2019 Indie Beauty Innovators Awards finalists announced

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (ipopba)
© Getty Images \ (ipopba)
This week, ICMAD, the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors association, released its list of 30+ finalist across 11 categories. Winners will be announced at a celebratory dinner later this month in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Founded in 1974, ICMAD operates as a non-profit trade association, supporting independently owned businesses in cosmetics and personal care regardless of size. In an effort to encourage creative innovation among its membership, ICMAD “[provides] essential guidance and support through business tools, publications, education, networking opportunities, and key advocacy support to start-ups and emerging businesses,” ​according to the media release announcing the 2019 Indie Beauty Innovators Awards finalists.

Same awards, new name

For 2019, ICMAD renamed their CITY awards (CITY is an acronym for Cosmetics Innovator of the Years and is what the organization’s awards have been called since they were first launched in 1994). From this year forward the awards are being called the Indie Beauty Innovators Awards. According to ICMAD, “the newly rebranded and renamed awards clearly spell out the DNA of the program and its intention to recognize the true innovators and innovation in the beauty industry,” as Cosmetics Design reported​ in May.

The awards honor brands and businesses across the usual spectrum of product categories, e.g., skin care, hair care, bath and body, fragrance, etc. Plus, Indie Beauty Innovators Awards recognize indie companies that stand out for their environmental sustainability and charitable initiatives, as well as accomplishments individual entrepreneurs.

Many of this year’s finalists have made headlines here on Cosmetics Design in recent months (click through the following links to learn more about these businesses): Sway​, Sara Happ​, Smarty Pits​, Queen V​, and Geltor​.

2019 Indie Beauty Innovators Awards finalists

The full list of this year’s finalists for the Indie Beauty Innovators Awards follows (and is taken verbatim from this week’s ICMAD media release):

Accessories / Tools / Brushes

  • WorldWide Packaging, Beauty Blender Queen
  • NuFace, Fix Line Smoothing Device
  • Nutrafol, Core for Women Plus

Bath & Body

  • Queen V, Rub Me The Right Way
  • Sway, The Complete Underarm Detox Kit
  • Tiffany Andersen Brands, Cell Salt Detox Bath Soak


  • OSEA, Vagus Nerve Oil
  • Raw Spirit INC, Wild Spirit Discover Set
  • WEN Hair & Body Care by Chaz Dean, Strength Eau de Parfum

Innovator Brand of the Year

  • Geltor INC
  • NuFace
  • Virtue Labs


  • Grande, GrandeHAIR Rejuvenation Serum
  • Virtue Labs, Virtue ColorKick
  • WorldWide Packaging, Living Proof Dry Scalp Treatment


  • Beautyblender, BOUNCE Liquid Whipped Longwear Foundation
  • Iredale Cosmetics Inc., Triple Luxe Long Lasting Naturally Moist Lipstick
  • Sara Happ Inc., Sara Happ Sweet Dreams Lip Kit


  • Caldera + Lab, The Good
  • Distil Skincare LLC (AO Skincare), 6000x Elemental Screen with SPF30
  • Rascal, Ponce's Eye Cream


  • Novare Beauty LLC, Kiss Your Cravings Behind
  • Skinbuzz, Bee*Safe Organic Mineral Sunscreen 30SPF
  • SPF Ventures LLC, Brush On Block Protective Lip Oil SPF32

Green Innovator Brand of the Year

  • Distil Skincare LLC (AO Skincare)
  • Kudarat INC      
  • Little Green       

Charitable Company

  • Earthly Body
  • Handcrafted Honey Bee LLC (Smarty Pits)
  • MONAT Global

Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Alee Cao of Cao Cosmetics
  • Alicia Grande of Grande
  • Carolyn Aronson of It’s A 10 Haircare



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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