PCPC annual meeting zeros in on the Power of Beauty

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Brooke Hinton (right) and Cat Quinn of Refinery29
Brooke Hinton (right) and Cat Quinn of Refinery29

Related tags Personal care Cosmetics

At the end of February, the Personal Care Products Council convened its annual meeting in Palm Beach, Florida. The Power of Beauty was the theme of this year’s gathering. And leaders ranging from PCPC board members to magazine executives, market researchers, data experts, and, beauty influencers spoke at the event.

This year’s event opened with remarks from Council president and CEO Lezlee Westine and with a speech from the outgoing chair Thia Breen of The Estée Lauder Companies, who emphasized the significant role the personal care and cosmetics industry has in people lives: “we touch consumers’ lives from the very moment they wake up, until the moment they go to sleep,”​ she said. “We are the choices they make for themselves, and for their families, many, many times throughout the day. There’s nothing more personal than that.”

Those in attendance were not only PCPC members, but also business and consumer media, as well as personal care industry organization leaders from around the world. Some 17 separate associations spanning 50 countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America were represented at the event. 


Without much fanfare, attendees voted in new board members, including George Calvert, chief supply chain officer of Amway, as PCPC board chair. But the preponderance of PCPC business was conducted during closed-door committee sessions held over the course of the event.

Each day compelling keynote addresses and panel discussions were staged for everyone in attendance. The first panel this year was the group’s Washington Report, where PCPC board members spoke to the state of the industry with regards to regulatory and legislative issues, public affairs and scientific topics, and more.

This year for the first time, the PCPC held a dedicated session for beauty editors. The discussion topic was science and safety. Breen sat on the panel as did Alex Keith, president, global P&G beauty; Alex Kowcz, the PCPC’s new chief scientist; and Calvert. Lisa Powers, who handles communications and public affairs for the council moderated the conversation. Read Cosmetics Design’s coverage of the Beauty Editors reception here.


Guest speakers and informative panel discussions at this year’s event covered a wide range of current topics critical to the personal care and cosmetics industry.

Brooke Hinton, research manager at Refinery29, and Cat Quinn, beauty director at that same media company discussed why marketing to women today requires much more intelligence, nuance, and empathy than any demographic data can provide in a panel titled, ‘Intersectionality of Identity: Knowing isn’t enough’. (Hinton advised attendees interested in learning more about intersectionality to read the work of Kimberle Crenshaw.)

In a panel called ‘The Future of Beauty: Influencing Next Gen Consumer Preferences’, Alison Moore, chief business officer of the Condé Nast Beauty Collection, moderated a discussion among Michelle Lee, editor in chief of Allure; influencer eLLaRie; and Shannon Curtin, senior vice president of beauty in North America at Coty.

Other panels and keynote talks covered innovation, cybersecurity, data, lobbying efforts, etc. And there was plenty of time for networking and meetings built into the event program.

Next year the PCPC will celebrate its 125th anniversary. Dates are already set, and the annual meeting will take place from February 24 – 27, 2019 at The Breakers. (Learn more about the PCPC here​.)



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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