REX Awards 2023: Beauty

Here are this year's Retail Excellence Awards winners in beauty and personal care.

Beauty was one of only two categories tracked by Circana that showed notable growth in 2022. Consumers revenge-shopped last year to restock beauty supplies while discovering new must-have items. TikTok often “made them do it” with the platform driving sales of hundreds of items available at the local drug or discount store. 

Here is this year’s class of REX awardees in Beauty.


For more than 37 years, Firstline has been an innovator and trendsetter in multicultural hair accessories. The brand stands by its tagline—You Deserve An Upgrade.

Firstline’s portfolio includes a full assortment of brushes, combs, satin sleep caps, fashionable accessories and other styling tools. The brand names include Evolve, WavEnforcer, Camryn’s BFF, DriSweat and Sleek. Firstline’s products are available at national, beauty, mass, food, and drug chains throughout the U.S. and in some international territories.

The company is keeping up with its mission to deliver newness. A case in point is the launch of Karma’s World Satin Sleep Collection, through its Camryn’s BFF line under the umbrella of its licensing agreement with Karma’s World. The animated Netflix series is produced by Chris Bridges (also known as rapper/actor Ludacris). The partnership includes a collection of satin bonnets and pillowcases for girls. 

[Read more: What's new under the sun?]

Another highlight in Firstline’s assortment is its newly launched, luxurious daytime and nighttime protection products and tools—Evolve Square Scarves, Silky Cap, Edge Styler Set, Mist & Go Spray Bottle and Satin Wide-Edge Bonnet. The products are functional, innovative, on-trend and designed to give consumers ultimate satin protection for healthy and thriving hair.

Global Beauty Care

For more than 12 years, Global Beauty Care has been at the forefront of trends and innovation with a mission to provide prestige-inspired skin care at accessible prices. In 2016, Spascriptions joined the umbrella of brands taking the company to the next level and further serving the goal to attract consumers looking for value without sacrificing luxury. It encompasses an extensive range of inclusive self-care items for face, eye, lip, neck and body including cleansers, moisturizers, serums, oils, scrubs, targeted treatments and cleansing wipes.

This year’s innovations include Spascriptions Fruit Glow and Spascriptions Youth Reset. Spascriptions Fruit Glow features fruits, vitamins and gentle skin-smoothing acids to exfoliate and nourish for fresh, glowing skin. The collection has a Brightening Facial Cleanser, Illuminating Eye Balm, Glowing Facial Moisturizer and three exfoliating Facial Polishes. The collection is designed to attract younger shoppers on the hunt for products to brighten, target dark spots and improve discoloration.  

[Read more: Prose enters skin care category]

Spascriptions Youth Reset offers treatments for targeted eye, lip and neck care with efficacious and pampering ingredients to embrace and support aging skin. The collection includes an eye balm, eye serum, eye cream, lip set with lip oil and lip balm, and a neck & chest cream. Formulas are infused with hyaluronic acid, peptides, water lily, vitamin C, Rosewater, collagen, shea butter, caffeine and ginseng. 

Spascriptions is driving awareness with ad campaigns featuring QR codes linked to music drops with fun, customized songs and videos for each collection. Consumers will also be able to view the videos at product collection pages on The QR codes have been a welcomed way for consumers to learn about products in self-service environments. 

OKAY Pure Naturals/Xtreme Beauty

OKAY Pure Naturals is always a step ahead of the curve. The company is a trailblazer in ingredients, especially natural and clean. OKAY’s portfolio also offers a full array of products that includes hair, skin, bath, men’s, baby and even pets. A key to its success is listening to its retail customers and anticipating and reacting to their needs.

One of its newest launches exemplifies why it earned REX recognition. Miami Body Lotion is an all-natural skin care with a Miami Beach vibe. The brand said the product delivers the ultimate in hydration—one of the biggest attributes consumers are looking for in skin care. Beyond hydration, the formula is created to lift the senses for a relaxing beach visit without leaving home. The body lotion is part of a full collection inspired by Miami that includes today's more sought-after ingredients, including acne-fighting salicylic acid, niacinamide and vitamin E with jojoba. Other innovations from OKAY over the past year included an extended men's selection and a line of gummies. 

Vital's International Group/Pura D’Or

Natural, plant-based solutions are on trend but have been at the foundation of Pura D’ Or from the inception of the company 11 years ago. The brand’s hallmark is its clinically proven, hair care formulas that are infused with organic oils and natural extracts. The formulas combat hair thinning and hair loss due to breakage. Additionally, 

Pura D’Or’s products rejuvenate hair, strengthen strands, clarify, cleanse and help repair hair of all types. Hair loss is currently one of the consumers' biggest issues they are searching online to learn about remedies. 

Pura D’Or is known for loyal followers of its full range of five shampoos and conditioners. Whether customers are starting to experience hair thinning or are looking for the ultimate results-driven solution, there is a Pura D’ Or formula that fills the need. 

Even as the brand grows, parent company Vital’s International Group’s management still runs the company the same traditional way as when it was founded. Products are made in small batches and are free of harsh chemicals with no parabens or sulfates, and are hypo-allergenic, color safe and gluten free, to ensure consumers receive products that are safe, efficacious with guaranteed results.

There’s a pipeline of innovation to come. In 2024 Pura D’Or plans to expand the styling collection based on feedback gleaned from customers. The Apple Cider Vinegar, Advanced Formula, Hair Thinning Therapy and Professional Grade Biotin Shampoos and Conditioners continue to outperform year over year as marketing, public relations and social media efforts continue to synchronize with internal plans. In addition to the company’s focus on the hair care category, the brand includes USDA Certified Organic skin care products as well as a complete line of essential oils.


Milani is one of the fastest-growing brands in mass market makeup for good reason. Under the leadership of industry veteran Mary van Praag, Milani has debuted TikTok viral blockbusters that offer the quality of prestige brands at accessible prices. The brand is pumping out 30% sales increases year-over-year. 

The brand is no newcomer to the business with a history of creating inclusive and affordable products for more than 20 years. Milani has always been a diverse brand centered on culture and community—way ahead of the course corrections many other brands are making, the company said. 

Products are developed and produced in the top North American/European beauty labs using luxurious formulas, rich pigments and high-performance ingredients.

Milani recently launched its #NoFilterJust Milani marketing campaign, celebrates skin that is free of digital retouching, face-altering apps and filters. In the past, beauty standards were dictated by magazines and advertisements that portrayed unrealistic images of perfection, the company said.  

“#NoFilterJustMilani encourages people to embrace the unique features they were born with, while still supporting the freedom to enhance their appearance using makeup as a vehicle of self-expression,” said Jeremy Lowenstein, Milani's chief marketing officer. "With this, Milani invites everyone to feel confident in their skin and know that they are not conforming to any standardthey are simply being the best version of themselves.”

In tandem with the campaign, Milani promotes the use of its Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer, a 2-in-1, 45-shade strong hero item that helps build confidence and coverage. New products under the Conceal + Perfect include Conceal + Perfect Blur Out Powder and Conceal + Perfect Facelift Collection.

Milani Cosmetics also expanded its Stay Put Franchise this year with the Stay Put Infinite Eyeliner, Stay Put Brow Wax, Stay Put Liquid Lip Longwear Lipstick (available in 12 shades), and the Stay Put Tank Eyeliner in the colors brown and white. Other launches of note include the Highly Rated Lash Extensions Tubing Mascara and Gilded Eyeshadow Sticks.


Garcoa, which has amassed numerous REX Awards over the past few years, was selected for its portfolio that encapsulates a wide array of categories, from skin care and acne, to hand and body lotion, bath care, body care, hair care, feminine hygiene, analgesics, OTC products, laundry care and more. Garcoa holds the distinction of being America's largest women-owned company for liquid personal care contract manufacturing, while also specializing in private label and control label production of numerous formats. 

Garcoa leverages the latest advancements in production and comprehensive market research with over 1 million square feet of manufacturing power to develop items that exceed expectations of value. Conscientious of the part manufacturers play in the health of the environment, Garcoa aims to become completely carbon neutral by 2025.