Behind the Scenes of the 2020 Southern Living Beauty Awards
When we set out to create the 2020 Southern Living Beauty Awards, we had no idea how quickly or drastically our lives were about to change. As the new work-from-home realities set in, so too did crunch time for our beauty awards. Thankfully, we had a team of trusted professionals who had lent their expertise as we narrowed down the list of must-have beauty products, all before we found ourselves out of the office. What that meant was reassurance that the products we were featuring were not only winners to us, the Southern Living editors, but would soon become favorites to our readers no matter her hair type, skin tone, or age.
Every single one of the products were hand-picked by Southern Living editors and our panel in a process that wasn’t quite what we originally intended, but somehow feels just right in retrospect. Throughout the month of May, all of the cosmetics, skin care, hair care, body care, and oral care products featured in our October issue made their way to my living room, where they were stored on my fireplace mantel (to keep out of toddler reach) until I passed them off to our photo team. Over a hundred products were unpackaged, sorted, and categorized, mostly by my husband who took great joy in breaking from his computer screen for a little manual labor. It was a clunky, strange process and surely resulted in my neighbors and our delivery crew thinking I had a shopping problem. While unconventional, it reinforced our primary objective: that these products make their way from our homes to yours. We rely on them ourselves and hope they'll become the ones you find yourself recommending to your sister, mother, and best friend. It surely was an endeavor, but it couldn’t have been done without the help of so many behind the scenes, especially this dynamic group of panelists—and every UPS, FedEx, and Amazon Prime delivery person in Birmingham, Alabama.