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The Best Beauty & Cosmetic Innovations of 2011: The CEW Awards

Less than a month ago, we attended the live demonstrations of the several hundred products that were entered this year for the 2011 Cosmetic Executive Women’s annual awards ceremony. The CEW Awards are the equivalent of the beauty Oscars: several prestigious, innovative and indie brands alike submit their finest products in the hopes of garnering a nomination or an award itself.

Says President Carlotta Jacobsen, “We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of entries in the Indie and Anti-Aging categories.” And the list seems to grow like mushrooms, almost exponentially each year.

First, have you ever seen the categories? Or the nominees? Take a look here. There are so many products that are one part genius, one part indispensible that you’d be hard press to judge. But CEW depends upon its members to cast their vote for the best entries each year and they tally each vote to determine which products end up being one of the top finalists in the category.

From the Mass to the Prestige categories, the entries span the Hair, Facial Skincare, Men’s Grooming, Suncare and Eco-Friendly classifications. If Carl Linaeus were still alive, he would have applauded this system of meticulous classification.

If you’ve been to the CEW Awards Demonstration, you’ll realize what a maze this event is. The product demonstration spans a football field (no joke) every nook and cranny of space is crammed with products and testers for your sniffing, viewing and tactile pleasure.

Some of our favorites this year include:

Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector in the Anti-Aging Prestige Category; Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum in the Anti-aging mass category; and Pantene’s Pro-V Medium-Thick Hair Solutions Frizzy to Smooth Shampoo in the Hair care category. Also hard to pass up: DDF’s Revolve 400X Micro-Polishing System that gives your skin the same effects as a professional microdermabrasion treatment.

DDF Revolve 400X Exfoliating System

In the best hair-coloring product department, we see a tie between Garnier’s HerbaShine Color Creme with Bamboo Extract and L’Oreal Paris Root Rescue 10 minute Root Coloring Kit.

In the makeup department, the choices were quite hard, but Chanel’s Rouge Coco was impossible to ignore in the Prestige Lipstick category:

Chanel Rouge Coco

We also love the Eco Beauty Award contender Amala Skincare, which we think strongly deserves to be nominated, if not win. And in the fragrance category, we are gunning for Ineke Fragrances since we love niche brands so much (not to mention the stellar quality of Gilded Lily.

Are you a member of CEW? If so, tell us what products you voted for. The finalists will be announced soon and we’d love to know what you think of the latest beauty innovations on the market.

– Charu Suri

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