Shining light on 
  • innovations
  • passion
  • brands
  • products
  • people
  • new markets
  • inclusivity
  • sustainability
  • ideas
  • teams
  • community
  • visionaries
  • founders

Winners

  • Incredible Innovations

    Topflight brands see the need and set the trend with new designs, spirited campaigns and genuine purpose

    • Best Social Media

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      Bathtubs, shelfies and oversharing may bring in followers, but only savvy brands know how to pivot in their campaigns to build a true community. In a time when one false statement can bring the wrath of the twitterverse to bear, these are the brands who were true and triumphant.

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    • Best Packaging

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      When done correctly, packaging just feels right: in the hand or on the shelf, conscious design leaves the user feeling better about the efficient use of the product. These brands excel at appealing to the consumer and communicating a strength of purpose.

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    • Inclusivity Champion

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      Inclusivity can be niche-driven, fueled by a desire to embrace underserved communities, or simply recognize the need for a multitude of voices to represent today’s beauty consumer. We applaud these brands for leading the way.

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    • Sustainability Champion

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      Making people's lives better through beauty and wellness now means leaving the world in a better place as well. Wasteful processes and packaging will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the innovative efforts of our 2020 nominees.

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    • Product Innovation

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      Does the world need another product? Intellectually, we say no—until something so simple and brilliant comes along and we realize this is a bit of genius in a bottle that we can’t do without. Kudos to the brands whose products will turn heads for years to come.

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  • Inspiring Brands

    Success! Behind every winning product there is an idea that turned into a story told well—and worth retelling

  • Outstanding Contributions

    Beauty entrepreneurs are a breed apart, and we celebrate the best of their achievements.

    • Entrepreneur

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      To command the attention and respect of audiences and consumers, let alone editors, is proof of a beauty innovator’s vision. To do so in style is a demonstration of will and grace. Each of these personalities is a force.

      • Beatrice Dixon

        Founder,

        The Honey Pot Company

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      • Alexandra Fine

        Co-Founder,

        Dame Products

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      • Barbara Paldus

        Founder & CEO,

        Codex Beauty

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      • Julissa Prado

        Founder & CEO,

        Rizos Curls

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      • Lauren Napier

        Founder & CEO,

        Lauren Napier Beauty

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    • Industry Icon

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      The entrepreneurial spirit fuels the best people in beauty whether they work for themselves or a multinational conglomerate. As great their success is, it is their inspiration to those that follow their lead, and their generosity of spirit what turns them into an icon.

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    • Investor

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      In beauty, one size does not fit all. The investment community thrives on a mix of analytics and improvisation, and the best investors foster their creativity by nurturing growing brands with the right amount of cash, connections and compassion.

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  • Game-Changing Retailers

    The best outlets entice passionate consumers by championing new beauty and exploration.

    • Large Indie Retailer

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      Each building a thriving community in-store and online, these champions of indie beauty are independently owned themselves. Their challenges to large chains are changing consumer perceptions for the better.

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    • Small Indie Retailer

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      Boutique beauty stores provide the lifeblood to emerging brands and local communities. Personality-driven and speaking to some of the most opinionated consumers, they represent a chance for a brand to break through the clutter.

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    • Online Retailer

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      A new brand does not own search. But the best e-commerce platforms in beauty know how to draw attention to innovation, and foster the spirit of exploration among even the most jaded, time-pressed customers.

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  • Best Social Media
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    Hero Cosmetics

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Omnichannel brand Hero Cosmetics has taken a multifaceted, powerful approach to social media, experimenting with rising platforms such as TikTok.

    Who They Are

    Hero Cosmetics is a consciously-clinical acne-care company. Since launching in 2017, the brand has sold over 2 million acne patches and grown from a startup with a single Mighty Patch product to an established acne-care brand with holistic solutions that span your skin’s entire healing journey, from start to finish. Each and every Hero Cosmetics product is uniquely designed to bring your skin back to healthy. Gentle ingredients, transparent product details, clinically high standards — they’re all emblematic of Hero’s consciously clinical approach to acne care.

    Why They Won
    Everyone can find themselves in Hero Cosmetics’ social feeds. The brand fuses humor, education and style to provide useful information to its community in a way that appeals to all. The brand was an early adopter or TikTok, amassing over 30,000 followers on the platform. Their viral videos always garner hundreds of thousands of views.
  • Best Social Media
    Close

    Naturalicious

    Why We Love Them

    With its Repair Your Hair Challenge and Quarantine Curls series, Naturalicious turned its Instagram page into a place of community engagement and education.

    Who They Are

    Naturalicious creates high performing, time-saving, vegan hair care products for busy women with curly hair.

    To date, we have saved over 70,000 women more than 1.2 million minutes on their hair routines. We are sold in over 1200 retail stores including Sally Beauty, Whole Foods and ULTA.

    What's different about us is that every product we make is designed to replace at least 3 products customers would have to normally purchase and use. Because all of our products are multitasking and multi-benefit, we save our customers an average of 80% of the time they normally spend dealing with their hair, with better results than if they had spent hours on it.

    The societal standard of beauty tells us that naturally curly, kinky, coily, or coarse hair is ugly, not desirable, and that it has to be tamed.

    We are told we should straighten our hair, or make it smoother, in order to be beautiful.

    In fact, the hair that naturally grows out of our heads has been called "unprofessional" for decades, and "nappy" for centuries.

    Women have literally been fired from their jobs just because of the way their hair grows, and the radical idea that they might actually wear it as God created it.

    At Naturalicious, we exist to remind our customers that they are the standard of beauty, through our revolutionary products that make it easy for them to manage their hair and be confident in their own beauty.

    We are a company on a mission to eliminate the frustration, time and expense our customers have with their hair by creating easy-to-use products that turn their "wash days" to "wash minutes".

  • Best Social Media
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    Stratia

    Why We Love Them

    Set among a backdrop of Stratia’s candy colored products, the brand’s social media pages supply followers with a mix of beautiful product shots, ingredient education, and authentic customer skin transformations.

    Who They Are

    We are an obsessively researched skincare brand that uses only the most effective and essential ingredients. We make skincare that works.

  • Best Social Media
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    Venn

    Why We Love Them

    VENN’s social media efforts are on brand, simple, with clean beautiful imagery - mirroring their aesthetic and appeal to a broad audience.

    Who They Are

    VENN brings together over 20 years of skincare research and innovation in South Korea with clean, high-performance ingredients to develop category-defining products that help streamline skincare routines without compromising on the efficacy. VENN challenges the status quo in the skincare industry by offering efficient, streamlined skincare products that replace unnecessary steps and complications in traditional skincare routines.

  • Best Social Media
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    Winged

    Why We Love Them

    With a beautiful design easily integrated with social media, Winged’s posts have good rhythm, relevant content, and educational and entertaining influencer takeovers. Fun and empowering, always on brand.

    Who They Are

    Winged is a woman wellness product line rooted in the idea that when a woman feels good, she is unstoppable. All of Winged's formulations are specific for a woman’s physiological make up and address the common need states in women: sleep, mood support, stress support and balance.

  • Best Packaging
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    Bésame Cosmetics

    Why We Love Them

    Every product and package from Besame is a vintage work of art unto itself. The ultimate marriage of form and function.

    Who They Are

    Longing to bring back the simple glamour of her grandmother’s beauty routine, designer and cosmetics historian Gabriela Hernandez started Bésame Cosmetics. Founded in 2004, Bésame Cosmetics has gained a cult following with our meticulously designed, historically inspired, and highly pigmented cosmetics.

    Our simple yet luxurious formulations are made with pride and a labor of love for Gabriela, each one being 100% cruelty-free and created for sensitive skin. They do not contain gluten, parabens, or mineral oils. Owned and operated by Gabriela and her family, all products are produced locally in California. All Bésame products are long-wearing, minimal waste, and packaged to be displayed proudly.

  • Best Packaging
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    Floramye

    Why We Love Them

    Floramye’s sustainable packaging carries both an air of delicate feminine and earthy elements. The recyclable Italian glass with wood lids compliments the elegant font perfectly. Minimal use of plastic is a plus!

    Who They Are

    We believe wellbeing isn’t just a science—it’s also an art. Our certified-organic formulas reflect the best of both worlds. Each one is crafted by hand to encourage balance in your body.

    All ingredients are conscientiously sourced, every formula is crafted in small batches, and finished products are rigorously tested to ensure the utmost purity and safety. Heirloom Flora, Modern Wellness.

  • Best Packaging
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    Keeko

    Why We Love Them

    Bold with whimsy, Keeko’s mainly black and white aesthetic is easily spotted, highlighted with pops of pleasing colors, leaving their clean dental care line to speak for itself.

    Who They Are

    Meet Keeko, a new generation of natural oral wellness products that elevates your everyday. Developed to seamlessly integrate into the most busy of modern lifestyles, we draw on ancient Ayurvedic practises to provide a holistic approach to modern dental care.

    Each of our fun-to-use products have been developed with dental professionals using safe & effective natural & vegan ingredients to deliver amazing results that are good for teeth and better for your health.

  • Best Packaging
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    Kjaer Weis

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Innovative, modern, beautiful, edgy, sustainable, refillable, totally custom - no other brand has anything that resembles the luxury of Kjaer Weis.

    Who They Are

    Kjaer Weis is the pioneering clean makeup brand that fuses the worlds of makeup artistry and performance with undeniably clean, certified organic ingredients and sleek, customizable and refillable packaging without compromise. Kjaer Weis was founded by Danish-born, New York-based editorial and celebrity makeup artist, Kirsten Kjaer Weis, known for her “skin that looks like skin” look: luminous, fresh-faced, real skin. Kjaer Weis offers refillable makeup product across multiple categories and over 80% of its portfolio is plastic-free. In 2020, Kjaer Weis upped the sustainability game offering a new alternative to its iconic, for-life compacts: a super-lightweight, high-gloss textured red paper case that is recyclable and compostable called The Red Edition.

    Why They Won
    Kjaer Weis was the runaway winner for the best packaging award. The 10 year old clean color brand has found a way to deliver the luxe feel of premium cosmetics, with its gorgeous heirloom-esque metal packaging, while still sticking to its eco-friendly ethos by being one of the first clean indie brands to offer an easy refill option for many of its products.
  • Best Packaging
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    Rael

    Why We Love Them

    Rael’s packaging embodies their mission to raise the standard of women’s personal care products with elegant watercolor shades and straightforward marketing, mirroring their high-quality, organic interiors.

    Who They Are

    Rael is made for women, by women. Founded by three Korean-American entrepreneurs, Yanghee Paik, Aness An, and Binna Won in LA in 2017, Rael empowers women to make healthier choices for their bodies through its safe and high-performance personal care products accessible to women around the world. Thoughtfully designed with natural and sustainable materials, Rael’s products are manufactured with cutting-edge technology from Korea to deliver the latest innovations in feminine and beauty care, providing a 360 degree holistic solution for the modern woman. Rael feminine care products can be found at GetRael.com, as well as Target and Amazon, and the Rael Beauty line is available on GetRael.com, Revolve, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropology among others. Rael is backed by various global VCs including Unilever Ventures, BAM Ventures, PGVC, and Softbank Ventures Asia.

  • Inclusivity Champion
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    Alikay Naturals

    Why We Love Them

    Launched by one of the first natural hair vloggers, Alikay Naturals helps women embrace and care for their natural hair.

    Who They Are

    Coined a “Beauty Pioneer” by the media at the age of 26, Rochelle Graham-Campbell’s Caribbean inspired Alikay Naturals products are composed of the richest natural & organic ingredients that use healing properties and natural humectants to nourish and replenish moisture from the inside out. No sulfates, no parabens, no mineral oils, no alcohol, and no petroleum. The Alikay Naturals line is currently available at select Target, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, Meijer, HEB, Tops and Jewel-Osco stores nationwide. In addition, the line can also be found at over 150 independent retail locations worldwide, including Ghana, Netherlands, Canada, United Kingdom, Jamaica, and Bermuda.

  • Inclusivity Champion
    Close

    Elysian Cosmetics

    Why We Love Them

    Elysian creates products for people no matter their age, gender or skin tone.

    Who They Are

    Elysian is the inclusive luxury cosmetics brand founded by makeup artists David Rodrigues and Michael Putman after their first-hand experiences working in prestige beauty proved that it was a space built upon exclusion. Vegan and cruelty-free, the company operates based off its core values of innovation, bio-compatibility, and inclusivity in an audacious exploration of what the beauty products of future will look like.

  • Inclusivity Champion
    Close

    Honey Baby Naturals

    Why We Love Them

    In less than five years, woman of color-led hair care specialist Honey Baby Naturals has scored shelf space at Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS and Sally Beauty.

    Who They Are

    Honey Baby Naturals is a family brand made for multi-cultural hair types and textures. Stemmed from the Founder's Grandmothers'secret hair ingredient “miel,” or honey in Spanish. Honey Baby Naturals was created for mothers who are still searching for amazing and effective products for their kids. Hitting the market in 2016, Honey Baby Naturals has certainly become the bee’s knees, securing Target, Walmart, Sally Beauty, CVS, Rite Aid and several hundred independent beauty retailers nationwide.

  • Inclusivity Champion
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    Le Wand

    Why We Love Them

    Le Wand tackles sexual pleasure in the most inclusive way possible. In its educational content and imagery, everyone will see themselves reflected and have access to sexual wellness content they can relate to.

    Who They Are

    Le Wand is a woman-founded premium brand of personal vibrating massagers that bring unparalleled quality to a notoriously sketchy industry. Le Wand originated as one hell of a classic wand (all the power you could want with award-winning design to match) and has now become a full line of best-in-class, heart-pounding, hair-raising toys.

    Designed with pleasure in mind for all bodies, Le Wand embraces and champions intimacy for all with powerful, versatile pleasure tools that insist on bringing you to the next level. We’re proud to be people’s go-to for orgasms they can count on — over & over again.

  • Inclusivity Champion
    Close

    Spktrm Beauty

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Spktrm Beauty takes a firm stance on inclusivity by attempting to reframe the representation and accuracy plaguing the beauty industry. The brand has banned model re-touching entirely and gives back to organizations that supports disadvantaged women, youth and the LGBTQIA+ community.

    Who They Are

    Spktrm is on a mission to redefine beauty standards so that they're more ethical and inclusive. We were the world's first beauty brand to ban model retouching entirely.

    Why They Won
    Inclusivity is known to include representation of all races, sexual identities and size. For SPKTRM, those are a given. The brand is hard at work on adopting new technology that will allow them to add programmable QR codes to secondary packaging which provide a full audio description and instructions for the product for those who are blind / low vision. They will also be adding a braille QR code option in the near future.
  • Sustainability Champion
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    Aether Beauty

    Why We Love Them

    Founder Tiila Abbitt has gone above and beyond to make her brand as sustainable and ethical as possible.

    Who They Are

    The first fully recyclable beauty brand in the prestige beauty industry, Āether Beauty is a vegan, cruelty-free and clean makeup brand that also sources child labor free and fair wage ingredients. Aether Beauty is also a Benefit Corp, offers Carbon Neutral shipping and is a 1% for the Planet partner.

  • Sustainability Champion
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    Alpyn Beauty

    Why We Love Them

    Alpyn’s dedication to sustainability covers an expanse of cultivation from naturally resilient plants, wild harvesting, ethical manufacturing practices, utilizing recycled glass and recyclable packaging, no animal testing, FSC-certified paper materials and partnerships with 1% for the Planet and rePurpose to even out environmental effects.

    Who They Are

    Alpyn Beauty is the first and only skincare line to sustainably harvest wildcrafted ingredients from the mountains of Jackson Hole, WY. The plants we forage are some of the hardest-working and most resilient botanicals that are conditioned to survive in an unforgiving climate. Applied to skin, these plants perform just like they do in the wild–preserving, protecting, and strengthening–for skin that looks and behaves more youthfully.
    Our ingredients are harvested responsibly and carefully–blossoms, leaves, stems, and bark are delicately removed–with a future-focused purpose: Healthy plants are not damaged and replenish themselves naturally, as they would when local fauna instinctively graze with respect to the “Mother Plant.” This is true sustainability–beyond the buzzword.
    Our partnership with 1% For The Planet means that 1% of all brand sales go back to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation to help rebuild the natural ecosystem that supports the land we wildcraft from. Additionally, we are a proud partner of RePurpose in an attempt to offset and reduce our plastic footprint, the first prestige beauty brand to join the initiative.

  • Sustainability Champion
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    Axiology

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Super ethical makeup and 100% evil free are terms Axiology Beauty uses to describe their mission of utilizing clean ingredients, cruelty free standards, post-consumer recycled plastic and boxes and wrappings handmade from recycled trash by a women’s cooperative in Bali.

    Who They Are

    Planet-friendly + vegan color made with 10 ingredients or less.

    Nourishing ingredients such as kokum butter and coconut oil give these lipsticks, crayons, and multi-sticks their super silky, buttery texture. Colors range from sheer and luminous pinks to bold and rich burgundies.

    Why They Won
    Axiology founder Ericka Rodriguez does everything in her power as an emerging indie brand to lessen her brand’s environmental impact. From packaging her lipsticks in recycled paper to her zero-waste commitment, she is an inspiration on how to innovate with the environment in mind.
  • Sustainability Champion
    Close

    Cleo + Coco

    Why We Love Them

    Cleo + Coco’s evolution has always been focused on continually providing it’s customers with smart packaging solutions aimed toward sustainability. Their newly released plastic-free, waxed dipped deodorant will be joined by refill options and less pump mechanisms as they continue to innovate toward green and blue beauty initiatives.

    Who They Are

    We've raised the bar in personal care, literally. Introducing the next generation of clean body care. Cleo + Coco offers reliable, award-winning performance, clean ingredients, a smooth and clear application with beautiful scents.

    In Cleo + Coco 2.0 we have also added a zero-waste, plastic-free option in travel-friendly, reusable organic cotton bags. This Deodorant Bar uses our same award-winning formula and is held in a no-mess sustainable wax mold offering the next generation of eco-conscious deodorant application, because we are acutely aware of the fact that the environment is something that we have to take care of too.

  • Sustainability Champion
    Close

    Loli

    Why We Love Them

    LOLI is the first zero-waste beauty brand that sources organic, wild-harvested ingredients that are fair trade, non-GMO and upcycled from food to create their waterless products.

    Who They Are

    LOLI — which stands for Living Organic Loving Ingredients — is the world’s first zero waste, organic and MADE SAFE® certified skincare brand. On a mission to stir up a clean + conscious change in beauty, LOLI’s multitasking products are upcycled from organic food supply, waterless, vegan, non-GMO and cruelty free. Going a step further, LOLI mindfully packages using recycled, recyclable, reusable and garden compostable packaging.
    Most beauty products are made with 80-95% water and over-packaged in plastic, despite the double threat of global water scarcity and proliferation of planet polluting plastics. As a a beauty industry veteran, LOLI’s founder, Tina Hedges, witnessed the industry’s waste firsthand and decided to become part of the solution. From sourcing and formulating to packaging and fulfillment, LOLI is transforming the way consumers experience clean + conscious beauty.
    Recognized for its efforts, equal parts ethical, effective and empowering, LOLI has received the CEW Award for Sustainability Excellence, the BYRDIE Eco Conscious Award and a Shorty Social Good Award. LOLI also is the first and only beauty member of MADE IN A FREE WORLD and FRDM, two platforms that help assess the risk of people trafficking in LOLI’s supply chain. LOLI also is plastic negative, carbon footprint neutral + offers 10% of each purchase as a charity donation.

  • Product Innovation
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    Foto Blur THC Primer

    Why We Love Them

    The first makeup primer enhanced with 200 milligrams of THC, Kush Queen’s Foto Blur Primer might make more than just skin imperfections hazy. Brand founder and CEO Olivia Alexander is committed to broadening the reach of cannabis—not merely CBD—in the beauty and wellness segment.

    Who They Are

    Kush Queen is a luxury lifestyle and wellness brand specializing in the finest CBD and THC products.

  • Product Innovation
    Close

    N°41 Mister

    Why We Love Them

    Brand founder Tai Adaya created Habit to normalize routine application of sunscreen and other skin health preservers.

    Who They Are

    We’re a new kind of skin brand, changing the way you think about sunscreen. We believe that skin care is health care and that SPF is the best investment you can make for your skin. We make over the counter active drug products. Our products are elegant, easy to use daily and work on all skin tones.

    I started HABIT because I wanted to redefine how our society talks about skin aging and the tactics we use when it comes to Anti-Aging. We’re reinventing the Anti-Aging category with products that are actually effective beyond just saying “Anti-Aging” on a product label.

  • Product Innovation
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    High Performance Tinted Moisturizer

    Why We Love Them

    Dr. Macrene rebranded and added more actives to her line based on her knowledge and understanding of the skin. She is the most well educated dermatologist on the planet.

    Who They Are

    MACRENE actives is the cleanest, scientifically active and clinically proven luxury skincare brand founded by world renowned dermatologist, scientist, and textbook author Dr. Macrene Alexiades, MD PhD FAAD.

    The leader in clean beauty backed by science and driven by results, Dr. Macrene developed revolutionary formulas that nourish the skin with plant-based, active ingredients for visible restoration.

    The brand’s mission is to harness exceptional natural ingredients—a combination of potent plant actives sourced from the land and the sea—in order to create one-step topical skin care solutions to replace aesthetic procedures.

    Designed to achieve total skin health and youthful vitality by boosting skin longevity, repairing environmental damage, providing powerful antioxidant support and fortifying the moisture barrier, of the over 50 organic actives in each product, many are discovered on Dr. Macrene's organic farm.

    Derived from Nature. Backed by Science. Driven by Results.

  • Product Innovation
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    Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer Mist

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Touchland has totally reinvented the hand sanitizer category with its sleek products and social media-savvy.

    Who They Are

    Touchland is for life-lovers. We are revolutionizing the hand sanitizing experience and believe hand hygiene should be fun, convenient and clean. Headquartered in Miami and founded by Andrea Lisboa in 2018, Touchland is the next generation of hand sanitizers. We’ve disrupted the market with our clean, cruelty-free and vegan formula paired with a sleek design. We promise this pocket-perfect product It is full of what your hands need, not what they don’t.

    Touchland is currently available in two formats: the travel-sized Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, which comes in 8 scents and the industrial sized KUB, smartly designed for businesses and offices.

    Why They Won
    Touchland's Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer Mist is a product that is not only timely due to the increased demand for sanitary products, but is something that hasn't been done effectively until now. Considering millions of people use hand sanitizers on a regular basis, it is surprising to realize that the category hadn’t innovated in decades. Their reviews have people raving: “I never thought I would be obsessed over hand sanitizer!"
  • Product Innovation
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    Sun-è-Serum Drops SPF 35

    Why We Love Them

    In its first foray into creating an exclusive product line, clean beauty retailer Credo has partnered with The Sunscreen Company and Venus Williams’ activewear line EleVen on two mineral sunscreens containing 25% zinc oxide.

    Who They Are

    The makers of the best mineral sunscreens in the world.

  • Brand Launch
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    Biophile

    Why We Love Them

    Alison Cutlan put her knowledge and love of fermentation and science into a brand that has a self sustaining preservation system while utilizing her years of experience in working for other well known brands in the industry.

    Who They Are

    biophile™ is a pioneer in a new category of skincare that is cleaner, more effective and more symbiotic with our bodies and the environment.

    Unlike anything on the market, biophile™ merges advanced biological science and nature to create advanced pro-biome skincare with formulas that are self-preserving and fully sustainable.

    Made with the power of microorganisms, our innovative formulas combine our fermented Biotic Broths™ with advanced actives and bio-based ingredients to create sophisticated, super-charged products that work with the natural biology of your skin. Our promise is to boost your skin health and vitality – making your skin the best it can be at any age.

  • Brand Launch
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    Kegelbell

    Why We Love Them

    Armed with knowledge, research, humor and grace, Stephanie Schul created Kegelbell, a first of its kind product, to empower women’s bodies and minds.

    Who They Are

    We exist to help modern women feel good inside and out.
    In fact, we’re obsessed with creating great products that work, simply and effectively. No fluff. No hype. No surgery. For real. Our health and fitness products are designed by a worldwide team of experts and are distilled to their simplest, purest purpose: to be exactly what modern women need to feel better at any age. We are built on the belief that the world needs a fundamental transformation of how women take care of their bodies. So we created Kegelbell to help the tens of millions of women who want and deserve to be great. With Kegelbell, we’re helping women lift where it counts with the easiest way to do a kegel so they can protect themselves from the inevitable: a natural weakening of the pelvic floor muscle that when ignored or forgotten, leads to annoying symptoms that affect so many women in ways they rarely want to admit. We believe the time is now for this change. And we suspect you think it's about time as well.

  • Brand Launch
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    Noble Panacea

    Why We Love Them
    When launching their super luxurious collection, they took everything into account from the sustainability of the packaging to the purity of the formulas without comprising performance.
    Who They Are

    Noble Panacea was founded on the ambitious research of Sir Fraser Stoddart who was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his lifework researching molecular motion and has since overseen the development of Noble Panacea. The result is two first-to-market ranges of skincare products – The Absolute & The Brilliant – that deliver transformational efficacy through the Organic Molecular Vessel™ (OMV) Technology.

  • Brand Launch
    Close

    Odele

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    With eye-catching design and high-performing clean formulas, Odele is changing the reputation of better-for-you brands in the hair category.

    Who They Are

    Odele beauty is clean beauty for you + your people. Salon-grade, safe + inclusive products made to be shared with all who share your shower. We are focused on uncomplicating and democratizing the beauty space; putting fancy + clean where they belong, off the top shelf and into real life.

    Compromised of 9 haircare SKUs, all priced at $11.99, we're cruelty-free, sulfate-Free, Dermatologist Tested, EU ingredient compliant, and crafted with a 100% natural fragrance that is gender-neutral. Products were developed by hair type and texture, not age, gender, race or any other measure. The result is a simplified selection of products, categorized by color, with clearly communicated research backed benefits for easy navigation between regimen options. Clean, premium, inclusive products that aren't too fancy to share, available online + at Target stores nationwide.

    Why They Won
    Odele brings together clean beauty with salon-grade performance at mass prices. These quality products for both genders have mass appeal as proven with their exclusive partnership with Target that far exceeded sales expectations. True to their message of inclusivity, Odele has found a home with consumers who have a love for products that perform, beautiful packaging design, and messaging that high quality, clean hair care can and should be accessible.
  • Brand Launch
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    Tomen Botanicals

    Why We Love Them

    Tomen creates targeted, functional tinctures that draws upon the wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine to aid in focusing, detoxing, digestion and more.

    Who They Are

    The evolution of ancient botanical remedies. Tomen harnesses the power of plant-based healing traditions to create functional botanical concentrates that balance and restore natural rhythms.

    Tomen’s five proprietary adaptogenic blends were developed with masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine, integrative wellness and botany (as well as a female sommelier). Designed to be great tasting, aromatic healing tonics that are potent, efficacious and pure, each serving offers a full daily dose of medicinal botanicals. Created for ritualistic daily use, Tomen concentrates make incorporating healing botanicals into one’s life, both enjoyable and convenient.

    "Botanical tinctures with the multidimensionality of fine wine" - Beauty Independent

    Committed to seeking the world’s most pure, powerful plants, while also respecting their natural temples and rhythms, Tomen offers full traceability on all ingredients. All botanicals are certified-organic or ethically and sustainably wild-harvested. For every concentrate sold, Tomen plants a tree in partnership with One Tree Planted. Additionally, 1% of all sales benefit deforestation protection through The Nature Conservancy.

  • Best Brand
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    Foria

    Why We Love Them

    Taking CBD/sexual/feminine wellness to a new level, Foria’s products are efficacious with strong branding, organic and biodynamic sourcing, thorough transparency and testing, innovative extraction processes, and sustainable packaging. They cross the hemp/marijuana barrier really well, being available online and also in dispensaries. Their support of the Hudson Hemp affiliate farm network to empower the farmers they work with displays their investment in the segment.

    Who They Are

    Foria is an innovative health & sexual wellness company, rooted in the proven wisdom of plants and powered by compassion.

    Our all-natural Cannabis and Hemp formulas have been changing lives since 2014. We launched the category for CBD & sexual wellness, with a mission to close the pleasure gap. As the first brand to create comprehensive product lines for intimacy, relief, and daily wellbeing, we now offer effective, all-organic products for important and under-served life experiences, from menstruation to menopause.

    With an unwavering commitment to 100% clean ingredients (that means no chemicals of any kind, ever), organic and regenerative farming, taboo busting sex education, and responsible packaging, we strive to set the highest standards of purity and transparency — for your health, and the health of our planet.

  • Best Brand
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    Kreyòl Essence

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    When Yve-Car and her partner Stefan set out to launch a skincare brand, they didn’t do it solely for the personal success, they did it for their country of Haiti employing hundreds of people. After being part of Sephora's accelerator, Kreyol Essence has been unstoppable, with a successful appearance on Shark Tank and a nationwide rollout in Ulta Beauty.

    Who They Are

    Kreyòl Essence makes natural and conscious beauty products with ingredients from Haiti. Our formulations are focused on dry hair, dry, skin, and textured hair. We create work in Haiti for hundreds of farmers and women, help the environment by planting castor castor seeds that help reduce soil erosion, deforestation and green house gas emission, and are product to serve an inclusive tribe that includes women of color who have traditionally not found clean beauty products for her delivered in a fun and upscale manner.

    Why They Won
    Kreyòl Essence is a brand that stands out as an exemplar of a company that is effectively balancing its commercial goals of revenue and profitability growth with its core mission. The brand's triple digit sales growth and retail expansion were unmatched-- they launched nationally at ULTA and other specialty channels like Urban Outfitters and will soon be available on Goop and QVC. Founders, YveCar and Stephane are committed to creating a blue print for poverty alleviation by sourcing and creating work in Haiti for farmers and women who often live on less then 1 dollar a day by providing a living wage, education on finance and literacy, and by ensuring the country’s GDP is increased through exports.
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    Prima

    Why We Love Them

    In a little over a year, Prima has become one of the leading CBD beauty and wellness brands and the first CBD brand to achieve B-corp certification.

    Who They Are

    Prima is the science-led, purpose-driven holistic wellness brand elevating hemp-based CBD and functionally innovative botanicals. Its core mission is to rise up against the modern day stress epidemic through education and products made with the highest standards of purity, potency and transparency. Prima is built on the essential principle that balance is a critical part of health, healing, and happiness — and that we all deserve better. Prima is a privately held Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) based in Santa Monica California.

  • Best Brand
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    Tower 28

    Why We Love Them

    Tower 28 products became best sellers right out of the gate, gaining shelf space at Sephora less than a year post-launch. Founder Amy Liu also headed up the Clean Beauty Summer School program.

    Who They Are

    Founded by Amy Liu in 2019, Tower 28 is a clean beauty brand designed for sensitive skin and made for all. Created with a hint of nostalgia, Tower 28’s products are bold, playful, and accessible (with all price points under $28). With the message that #ItsOkayToBeSensitive, Tower 28 is the first and only beauty brand to follow the National Eczema Association’s Ingredient Guidelines. That means 0% irritating ingredients and 100% safe for sensitive skin. It's also clean, vegan, rigorously dermatologist-tested, and made in the USA.

  • Best Brand
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    Vegamour

    Why We Love Them

    In December, founder Dan Hodgdon powered his already best selling hair growth products for scalp, lashes and brows with CBD.

    Who They Are

    Vegamour is a hair wellness company that combines sustainably harvested, plant-based actives with the latest advances in molecular science to produce clean, clinically-tested formulas that effectively promote hair & scalp health. We believe in biodiversity, community, Fair Trade and corporate responsibility. Our mission is to advocate the use of thoughtfully sourced, organic plant actives in creating superior wellness & beauty products that neither harm the beautiful people who use them or the planet we all share.

  • Product Launch
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    Aromatic Inhalers

    Why We Love Them

    Hellen Yuan has created a collection of ritual-based healing products for modern life. When you can't take of the brands luxurious milk baths, these aromatherapy inhalers provide zen on the go.

    Who They Are

    Born out of a personal quest for healing, metamorphosis, and enlightenment, HELLEN provides resources to nurture your own transformative journey.

    Founder Hellen Yuan calls upon - and elevates - the centuries-old practices of aromatic botanicals and oils, sound bathing, and Reiki healing to create a collection of tools that serve to uplift your self-care practice.

  • Product Launch
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    Body Plane

    Why We Love Them

    A beautifully crafted body care tool that’s inspired by rituals from ancient Greek and Roman bath houses. The metal edge scrapes away dead cells, dirt and residue left behind by soap, lotion or sunscreen, deeply cleansing and exfoliating the skin.

    Who They Are

    Esker is evolving the bathing category from utilitarian afterthought to utopian experience. Each of our targeted lines features a blend of natural oils that nourish your body’s skin type. Our bodywashes and tools help elevate the bodycare experience, turning routines into rituals.

  • Product Launch
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    Eyeliner Duo

    Why We Love Them

    Guide's eyeliner wand is fashioned with a precision tip applicator that makes advanced makeup artistry techniques achievable for anyone.

    Who They Are

    GUIDE BEAUTY has reimagined makeup and how we apply it. Universally designed tools that GUIDE your hand to better and easier application, along with luxurious, clean formulas.

    For over 25 years GUIDE BEAUTY founder, Terri Bryant, worked as an artist on set with top models and celebrities and as an educator creating programs for prestige makeup brands. But she was always aware of a disconnect and that learning the steps to applying makeup often didn’t translate to being able to apply makeup with confidence. Over the years, many of her clients shared that makeup was often challenging. The educator in her was determined to solve her clients' challenges, but as a makeup artist, it was difficult to truly understand what she had never experienced herself. That was until she started having challenges of her own. Suddenly, the techniques that had always been second nature - a precision line, shaping the brows, even sweeping on mascara - became more challenging. In 2015, Terri was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but she wasn’t ready to give up on her love of makeup. She began rethinking makeup and developing a new approach to applying it. She was not simply solving for her issues, but for all of us looking for a quicker way. An easier way. A better way. Though it came through unfortunate circumstances, she now had the inspiration and energy to make beauty easier for everybody. Working with designers and industrial engineers, industry experts, and real makeup wearers, Terri created GUIDE BEAUTY, a truly fresh approach to makeup that puts artistry into your hands.

  • Product Launch
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    The Hair Grower

    Why We Love Them

    Camille Stephens paid homage to Madame CJ Walker by creating this limited-edition product release inspired by an original CJ Walker product.

    Who They Are

    Camille Rose all began in the kitchen of the CEO/Founder, Janell Stephens, back in 2011 and took off in 2012 with a product line of skincare products ranging from diaper rash cream to nursing mom cream. Each homemade creation held true to the Camille Rose company mission to produce a line of high end, gourmet blends with health and wellness in mind.

    In 2012, Camille Rose launched its online store and rolled out later that year into 100 Target stores nationwide. Several other retailers followed. The is brand now available in over 300,000 locations in national retailers including Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sally’s Beauty, Whole Foods, Walgreens and CVS to name a few throughout the US. On a global platform, the brand launched overseas at the health and beauty pharmacy chain, Boots UK. Most recently, the brand has launched Camille Rose FACE, the brand's foray into the skincare industry that was met with much fanfare and support on a global scale.

    Camille Rose has continued to grow with the new expanded vision of its Master Mixtress and can now boast over 30 hand-crafted products for hair, body, and face.

  • Product Launch
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    The Studio Box

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    During the pandemic, Olive + June made sure consumers were able to get a salon-worthy manicure at home.

    Who They Are

    Olive & June believes that having a fresh manicure can make you feel like your best self and that everyone deserves this feeling. That’s why we’re on a mission to teach everyone how to paint their own nails by making it easier, better, and more fun than ever before.

    Why They Won
    This beloved LA- brand nail care developed an all-inclusive proprietary manicure system that delivers salon-perfect manicures at home. Only 12% of women feel they know how to do their own nails because it’s hard to paint with your non-dominant hand. Olive & June provided the tools, like The Poppy, which gives users an ergonomic grip with more control over the brush for even, steady strokes making it easier to paint with your non-dominant hand, and education needed to make it easier, better and more fun to paint your nails at home during a time where being at home is a necessity.
  • Indie Deal
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    Aquis

    Why We Love Them

    Fast-growing hair care company Aquis closed a $5 million growth financing round to further power its innovation in clean, scientifically-backed products created to restore hair health.

  • Indie Deal
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    Atolla

    Why We Love Them

    Customized skincare specialist Atolla created by an MIT scientists and an expert dematologist raises a $2.5 million seed round to power its growth.

    Who They Are

    Atolla is a custom skincare startup founded by a designer, data science, and dermatologist from MIT, and the winner of Popular Science's Best Innovation of 2019 Award. They leverage a patented machine learning process to create custom skincare products using an easy, at-home skin test. Their first product is a monthly subscription for a custom serum targeting your persistent, specific skin issues (including wrinkles, breakouts, dark spots, dryness, oiliness, scarring, and sun damage).

  • Indie Deal
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    Equilibria

    Why We Love Them

    Amidst the pandemic, one-year-old CBD startup Equilibria was able to raise a $1.97 million seed round led by cannabis-focused Salveo Capital.

    Who They Are

    Equilibria is a Chicago-based CBD company offering premium, farm-fresh, full-spectrum CBD products. In a sea of CBD brands, Equilibria proudly offers personalized dosage support led by veteran cannabis educators and unparalleled quality from their exclusive bioscience partner- all to advance the mission of balance for women.

  • Indie Deal
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    Kosas

    Why We Love Them

    Kosas has been on a meteoric rise since founder Sheena Yaitanes launched the brand in 2015. This investment brings Kosas one step closer to its inevitable acquisition.

    Who They Are

    Kosas is Makeup For Skincare Freaks. Because taking care of your skin includes the makeup that you put on it. Nourishing, botanical-rich formulas offer performance-driven results and real skincare benefits.

    Our game-changing formulas are easy to use, feel good and only take a few minutes — with long-lasting, high-impact color that flatters all skin tones. It’s clean beauty, reimagined.

  • Indie Deal
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    Topicals

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Two 23 year old women of color, Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng raised a whopping $2.6 million for their gen Z skincare brand than wants to make treating flare-ups fun.

    Who They Are

    Founded by two young women of color with chronic skin conditions, Topicals is transforming the way you feel about skin by making the treatment of stigmatized skin conditions like eczema and hyperpigmentation synonymous with the luxury and fun of self-care. Believing you shouldn’t have to hide, feel less-than, or settle for products that don’t serve or speak to you, Topicals products are effective and luxurious, but won’t break the bank.

    Why They Won
    The founders of Topicals have built a science driven brand that addresses a real unmet need for women of color. What’s more, they’ve launched products that are equally fun as they are effective so that young women are proud to pull the products out of their bag, encouraging conversation and removing the stigma from not having “perfect skin.” Topicals has secured a $2.6 million funding round in arguably one of the toughest macro environments. With the backing of world-class investors, we look forward to seeing the growth of this brand as they continue to spread skin-positivity messages to all young women.
  • Indie Deal
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    W3ll People

    Why We Love Them

    A pioneer of clean color, W3ll People was acquired by mass mega-brand E.L.F. in January for $27 million.

  • Entrepreneur
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    Beatrice Dixon

    Founder,

    The Honey Pot Company

    Why We Love Them

    The Honeypot Co. founder has created a clean and inclusive personal care empire with a rabid fan base that stalk the shelves of Target and Walmart nationwide to stock up on Honeypot's products.

    Who They Are

    When she was younger, Beatrice Dixon suffered with bacterial vaginosis for eight months. One night, an ancestor gave her the ingredients to heal herself in a dream. From that insightful dream, she created the formula for a healthy, clean feminine wash. In 2014, Dixon launched The Honey Pot Company, a plant-based feminine hygiene line created with a goal to provide women with a healthy alternative to feminine care that is free of chemicals, parabens, carcinogens and sulfates. The rest is history.

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    Alexandra Fine

    Co-Founder,

    Dame Products

    Why We Love Them

    Alexandra Fine has been a leader in the sexual wellness space for years on a mission to bring equality in the bedroom and close the pleasure gap.

  • Entrepreneur
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    Barbara Paldus

    Founder & CEO,

    Codex Beauty

    Why We Love Them

    Scientist turned investor and beauty brand founder Barbara Paldus is building a science-forward clean beauty collective with Codex Beauty and Sehkmet Ventures.

    Who They Are

    I am a scientist, engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codex Beauty. Prior to launching Codex Beauty, I spent two decades leading innovation in the fields of biotechnology, spectroscopy and telecommunications. After my son had an allergic reaction to a commonly used preservative, phenoxyethanol, my curiosity led me to find a safer alternative and raise the standard in the beauty industry. I now work to discover, develop, innovate and lead all aspects of the company.

  • Entrepreneur
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    Julissa Prado

    Founder & CEO,

    Rizos Curls

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Outspoken in her support for her fellow Latinas, Julissa Prado is a force to be reckoned with in the hair space. This year, her brand Rizos Curls broke into Target. It won't be long before it's everywhere.

    Who They Are

    Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Julissa Prado is the Founder & CEO of Rizos Curls, a Latina-owned hair care line aimed at embracing and celebrating the beauty of curls, coils and waves everywhere!

    After years of making her own curly cocktail and being the “curl whisperer” within her community, Julissa decided to launch her own hair care line Rizos Curls. The result is a line of products made with quality natural ingredients that works across a variety of curly hair textures. The brand has amassed a global following of #RizosReinas, becoming a favorite among the curly hair community, shipped to over 57 countries and now available at Target stores nationwide!

    As one of the leading faces of the beauty industry and entrepreneurship, Julissa is an active national speaker with past speaking roles at Harvard University, The Girlboss Rally & the U.S. Department of State for The United Nations, among others. She also proudly organizes curated events and resources centered on entrepreneurship, including the Rizos Curls Small Business Summit.

    Why They Won
    Julissa Prado, the founder of Rizos Curls, stood out to the expert evaluators for her unwavering vision, passion, and perseverance. She has strived to achieve inclusivity and diversity in beauty, an industry that so often told her “no”. Julissa has shown a commitment to community, a willingness to maneuver and adapt in the face of adversity, and the ability to create value not only as a profitable, self-funded, Latina-owned business, but as a mission-driven brand inspiring the next generation of women of color entrepreneurs.
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    Lauren Napier

    Founder & CEO,

    Lauren Napier Beauty

    Why We Love Them

    In addition to running her successful brand Lauren Napier Beauty, Napier has launched Consider Something Better, an organization calling for large companies to fund Black women-led businesses.

    Who They Are

    A bona fide beauty expert, Lauren Napier has worked with Oscar winners, music and pop icons, indie film stars, silver screen legends, a Beatle, a Bond, and an American President. To date, Lauren's work has been seen in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Essence and Elle magazine as well as network series on HBO, Hulu, CBS and long standing comedy institution, Saturday Night Live.

    A natural approach to beauty made Lauren a standout in an a time when layering beauty was the standard. "In a culture obsessed with perfection, I see beauty in informal moments. We all want to feel comfortable and confident with what lies beneath. “There is beauty intaking it off.”

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    Frédéric Fekkai

    Why We Love Them

    Frederic is a serial entrepreneur in the beauty space who has created multiple best selling brands across several beauty and personal care categories.

    Who They Are

    Born in Provence and trained in Paris, Frédéric Fekkai’s more than three decade career took off thanks to his groundbreaking salon at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, where he specialized in one-of-a-kind hair care. Today, he runs Provencal beauty brand Bastide with his wife Shirin and recently relaunched his namesake hair care brand FEKKAI as sustainable, clean, and vegan with all the salon performance his customers love. He’s a thought leader, and entrepreneur through-and-through, and a sustainability advocate.

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    Marcia Kilgore

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Marcia Kilgore’s name is synonymous with the term groundbreaker. An outsider to the beauty industry at first, she filled an unmet need by being the first to fuse fun and approachability into the spa market with her chain of aptly-named Bliss Spas. She continued her success streak with the launch of Soap & Glory where she broke into the mass market, turning the brand into an instant hit by partnering with one of beauty's largest retailers, Boots. Kilgore’s newest venture, Beauty Pie, pioneers an entirely new way to discover and engage in beauty innovation. Constantly opening up new doors and always looking for an edge, Kilgore has pushed beyond the status quo in every aspect of her career.

    Who They Are

    Marcia Kilgore first put her stamp on the beauty world by opening Bliss® Spa in New York City in the mid ‘90s. Pundits dubbed her ‘the new Estée Lauder’, crediting her with revolutionizing the urban day spa industry. Three years later (a few months after she had sold her majority stake in Bliss® to LVMH), Time Magazine chose 29-year-old Kilgore as their cover star, pegging her as one of the new generation of entrepreneurs – whose hard work, ingenuity and fearlessness trumped the networking, business school bigshots.

    When her final show aired in May 2011 - Oprah Winfrey referred to her former facialist - Kilgore - as one of the most inspiring people she’d met. By then, Kilgore had moved to London, started a family (she and husband Thierry have two boys) and begun watering two new idea buds. Both of those eclipsed her success with Bliss. Kilgore sold her second brand - Soap & Glory® (launched in 2006) with then annual sales topping £100m - to Alliance Boots/Walgreens in November 2014.

    Her third company - FitFlop® footwear (launched in 2007) is now sold in 64 countries, was one of the first to mix comfort biomechanics and fashion – and is on a mission to supply ‘shoes for superwomen’.

    Kilgore’s newest ventures were brought to life in London and are staffed by the up-and-coming superstars she’s met along the way." "Her team launched naturally-derived bath & body product brand called Soaper Duper® in 2016, with simple recycled and recyclable plastic packaging and biodegradable formulations, and a partnership with Water Aid. So far, Soaper Duper has recycled over 30 tonnes of plastic since and hopes to do a lot of good, while doing a lot of business.

    And then there’s: BEAUTY PIE®. Her biggest idea yet.
    Launched in December 2016 (in the USA and the UK) and using the leading third-party luxury labs that she worked with for the last 25 years, BEAUTY PIE is turning the luxury beauty industry on its head, with a direct-to-consumer buyer’s club model and totally transparent pricing - unheard of in an industry where profit margins can be as high as 95%. Tens of thousands of people have already joined, and have access to luxury beauty products without the luxury beauty prices.
    And Kilgore? She’s on a mission to get millions of women a bigger piece of the BEAUTY PIE®.

    Why They Won
    Marcia Kilgore is a serial entrepreneur, and a person who has positively impacted and disrupted the beauty industry for many years. She possesses incredible vision and the courage to transform the traditional boundaries of the beauty category. From transforming the way we walk with FitFlops, to the way we indulge with BlissSpa, to changing the way we think about Luxury products with BeautyPie, she has revolutionized our approach to Beauty from head to toe. Equally important, she has inspired countless other founders to follow their dreams.
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    Kate Somerville

    Why We Love Them

    A longtime skin expert who's created some of skincare's most coveted products, like the legendary Exfoliakate.

    Who They Are

    A trailblazer in the world of prestige skincare, Kate Somerville has been healing skin and transforming lives for two decades. Having grown up with eczema, Kate understands firsthand the pain of not feeling comfortable in her own skin. After finding relief in the healing powers of goat’s milk, Kate’s personal transformation fueled a professional passion for helping others. In her 20s, she worked alongside some of the world’s top cosmetic surgeons as a paramedical esthetician, finetuning her signature skincare style that blends the best of dermatological and cosmetologicalworlds.
    In 2004, Kate opened her Skin Health Experts Clinic on Melrose Place in the heart of Hollywood. Soon, she became known as the Guru Of Glow among celebrities, entertainers and other high profilepersonalities who recognized the value of her visible results, zero downtimeapproach to skincare.
    Today, Kate treats some of the world’s most famous and photographed faces, helping them get red carpet and camera ready. Whether treating a VIP client in the clinic or delivering visible results from the comfort of home through her prestige product line, Kate truly believes that everyone deserves beautiful skin and promises to help you get there. Her ability to custom cocktail signature solutions to quickly and visibly transform specific skin concerns is the art behind the science (and what keeps clients coming back!).

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    Ancora

    Why We Love Them

    Helmed by Space NK founder Nicky Kinnaird and accomplished international consumer product executive Lori Perella Krebs, Ancora's team brings expertise and key services to support growing clean beauty and wellness brands.

    Who They Are

    I developed this unique model because I wanted to give a voice to truly authentic, early-stage brands that had complementary positioning with similar distribution. By leveraging relationships with senior talent across retail, supply chain, product formulation, accounting, and digital marketing, Nicky and I were able to form a team who could bring their expertise and spread their services across these brands. Through my search, I learned the importance of clean, and our model not only embraces clean, but we now have an internal coalition that is charged with learning and leading a path for our brands toward a cleaner, more sustainable and safer journey.

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    LB Equity

    Why We Love Them

    LB Equity is a pioneering investor in the CBD arena.

    Who They Are

    Lucas Brand Equity (LBE) is a growth equity firm that invests in beauty and wellness brands with purpose. As an investment firm, LBE seeks out opportunities to invest in smaller brands that show promise of high-growth while also demonstrating passion and a larger mission that drives the brand. Since 2013, LBE has invested over $45 million in skin care, hair care, and other personal care brands. With more than a dozen brands in their current portfolio, LBE focuses on companies that have high quality products who also look at their impact holistically.

    From Soapbox Soaps, providing soap and hygiene education to those in need, to Immunocologie, formulating skincare products that support immune health, to Standard Dose, changing the landscape of the CBD and plant-based wellness world, LBE has identified and partnered with unique and innovative brands that are the ‘movers and shakers’ in their respective sectors. These companies view their existence as more than the simple transaction between a customer and a brand. They see the responsibility they have to people and the planet through these transactions and seek to do the most ‘good’ and have the greatest positive impact through their business practices.

    LBE partners with these mission-driven brands, bringing the critical capital and value-add resources to help make them successful. By aligning with brands that share core values of sustainability and social responsibility, LBE is confident that they will have a net positive impact on people and the planet.

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    SoGal

    Why We Love Them

    SoGal Ventures and its sister nonprofit SoGal Foundation tirelessly create programs, like SoGal Academy, Black Founder Startup Grant, SoGal Global Pitch Competition and FEMPIRE x SoGal angel investing group, to empower every woman to get the funding they need or become an investor herself.

    Who They Are

    SoGal Ventures is the first female-led next-generation venture capital firm, with a mission to redefine the future of living, working and staying healthy. Founded by Pocket Sun and Elizabeth Galbut in 2017, SoGal has raised $14.5M for its first fund and invested in 35 startups that are 100% led by women, people of color, LGBTQ, immigrants, and veterans. We passionately invest in and help build human-centric, design-driven, borderless, and community-powered businesses.

    SoGal Ventures is backed by beauty veterans such as Leslie Blodgett of Bare Minerals and Marla Beck of Bluemercury, as well as the largest US department store company Macy’s. SoGal’s investments in beauty include custom hair care Function of Beauty, Gen-Z makeup Winky Lux, AI skincare consultant HelloAva, and clean hair brand for Latinas Ceremonia.

    With an ecosystem across 55 cities globally, SoGal provides the best network, access and education for women entrepreneurs on 5 continents, beyond venture capital investing.

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    Unilever Ventures

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Unilever Ventures stands out for being among the most prolific and progressive investment arms of any top 10 global beauty company. Over the past few years, the venture arm has made dozens of investments across numerous product categories, geographies and funding stages, consistently supporting independent innovation and doing so on a meaningful scale.

    Who They Are

    Unilever Ventures is the venture capital and private equity arm of Unilever. We invest in Beauty & Wellness, New Commerce Models and Enterprise Tech for the consumer goods industry. Stage agnostic, we back early as well as later stage emerging brands and technologies, accelerating growth by providing access to Unilever Ventures’ ecosystem and expertise. Our role goes beyond just providing equity and we seek to add value by actively supporting our companies and entrepreneurs. Since the launch of our third fund in 2013, Unilever Ventures has backed close to 30 companies across Skin, Hair, Colour and Wellness, in North America, Europe, India and Australia. Exciting new additions during the last year in the Indie Beauty Segment include beauty search engine Mira, Plant People, Rael, Saie, Uoma Beauty and ZitSticka.

    Why They Won
    Over the last 6 years, Unilever Ventures is a fund that has achieved a high quantity of successful and disruptive beauty and wellness deals across all categories and geographies. Olivier, Anna and their team have done a remarkable job creating an innovation platform for a corporate giant, which combines flair and agility with scale and a high level of return. The expert evaluators were also impressed with the incredible and numerous testimonials from the entrepreneurs backed by Unilever Ventures which demonstrates the quality and depth of their mutual collaboration. Unilever is a strong and vital partner of indie beauty, congratulations again for winning the Investor Beacon Award.
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    Waldencast

    Why We Love Them

    Neither purely a financial fund nor an incubator, Waldencast stands out as an entirely new entity designed specifically from the ground-up to support the unique needs of independent innovators. Led by a team of experienced industry veterans with a passion for founder-led brands driving positive change, Waldencast has the focus, expertise and long-term capital to make a meaningful impression on the beauty landscape.

    Who They Are

    Waldencast is a holding company and investment fund that incubates and accelerates early stage beauty and wellness brands and helps them rapidly scale up by industry specific operational expertise. Waldencast invests in brand-led business models and goes beyond traditional incubation and acceleration to develop a collective of innovative and unique brands.

    Driven by a belief that responsible entrepreneurship can be a powerful force for change towards conscious consumerism, Waldencast was established with a shared vision to make the beauty and wellness industry more sustainable, transparent, and inclusive.

    Waldencast has offices in New York and London and has an investment portfolio in North America, Europe, and Latin America that includes brands like Kjaer Weis, Sallve, Costa Brazil, Manual, c16 Bio, and The Nue Co.

  • Large Indie Retailer
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    C.O. Bigelow

    Why We Love Them

    As the fourth generation of the Ginsberg family prepares to take over the reigns of the famed NYC apothecary, C.O. Bigelow remains an icon of independence, persistently charting its own course and remaining a champion of introducing new independent brands to its loyal customer base.

    Who They Are

    C.O. Bigelow fuses decades of knowledge with the best of today’s technology to create authentic and effective solutions to everyday problems. Each formula tells a different story. Some have been selected directly from their historical recipe books, while others were inspired by scouring the globe. All products are cruelty-free and prepared with minimal preservatives.

  • Large Indie Retailer
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    Cedra Pharmacies

    Why We Love Them

    Cedra has perfected the modern apothecary model with a beautiful selection of independent beauty and wellness brands alongside your pharmacy staples.

    Who They Are

    At Cedra Pharmacy we specialize in beauty and wellness. Our store is part boutique, part pharmacy, and part organic juicery. It's a one stop shop for all of your essential needs. Our service is professional, knowledgeable and customized. Like an attentive concierge, we anticipate your needs and administer unprecedented care, so you can focus on the pursuit of beauty and healthy living.
    Cedra Pharmacy has a unique blend of indie beauty brands and luxury brands. We want to cater to every customer and provide an array of products.

  • Large Indie Retailer
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    Cos Bar

    Why We Love Them

    Long before others entered the game, Cos Bar was offering discerning consumers an alternative to department stores for discovering prestige beauty brands. Today, Cos Bar has embraced independent beauty in a meaningful way, helping to bring their innovations to dozens of lucrative markets around the US.

    Who They Are

    Since its foundation in Aspen in 1976, Cos Bar has been the premier luxury multi-brand beauty retailer of excellence. Cos Bar has successfully carved out a unique and engaging sales experience focused on the needs of all clients. Coupled with a carefully curated array of the world’s best beauty brands, this artful combination of selection and service has positioned Cos Bar as a leader in the luxury beauty space. Today, Cos Bar operates 18 retail stores across the U.S. and an ecommerce site at cosbar.com.

    Lily Garfield, founder of Cos Bar, is a longtime resident of Aspen. She was alarmed to find that despite the high altitude, harsh weather and strong sun, there were few skincare products available to combat the vigorous climate of the Rockies. She set out to create a beauty boutique that would become synonymous with quality, selecting skincare, makeup and fragrance from the world’s finest collections.

  • Large Indie Retailer
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    Follain

    Why We Love Them

    As an indie beauty retailer, Follain hinges on creating an authentic, high standard customer experience while helping them discover over 50 independent brands across their six US retail locations. The retailer also debuted their own namesake brand within their stores and last year expanded that line into Ulta, Anthropologie and QVC.

    Who They Are

    Follain leads the movement toward healthier skin and personal care, by curating and creating the best in clean beauty on follain.com and in stores across the country.

    Since opening doors to it’s first store in 2013, Follain has stood behind clean ingredients that really work; tested by real women, for real women. It’s tightly curated assortment includes skincare, makeup, haircare, and bodycare hero products from ~60 brands, including an eponymous brand, which is sold at Follain and in other retailers across the country. The intention of their tight curation is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find the best clean products for them, in an increasingly crowded beauty marketplace.

    Follain’s clean roots run deep. Founder Tara Foley is outspoken in her belief that everyone deserves powerful clean products, and she created Follain as a result of her own personal health and wellness journey. To this end, Follain tirelessly supports the passionate clean beauty experts and entrepreneurs that fuel this movement. Follain was the first beauty retailer with a restricted ingredients list, but also believes that clean beauty goes beyond the absence of unsafe ingredients, to focus on the goodness within products. It’s about feeding your skin with real vitamins, minerals and nutrients that will truly work better; delivering healthier, stronger skin.

  • Large Indie Retailer
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    The Detox Market

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    One of North America's premier clean beauty retailers, The Detox Market has set the standard for a premium clean beauty and wellness shopping experience.

    Who They Are

    The Detox Market was born from a love for purity and an eagerness to support communities in healthful lifestyles. Years ago, a close family friend of founder Romain Gaillard was battling breast cancer. Through health and wellness coaches, they learned her best defense was a detoxified life, which meant saying goodbye to chemically-laden beauty products. When Romain heard this, he was not immediately convinced—after all, in Paris where Romain is from skincare is sold by professionals wearing white lab coats. But when he researched further into the business of conventional beauty, he learned that it was true. Originally curated as a pop-up shop in 2010 on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, California to introduce a few niche natural brands, The
    Detox Market is now a household name in the beauty world across North America with seven locations spread over Los Angeles and Toronto, and their seventh location in New York City that opened in September 2018.

    Specializing in skin care and beauty, The Detox Market is a one stop shop for those looking to remove toxicity from products they use day to day. The company offers a tight selection of eco-friendly, non-toxic, cruelty-free brands in Beauty, Wellness, Health, and Home.

    Why They Won
    The Detox Market is fulfilling its mission by creating a welcoming in store environment and a seamless approach to e-commerce. The expert evaluators loved The Detox Market’s all-indie brand approach and focus on clean products. This business goes above and beyond, with new initiatives to support sustainability and inclusivity, most notably its creation of The Launchpad—a $1 million spend over four years to support BIPOC founded brands.
  • Small Indie Retailer
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    Beauty Heroes

    Why We Love Them

    Since the inception of its subscription service, the Beauty Heroes model has brought intention to the beauty discovery process one hero product at a time. As a constant champion of independent brands the Beauty Heroes platform is education-forward allowing intimate discovery by devoted subscribers and through their newly launched brick-and-mortar store in Novato, CA.

    Who They Are

    Through our monthly Discovery service, curated online Beauty Store and new Northern California-based Discovery Store, Beauty Heroes® is your destination for healthy beauty discovery. Beauty Heroes currently holds the most rigorous ingredient standard in the industry, a responsibility we take very seriously. The products we select are formulated with the highest quality, mostly natural, organic, biodynamic and wild-harvested ingredients that have been ethically sourced by companies who care about your health and the health of our planet. Our vetting process ensures only products of the highest integrity make the cut. While all of the brands featured at Beauty Heroes meet the highest standards in ingredient sourcing and transparency, efficacy and luxury, through Project Blue Beauty we celebrate pioneering brands that are pressing forward with innovative packaging solutions and planet-positive initiatives that support a bluer, more beautiful planet. Beauty Heroes is a 1% For the Planet company.

  • Small Indie Retailer
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    Inside Outer Beauty

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    Dixie Lincoln-Nichols curates a selection of non-toxic inner and outer beauty solutions to meet shoppers’ well-rounded beauty, personal care and home needs.

    Who They Are

    Inside Outer Market is a clean beauty retailer, curating toxicant-free beauty, wellness, personal care and household care products that support the the body inside and out.

    Why They Won
    With a focus on BIPOC clientele, and expert curation of toxic free products, and consistent messaging that invites and sustains customer engagement, Inside Outer Beauty epitomized the best qualities that a small retailer can bring to its customer base.
  • Small Indie Retailer
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    Knockout Beauty

    Why We Love Them

    With Knockout Beauty, Cayli Cavaco Reck's has mastered the balance between high-touch service and zero-pressure shopping. Her assortment of clean, upscale products has something for everyone.

    Who They Are

    A “Conscious Beauty for the Modern-Minded” Movement

    Cayli Cavaco Reck is carving a completely original path in beauty. As the daughter of not one – but two – editors of American Vogue, she was immersed in the world of elite editorial talent from a very young age. But it’s through her own fascination with skin – and her willingness to spend years researching physiology, ingredients, formulation and even the way hormones affect our complexions – that Knockout Beauty was conceived and executed.

    Knockout Beauty is a one-on-one skincare consultancy...connecting Cayli directly with clients. In talks that can easily run an hour-plus, Cayli draws on her vast knowledge of both skin concerns and cutting-edge products to develop a protocol that is truly efficacious. Having dealt with melasma herself, Cayli is compassionate and determined to surface lasting results.

    Knockout Beauty is a retail space...that brings Cayli’s consults to life. Along with the most rigorously trained staff in the business, these meticulously curated outposts, located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Bridgehampton, and Los Angeles stock products hand-picked by Cayli in all beauty categories (skin, hair, nails, fragrance) as well as tools and wellness supplements.

    Knockout Beauty is a movement ...of “conscious beauty for the modern-minded.” Through both her extremely popular @knockout.beauty Instagram and a series of live events planned for cities all across the U.S., Cayli is expanding Knockout Beauty’s reach and impact.

  • Small Indie Retailer
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    Trellis

    Why We Love Them

    Raleigh based Trellis Beauty features near 30 independent brands among it’s clean beauty selections. They’re also home to the country’s first Beauty Steam and Beauty Treatment Bar, an open concept facial bar.

    Who They Are

    Raleigh, NC’s first Clean Beauty Boutique, home to the country’s first Beauty Steam and Treatment Bar. A total Clean Beauty Experience!

  • Small Indie Retailer
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    Undefined Collective

    Why We Love Them

    Founder Dorian Morris spotlights inclusive, clean and consciously-created CBD brands, including her own range of skincare and color cosmetics, Undefined Beauty.

    Who They Are

    Undefined Collective is a disruptive omnichannel retail platform focused on conscious capitalism via curating like-minded indie brands that are female founded, minority owned, LGBTQ+ through unique IRL experience, brick & mortar popups and ecommerce. It is democratizing retail because 1+1 can equal 5 when indie brands come together. We have over 50 brand partners that have come together around this aligned vision and have executed a successful physical brick & mortar popup in Oakland, CA and more importantly, we have been able to educate the community on the amazing benefits of cannabis, plant based solutions and demystify its internal and external benefits. Undefined Collective is continuing to evolve and I'm working on something special in the Arts District DTLA that will launch very soon.

  • Online Retailer
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    Amazon

    Why We Love Them

    Amazon is profoundly changing the way consumers discover and shop for brands. Shunned by the big established beauty companies, the e-commerce giant has therefore focused on recruiting and promoting hundreds of small and mid-sized beauty and wellness brands on its platform, providing them with an opportunity to reach millions of new potential customers around the world.

    Who They Are

    Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

  • Online Retailer
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    Bloomi

    Why We Love Them

    Sexologist and entrepreneur Rebecca Alvarez Story has curated an inclusive collection of quality, clean intimate care products coupled with approachable educational content that fosters an empowering experience for consumers.

    Who They Are

    Bloomi is the world's first marketplace for intimacy that is revolutionizing the intimate wellness category. Bloomi expertly curates clean and modern products for womxn while also acting as an educational resource for all things intimacy. Adding to this innovation, Bloomi created the first “Clean Standard” in the industry which promotes ingredient transparency.

  • Online Retailer
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    Dermstore

    Why We Love Them

    An online-only beauty retailer with one of the most comprehensive prestige collections in the world.

    Who They Are

    We offer professional-strength formulas from top skin care brands (otherwise only available at a dermatologist’s office), hard-to-find spa care and natural beauty brands, professional hair care and makeup products, and specialty brands from around the world.

  • Online Retailer
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    Grove Collaborative

    Why We Love Them

    Grove Collaborative has shown that products better for the planet and human health are mainstream.

    Who They Are

    Launched in 2016 as a Certified B Corp, Grove Collaborative creates innovative natural products and offers a curated selection of healthy home essentials like cleaning supplies and personal care products. With a flexible scheduled delivery model and a personal shopper, a “Grove Guide” assigned to each customer, Grove’s platform makes it easy for people to switch to healthier, more sustainable routines. Every item Grove Collaborative offers, both from their flagship brand and from exceptional third party brands, has been thoroughly vetted against strict standards for sustainability, efficacy and supply chain practices. On a mission to define a new industry standard of eco-consciousness, Grove is the first and only plastic neutral retailer in the world and is committed to becoming 100% plastic-free by 2025.

  • Online Retailer
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    Verishop

    Winner

    Why We Love Them

    If you could shop the life of your most stylish friend who has the coolest everything, the selection would look a lot like Verishop's.

    Who They Are

    Verishop is a tech company bringing fun back to online shopping. We make inspiration shoppable with an e-commerce platform that combines social discovery with a seamless purchasing experience. The Verishop app gives users a feed of engaging and entertaining videos and photos which are all made shoppable with the help of artificial intelligence. For both the app and our website, shoppers get our promise of free 2-day shipping, free returns, 24/7 customer care and best price guarantee.

    We sell products across all major lifestyle categories that appeal to our millennial audience -- including fashion, home decor, beauty, wellness and electronics -- and all our brands and products are vetted, so both customers and brands can feel confident in coming to Verishop. Our brand acquisition team has focused on bringing small or emerging brands, alongside the national names, to serve our customers the best products out there. Verishop has also focused on subcategories rarely seen on major retailers or e-commerce players like sexual wellness, clean beauty and sleep. We're just a year old and looking forward to continuing our push into social commerce and online retail.

    Why They Won
    Verishop received top honors for how easy it is to navigate its site and its dedication to supporting indie brands. Over 2/3 of their assortment are indie. The focus on customer service and education was also something for which all expert evaluators praised Verishop.
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Meet The Experts

  • Carol Hamilton

    Group President, Acquisitions,
    L'Oreal
  • David Yi

    Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief,
    Very Good Light
  • Cristina Nuñez

    Co-Founder & Partner,
    True Beauty Ventures
  • Janet Gurwitch

    Operating Partner,
    Advent International
  • Chelsea Williams

    Founder,
    ThatsChelsea
  • Nini Zhang

    Director of Luxury, Beauty and Apparel,
    Credit Suisse
  • Rahama Wright

    Founder,
    Shea Yeleen
  • Joël Palix

    Founder,
    Palix Unlimited
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