The 30 Best Drugstore Beauty Buys of 2021

best drugstore makeup, haircare, and skincare awards for 2021

Florian Sommet / Trunk Archive


2021 Hair Awards Winner

Pantene Nutrient Blends Fragrance Free Shampoo and Conditioner

Both fragrance-free and silicone-free, this clarifying shampoo and conditioner duo from Pantene is our new favorite for tackling seriously oily hair and product buildup.


2021 Hair Awards Winner

Tresemme Gloss Color-Enhancing High-Shine Deep Hair Conditioner – Clear – 7.7 fl oz

Replace your deep conditioner with this clear gloss once or twice a week for shine you never thought possible outside of a salon. It works in just three minutes too.

3 0% Aluminum Cucumber & Green Tea Refillable Deodorant Stainless Steel Case + 1 Refill

This is the best aluminum-free, refillable deodorant we’ve ever used—drugstore or otherwise. The sleek, chic, palm-sized packaging is made of stainless steel and can be refilled with pods of the brand’s best-selling aluminum-free and ultra-moisturizing deodorant in two scents, plus an unscented version. The odor and sweat control outperforms so many others we’ve tried.

4 Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara

This cruelty-free mascara has all the volume and wear of the Lash Blast that you know and love, in a formula made with conditioning argan and marula oils. It’s also paraben, talc, and mineral oil-free.

5 Air Volume Mega Mascara

It’s possible: a thickening mascara that gives you a lift. L’Oréal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara has a light whipped texture that won’t clump up.

6 Deep Moisture Moisturizing & Hand Sanitizer

After nearly a year of obsessively cleaning our hands, we like to think of ourselves as sanitizer connoisseurs. Dove’s first-ever sanitizer is the best one we’ve ever tried. It leaves hands feeling soft and silky, not dry and itchy, thanks to a moisturizing complex that keeps working for eight hours. Plus, the clean and powdery scent is a welcome change from the gels that smell like straight-up tequila.

7 Brow Extensions Eyebrow Fiber Pomade Crayon

Maybelline New York Brow Extensions Fiber Pomade Crayon is the ultimate one-and-done brow perfector—it boosts arches by imparting color and filling sparse spots with hair-like fibers in just a few strokes.

8 Hydro Boost Night Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid

Apply Neutrogena Hydro Boost Overnight Hydration Cream day or night for maximum moisture. It’s gel-like and lightweight, so it glides on easily and absorbs quickly. It won’t be sticky on your skin or rub off on your clothing.

9 Calm + Restore Triple Oat Hydrating Face Serum

This derm-favorite serum is packed with hydrating glycerin and calming oat and feverfew extract to leave skin supple and soothed.

10 Ride Or Die Lip Balm

Castor oil is the star of this intense and moisturizing 100% vegan lip balm. Available in four shades and flavors, you’ll find yourself buying one for every handbag.

11 SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Eco Pads

Single-use cotton rounds are so last year. These washable and reusable pads pair perfectly with the brand’s micellar water to remove makeup without generating waste.

12 Invisible Daily Defense Face Serum SPF 60+

You should still be wearing sunscreen daily, even if you’re not leaving your house. This one from Neutrogena is more like a serum than a lotion, so it’s perfect for wearing alone or layering under makeup. Invisible and nearly weightless, the SPF 60 formula is fragrance-free and loaded with antioxidants.

13 Collagen Peptide 24 Eye Cream

We’re leaving our puffy, tired eyes behind in 2020. This fragrance-free cream from Olay uses derm-favorite ingredients like collagen peptides and vitamin b3 to hydrate, brighten, and de-puff the sensitive skin under your eyes.

14 Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum

Derms agree, retinol is a proven anti-ager, and L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum With 0.3% Pure Retinol, with added glycerin, won’t irritate skin.

15 INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR The Knot Dr. All-in-One Dryer Brush

No more arm fatigue. InfinitiPro By Conair The Knot Dr. All-In-One Dryer Brush makes giving yourself a bouncy blowout at home about as easy as brushing your hair

16 Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser

One area where you can always save: cleanser. CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser feels surprisingly luxurious, and this derm favorite is never overdrying.

17 Mele Smooth Pore Minimizing Serum

Melé Smooth Pore Minimizing Serum has a blurring effect that makes skin look amazing and helps mattify and reduce the appearance of pores.

18 LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum

With 15 percent pure ascorbic acid (a potent form of vitamin C), Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum refines tone and texture similar to products with higher price tags

19 ColorStay Looks Book Eyeshadow Palette

It’s hard to make a wrong move with Revlon ColorStay Looks Book Eye Shadow palettes. Each palette has a combination of eight matte, shimmer, and metallic shades that go beautifully blended together or worn alone.

20 Argan Oil & Lavender Smooth & Serene Shampoo

Love Beauty and Planet shampoos and conditioners are color-safe, come in 100 percent recycled plastic bottles (and are recyclable), and smell phenomenal. Help the environment, sacrifice nothing.

21 Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo absorbs oils without weighing down hair or leaving a whitish residue. Hairstylists rely on this cult classic for creating volume and extending styles.

22 Hair Milk Original Leave In Moisturizer

Carol’s Daughter

With shea and cocoa butters and soybean oil, Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer locks in moisture for thirsty curls and coils, giving extra control and bounce.

23 Fructis Sleek Shot In-Shower Styler

So genius: Mix Garnier Fructis Sleek Shot with your shampoo to help smooth hair, control frizz, and even shorten drying time before you get out of the shower.

24 Tanologist Self Tan Mousse

Tanologist Self Tan Mousse goes on clear, which means no tan transfer on your sheets. Pick the shade based on your desired depth of tan. This smart formula develops into a believable streak-free tan every time, and it fades evenly. We love it year-round.

25 Optic White Overnight Teeth Whitening Pen

No worries about setting a timer or adjusting sliding strips. Colgate Optic White Overnight Teeth Whitening Pen ($24.99) makes whitening foolproof. Simply apply before bed and see a brighter smile in a week. Better yet? The gel is designed for no sensitivity because it’s so gradual.

26 Coconut & Hibiscus Hand & Body Scrub

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Illuminating Hand & Body Scrub smooths rough spots and hydrates with coconut oil and shea butter.

27 Baked Blush

Milani Baked Blush feels so fine, it seems like it should cost three times as much. Plus, the subtle shimmer adds a glow.

28 Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation

With 45 shades, NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full Coverage Foundation means that everyone can find their match with this long-wearing matte formula. Bonus: It’s humidity- and transfer-proof.

29 The Lip Bar Matte Liquid Lipstick

You’ll want to collect all 18 shades of the Lip Bar Liquid Matte lipstick. The super-thin lipstick dries to a comfortable matte finish that won’t budge, crackle, or dry out your lips, and it even stays put under a mask.

30 Expressie Always Right Nail Polish

Essie Expressie Nail Polish dries in one minute, so you can switch your color with your outfit or mood—no top or base coat required. And unlike older quick-dry polishes, it won’t chip the moment you walk out the door.

31 Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream

A true classic, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer keeps skin continuously hydrated and improves the look of wrinkles in as few as 28 days.

32 Rescue Shots Hair Ampoules Treatment

Small but mighty: Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots instantly revive dry, chemically treated strands with hydration for better shine and manageability.

33 Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay

If you need a little extra incentive to apply SPF, try La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100. It sinks into your skin effortlessly.

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