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Make Your Mark – The NEXT Visionaries of Beauty 2023

Published June 8, 2023
Published June 8, 2023

Inspiration is the fuel for creative minds that often happens unexpectedly, opening us up to new possibilities that transcend our ordinary experiences. BeautyMatter created the NEXT Awards to recognize and celebrate our community's thinkers, makers, and doers whose work raises the bar, inspires others, and defines the future. These individuals and brands are unafraid of challenging the status quo, changing the playbook, and make beauty matter in the process.

What is your role in shaping the future of beauty? Share your vision and accomplishments by submitting for one of our BeautyMatter 2023 NEXT Awards for Visionaries.

Changemaker of the Year

More than simply doing good, these people embody change driven by an empathy for others and a desire to make the world a better place. Having the intention of doing something good is a common desire among leaders and entrepreneurs, but change only happens when intentions are translated into action. And a true changemaker identifies a problem or opportunity to tackle, decides to do something about it, and only stops once they make a difference.

2022 Changemaker Nyakio Grieco: She describes being in the beauty trenches as a woman of color as profoundly challenging, disappointing, and ultimately life-affirming. Nyakio has disrupted the beauty industry's status quo for over 20 years. She has channeled her perseverance and experience to help others by co-founding Thirteen Lune to be the first of its kind—a truly inclusive beauty retailer. Thirteen Lune implemented the 90/10 model, with 90% of the brands they carry being BIPOC-owned, and 10% owned by those dedicated to fostering allyship. Nyakio is addressing systemic racism in the beauty industry and helping to change the venture capital world, paving the way for Black beauty founders in this generation and beyond.

2023 – Who Should Apply: Founders, executives, or investors. We are looking for a person who has profoundly changed the business of beauty by bringing about positive change linked to equity, health, climate, or sustainability.

Entrepreneur of the Year

The beauty industry has never lacked successful entrepreneurs. Many multinational businesses in the beauty ecosystem were built by passionate founders who put in long hours, made sacrifices, and took risks to scale their nascent ideas into scalable businesses. The consumer's seemingly insatiable desire for newness has created a flywheel for founders with big ambitions. Starting a business is relatively easy, but it is the ambitious, charismatic founders who instill excitement about their ideas, build a culture that attracts talent, and possess business acumen that creates demand, that break through.

2022 Entrepreneur Akash Mehta

Beauty entrepreneurship runs in the family. Akash's father is an entrepreneur in the fragrance category, and he and his sister Nikita Mehta founded the Ayurvedic haircare brand Fable & Mane, inspired by their Indian grandmothers. The products are authentic in their storytelling and potency but modernized with new science and alluring aromas. This vision has helped define the white space of Ayurvedic beauty. Akash's leadership as an entrepreneur is creating a path for social entrepreneurs in beauty with his view of ROI—return on impact as opposed to investment.

2023 – Who Should Apply: Founders throughout the beauty ecosystem. We are looking for an entrepreneur who has built a business that matters through inspired innovations, demonstrated vision, leadership, and success.

Innovator of the Year

The beauty industry thrives on what’s now, what’s new, and what’s next, and innovation and disruption are concepts that get thrown around a lot. Inspiration is the springboard for creativity that leads to disrupting convention with radically new ideas, and real innovators disrupt by employing long-term thinking and imagining the impossible. They don’t peddle in quick fixes and gimmicks.

2022 Innovator Dr. Robb Akridge: It’s not easy to develop and scale a breakthrough innovation, and it's even more challenging to do it more than once. Dr. Robb Akridge, fondly known to the industry as Dr. Robb, invented the market for luxury at-home facial devices, changing the way consumers cleansed their faces with the launch of Clarisonic in 2004. He's at it again, finding inspiration for his latest beauty creation in a chocolate shop in Paris. Opulus Beauty Labs is a beauty appliance and formulation that acts like a mini at-home lab for high-potency fresh-made skincare formulas.

2023 – Who Should Apply: Founders, executives, or investors. We are looking for a person who has made meaningful contributions to the business of beauty by pursuing and executing novel thinking, challenging the status quo and/or using creative problem solving to move the industry forward.

The Process 

Entries for the BeautyMatter Next Awards may be submitted by agencies on behalf of clients, with the final entry deadline being July 21, 2023. Winners will be announced on October 26, 2023, at the BeautyMatter NEXT Summit: The Future of Beauty in Los Angeles, CA. Find out more here.


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