Nominations Open For Beauty Independent’s Fifth Annual Beacon Awards Program

The nominations process for Beauty Independent’s Beacon Awards, a program shining a light on the best and brightest in the emerging beauty market, is getting underway.

Beauty insiders will be able to nominate the people and brands they believe to be worthy of Beacon Awards via the publication’s website until April 24. The program is being sponsored by International Products Group and Merit Manufacturing.

With a unique focus on the indie beauty segment, the Beacon Awards program this year will span 27 categories covering a wide swath of beauty industry actors, including brands, investors, retailers, products and executives, to showcase beauty pioneers shaking up the industry. 

The Beacon Awards is growing with one additional category this year. The category Reference Deal is being introduced to celebrate the investment or exit that is regarded as setting a new standard for emerging beauty. The Product Innovation category is splitting into two categories to highlight innovation in technology and innovation in formulation. 

Nader Naeymi-Rad, co-founder of Beauty Independent parent company Indie Beauty Media Group, says, “The Beacon Awards is something we have built from scratch that has become a light in this industry both for nominees that are being recognized, but also for the expert evaluators who get a chance to be a part of the magic.”

Last year, 26 people and companies won Beacon Awards. Éva Goicochea, founder of sexual wellness brand Maude, Ulta Beauty CEO Dave Kimbell, clean textured haircare brand Adwoa Beauty, brick-and-mortar concept Glowbar, makeup and skincare hybrid brand Youthforia and haircare brand Sisterwould were a few of the 2023 Beacon Awards winners. 

“In the past, we’ve been honored to highlight Beacon Awards-winning brands like Caliray, Byoma, Monday, K18, Adwoa and many, many more for their ingenuity, and we can’t wait to see the up-and-coming brands that will walk away with Beacon Awards this year,” says Rachel Brown, editor in chief of Beauty Independent. “We learn about the amazing people and brands making the beauty industry better through the Beacon Awards program, and we aspire to help others learn about them as well.” 

The Beacon Awards program spotlights a wide swath of beauty industry actors, including brands, investors, retailers, products and executives, shaking up the industry.

Supporting initiatives like the Beacon Awards allows service providers like Merit and International Product Group to discover the brands that are primed to shake up the industry and to partner with these brands early in their lifecycle to develop innovative products.  

“At Merit, we are constantly inspired by the creativity and innovation that we see from emerging brands in the market,” says Kristofer Bain, chief revenue officer at Merit Manufacturing. “It challenges us to keep dreaming bigger and thinking differently. We’re honored that Beauty Independent is letting us celebrate and support these brands through the Beacon Awards.”

Bob Goehrke, CEO and co-founder of IPG, says, “IPG was created 20 years ago as a product development and manufacturing partner focused on innovation for founder-led and influencer brands.  Two decades later, it is exactly those indie brands that are driving market growth in the beauty and wellness sectors. The Beacon Awards are so important as they give a platform for our entire community to celebrate innovation, leaders and the constant exchange of ideas. We are excited to recognize and celebrate those who have an unrelenting spirit for innovation and excellence in our category. “

Beauty Independent’s editors and contributors are tasked with narrowing down Beacon Awards submissions to five nominees in each category excluding retail categories featuring one honoree. The publication will contact Beacon Awards nominees over the next three months, and nominees will be announced in August, a month prior to the announcement of the winners during a special live digital event on Sept. 25. Also in September, in-person cocktail events in New York and Los Angeles will take place to honor the Beacon Awards community ahead of the virtual ceremony. 

Nominees will be eligible to pay an application fee to participate in the program. Beacon Awards winners will be chosen from the pool of nominees by a panel of 25 esteemed evaluators who weigh testimonials provided by Beauty Independent subscribers. The evaluators are assigned to committees concentrating on specific award categories based on their backgrounds and expertise. 

Among the beauty industry heavyweights serving as 2024 Beacon Awards expert evaluators are Wende Zomnir, co-founder of Caliray and Urban Decay, Marcia Kilgore, founder of Beauty Pie, Divya Gugnani, co-founder of Wander Beauty ‍and founding partner of venture capital vehicle Concept to Co, Ju Rhyu, co-founder of Hero Cosmetics, Vasiliki Petrou, CEO of Unilever Prestige, and Carla Ruiz, SVP of global M&A at Shiseido.

In addition to the Beacon Awards, Beauty Independent’s schedule of programming includes Dealmaker Summit, a conference focused on the complexities of beauty deals, Uplink Expo, a trade show bringing together beauty suppliers and brands, and In Conversation webinars. The publication’s varied programming allows it stay at the forefront of trends and identify the next big brands.

Below, see the complete list of Beacon Awards 2024 categories: