If you are a natural beauty brand founder or formulator, then you know how important winning a top beauty award can be. A well-known industry award, whether an overall, first-in-category or best newcomer win, can help your brand gain recognition, attract major retail stockists, increase your online sales and, of course, give you a huge confidence boost.
If you think winning a top national or regional beauty award is beyond your brand’s reach, then think again. Formula Botanica graduates have achieved growing recognition year after year. In 2021, the last full year for which we have data, some 60 Formula Botanica graduates and students won over 130 beauty awards and we may not have caught news of all winners on our radar. We now feature almost 300 graduate brands in our gallery, and many of them made waves in the industry a very short time after launching.
You can read about some of them in our post a year of awards: our graduate achievers, which provides plenty of inspiration for your brand too.
By way of example, the winners of the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2022 included a record number of Formula Botanica graduates including Alix Clo, Ayelet, Apo.ge, Creation Skin Sanctuary, Flower & Spice, Kyushi, Lamia Biocosmetica, OKOKO Cosmétiques, Organically Epic, Õrn Kuu, OSCO, Rua, SunLux Skincare, and Wildcrafted Organics.
Ask any of these Formula Botanica graduate winners about how their award experience helped them, and there is no doubt that they would tell you how life- and brand-changing it proved and how it put them firmly on the map.
Of course, awards are not won lightly, and a brand must live up to the expectations raised about how their products perform. Ultimately, beauty consumers vote with their wallets by becoming loyal, repeat buyers. An award will boost you, but not guarantee that you have a sustainable business. And, as we all know, you need to keep your products just as amazing year in and year out to retain your customers.
Tips on entering beauty awards
Don’t pander to awards, and don’t worry about them. Enter them when you feel the time is right and you have the ability to make the most of them. If a brand that launched at the same time as yours won something in its first year, it does not mean you need to feel the pain of comparisonitis. Each founder and brand must chart their own course. Annual awards are on the lookout for newcomers to talk about, but not exclusively so. We are delighted to see that many of our graduate brands have been consistent winners over several years since their launches.
You need to plan well ahead to enter awards, which is why we have compiled the calendar below. Each award body has its own agenda, way of operating and its demands. Budget for the costs involved, such as entry fees per product or category, the gifting of free products for judging, and beauty bags at the actual award ceremony. Entrants may be asked if they wish to sponsor tables at the award event or have an enhanced listing or profile in the award body’s e-newsletters or marketing collateral. Participating in these is up to you – and your budget. Work out the value to your brand of these marketing activities.
Which awards should you enter?
Below, we list some key beauty awards, including those we feel have helped our graduate brands on their way. There are so many more awards that are regional and local. Why not dip your toes into the awards’ scene by entering a local business award or similar?
Our student Rena Rifaee, founder of skincare brand Natugee, won a Women Entrepreneur of the Year award run by a large Malaysian startup fund. While our graduate Khulan Davadoorj has won numerous entrepreneur awards, including regional recognition, after founding Lhamour, Mongolia’s first organic skincare brand.
Many small, indie beauty brands get immense satisfaction from being recognised closer to home – and closer to their customers. It can be the stepping stone to more coverage, bigger awards and even start-up funding opportunities later on.
In all cases, do your homework and select awards strategically. May the very best natural, organic beauty brands and products win, with, we hope, record number of Formula Botanica graduates among them.
Beauty awards 2023 for natural brands
Where we can, we give entry and closing dates, but many dates have yet to be announced or are subject to change. Check online and subscribe to award mailing lists to keep yourself informed. The awards are listed in no particular order, so just scan through to check them out.
The Beauty Shortlist Awards 2023
The annual Beauty Shortlist Awards are among the most prestigious in the industry and have garnered numerous testimonials from industry names about their independence, impartiality and diversity, as well as their depth and breadth of categories. The Beauty Shortlist celebrated 12 years of green beauty awards in 2022. It also runs a separate Mama & Baby Awards.
The British Beauty Council says that no other awards champion beauty brands, both established and upcoming, like The Beauty Shortlist does and adds that the Shortlist presents an opportunity for every brand to take part irrespective of budget, size or provenance. We are proud that numerous Formula Botanica graduate brands have won Beauty Shortlist Awards and we have seen them leverage their achievements to benefit their brands.
2023 dates are not yet announced, but we have used 2022 as a guide. Do check the Beauty Shortlist Awards online.
Entries open: mid August.
Entries close: early October (samples to be sent in by mid October).
Awards Day: early March 2024.
The entry form is available online.
Pure Beauty Awards
The Pure Beauty Awards are another big calendar event for the industry. Launched over 20 years ago, Pure Beauty predicted its 2022 awards would be its biggest yet. Certainly, it offers plenty of scope for natural beauty brands, which can select from just under 50 awards in some 11 categories cutting right across the beauty and personal care industry.
It emphasises that previous winners have included both newcomer and established beauty brands. To enter, you must have launched your product(s) in the UK market over the year July 2022-July 2023 whether in brick-and-mortar or online stores. This means that you can be a brand based overseas as long as your products are available for purchase in the UK and therefore can be shipped to UK customers.
2023 dates are not yet announced. We have indicted 2022 dates as a guide. Check the Pure Beauty Awards website for the entry form, updates and to sign up for its newsletter.
Entries open: (based on 2022 dates) 1 June.
Entries deadline: 8 July.
Public voting opens: 5 September
Winners’ ceremony: end of October.
Free From Skincare Awards
This award celebrates and encourages skincare manufacturers who create cosmetics that exclude some of the allergens, fragrances, and other ingredients sometimes associated with skin and health issues, ethical and environmental concerns, and which some consumers may need or want to avoid. Their premise is that a Free From Skincare Award on a product helps guide consumers who are looking especially for more “allergy-friendly” or natural cosmetics, and are struggling to find suitable products. It bills itself as the only awards dedicated to “free from” cosmetics, skincare, and haircare products. The entity also runs a related award in autumn called the Free From Gift Awards, which focuses on rewarding and celebrating the most appealing gift sets of free-from products.
The Free From Skincare Awards 2023 will open in January.
The winners of the Free From Skincare Awards 2022 were announced in July.
See the Free From Awards website for 2023 details and entry forms.
Boom Awards – Soil Association Certification
The Best of Organic Market (BOOM) Awards are the UK’s only award platform for businesses to demonstrate their support for the organic industry, and it offers as well plenty of visibility opportunities for winners at events, online, in the media, and more. The BOOM Awards extend to industries other than cosmetics too.
Just note that to enter, your organic-certified (although not necessarily Soil Association-certified, depending on the category) cosmetic products must have been available for purchase by the public in the UK for at least 3 months in the qualifying year. There are quite a few criteria and terms and conditions to adhere to, as you would expect from a body with rigorous certifying standards. Their website has full information on how to enter, the terms and conditions, deadlines, and more.
Based on 2022-23 dates, so do ensure to check online for 2023-24 awards.
Entries open: 1 November 2022.
Entries close: 1 December 2022.
Judging: April 2023.
Awards ceremony: 5 July 2023 (held in Bristol, UK).
CEW Beauty Creators Awards
Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) is an eminent, not-for-profit industry organisation bringing together leading figures in the industry from the cosmetics and personal care sector. Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier won the prestigious CEW (UK) Digital Achiever Award 2018, sponsored by Google. Its prestigious annual awards recognise the best products and the creators behind them. Winners are selected by the most knowledgeable contingent of industry experts and executives across every beauty sector: CEW members. The awards are selected by thousands of insiders, and CEW says that 52% of beauty enthusiasts are more likely to try a product and 42% are likely to spend more on a product that has garnered a CEW award.
2023 dates are not yet announced. We have given an indication based on 2022 dates. See the CEW website for details.
Entries Open: early March.
Entries Close: early May.
Finalists announced: mid-September.
Voting Period: mid-September to early October.
Winners’ Celebration: early-mid November.
Global Green Beauty Awards
The Global Green Beauty Awards, in its third year in 2022, focuses on green and clean beauty products, with categories for beauty brands and products that are ethical, natural, organic, vegan, zero waste or cruelty-free (though not all at once, of course). It has no restrictions on product launch dates and offers wide scope for a diversity of green beauty products. This part year saw over 400 product entries of a variety of green, clean and eco beauty products. The awards celebrate and encourage the beauty industry’s move towards creating products, packaging, and sourcing that are kinder to the planet and our skin. What is interesting about these awards is that they include some unique categories such as best waterless product, best vegan makeup and best products based on specific ingredients like charcoal and coconut.
Entries open: 26 April, 2023.
Entries close: 1 June, 2023.
Winners announced: 31 July, 2023.
USA 2023 dates to be confirmed.
Natural Health Magazine Beauty Awards
The Natural Health Magazine annual beauty awards, now in its 18th year, celebrate the very best in holistic and complementary beauty. Readers of the magazine and the public are invited to nominate beauty brands and products, as well as beauty establishments like spas and influencers. Award categories to enter include conscious skincare, facial skincare, haircare, and others such as best British and best international brand, and best new product.
You may enter up to 10 categories per brand in multiple categories. Products should be sent in on the day you enter and need to arrive at the awards’ address before 21 March, 2023, at the latest. Enter using the online form.
Entries close: 13 March, 2023.
Winners and runners-up are announced at a gala ceremony on 20 July, 2023, as well as online on 21 July, 2023, and in the October issue of Natural Health magazine.
Health & Wellbeing Awards
The 2023 Health & Wellbeing Awards celebrate the very best of beauty, health, food, and fitness, as well as “the amazing cult buys that have taken the industry by storm.” It showcases the best in a diversity of categories, from skincare saviours and fitness tools to wellbeing essentials and sustainable heroes.
Entries close: 15 May, 2023 (midnight BST).
Winners and commended runners-up announced online in August 2023 and in the November issue of Health & Wellbeing magazine.
Enter using the online form.
Clean Beauty Awards
The Clean Beauty Awards is for producers and brands who consciously formulate their products without the use of so-called harmful ingredients and stand behind the performance of their products. The award website showcases the winning products in each of its categories, giving brands a platform on which to highlight their winning products.
Next event dates have yet to be announced. Sign up to keep informed.
The Beauty Independent Beacon Awards
The Beauty Independent Beacon Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding individuals and entities who have pushed the beauty industry into uncharted waters, set the standard for excellence, and demonstrated a spirit for innovation. Through its awards, Beauty Independent aims to raise awareness of the achievements of independent beauty entrepreneurs and celebrate their contributions to the beauty industry.
The Beauty Independent online beauty media outlet is a pioneer in hosting these awards, which recognise achievements in areas such as beauty packaging, social media, philanthropy, inclusivity, sustainability, and product innovation. In this way, its Beacon Awards differentiate themselves from the majority of award bodies which tend to focus solely on products and their performance. Beauty Independent is enabling individuals, entrepreneurs, retailers, investors, and brand builders to gain recognition too.
Submission deadline: 10 May, 2023.
Annual Earth Day Beauty Awards – The Headling Lifestyles
This US-based online magazine is running its 14th Annual Earth Day Beauty Awards in 2023. It awards products in four regular categories – hair, face, body and makeup. Entry is straightforward, but the magazine has its ‘toxic 12‘ forbidden ingredients that must not be contained within any product submitted for the awards.
2023 dates have yet to be announced. We provide guideline dates based on 2022. See the awards’ website for updates.
Entry deadline: mid-November.
Production submission (mailing) deadline: mid-December.
Awards announced: Earth Day, 22 April, 2023.
Blue Beauty Awards
The Blue Beauty Awards has a clear remit to celebrate and recognise cosmetic and personal care brands and products that make a positive impact on the planet. The event is co-organised by Jeannie Jarnot, founder of Beauty Heroes, whom we interviewed for our Green Beauty Conversations’ podcast, and Innocos. Formula Botanic CEO Lorraine Dallmeier is one of three key judges for the 2022 awards. Its categories are: zero waste; innovative packaging; positive environmental impact; philanthropy; and Blue Beauty Brand of the Year.
Entry information is online.
2023 dates can be based approximatively on the 2022 awards.
Super early deadline: 1 June.
Early deadline: 30 September.
Late deadline: 30 November, 2022.
Winners will be announced early in 2024.
Nordic Natural Beauty Awards
We covered the launch of the Nordic Natural Beauty Awards and have seen them develop into a much-awaited calendar event. You can read all about them in our article Top 10 natural Nordic beauty ingredients, in which we interview the awards’ founder, Satu Mäkinen, and Formula Botanica graduate beauty brand founders who live in or focus on Nordic ingredients. The awards are an annual online event and billed as the first of its kind to celebrate the best all-natural cosmetics made across the Nordic and Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Early submissions are being invited now for 2023 with the criteria that the brand must be based in any of the Nordic countries listed above. Winners are announced in late autumn.
Early bird entry deadline for 2023: 31 January, 2023.
Enter using the online form.
Beauty Bible Awards
Beauty Bible is the well-known media outlet founded by Sarah Stacey and Josephine Fairley which started life as a best-selling book of the same name published in 1996. From the outset, Beauty Bible has promoted the testing of products by real women in their daily lives, so that the information it provides is plain-talking and helps cut through the “beauty jungle”.
Beauty Bible Awards operate in just the same way with real-life testers reporting back. Over the past 26 years, Beauty Bible has had over 33,000 women test products, making it the largest independent trial of beauty products ever carried out. It is little wonder that winning a coveted Beauty Bible Award is transformational for brands. There is no charge for entering. but you need to submit 10 full-sized products for testing.
Entries close: 31 July, 2023.
Information on entering and receiving your awards pack is online.
Lux – Health, Beauty and Wellness Awards
Since 2017, LUXlife magazine has been running its Health, Beauty and Wellness Awards, which seek to recognise innovators and pioneers in the sector. Its specialist researchers scrutinise shortlisted candidates, putting them through a period of extensive investigation before judging takes place. LUXlife rewards winners with a variety of packages, such as the option to select from physical trophies, window stickers, certificates and varied online packages offering social media exposure. It also presents winners with the opportunity to be featured in its annual winners’ magazine and on its website.
2023 has not yet been announced. Check with LUXlife online for updates.
Green Parent Awards UK – Natural Beauty Awards
The Green Parent is a well-known, UK-based magazine, both in print and online, that was founded by a couple in Cornwall, in south-western UK. Some 15 years later, it is a major portal for new parents seeking alternatives to the mainstream. Its annual Green Parent Awards are highly regarded, and many of our graduates have been winners over the years.
Entry dates for 2023 have yet to be announced, so follow and subscribe to The Green Parent for more information, or email [email protected].
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Liz is Formula Botanica’s Content Coordinator and joined our team in August 2020. Liz worked as a professional blogger, journalist and site developer for many years and was also part of the Formula Botanica student community. Read more about the Formula Botanica Team.