A year of awards: our graduate achievers in 2021

Formula Botanica Graduate Awards and Achievements

Where do we start with a review of 2021? It was a year of phenomenal activity for our graduates, students and their indie beauty brands despite being a difficult time for many. It was a year of the ongoing pandemic bringing with it both personal and business costs, and a period of heightened awareness about the toll of climate change.

But, throughout this difficult year Formula Botanica graduates more than proved their worth building and growing beauty businesses and doing so with sustainability goals embedded in their core philosophies.

In 2021, they demonstrated just how innovation, resilience, creativity and determination pay off. We have seen some 60 graduates and students win over 130 beauty awards for their brands and natural cosmetic products and we may not have caught news of all winners on our radar. We added a further 100 beauty brands to our graduate gallery.

It truly was a year in which Formula Botanica graduates made their mark as indie beauty founders who mean business. More than ever, 2021, with the COP 26 UN conference on climate change, the beauty industry spotlight focused on the naturals’ sector. The debate was often controversial, as the topics of many of our Green Beauty Conversations podcast reflected. But, the year saw, we feel, a real coming of age of natural, organic indie beauty brands.

With the brief scene setting done, we proudly showcase some of the many Formula Botanica graduate brands that made waves and won awards in 2021. We have chosen those that are new and noteworthy or won in the major categories of leading industry awards. We include also some exciting mainstream media coverage and PR our alumni brands, both newcomers and established, gained over the year.

Do visit our graduate gallery where we present all Formula Botanica graduate and student brands that we know of. We predict 2022 will be an even busier year and just as successful for Formula Botanica alumni.

Learn to formulate and launch your own indie beauty brand. Be inspired by the over 60 @FormulaBotanica graduate brands that won over 130 top beauty awards in 2021. #naturalformulation #beautyawards #indiebeauty Click To Tweet

Graduate brands in the news

2021 might have been a year we were still at home more than going to events, but this was not the case for our graduate and student beauty brands which were very much out and about getting noticed. We are excited to share just some of the mainstream media PR and news coverage we picked up on. From being mentioned alongside celebrities of the stage and sport, to winning an entrepreneur award and featuring on prime time TV, our alumni and their brands have been consistently in the media. Below, we highlight some of the most memorable PR mentions of 2021.

BYBI Skincare

Bybi 300 x 300 logoBYBI Founders Dominika Minorovic and Elsie Rutterford are not newcomers to the spotlight having early on in their business careers won investment from Richard Branson’s Virgin StartUp Fund. Several rounds of venture capital later and now established in the US market in major retailers like Target, BYBI found itself in the US beauty news with red carpet mentions of the beauty regimes of actors Billie Eilish and Megan Fox, and also Olympian Simone Biles.”Still pinching ourselves that the stunning Simone Biles wore C-Caf Cream & Bright Eyed Eye Cream in her June @glamourmag cover shoot,” said the founders on their Facebook page.

Nopalera

Nopalera-logoNew York-based Sandra Velasquez launched her Mexican-heritage brand Nopalera in late 2020 and it is incredible how fast and how far she has grown her brand in 2021. Now stocked in Nordstrom stores and available across the US, Nopalera, whose ranges are based on cactus extracts, caught the mainstream media eye for other reasons than its speed to market. The Today show interviewed Sandra in a feature on the growth of Latino businesses and for her role as a champion of the quality and worth of Latino-inspired and -made goods. Sandra and Nopalera also featured on The Drew Barrymore Show, and in Beauty Independent where she was heralded as ‘The Mexican Martha Stewart’, in 365 Days, 365 Women, a project and blog giving voice to the remarkable, everyday stories of women and a host of other big name media outlets.

Natugee

Rena Refaee CEO Natugee Woman Entrepreneur of the Year AwardRena Rifaee, the founder of skincare brand Natugee, has shown us just how empowering natural formulation can be. Based in Malaysia, Rena won the Women Entrepreneur of the Year award run by the country’s early-stage startup influencer Cradle Fund with Proficeo Consultants. Natugee focuses on the niche of smart-ageing (pro-age) but Rena gained recognition too for her role as an advocate for women’s empowerment and mental health. Rena’s achievement both with her brand and as a leading voice for women’s growth is inspirational and shows how beauty entrepreneurship can foster a diversity of paths in life.

D’Still

d'still 300 x 300Another newcomer that made media waves in 2021 is D’Still. Launched in early 2021 by graduate Ula Blocksage, D’Still was immediately in the spotlight and won the ‘Brand to Watch’ category of the 2021 Beauty Shortlist Awards. Ula also garnered the Shortlist’s Best Serum – dry skin award – and editors’ choice awards for her cleansing balm. D’Still’s high-profile media mentions over the year include an interview with Jo Fairley of The Beauty Bible.

CosmEthically Active certification

A year of awards: our graduate achievers in 2021With new certification schemes arriving all the time, we were particularly interested to learn of CosmEthically Active, the first certification evaluating the active ingredients in cosmetics against strict scientific criteria. We were proud to see the first of our graduate brands gain CosmEthically Active certification; Flower & Spice, and Matinata both gained its certification and are trailblazing for naturals by having evidence-based efficacy claims for their formulations independently verified. Flower & Spice founder Karmen Novak explained to our online classroom the benefits of commissioning efficacy testing and Matinata’s Ivanka Cosic-Prizmic promoted a collection of her products in a special ‘Cosmethically Active’ box.

Cosmopolitan UK: 16 Vegan Brands

Four graduate brands were featured in a Cosmopolitan UK article listing 16 vegan brands to look out for. BYBI, the Glowcery, Neighbourhood Botanicals and Monday Muse were given plaudits for their 100% vegan formulations, efficacy and competitive price points as well as their hip, cool, interesting and colourful packaging.

Formula Botanica Graduate Award Winners 2021

Formula Botanica Graduate brands

With Formula Botanica graduate and student brands winning over 130 awards across categories from the major award bodies over the past year, it is impossible to list and reflect every winner here. Below, we have compiled a ‘best-of’ list of the top award categories. Many more of our alumni’s brilliant products and brands were awarded silver or bronze, were voted editors’ and readers’ choices or were finalists in various categories.

BrandAwardsCategory / Product
D'stillTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBRAND TO WATCH: 2021
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST SERUM – dry skin
EvolveTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST NATURAL/ORGANIC SKINCARE BRAND
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST SKINCARE BRAND (Age 30+)
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST EYE & LIP PRODUCT MULTI-TASKER
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST CLEANSER Age 30+
AdarciTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST MOISTURISER
OscoTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTANTI-POLLUTION - Pollution Defence Serum – joint winner
Creation Skin SanctuaryTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST SKINCARE PRODUCT (Age 30+)
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST OVERNIGHT BALM
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST SERUM (to prevent and/or calm breakouts) – joint winner
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST EYE CREAM – intense therapy/mature skin
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST CLEANSING BALM
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST NIGHT BALM - Joint Winner
OmaymaTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST FACIAL ELIXIR
Okoko CosmetiquesTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST CORRECTIVE SERUM
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST MULTPURPOSE CLEANSER
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST BEAUTY BALM
Flower & SpiceTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST EXFOLIATOR - Finalist
Catarina BarbosaTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST FACE MASK – gel-to-milk
KyushiTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST CLEANSER for all skin types (oil)
Lamia BiocosmeticaTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST CLEANSER for sensitive skin
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTEDITOR’S CHOICE - Revitalising Serum
Vitruvian ManTHE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST EYE CREAM - Men's Category
THE BEAUTY SHORTLISTBEST ALL-DAY MOISTURISER - Men's Category – joint winner
Kiss Kiss GoodnightTHE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST NATURAL BABY BRAND 2021 – USA - Finalist
THE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST BABY BALM
Edible BeautyTHE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST MULTI-TASKING PRODUCT FOR MUM & BABY
THE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST BABY BOTTOM BUTTER
THE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST HEALTH & WELLBEING SUPPLEMENT (PREGNANCY/NEW MUM)
SKN-RGTHE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST TIME-SAVING & MULTI-TASKING BEAUTY PRODUCT
THE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST PLANT RETINOL PRODUCT
THE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST CLEANSER
THE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST INTENSIVE THERAPEUTIC HAND CREAM
The Rose TreeTHE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST BATH OIL
THE BEAUTY SHORTLIST MAMA & BABY AWARDSBEST BEAUTY BALM
HunaTHE BEAUTY SHORTLIST WELLBEING AWARDSBEST HAND SANITISER SPRAY
Bowe OrganicsTHE FREE FROM SKINCARE AWARDSLIP CARE - Gold
The Rose TreeGREEN PARENT AWARDS UK - NATURAL BEAUTY AWARDSHAND CREAM - Gold
Happy Carrot SkincareGREEN PARENT AWARDS UK - NATURAL BEAUTY AWARDSBEST BUYS MAKEUP
Huna12TH ANNUAL EARTH DAY BEAUTY AWARDS - 2021 Healing LifestylesBODY - BEST HAND SANITIZER
12TH ANNUAL EARTH DAY BEAUTY AWARDS - 2021 Healing LifestylesBODY - BEST HEALING OIL
Okoko Cosmetiques12TH ANNUAL EARTH DAY BEAUTY AWARDS - 2021 Healing LifestylesFACE - BEST EYE SERUM
Edible Beauty12TH ANNUAL EARTH DAY BEAUTY AWARDS - 2021 Healing LifestylesMAKE-UP - BEST EYE LINER
Edible BeautyLUX LIFE - HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLNESS AWARDS MOST ECO-CONSCIOUS BEAUTY BRAND 2021 - Australia
Happy Carrot SkincareLUX LIFE - HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLNESS AWARDS BEST ORGANIC PLANT-BASED SKINCARE COMPANY - UK
Inner SensesLUX LIFE - HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLNESS AWARDS BEST ARTISAN CRAFTED BEAUTY COMPANY - North West England
Wild FoxLUX LIFE - HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLNESS AWARDS MOST INCLUSIVE ORGANIC SKINCARE COMPANY 2021 - Australia
MorinaAFRICA SPA AWARDSNATURAL PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

If you are a Formula Botanica graduate or student brand owner and would like to be featured in our Graduate Gallery, do contact us.

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Liz Ayling | Formula Botanica

Liz is Formula Botanica’s Content Coordinator and joined our team in August 2020. Liz worked as a professional blogger, journalist and site developer for many years and was also part of the Formula Botanica student community. Read more about the Formula Botanica Team.

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