The countdown is over. Today, beauty insiders, brand ambassadors and VIPs will gather at the Hilton for the long-awaited 2023 Beauty Awards, hosted by Jessel Tank, and come away with gift bags filled with products from brands including Victoria Beckham Beauty, Clarins, Tula, K18 Hair and more (here’s a sneak peek). Watch this space for news on the winners across all 14 categories, as chosen by CEW Members and presented by Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, Board-certified Dermatologist Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery, and Hena Doba, Anchor/Breaking News Correspondent at Cheddar News.

Here at CEW, we explore the rise of the new AI influencer. Recalling the headline-making moment in Paris Fashion Week this fall when French designer Christian Cowan sent a model down the runway dressed as a giant fur ball, Amy Synnott writes: “The AI community quickly sprung into action, giving the fur ball major wing span in a series of viral memes. So, who exactly are these virtual creators and what do beauty brands need to know about this fast moving corner of the social media universe?” Synnott talks to Stéphane Galienni, aka The Incognito Influencer and Creative Director of the Balistik Art agency, about the role The Incognito Influencer Project played in the fur ball moment, the ethical issues surrounding the use of AI technology and the evolution of influencer marketing.

In other news, what is it about Dyson that inspires impressive customer loyalty in the beauty sector? “Dyson knows that engineers matter,” Kathleen Pierce, President of Dyson Beauty, tells Genevieve Monsma at CEW about the brand behind the iconic Airwrap and Airstraight, which currently employs over 6,000 engineers and scientists. “Our engineers strive to create technologies that are different than what has come before, often by turning a problem on its head. We really seek to understand the frustrations of our consumers, rather than simply churning out new products. If the product doesn’t solve a problem, we don’t create it.”

Read on for more on these and other stories.

Who is The Incognito Influencer? Amy Synnott reports on the emergence of the virtual influencer, and examines its impact on the beauty industry and social media marketing. (CEW)

How Dyson’s Engineering And Innovation Keep Customers Coming Back. Genevieve Monsma on the success of the market disruptor that brought us the Airwrap and Airstraight. (CEW)

Zegna Signs Licensing Deal With Give Back Beauty. “The starting point will be fragrances,” says Corrado Brondi, founder and chief executive officer of Give Back Beauty, of the Zegna license, which as previously held by The Estée Lauder Cos. “Not all categories will be relevant, like makeup, but there is a lot to do with male grooming.”(WWD)

Scents And Sustainability: Dsm-Firmenich Updates its EcoScent Compass Tool. The EcoScent Compass Next Generation will help perfumers create more sustainably. “In the new version we continue to demystify fragrances with significantly more sustainability data offerings,” Michal Benmayor, Head of Perfumery Innovation and Sustainability at dsm-firmenich, tells Genevieve Monsma at CEW. “Clients can access 80 data points for any fragrance, a significant leap from the 2018 version. This enables an educated dialogue with our clients on how to better shape the fragrances of tomorrow.” (CEW)

NuFace Facial Sculpting Studio Opens At Nordstrom.  The company is now offering facial treatments using its microcurrent devices in-store at Nordstrom’s Fashion Island store, in Newport Beach, California. (BEAUTY INDEPENDENT)

At-Home Mani Kits Continue to Nail It. The boom in at-home nail kits continues, post-pandemic, with category leaders’ sales more than doubling, three years on. (BUSINESS OF FASHION)