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A Celebration of Beauty

March 13, 2009

Thousands attend CEW's Beauty Product Demo

Bindu Ramchandani, VP Global Business Development, Silipos-Langer, and Tracey Hicks, Business Development Associate, Silipos-Langer, at the CEW Product Demo.

A Celebration of Beauty

Thousands attend CEW's Beauty Product Demo.

By Nancy Jeffries

Judging by the turnout at Cosmetic Executive Women’s (CEW) latest Beauty Product Demo, the recession hasn’t dampened the passion of makeup lovers. Each year beauty aficionados line up outside New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion to attend CEW’s Beauty Awards Product Demonstration. On February 18, 2009, 2,400 women did just that, and became part of the annual, official kick-off to the Beauty Award season and the largest cosmetic exhibition of its kind. Considered a “velvet rope” event, access to the exhibition is limited to CEW’s voting membership, which consists of beauty experts from the industry who serve as decision makers for the best entries of the year.

As an Insider’s Choice Award in the industry, consumers always take notice of the winners. Carlotta Jacobson, CEW President, said, “In today’s economy, consumers are looking for beauty products that provide the most value for their money. They still want to look and feel good and continue to value the beauty expertise of CEW members.”

A two-step voting process determines the results. First, CEW members select the finalists in each of 28 categories, followed by a vote by the Board of Governors to determine the final winners. Categories and entry requirements, created in partnership with The NPD Group, a consumer and retail information provider, include bath & body, fragrance, facial skin care, makeup, sun care, and men’s personal care, as well as the Beauty Indie Award, which celebrates the creativity of an independent beauty company. Past winners have included Clark’s Botanicals, Betty Beauty, skyn Iceland, MD Skincare by Dr. Dennis Gross, and Freeze 24/7.

As the harbinger of the organization’s annual Beauty Awards luncheon, scheduled for May 1st, at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, the event provides an overview of the best beauty products of the year, for which winners receive the coveted CEW Winners’ Seal.

“We are certainly up in entries in each category, however, with 550 new products this year, and more than 280 brand exhibitors, it’s a slight decline, but still supports the validity of the awards and what they accomplish for the industry,” observed Ms. Jacobson. “Everyone’s talking about value. The value is not just about the price, but delivering on a promise. I think that consumers don’t want to make a mistake. In the past, women have tried and gotten rid of hundreds of products. Now, with a third party endorsement from an organization like ours, this gives consumers a reason to buy. It’s not just that it’s new, but we’ll be promoting the best products through the media and other sources,” Ms. Jacobson added.

Carlotta Jacobson, president, Cosmetic Executive Women
Commenting on enthusiasm for the event itself, Ms. Jacobson, noted it was completely sold out, saying, “We had to close reservations. It’s beyond what I had expected, considering the economy today. If you want to see the best products from this many companies there’s no other place to see this. It’s beyond getting a goody bag; it’s the place to view what the best products really are. I’m glad for the industry that this is going on. I think you need some excitement and need consumers to have some excitement. This is a boost for the industry.”

Organic hair care products, essential oil-based fragrances, botanical skin care, mineral makeup, moisturizers, sun care, body washes and more, the products run the gamut of what’s new in beauty. Ms. Jacobson zeroed in on some of the trends among the current entries.

“People are still looking for what they define as natural, what they see as efficacious. There’s never enough mascara to make women happy, and this year, there are oscillating mascaras, as well as micro-dermabrasion kits that you can use at home, and all sorts of anti-aging creams. Women will distinguish between what they’ll give up and what they won’t. They are trading off between salon treatments for facials, for example,” noted Jacobson. “I don’t think women are going to give up anything anti-aging, which is still a strong category. Women aren’t going backwards. They want their skin to look better and won’t part with the skin care products they want to purchase.”

The CEW Beauty Award Demo offers an opportunity to see just which of those products are the best investments for today. All Beauty Award product finalists and winners will be posted on CEW’s web site:, along with retail links for quick purchase, and a CEW Beauty Awards Shopping List, which may be downloaded for easy access. Sponsors for the 2009 event included Allure, Givaudan, CVS/pharmacy, Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal, Acuvue Contact Lenses, Medicis Aesthetics, VEET, WWD Beauty Biz, Arcade Marketing, The Royal Promotion Group, HBA Global Expo, Beilis Development, MaCher, Rpr Marketing Communications, Suite K, KraftWorks, Alcan Beauty Packaging,, Digital Plus, Vidicom and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly.

Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc., which hosts Newsmaker Forums, the Women in Beauty series, and its annual holiday luncheon benefiting the Cancer and Careers program, the charitable arm of CEW, is a non-profit professional organization with 4,000 executives in beauty, cosmetics, fragrance, and related industries. CEW is based in New York City, and has associated organizations in France and the UK.

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