In 1995, ICMAD created a recognition program to honor outstanding and innovative entrepreneurs for their achievements in the cosmetics and personal care industry. The first “Cosmetic Entrepreneur of the Year” was presented at the 1996 ICMAD Annual Meeting at The Museum Club in New York City.

The program was expanded in 2000 to honor both established entrepreneurs, who were active in the industry for more than five years, and to recognize emerging manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers in business for less than five years. Six “Cosmetic Entrepreneur Awards for Leadership” were presented at the ICMAD Annual Meeting in New York City and featured guest celebrity presenter Phyllis George, who announced the six winning companies.

In 2004, ICMAD revised the competition to present awards for the results of the innovative talents of independent entrepreneurs in the beauty industry. The Cosmetic Innovator of The Year program annually honors and promotes the most creative new products, package designs, and marketing programs in our industry. 

2018 judges: Jérôme Bérard, Principal, Berard & Associates; Dr. Brooke Carlson, FIT, Professor CFMM Master's Program School of Graduate Studies; Maria Corbiscello, President, STUDIO MC²; Kaye Karch, BeautyMark Development, LLC; Jana Richele, Berard & Associates; and Jennifer Walsh.



1996 – First Cosmetic Entrepreneur of the Year awarded to Howard Hirsch at Annual Meeting at the Museum Club, NYC

1997 – Thomas E. McCurry Sr., Fruit of the Earth, received the award at Tavern on the Green, NYC

1998 – Robert McCloud, Kiss My Face, honored at Tavern on the Green, NYC

1999 – George Schaeffer, OPI Products, honored at The Sky Club, NYC

2000 – Program expanded to six awards in two categories for Cosmetic Entrepreneur Awards for Leadership. Guest presenter Kim Van Dang, Beauty Editor, InStyle Magazine at Manhattan Penthouse, NYC

2001 – Guest presenter Maggie Mulhern, Editor, Modern Salon, at Manhattan Penthouse, NYC

2002 – Guest presenter Frederic Fekkai, celebrity hair stylist, at Manhattan Penthouse, NYC

2003 – Guest presenter Norma Kamali, fashion designer, at American Park at the Battery

2004 – CITY Awards introduced and presented by celebrity Phyllis George at Battery Gardens in NYC

2005 – Guest presenter Kathy Dwyer, President, Skinklinic, at The Grill Room, NYC

2006 – Guest presenter Jeanine Recckio, beauty futurologist, at Tavern on the Green, NYC

2007 – Guest presenter Sam Brocato, hair professional, at Bridgewaters, NYC

2008 – Guest presenter Haluk Kulin, CEO, Personal Blackbox, at Manhattan Penthouse, NYC

2009 – Guest presenter Nick Arrojo, celebrity hair stylist, at Strata, NYC

2010 – Guest presenter Dr. Stephanie McClellan, author and wellness expert, at 3 West Club, NYC

2011 – Guest presenter Claudia Luca, Beauty Director, QVC, at Astra, NYC

2012 – Guest presenter Janet Gurwitch, Founder, Laura Mercier, at Manhattan Penthouse, NYC

2013 – Guest presenter Carol Hamilton, President, L’Oreal Luxury Products Division, at Battery Gardens, NYC

2014 – Guest presenter, Dr. Robb Akridge, Co-founder, Clarisonic, at Battery Gardens, NYC

2015 – Guest presenters, Beth Minardi, Founder, Minardi Color and George W. Schaffer, CEO, Alozzi International, at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV.

2016 – Guest presenters, Tish & Snooky Bellomo, Founders of Manic Panic NYC, at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV.

2017 – Presenter, Dr. Robb Akridge, Founder, Clarisonic, at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV.

2018 – Presenter, Dr. Robb Akridge, Founder, Clarisonic, at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV.

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