Indie Beauty Media Group Announces 2018 Best In Show Nominees

With the conclusion of its fourth season—one that includes its first international destination—Indie Beauty Media Group, producer of Indie Beauty Expo, has released the list of 2018 Best In Show nominees.

The 2018 BIS nominees were picked out of pool of 538 IBE exhibitors, up from 398 in 2017 and 230 in 2016, from the Los Angeles, Dallas, New York and debut London expos. Nominations are based on several factors, most importantly feedback from buyers, editors and consumers during and following every expo.

Groh Best In Show
Hair and scalp specialist Groh is nominated for three Best In Show awards, including Best Shampoo/Conditioner, Best Styling Product and Best Men’s Grooming.

“With thousands of buyers, editors and influencers attending IBE, combined with our growing number of retail partnerships, we now have a great understanding of what leading beauty decision-makers and tastemakers respond to,” says Jillian Wright, co-founder of IBMG. “The solid relationships the IBMG team has forged over the years with these buyers and with editors means they all give us immediate feedback, often right on the show floor.”

The IBMG team compiled over 350 nominated products, the largest number ever, from its historically large group of IBE exhibitors. To represent the variety and caliber of brands at the four expos, IBMG exited some categories while increasing the number of Best In Show categories overall. Wright, who oversees the Best In Show awards, thought it necessary to revise the Best In Show categories for 2018.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
IBE Dallas exhibitor Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm is nominated for Best Facial Cleanser.

“As the indie beauty community grows, so does the types of products the brands are offering,” says Wright. “Year after year, the independent innovators are creating and bringing to market new products that continue to fill gaps based on the needs and desires of beauty lovers. We are here to honor those brands by creating categories that will bring light to their hard work and research.”

IBMG originally introduced the Best In Show awards in 2015, the year the company was founded, when there was one New York exposition showcasing 82 brands. For 2018, there are 30 categories, compared to 28 in 2017. Best In Show categories span product classifications such as bar soap, color cosmetics, ingestible, deodorant and men’s grooming. New 2018 categories are bath product, deodorant, eye makeup, SPF, impulse buy and gym product.

The nominated brands—some nominated on the brand level in categories like best clean ingredient brand, some having specific products nominated in categories like best facial scrub, and a handful nominated in both—are thrilled at the prospect of being part of the IBE conversation long after the show season has closed.

type:A is one of a whopping 17 brands nominated for Best Deodorant.

“We are beyond excited to be nominated for four awards this year,” says Anna Buss, founder of clean color cosmetics and skincare brand Fitglow Beauty. “Being part of the Indie Beauty Expo and the IBE community has really helped Fitglow grow by sharing our brand with a bigger audience.” Fitglow, a returning exhibitor to IBE and second-time Best In Show nominee, is in an elite group of eight brands nominated in four Best In Show categories.

Patti Pao, founder and CEO of Restorsea, another brand that racked up four 2018 nominations, was elated by the recognition. “I am beyond excited,” says Pao. IBE NY 2018 marked Restorsea’s first time exhibiting at IBE. “It is a honor to be nominated in four categories by IBE, one of the industry leaders.”

The nominated products will be sent to a panel of expert evaluators made up of leading beauty retail buyers, bloggers and editors who will spend nearly two months testing the products in categories they’re assigned to dive into. For many of the evaluators, it’s work they look forward to rolling up their sleeves for.

“My products should be arriving soon, and I plan to use them daily until it’s time to make a decision,” says Susan Yara, founder of the popular YouTube channel Mixed Makeup. “I’ve been in the beauty industry for about 15 years, so what I tend to look for is innovation—mostly in ingredients or how the product is applied. That said, I am always a fan of beauty products that simply work well. There are so many gimmicks and products that are ineffective these days, so when a really good, straight-forward product line launches, I’m all over it.”

The winning products in each category will be included in the Best in Show Beauty Collection. A portion of the Collection is sent to top beauty buyers and editors. The remainder is offered for purchase to the general public. Collections in previous years, which were sold exclusively on IBE’s website and offered over $600 in deluxe sample and full-size products, have repeatedly sold out. In 2018, with the greatest number of Best In Show categories being represented in the Collection, IBE expects consumer demand to rise.  

“Today, IBE showcases the largest collection of independent beauty brands to be found anywhere in the world,” says Nader Naeymi-Rad, co-founder of IBMG. He adds, “And no other contest captures the full breadth and depth of innovations beauty entrepreneurs are bringing to the market than the IBE Best in Show awards. It is the new standard. We are proud to recognize these innovations, and will continue to lead the charge to champion and advocate for beauty entrepreneurs in everything we do.”

The full list of 2018 Best In Show nominees is available on the Indie Beauty Expo website.