body is hot and innovative.

FragranceRaw Spirit Inc, Wild Spirit Discovery Set
Pure and natural is hot in any category but very difficult to achieve in fragrance.

Innovator Brand of the Year: NuFace
Noteworthy for making devices that deliver medi-spa results available and accessible to all.

Haircare: Virtue Labs, Virtue ColorKick
Notable for its innovative glass vial packaging and first ever hair filler made from 100% human keratin. It expands the category as an add-on service in salon or for take home consumers

Makeup: Beautybl­ender, Bounce Liquid Whipped Long Wear Foundation
A wonderful package design and line extension, this product has a custom mold with a teardrop dip so you can insert your beauty blender right under the dispenser.

Men’s: Caldera + Lab, The Good
With 27 active botanicals meticulously infused over 4 weeks, this ECOCERT COSMOS-certified product is encouraging men to expand their beauty regimen.

SkincareSPF Ventures, Brush On Block Protective Lip Oil SPF 32
Sunscreen is white hot and this product merges lip gloss and sunscreen in one.

Green Innovator Brand of the Year: Distil Skincare, AO Skincare
Noteworthy for cold processing adaptive, natural ingredients such as red algae from New Zealand, this brand is going green in all the right ways – including offering a refill program. They also won a sales deal with Credo following the awards.

Charitable CompanyHandcrafted Honey Bee, Smarty Pits
When founder Stacia Guzzo’s mother discovered she had breast cancer, it was through noticing a lump directly underneath her armpit. Turning lemons into lemonade, Stacia has decided to help the rest of the world get clean with natural deodorants. She’s committed to setting aside a portion of the deodorants they make for donation. To date they’ve donated 2090 deodorants to oncology centers, non-profit organizations, and breast cancer support groups around the country.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Alicia Grande of Grande Cosmetics
Celebrating her 10th year of business in 2018, Alicia has doubled down on her brand value proposition as the Plumping Experts. This year Alicia was also a finalist in the hair category with her new Grande Hair Rejuvenation Serum and continues to amplify plumping across all beauty categories.

Congratulations to all of the winners. Our studio loves your products and innovation, too!