A year after Glossy held its inaugural Beauty Awards to honor the category’s innovators and challengers, the industry has moved even further away from the idea that a singular look defines beauty. 

Instead, beauty brands are choosing to use their marketing campaigns to address societal pressures felt by all.  

With that in mind, this year’s finalists for the second annual Glossy Beauty Awards have executed consumer engagement strategies that are not only creative, but also inclusive and socially aware. They have advocated for the acceptance and love of natural hair, promoted the idea that products work best with self-love, and made a collective effort to reach Gen-Z customers online. 

For example, cosmetics subscription service Ipsy is a finalist in multiple categories, including Best Digital Event Series. The brand held a weeklong virtual celebration on its social channels that offered musical performances and community-led makeup tutorials, all while raising money for the American Nurses Foundation. The brand is also nominated for Best Use of TikTok and Best Influencer Partnership, the latter highlighted by a humorous Instagram battle between Khloé Kardashian and Item Beauty founder Addison Rae.

E.l.f Cosmetics is up for Best Use of TikTok, as well, as it continues to evolve the way it reaches consumers through the video-sharing platform. After becoming the first brand to create original music for TikTok, E.l.f. followed the achievement by debuting the first TikTok-native reality show, “Eyes. Lips. Famous.” — the event attracted 3,000 entrants. The tech-savvy company is also nominated for Best Multi-Platform Campaign, Best Use of an Emerging Digital Platform, Best Use of Technology (with Tinuiti) and Beauty Brand of the Year. 

Dove is nominated twice for Best Digital Event Series. A year after California became the first state to pass the Crown Act — a law prohibiting race-based hair discrimination — the skin-care brand worked with the Crown Coalition to create National Crown Day on July 3, 2020. The event promoted an online petition that built awareness for the law as a significant step in fighting systemic racism. Additionally, Dove worked with sister brands Suave and Shea Moisture on a virtual event that offered conversations and tutorials about natural hair, which helped support the stylist community during lockdown. The brand is also nominated for Best Use of Video for the Dove Self-Esteem Project series, produced in partnership with Lena Waithe. 

On June 17, winners of this year’s Glossy Beauty and Glossy Fashion Awards will be revealed via the 2021 Glossy Awards, presented by Gorgias. Register here to join the announcement.

See the full list of finalists below:

Best Influencer Partnership
SoPost and DSquared2
Vital Proteins
Ipsy – Ultimate “Make-Off” Challenge
Johnson & Johnson, IMA and MediaMonks – #CareWithPride
Sally Beauty – SallyCrew
Lycored

Best Consumer Collaboration
Venus Skin Biotech Co.
Volition Beauty
Native – Plastic Free Deodorant

Best Brand Collaboration
Venus Skin Taiwan
Beekman 1802 and Schitt’s Creek
Therabody and (RED)
Tatcha and Animal Crossing – Tatchaland Island Launch
Laura Geller Beauty – Beauty-n-Broadway
Billion Dollar Boy and Shiseido Fragrances – K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum

Best Digital Event Series 
Dove – National Crown Day
Olive & June – Mani Bootcamp
Dove, Suave and Shea Moisture – Wash Day Live
Madison Reed and Small Girls PR – Hair Color House Party
Ipsy – IPSY Live: Coming Together, While We’re Apart
Coty Inc.’s philosophy – Self Care Cinema Nights

Best Use of SMS
Peace Out Skincare
Attentive and Supergoop!
Attentive and Bliss

Best Use of TikTok
Eos Products – #AwesomeEggHunt
Kaja Beauty
E.l.f. Cosmetics and Movers+Shakers
Ipsy
The Inkey List
NYX Professional Makeup – #ButterGlossPop Challenge

Best Use of Instagram
Spotlight Oral Care
Kaleidoscope Hair Products
MyKirei by KAO – Furoshiki Face Mask Campaign
Starface
Galderma Aesthetics – Lask Call Series
Olive & June – Mani Bootcamp

Best Use of Video
Bevel – Created for Kings
Beautycounter – Transparency: The Truth About Mica
Paula’s Choice Skincare
Happy Dance – CBD Skincare Launch
Dove – Girls Room Video Series
Too Faced – Experience the Power of Better Than Sex

Best Use of Customization
Pure Culture Beauty
ManiMe
Yves Saint Laurent Beauté – Rouge Sur Mesure
eSalon
Function of Beauty
Prose

Best Multi-Platform Campaign
Maybelline New York – Brave Together
SheaMoisture and BBDO NY
E.l.f. Cosmetics and Tinuiti – Spotify Album
Tula Skincare
NuFACE – Break the Ice Holiday Campaign
SoPost and LaMer

Best Product, Category or Sub-Brand Launch Campaign
Alo Yoga – Alo Glow System
The Nue Co.
Blue Wheel and Bliss – Clear Genius
Hum Nutrition – Private Party
AURA Personalized Hair Care
Too Faced – Born This Way Natural Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

Best Use of an Emerging Digital Platform
FastAF by Darkstore
Perfect Corp.
E.l.f. Cosmetics and Movers+Shakers
Jebbit and Mecca Brands
Thirteen Lune
Coty Inc.’s philosophy

Best E-Commerce Experience
Elemis and Corra
Eos Products – Donut Day Microbatch
Westman Atelier and One Rockwell
Charlotte Tilbury – Virtual Beauty Secrets Store
Persona Nutrition
Paula’s Choice Skincare

Best Omnichannel Experience
Youth To The People – Skin Sessions
Ever/Body
Well+Good and Bonsai – The Well+Good Shop
Function of Beauty and Target
Sephora

Best Strategy Pivot
Nutrafol
Byrdie – Byrdie Beauty Lab
Belif and Artisan Council – Belif in Miracles
Face Reality Skincare
Dermalogica – Clean Touch Certification
NuFace

Best Sustainability Initiative
Beautycounter – The Clean Deo
Tom’s of Maine – Recyclable Toothpaste Tube
ATHR Beauty
Loop
Eva NYC
MyKirei by KAO – Air Bottle

Best CSR Initiative 
Innersense Organic Beauty – Mission In Action
Tower 28 – Clean Beauty Summer School
First Aid Beauty – FAB Aid
Eos Products – Shea Better
Unilever and Weber Shandwick – TresSemmé Future Stylists Fund
Fur

Best Use of Technology 
Prose
Yves Saint Laurent Beauté – Rouge Sur Mesure
E.l.f. Cosmetics and Tinuiti – AR Virtual Try-On
Too Faced – Snapchat VTO
Opte
Boost Lab – Skin Advisor

Most Engaged Brand Community
Glow Recipe
Bravo Sierra – Battalion
Volition Beauty
Good Dye Young
Vital Proteins
Live Tinted

Best Breakthrough Startup
Susteau (formerly OWA Haircare) – Moondust Collection
DreamGirls
Verishop
Versed
The Inkey List
Glamnetic

Founder of the Year
Enrico Frezza, Peace Out Skincare
Sarah Gibson Tuttle, Olive & June
Jesseca Dupart, Kaleidoscope Hair Products
Brook Harvey-Taylor, Pacifica Beauty
Holly Thaggard, Supergoop!
Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter

Beauty Brand of the Year
Henry Rose
Native
E.l.f. Cosmetics
Starface
SheaMoisture
The Nue Co.