Judging Committee

Meet The Guest Judges

We asked some of the industry’s top names to help narrow down the year’s best products.

by Bustle Editors
Meet the guest judges of the 2023 Bustle Beauty Awards.

Choosing the year’s best beauty products is no easy feat, which is why we enlisted six of the industry’s top pros to help select the winners. From hairstylists to nail artists to skin experts, our guest judges are some of the most trusted names in their respective fields. Over the course of several months, we sent them many, many products to test on themselves (and their celebrity clientele), and they reported back on the ones that earned a permanent place in their kits. Ahead, get to know the esteemed guest judges for Bustle’s 2023 Beauty Awards.

Jaleesa Jaikaran

Jaleesa Jaikaran is a Trinidadian makeup artist based in New York City. She works behind the camera on beauty and fashion campaigns with brands including MAC, Maybelline, Lancome, Kith, Nike, and Pyer Moss, to name a few. In front of the camera, she creates content driven by beauty education and has collaborated with various brands, including Esteé Lauder, Coach, UOMA Beauty, Milk Makeup, Ulta Beauty, and Pinterest. She hosts The Life of a Makeup Artist podcast, which focuses on rising and defining voices in beauty, breaking into the industry, and why it’s critical to create an inclusive future.

Naeemah LaFond

Naeemah LaFond is a Haitian American, Brooklyn-born hairstylist based in New York. She is recognized internationally for creating iconic statement looks for fashion runways, global ad campaigns, and editorial stories. LaFond is most known for her technical range in delivering everything from effortless looks to sculpted artwork, and for her versatility with all hair textures. Her creations have graced the runways of the likes of Christopher John Rogers, Monse, Fe Noel, and Sandy Liang. Among other notable publications, Naeemah’s work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Allure, Elle, and WWD. She is an on-air beauty expert and an international educator.

Reece Walker

Celebrating his 20th anniversary as a colorist and stylist, Reece Walker’s career has included director positions at the most coveted salons across Europe, Australia, and the United States. Walker has been a prominent personality backstage at London, New York, and Paris Fashion Weeks for brands like Michael Kors and Tom Ford, and his signature blonde and copper styling can also be seen on some of the world’s most influential celebrities and tastemakers, including Victoria Beckham, Bella Hadid, Miranda Kerr, Eva Longoria, and fashion doyenne Carine Roitfeld. Walker currently spends his time between the U.S. and Europe, collaborating with his long-term brand partners and private clients.

Gracie J

Gracie J is a New York-based celebrity nail artist, content creator, and the creative innovator behind The Editorial Nail. As an award-winning artist and small business owner, Gracie curates nail art for the artsy, minimalist, and chic. She has partnered with the likes of UGG, HBO, FentySkin and provided strategy to others such as Pantone and The Sims. You can find her outstanding work in the acclaimed TV series Claws season one, The Cut, Coveteur, Harper’s Bazaar, and NYLON. As a trendsetter, you can also expect to see her 18k gold-plated nail accessories Bonita Applebum & Antoinette on some of your favorite it girls this summer.

Dr. Kim Nichols

Kim Nichols, MD, FAAD is a Harvard-trained, board-certified, celebrity dermatologist who treats both cosmetic and medical skincare concerns. Dr. Nichols is globally recognized for her injecting expertise and artistic signature treatments that yield natural-looking results. As a national physician trainer and speaker for Allergan, Galderma, Merz, and Qwo, Dr. Nichols trains other dermatologists and plastic surgeons from across the country in the highest standards of art and ethics on how to administer injectables. Dr. Nichols graduated cum laude from Harvard University, attended NYU School of Medicine, and completed her dermatology residency at King-Drew/Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. In 2013, Dr. Nichols opened her own practice, Nichols MD of Greenwich in Connecticut, and has since expanded the practice with SkinLab by NicholsMD in Stamford and NicholsMD of Fairfield. Dr. Nichols works and lives in Greenwich with her husband and three children, serves on the Metro New York North board of the American Red Cross, and is a mentor with Girls Inc., where she inspires the next generation of female leaders. Dr. Nichols is also a member of The Skin of Color Society, a professional dermatologic organization dedicated to training in skin of color dermatology.