What are the Free From Gift Awards?
The Free From Gift Awards are an auxiliary award to the main Free From Skincare Awards, which have been running annually during the first half of each year since 2012.
As the Free From Skincare Awards are confined to individual cosmetics only, the Free From Gift Awards aim to reward and celebrate the best and most desirable sets, trial packs, beauty collections and gift boxes featuring skincare products that are free from some of the many ingredients consumers need to or wish to avoid, such as mineral oils, or certain allergenic preservatives, food allergens or fragrances, or non-vegan ingredients.
The results of the inaugural Free From Gift Awards 2020 were revealed on 24th November 2020. Find the full results here. We expect the next Awards to open in September 2022 (TBC).
NB: The following details relate to the 2020 Awards only, and may change for future editions.
What can and cannot be entered?
All entries must consist of a box, set or grouped ‘collection’ containing at least two but no more than six items — at least one of which is a cosmetic, and at least half of which are cosmetics or skincare items.
Acceptable additional skincare items include cosmetic tools and accessories, such as tweezers, make-up brushes, face cloths and soap dishes.
Acceptable additional other components include ambient products such as candles and aromatherapy products, and other items for personal care or wellbeing, such as teas or tonics.
Cosmetics must meet the definition and ingredient criteria required of individual product entries to the Free From Skincare Awards, which you can find here.
‘Pick’n’mix’ or customisable sets or boxes, which do not have pre-defined contents, are not eligible, and neither are beauty subscription boxes.
In this, the launch year, only sets available in UK and Ireland from UK and Ireland-based outlets are eligible to compete.
What does entry to the Free From Gift Awards cost?
Entry costs £95 per box, collection or gift set entered into one of the six main skincare categories.
Optional further entry into themed categories costs an additional £25 for one category or £40 for two categories.
Brands with fewer than three working members of staff (including brand owners) receive a 10% discount.
VAT is not charged.
There are no additional costs at any stage of the awards.
Two samples of each entry submitted into the skincare categories 1–6 (below) will be required by organisers upon acceptance.
Additional samples are not required for entries into themed categories A-E.
What are the categories?
Provisionally, there are six skincare categories:
1/ Family Skincare
2/ Hair Care
3/ Bath & Body Care
4/ Soap Bars
5/ Face Care
6/ Mixed Skincare
Furthermore, participants may also choose to enter their sets, collections or boxes into up to two additional themed categories, of which there are five:
A/ Vegan — for gifts free of any animal-sourced ingredients
B/ Eco & Green — for gifts showing an awareness of the environment, both in contents and packaging
C/ Sensitive Skin — for gifts suitable for those with delicate skin or allergies
D/ Sleep & Serenity — for gifts to help you relax, unwind, or drift off ….
E/ Luxury & Pampering — for gifts which are indulgent or a little bit special …
F/ Stocking Fillers — for small gifts / gifts under £20
As this is the launch year, the organisers reserve the right to split, add or subtract categories should the level of entries demand — refunds will be given in the event of a cancelled category, and no additional costs applied for new categories.
Entrants wishing to suggest a new category may do so, and it will be added in the event of sufficient interest. Contact Alex.
What are the key dates of the Free From Gift Awards?
Entry opens — Tuesday 1st September 2020
Entry closes — Monday 5th October 2020
Deadline for product samples — Monday 12th October 2020
Video-conference judging — w/c Monday 9th November 2020
Results announced — Tuesday 24th November 2020
What will testers and judges be looking for?
One sample of each entry will be sent to an experienced tester for evaluation of up to a month, while the other sample will be presented to a round-table panel during judging week, which will include judges who regularly take part in the Free From Skincare Awards.
There will be a greater focus on the gifting element in the Free From Gift Awards: Is it a great product to both give — and to receive?
While testers will of course be looking for performance and effectiveness of products, and judges will be looking for various attributes — such as innovation, attractiveness, pleasure factor, value for money, clear labelling, good formulation and much more — both sets of assessors will be giving greater weight to that all-important ‘gifting’ aspect, including presentation.
What benefits are there in entering the Free From Gift Awards?
Here are just some:
- Your brand will be welcomed and featured on some of our popular social media pages — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — which have many thousands of followers, boosting your media profile.
- Your entries will be sent to an experienced tester for month-long assessment, and the detailed feedback we receive from them will be available to you once the Awards are over in November.
- We’ll give you award logos (Entrant, and if applicable later, various winners logos) which you are free to use in your marketing and communications to share your participation in the Awards.
- All gift sets will be presented to a distinguished panel of beauty / skincare experts, writers and influencers, who relish the opportunity to discover new brands at our judging sessions, and may then feature them or write about them
- Testers and judges regularly become new customers of products they test and judge.
- You may be featured in press coverage related to these new Awards.
- And, of course, you have the chance to win a Gold, Silver or Bronze ‘medal’ in any one of various categories — as well as the inaugural Overall Winner of Best Free From Skincare Gift 2020 — and capitalise on all the potential benefits that come with such success and recognition, in the run up to the main ‘Gifting’ season of Christmas, including coverage in health and beauty media, and being showcased on our own social media channels.
How do I enter the Free From Gift Awards?
1/ Once you have decided what to enter, and checked that cosmetics the sets or boxes contain meet our criteria, visit our Online Entry Form and Payment Store (now closed).
2/ Complete your Company Details on page 1.
3/ Then, on page 2, complete a Product Entry Form for each product you are entering — choose ‘Add Product Entry’ for additional Product Entry Forms.
4/ You can click the ‘Save’ button at the foot of the page as you go along, and return to your forms later via the unique link provided.
5/ Once you have completed all your Product Entry Forms, proceed to page 3 to enter your payment details and ‘Submit’ once you are done. Forms cannot be edited once they are submitted.
6/ You should receive an email confirming your entry. Do not send samples at this stage, as in the event of a problem they cannot be returned.
What happens next?
1/ Entries will be checked for any discrepancies or possible issues: such as products entered into inappropriate categories, or ingredients excluded under our criteria. While we endeavour to resolve any issues and make entrants aware of problems before we accept them, we remind entrants it is their responsibility to ensure submissions are accurate and to check whether there are problems that may disqualify them for any reason.
2/ We aim to confirm acceptance of entry within 72 hours. If you don’t hear from us within a week of having submitted your entry forms, contact us.
3/ When we confirm acceptance, we will email you instructions for sending us samples — two sets of each product entered in each skincare category will be required. These must arrive within 7 days of being requested. Samples must be precisely as specified on the entry form, and be products as they are sold to the purchasing consumer in the UK / Ireland. Pre-trade / tester / trial / mock-up samples cannot be accepted.
4/ Entrants are responsible for postage and delivery fees to our UK address.
5/ We will email you a Free From Gift Awards Entrant Logo which you are free to use on social media to denote your participation in the Awards.
7/ We will welcome you on our social media channels. Our hashtag throughout the Awards period is #FFGA20.
1/ Once your products are received at our offices, we will confirm receipt, and send one out to one of our testers, who will assess your entry for up to one month, before letting us have their feedback.
2/ Entered products are presented to independent round-table panels of judges consisting of, for example, cosmetic formulators, beauty writers, skincare experts, allergy bloggers, ‘free from’ experts and selected brand owners, for additional assessment during a dedicated judging week in October.
4/ The feedback from the testers and judges is collated and combined, and winners decided by organisers in each category, with Gold, Silver and Bronze ‘medals’ available in the skincare categories, and either ‘medals’ or ‘winner’ announcements made for the themed categories.
5/ Winners will be announced online through our Twitter and Instagram accounts on 24th November, and showcased widely on our websites and social media channels.
And after the announcements?
1/ Soon after the announcements, we will email Winners Logos to all winning brands.
2/ We will issue press releases about the Awards and the Winners, and encourage all winners to participate in publicity regarding their win, which we will aim to support in any way we can.
3/ Some feedback on products will be available on request in the weeks after the awards to all participants.
Have a question?