The 24 Best Beauty Steals and Drugstore Products of 2022


Deals, steals, budget-friendly buys — whatever you call them, these affordable beauty products — a.k.a. the Allure Best of Beauty 2022 Steals winners — are ones to keep on top of mind (and at the top of your beauty collection). Whether you’re in need of a rich, creamy face wash from St. Ives or a dew-enhancing setting spray from Nyx Professional Makeup, we’ve got you covered with beauty basics that don’t cost a dime over $13.

Many of these winners have single-digit price points that are too good to pass up, but that’s not the only reason why we, at Allure, think they’re the best the drugstore aisles has to offer. Every single item in this category has a high-performing formula that rivals their pricier counterparts without making you splurge a hefty chunk of your paycheck for them. Because who ever said self-care had to be expensive?

After coating ourselves head-to-toe with hundreds of beauty products, the following 24 were, without a doubt, the best of the inexpensive bunch. You can replenish your entire beauty routine with these award-winning skin, hair, makeup, and body-care products from tried-and-true brands e.l.f. Cosmetics and CoverGirl. Below, take a look at the crème de la crème of bargain beauty, and don’t forget to take a look at our full 2022 Best of Beauty winners list.

Best of Beauty Awards 2022: Steals

Jump to your favorite category or keep reading to see every affordable skin-care product, palette, and press-on that won this year:

Tresemmé One Step Volume Mist

Tresemmé One Step Volume Spray

Why it won: One of the greatest beauty mysteries of our time is why some volumizing mists manage to weigh down strands in their quest to lift them up. Thankfully, this lightweight formula isn’t one of ’em: It even has a smaller-than-normal spray nozzle to prevent overdoing it.

St. Ives Deep Cleanse Cream Wash

St. Ives Deep Cleanse Cream Wash

Why it won: This creamy cleanser has helped us overcome our trust issues: With mint extract and menthol, it imparts a cooling sensation that makes us feel confident it’s really working. Of course, our clean-but-not-stripped skin — thanks to hydrating glycerin — offers more concrete evidence.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Why it won: Your skin barrier keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out — and lipids are one of its primary building blocks. This lightweight moisturizer is chock-full of ’em, plus amino acids that give skin its structure and resilience. (If you thought that was interesting, you should really listen to Allure‘s The Science of Beauty podcast.) The long and short of it: This formula helps your skin function more optimally.

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum

Why it won: If we had to hold 1,000 times our weight in water, we’d get squashed like a pancake. But hyaluronic acid does it with ease and leaves our skin plumper and better hydrated for it. This quick-to-absorb formula layers seamlessly under moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water With Hyaluronic Acid + Aloe

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water With Hyaluronic Acid + Aloe

Why it won: We still remember how delighted we were when we used micellar water for the first time: How could a makeup remover so lightweight do its job so thoroughly? This new take on Garnier’s original formula gave us that giddy feeling all over again. Enriched with hyaluronic acid and aloe, it not only leaves skin totally cleansed, but softer, too.

Rosen Skincare Break-Out

Why it won: This paste is a white knight for whiteheads: When you feel a breakout brewing, dab a little directly on top. Zinc oxide, apple cider vinegar, and peppermint oil act as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents that immediately disinfect and soothe.

CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lash Enhancing Liquid Eyeliner

CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lash Enhancing Liquid Eyeliner

Why it won: One word came up time after time in our testing notes for this liner: easy. The flexible tip makes it so you can trace your entire lash line in one shot, no tugging or skipping. And the fine-point tip makes it remarkably easy to add a finishing flick. And there we go again!

Hard Candy Hydrating Primer

Hard Candy Hydrating Primer

Why it won: This primer latches on to makeup with the same ironclad grip of your great-aunt Sally’s hugs at the last family reunion. The makeup-preserving effect lasts up to 12 hours, which, coincidentally, is also exactly how long it felt like it took for Sally to finally let go.

AOA Studio Paw Paw Wonder Blender

AOA Studio Paw Paw Wonder Blender

Why it won: In beauty as in fashion, it’s all about the high-low mix. We use this $2 sponge ($10 for a pack) — that’s just as bouncy as the best of ’em — to stipple on our $45 foundation. Then we put on our favorite H&M dress and slip into Chanel flats.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Putty Bronzer

e.l.f. Cosmetics Putty Bronzer

Why it won: Editorial assistant Talia Gutierrez considers this cream-to-powder bronzer (in eight shades) one of her go-tos. And because she always looks like she just returned from a beach vacation, despite logging a lot of overtime at Allure HQ, the semimatte formula is now also one of our go-tos.

Nyx Professional Makeup Plump Finish Setting Spray

Nyx Professional Makeup Plump Finish Setting Spray

Why it won: Some finishing sprays suck the life out of your skin in an effort to lock in your makeup. This one accomplishes the same goal but leaves your skin plump and dewy with hydrating ingredients like aloe. Editorial assistant Jennet Jusu says just a spritz helps her makeup last from morning till night.

Flower Beauty Perfect Pout Soft Matte Lip Color

Flower Beauty Perfect Pout Soft Matte Lip Color

Why it won: We ordered pizza for the sole purpose of testing the longevity of this jojoba oil-infused liquid lip color that comes in shades ranging from deep raspberry to dusty rose. (OK, so we also didn’t want to cook.) Our verdict? Pepperoni-proof.

Revolution Beauty Makeup Revolution 5D Lash Pow Mascara

Revolution Beauty Makeup 5D Lash Pow Mascara

Why it won: The volumizing and thickening formula is great on its own, but it’s made even better by a simple detail in its packaging: The tube clicks closed. If you’ve ever picked up a mascara to discover you didn’t totally twist it shut (and the formula inside dried up), you get why that’s a winning feature.

Herbal Essences bio:renew Avocado & Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Herbal Essences Avocado & Argan Oil Shampoo + Conditioner

Why it won: Usually, guac is extra. But in these ultra-moisturizing blends, avocado comes standard along with shine-enhancing argan oil. When used regularly, this duo helps protect all hair types from damage.

Creme of Nature Butter Blend & Flaxseed Stretch & Define Pudding

Creme of Nature Butter Blend & Flaxseed Stretch and Define Pudding

Why it won: If it feels like someone pulled a Honey, I Shrunk The Kids on your curls, part your damp hair in sections, then apply this bouncy pudding. It gently elongates shrunken spirals at the same time that it hydrates and defines them.

Garnier Fructis Curl Multi-Use Oil

Garnier Fructis Curl Multi-Use Oil

Why it won: There are few problems in the world that can’t be solved with coconut oil (except for, you know, the real ones). Here, it’s blended with vitamin E to create a hydrator that can be used as a scalp treatment, nourishing oil, or deep conditioner.

Pantene Boosters

Why it won: Create a souped-up version of your current conditioner by mixing in one of four boosters, with benefits like strengthening and color enhancement. The tiny tubes are also perfect for travel — and leveling-up hotel-issued conditioners.

Suave Simply Styled Wave Mousse

Suave Simply Styled Wave Mousse

Why it won: Like a great editor, this lightweight mousse takes what you already have and makes it even better. Rake a dollop from roots to ends, then blow-dry to reveal softly defined bends that are blissfully free of crunch.

Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Deep Conditioner

Why it won: We admit we initially picked up this treatment as an excuse to spend 10 more minutes in the shower. But we soon discovered the end result was just as satisfying as the process: our hair was left soft, silky, and smelling incredible.

Method Aluminum Gel Hand Soap in Vetiver + Amber

Method Gel Hand Wash in Vetiver + Amber

Why it won: You won’t feel compelled to switch out this blend of amber, vetiver, and cedarwood for the expensive stuff when guests come over. Unless, of course, you want to keep this hydrating hand soap all to yourself.

Olay Fearless Artist Series Nourishing Body Wash With Cocoa Butter

Olay Fearless Artist Series Nourishing For Glowing Skin Body Wash

Why it won: Olay whipped up this formula with moisturizing cocoa butter and manuka honey, then artist Avery Williamson got it all dressed up. The beautiful bottle features her signature abstract work.

Alba Botanica While Wet Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40

Alba Botanica While Wet Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40

Why it won: Because you care as much about sun safety as we do, we already know you stop whatever you’re doing and reapply sunscreen every two hours, right? Right. This formula makes doing so as convenient for your beach day as possible, since you can apply it on wet or sweaty skin.

Vaseline Hydra Replenish Hand Cream

Why it won: The shea butter and hyaluronic acid base of these lightweight hand creams is the same, so let the scent — creamy, spicy, floral vs. tropical and fruity — be your guide in choosing a favorite. Or not choosing and immediately adding both to your cart.

Nivea Sensitive & Radiant Body Lotion

Nivea Sensitive and Radiant Body Lotion

Why it won: This fragrance-free, sensitive skin-friendly body lotion seems pretty pared down until you smooth it on and realize it creates a beautiful sheen on skin, thanks to the slightest bit of pearl extract. Oh yeah, and it’s super hydrating.


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