For over 30 years, the Marie Claire UK Prix D’Excellence de la Beauté awards have celebrated the very best in beauty. The crème de la crème of beauty awards, the Marie Claire UK Prix D'Excellence awards are, without question, the biggest night in the beauty calendar.
Each year, our testing panel (made up of beauty directors across the globe) test countless products in order to settle on a carefully thought-out selection of the best beauty products or campaigns in the world—to ultimately crown them as the Prix Awards 2023 winners.
The ceremony itself brings together the beauty industry's biggest names to celebrate as altogether under one roof. This year, we celebrated in style in The Corinthia London's Ballroom. Over 200 attendees joined us, including leading beauty experts, journalists and the biggest brands in the industry.
Marie Claire UK Editor in Chief, Andrea Thompson kicked off the evening, reminding all attendees of the power of beauty. "[At Marie Claire] never take for granted the profound and transformative power of beauty, not to mention its incredible impact on our mental health, environment and economy," she said.
Marie Claire UK Beauty & Style Director, Lisa Oxenham then went on to explain the rigorous testing process that judges go through to settle on the winners. "With the expertise of 15 Marie Claire beauty directors across the globe on this panel, charged with finding and honouring the world’s best and most diverse beauty products, we have found the most brilliant innovations right here and right now."
Finally, Acting Senior Beauty Editor, Shannon Lawlor, introduced and thanked the guest judges, "I’d like to extend a huge thank you to our guest judges for the British awards, Sali Hughes, Ateh Jewel, Alice Hart-Davis and Anita Bhagwandas." It was then time to move onto the awards themselves—here's all of the details about the night.
While everyone was enjoying the champagne and enjoying the beauty talk, what we really wanted to know is this years winners. This year, there was a lot of talk about multi-hyphenate beauty—products that do it all at once.
The international winners were announced as Chanel, Sisley Paris, Drunk Elephant, Kérastase, Guerlain and Lancôme.
Make-up artist, Ruby Hammer MBE presented the British Winner for Make-up and the award went to Dior Backstage Face & Body Flash Perfector Concealer. While judge, Sali Hughes took to the stage to present the skin winner as Shiseido Bio-performance Skin Filler Serum. Other guest presenters included cosmetic doctor, Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, Founder of By Rotation, Eshita Kabra-Davies and CEO of Provenance, Jessi Baker.
You can see a full list of the evening's winners here.
A moment for the climate...
At Marie Claire sustainability is at the heart of what we do and we don't forget about it when it comes to beauty. (Don't ever mention a sheet mask in front of our Acting Senior Beauty Editor.)
Guest presenter, Jessi Baker announced Weleda as the well deserved winner of our Marie Claire UK Prix Award for Sustainability, with the brand's managing director, Jayn Sterland, giving a speech that silenced the entire room. "Soil is the earths skin and it's super important," she began. "We're leading for a catastrophic event in terms of global warming. The IPCC United Nations report has just come out where we realise that we are already at 1.1 degrees centigrade and our target is to keep it below 1.5 by 2050."
Quoting the UN's António Guterres, she continued, "'We need to go deeper and faster and broader, so every single one of us in the room has a responsibility.' At Weleda we are farmers, we've been farmers for over 100 years, and we know that soil is literally the Earth's skin."
The all-new Female Founder Award...
A brand-new award was created this year in honour of the great female founders that shape the beauty industry. Our inaugural Female Founder Prix Award was presented to none other than Sharon Chuter, Founder of UOMA Beauty, ended the night with a powerful winning speech which put everyone in a glorious mood for some post-award networking.
"Thank you so much for this. I've always been the misfit, the weirdo," she started. "Moments like this just make me think about what would've happened if I would've changed, what would've happened if I had assimilated to be like everyone else, like the whole world demanded from me every single day."
"Moments like this [are] just another reminder to each and everyone of us that everyone is taken, you are the only original one," Chuter told the crowd. "Whatever you are passionate about, go for it. I've always been passionate about equity. I've never understood how we live in a world where there are different rules for different people. I've never understood George Orwell's Animal Farm, until I understood it was a metaphor for the world we live in."
"So for me I've dedicated the whole of my life to never watch Animal Farm happen and have a Napoleon change the rules whenever the hell they like. We are the accountability tracker and we will never stop until every single person, every animal, is treated equal, because after all, we are all the same in this world—we do not know why we are here, we do not know where we are going and, at the end of the day, we've got bigger problems to deal with, like climate change, rather than fighting each other."
What we wore...
For the event, team Marie Claire worked with some close beauty partners to make sure we looked our very best. Editor in Chief, Andrea Thompson and Acting Senior Beauty Editor, Shannon Lawlor started their day with a blow dry at Percy & Reed Salon, using Percy & Reed styling products—while Andrea opted for a bouncy blowdry, Shannon chose a super-sleek, middle part. Style & Beauty Director, Lisa Oxenham went for a tousled look at John Frieda salons.
And the make-up? Well, that came courtesy of Dior. International Pro Make-up Artist at the brand, Jamie Coombes, swung by the Corinthia to create a statement smokey eye on Shannon and a bronzed, glowy look on Andrea. The rest of team Marie Claire were made up with full faces of Lancôme.
Styled by Karen Williams, Andrea wore a stunning vintage gown from Gigi's Dressing Room. Shannon wore a fuchsia pink, frilled midi dress which was rented for the occasion from By Rotation—the perfect sustainable choice for an affair such as this. And Lisa wore a black, silky midi dress from Yolke.
What we ate...
All the beauty buzz didn't stop guests from having a canapé or two. Before everyone sat down for the awards, guests had a guess at who would be taking home an award while snacking on, green olive sphere, romesco, chicory, seared and soy marinated yellow fin tuna, wasabi mayonnaise and smoked chicken, brioche crouton with mustard mayonnaise.
After the awards, we snacked on bowls of macaroni cheese, with dried mushroom crumb and vegetable, along with mixed-bean chilli, guacamole, tortilla chips and plant-based sour cream. And, of course, more canapés to accompany our champagne; mushroom arancini with truffle mayonnaise and sweet potato samosas.
For dessert, there was dark chocolate sable and raspberry jaffa cakes.
What we drank...
The champagne was flowing on the night, with glasses of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Brut or Rosé being served. With the finest selection of Chablis Domaine William Fèvre, Burgundy 2019, Beaujolais, Château Pertonnières Dupeuble, Beaujolais 2020 or an Elderflower cooler as alternatives.
Inside the goody bag...
Every fantastic event has an even better goody bag and our Prix goody bag did not disappoint. As guests left the Corinthia doors, everyone was talking about the full size Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream and how they couldn't wait to try the award-winning Drunk Elephant TLC Body Lotion. Here's the full list of everything Prix attendees went home with:
- Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream 30ml
- Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Balm
- Garnier 4% AHA + BHA & Niacinamide Charcoal Face Serum
- The Body Shop Edelweiss Daily Serum Concentrate
- Fable & Mane HoliRoots Hydrating Hair Oil Mist
- JVN Hair Complete Air Dry Cream
- Klorane Galangal Anti-Dandruff Mask-Powder Treatment
- L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hydra Hyaluronic 2% Moisture Plump Serum
- L’Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Anti-Deposit Protector Concentrated Oil
- Drunk Elephant TLC Body Lotion
- Drunk Elephant Baby Facial
- Weleda Skin Food Body Butter
- Luna Daily Spray-to-Wipes
- Kérastase Nutritive Masque
What a night. We're already excited for next year. Check out (and shop) the 12 winners, AKA the best beauty products in the world, here.
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Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.
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