The moment Alissa Hsu Lynch spotted five Aveeno products among the winners unveiled at Allure magazine's Best of Beauty awards fete last fall, she emailed her team. "We needed to think about how we could get the news out right away," said Ms. Hsu Lynch, group product director for Aveeno, a Johnson & Johnson brand.

Within weeks, the Aveeno team had designed coupons and in-store displays to feature Allure's "Best of Beauty" seal. Later this year, TV ads for Aveeno also will include the awards. The seal eventually will adorn the packaging of most of Aveeno's winning products, except for its new eczema cream, which already is decorated with an award from the National Eczema Association.

The beauty industry is reveling in a new marketing tool: awards. Doled out by magazines, retailers or trade groups, the endorsements are being used by an increasing number of brands hoping to rise above the flood of new beauty products introduced each year. From mass-market mascaras to high-end skin creams, the beauty industry is incorporating honors into ad campaigns, store promotions, Web sites and packaging. For those that grant honors, the awards help drum up additional exposure, advertising and sales.

Aside from Allure, a Condé Nast title, publications handing out awards include American Media's Shape magazine; Teen Vogue, another Condé Nast title; and Essence Communications' Essence magazine. Media outlets aren't the only ones in the award game: Honors also are distributed by trade groups such as Fragrance Foundation and Cosmetic Executive Women, and beauty retailer Sephora.

Most awards are based either on votes by members of the public or the judgment of so-called experts. Sephora, a unit of French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said more than 100,000 shoppers voted online last year to select their favorite products for the "Best of Sephora" awards. Shoppers vote from five options in each product category, each of which is sold at the chain. "We're a retailer, so, of course, it's just the products we sell," said Allison Slater, Sephora's vice president of retail and marketing.

Cosmetic Executive Women, on the other hand, invites its 4,000 members to evaluate products introduced in the past year and determine finalists. CEW board members select winners.

As for Allure, the beauty magazine has two sets of awards, one judged by the magazine's editors as well as cosmetics chemists and dermatologists. The others are reader's-choice awards based on write-in ballots. Winners of both are given free use of a "winner's seal" logo, developed by Allure, in their promotions. Plenty of advertisers take advantage of that; in the five months since the 2007 winners were announced, 130 brands have asked to use the Allure seal.

Allure began its awards program 12 years ago, at the initiative of its editor, Linda Wells, who believed it might help establish the magazine as an authoritative voice in the competitive world of women's magazines. She said she did so against the advice of higher-ups at Condé Nast, Allure's parent, who worried that an awards program would alienate advertisers who didn't win.

"Everyone thought this would be suicide; I got major warnings against it," Ms. Wells said. A magazine spokeswoman said no brand has pulled ads when it didn't win.

Given the quantity of awards handed out by Allure -- 218 products won last year -- Allure's advertisers have plenty of opportunity to snag at least one honor. To ensure its judging panel is neutral, Allure said, its ad department isn't involved in the judging.

Even so, many of the winners are big brands that advertise frequently in Allure and elsewhere. But some smaller brands that don't advertise also win -- and get a big payoff.

One such brand is high-end label Becca, whose creme blush has won four times. Sales have tripled each time the product won, said Kacey Purifoy, Becca's marketing director. Becca is a unit of Australia's Cosmetic Developments.

"Definitely there's a correlation between the seal and sales," said Ellen Slicklen, Avon's vice president of U.S. beauty. Avon's mid-February catalog had a "winners" theme timed to coincide with the movie-awards season. Pages highlighted products honored by various groups. This month, the cover of a catalog touts "Award-winning Anew" eye cream, with the first dozen pages spotlighting more winning products.

Allure itself benefits from marketers wanting to cash in on reader interest in the awards. Procter & Gamble, for instance, bought every ad space available on pages surrounding the five-page winners' list published in Allure's October 2007 issue. Because the list runs near the back of the magazine, P&G's ad buy took space in a part of the magazine usually not seen as hot advertising real estate. P&G's ads promoted brands including Olay skin care, Max Factor makeup and Pantene shampoo.