Allure considers its annual Best of Beauty Awards its Super Bowl. And with the 24th year of the magazine’s biggest editorial franchise occurring in a pandemic, its editorial and events team had to develop what’s now a new normal in the experiential and media world: a virtual event.
The Condé Nast-owned publication this week launched its first Best of Beauty virtual event series, giving fans a chance to connect with this year’s award winners and beauty pros. The series, which kicked off Sept. 21 and runs though Sept. 30, offers free and ticketed events via Zoom hosted and curated by Allure editors.
Editor in chief Michelle Lee said the brand opted for a digital event series to not only celebrate the winners—which include actress Taraji P. Henson and October cover star Selena Gomez—but also highlight industry pros who have longstanding relationships with Allure.
“Our editors test thousands of products for the awards, but our experts are also involved with the testing process and everything else we do at Allure,” Lee said. “There are so many amazing people, whether they’re celebrity founders, hairstylists, makeup artists or dermatologists. We wanted to have a virtual event to not only celebrate Best of Beauty, but highlight some of these experts who are in our world.”
Tickets for certain events are $10 with proceeds supporting organizations chosen by participating talent. Ticketed event highlights include:
- The Culture of Black Hair on Sept. 21, a discussion with first-time Best of Beauty winner Henson, who owns hair brand TPH by Taraji, features director Jessica Cruel and beauty editor Jihan Forbes. Proceeds supported the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which aims to eliminate stigma around mental health issues in the Black community.
- Sept. 22 featured a keynote with makeup artist Hung Vanngo, who remotely coached Gomez’s makeup look for the October cover. Proceeds support the Huong Duong Home, a center for physically and mentally challenged orphans in Vietnam.
- Above the Mask Makeup on Sept. 29 will offer a live class with Priscilla Ono, global makeup artist for Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. The event benefits Rihanna’s nonprofit the Clara Lionel Foundation, which supports education and emergency response programs.
- The series concludes Sept. 30 with a free roundtable discussion on K-Beauty (an umbrella term for South Korean skin-care products), led by dermatologist Claire Chang and Soko Glam co-founder Charlotte Cho.
Allure also tapped longtime sponsor Unilever to present two free events this week: a skin-care Q&A with dermatologist Shari Marchbein and a live hair tutorial and Q&A with hairstylists Justine Marjan and Lacy Redway.
Lee said the brand expected each event to draw 150 to 200 guests.
“I already feel we have succeeded since our slate of programming is so exciting,” Lee added. “The logistics of planning an event like this have been a team effort. There were a lot of hands on deck to make this happen.”