Beauty Independent Unveils 2021 Beacon Awards Nominees

The 2021 Beacon Awards is shining a light on 115 outstanding nominees across 24 categories in beauty, wellness and personal care.

For the second annual beauty awards programs spearheaded by Beauty Independent, the publication is unveiling a wide-ranging group of contenders, including Danessa Myricks, founder of inclusive and high-performance cosmetics brand Danessa Myricks Beauty; Paula Begoun, founder of science-backed skincare pioneer Paula’s Choice; Sarah Brown, founder of organic skincare brand Pai; Grace Eleyae, founder of hair protection brand Grace Eleyae; Eric Ryan, co-founder of Method, Olly and Welly; and Kiana Reeves, chief brand officer at Foria Wellness. The full list of 2021 Beacon Awards candidates is available here.

The independent space is steered by innovators developing groundbreaking consumer goods and services that enhance everyday life, speak to niche audiences and address beauty challenges. While the coronavirus pandemic transformed consumer behaviors and priorities, indie brand founders navigated uncharted waters by pivoting operations quickly when stores closed, building thriving direct-to-consumer operations, reacting to consumers’ new needs through of-the-moment products and thinking of outside the box ways to connect with and educate their communities.

Amid the darkness, beauty entrepreneurs provided a way forward. That’s why we call them beacons or lights that offer guidance through uncharted waters,” says Rachel Brown, editor in chief of Beauty Independent. “I’m so thrilled our 2021 Beacon Awards program can recognize more of them across additional categories to draw attention to what they’ve accomplished as a result of and in spite of all the difficulties of the pandemic.”

The Beacon Awards framework has been expanded by nine award categories. One such category, Brand Builder of the Year, celebrates non-founding individuals who’ve identified and implemented key building blocks essential to a brand’s success and growth. In total, the 2021 Beacon Award’s program’s 24 categories encompass the people, brands, products, retailers, missions and investors shaping the beauty landscape. 

“I celebrate Beauty Independent for being an amazing advocate and champion for all things indie beauty and indie founders,” says Julissa Prado, founder and CEO of Rizos Curls, a Beacon Awards winner last year. “Beauty Independent understands the force of brands like Rizos Curls as independent, founder-led beauty brands that are trailblazing change and innovation across the industry. It was an honor to be named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020, and I’m so excited to be an expert evaluator for the 2021 Beacon Awards.”

Over the next several weeks, a panel of 25 industry experts will have the difficult task of choosing winners from the accomplished cohort of 115 nominees. The veteran experts bring decades of deep knowledge about crucial aspects of the beauty and wellness arena, from retail operations and fundraising to media and manufacturing. Joining Prado is a panel that includes Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price, investors Janet Gurwitch and Elizabeth Edwards, L’Oréal executive Carol Hamilton, beauty retail strategist Kelly St. John, influencers Christine Mielke and Sarah Cheung, and Ulta Beauty indie beauty specialist Muffy Clince.

2021 Beacon Awards winners will be revealed during a live virtual event on Sept. 15 coinciding with Beauty Independent’s four-year anniversary.