PEOPLE's Beauty Awards 2021: 50 Best Drugstore Products of the Year

PEOPLE and TODAY staffers tried more than 300 makeup, body, hair and skin-care launches to find the latest and greatest drugstore essentials. The result: our 7th annual list of affordable and effective beauty buys. Happy shopping!

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

PEOPLE and TODAY have done it again! For the seventh year in a row, we've teamed up to bring you our ultimate list of drugstore favorites.

Led by PEOPLE style and beauty director Andrea Lavinthal and TODAY contributor Jill Martin, our team of staffers tried more than 300 drugstore beauty products to find the best new affordable finds in the body, hair, makeup, and skincare aisles. And finally, after months of swatching, swiping and spraying, we narrowed the list down to 50 must-haves.

During Wednesday and Thursday's episodes of TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, cohosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager unveiled 15 skin products, nine body products, 15 makeup products and 11 hair products that will keep you looking gorgeous from head toe, including a vitamin C-infused exfoliator, a body lotion one tester swore made her legs looks firmer, a soothing scalp scrub and a mascara that went viral on TikTok.

These 50 editor-approved (and budget-friendly!) finds can be purchased at your local drugstore or online via the links below.

Ready, set, shop!

Best Skin Products

01 of 50

Winky Lux Orange You Bright Gentle Vitamin C Exfoliator

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

This granular scrub smells like freshly squeezed OJ and contains three forms of vitamin C to brighten your complexion.

02 of 50

Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 35


"Fantastic!" proclaimed one tester of this formula, which delivers a major dose of hydration along with broad spectrum sun protection.

03 of 50

Bliss Youth Got This Serum

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

All of the benefits of retinol (smoother texture, more even skin tone, less acne) without any of the redness or irritation.

04 of 50

RoC Multi Correxion Hydrate + Plump Serum Capsules

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

Each of these biodegradable capsules dispenses the perfect amount of hyaluronic acid to help you start the day with plumper skin.

05 of 50

SOL by Jergens Deeper by the Drop

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

Testers loved that they could customize their tans by adding a little— or a lot—of this serum to their regular moisturizer.

06 of 50

Thayers Radiance Boosting Facial Cleanser

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

A formula that works wonders on every skin type sounds too good to be true, but testers loved this rose-scented one whether theirs was dry, oily or somewhere in between.

07 of 50

No7 Pure Retinol Night Cream

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

"I woke up to smoother skin," said a tester of this retinol formula, which has a velvety texture that's so luxe, it feels like it should cost three times more than it does.

08 of 50

CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

Testers called this their "holy grail" cleanser because it's powerful enough to keep pimples at bay, without drying out skin.

09 of 50

e.l.f. Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Hydro-Gel Daily Moisturizer

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

"It's like a drink of water for your skin," said one tester of this lightweight gel, which is packed with ceramides to help lock in moisture.

10 of 50

L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid + Caffeine Eye Serum

Beauty Awards 2021- Face
11 of 50

Olay Eyes Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Brightening Eye Cream

Beauty Awards 2021- Face
12 of 50

Neutrogena Rapid Firming Peptide Multi Action Eye Cream

Beauty Awards 2021- Face
13 of 50

Lumene Nordic-C Valo Fresh Glow Brightening Gel Mask

Beauty Awards 2021- face

In just five minutes, this citrus-scented gel gives skin a gorgeous glow thanks to a blend of exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid and vitamin-C-rich wild arctic cloudberry.

14 of 50

Yes to Avocado Cream Cleanser

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

This ultra-gentle face wash has avocado oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, to nourish skin.

15 of 50

Soap & Glory Glow With It 10% Vitamin C Serum

Beauty Awards 2021- Face

"It's everything you want in a serum," said one tester of this potent antioxidant formula, which gives skin a healthy glow and layers well under moisturizer.

Best Body Products

16 of 50

Ivory Gentle Deodorant With a Hint of Lavender

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

"I smelled glorious even after a workout," reported one tester of this lavender-scented, aluminum-free find.

17 of 50

Odele Moisturizing Body Wash

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

This cruelty-free gel checks every box: It lathers well, smells amazing, and the 16-oz. bottle is an awesome value for the price.

18 of 50

Hero Cosmetics Brave Body Deep Scrub

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

Gritty in a good way and with a scent one tester described as "spa- like," this sugar- based exfoliator softens even the roughest spots.

19 of 50

Olay Firming Body Lotion With Collagen

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

Testers reported that this lotion has the "perfect consistency" and leaves skin "more supple." One even swore it made her legs appear firmer.

20 of 50

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil Natural

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

The iconic oil now comes in a fragrance- and preservative-free version that makes skin feel just as silky as the original.

21 of 50

Bondi Sands Pure Gradual Tanning Lotion

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

"It's beginner-friendly," said one self-tanning newbie of this "easy-to- apply" gradual lotion, which gives you just the right shade of bronze.

22 of 50

Skintimate Bloom Shave Gel

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

"It makes shaving your legs feel like a treat!" said one tester of this gel, which turns into a mound of floral-scented foam. And even with its budget price, "a little goes a long way."

23 of 50

Nature's Beauty Detox Body Butter

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

You only need a bit of this rich cream—which has sunflower seed oil, shea butter and glycerin—to reap all its moisturizing benefits. "I'll be using it year- round," said one tester.

24 of 50

Dove Body Love Sensitive Care Hand Cream

Beauty Awards 2021- Body

This formula tackles dry, papery hands and also absorbs in seconds. "I could get right back to typing on my computer," one tester said.

Best Makeup Products

25 of 50

Revlon PhotoReady Rose Glow Face Gloss

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

Gives a pretty sheen without any glitter, and our testers added bonus points for being a "hydrating" formula that can be applied anywhere.

26 of 50

Maybelline New York Express Brow Duo

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

With a pencil on one end and a powder on the other, this tester favorite has everything you need for fuller, more defined brows.

27 of 50

L'Oréal Paris True Match Tinted Serum

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

This makeup-skin-care hybrid (it has hyaluronic acid) creates an "airbrushed" effect.

28 of 50

Burt's Bees Color Nurture Cream Eye Shadow

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

Testers loved how easy it was to swipe on this shimmery cream. "It has the perfect amount of sparkle and doesn't crease," said one.

29 of 50

Wet n Wild MegaLast Incognito All-Day Full- Coverage Concealer

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

Even a tester with "next-level dark circles" said this cover-up "slayed" without looking cakey. And did we mention it only costs five dollars?

30 of 50

Pacifica Beauty Vegan Collagen Fluffy Lash Mascara

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

This "luxurious" formula uses plant-based fibers to up the wow-factor of lashes. Testers were equally impressed with the chic look of the recyclable glass bottle.

31 of 50

Honest Beauty Vibeliner Pencil Eyeliner

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

It comes in a range of gorgeous colors (the bronze one was most beloved by testers), and the silky texture makes it easy to blend for a quick smoky eye.

32 of 50

Milani Ungilded Most Loved Mattes Eyeshadow Palette

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

These hues flatter all skin tones—and work well together. "I had so much fun creating different combos," said one tester.

33 of 50

Neutrogena Clear Coverage Flawless Matte CC Cream

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup
34 of 50

CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Liquid Eyeliner

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

"The super precise applicator is great
for drawing the perfect line," said one tester of this richly pigmented formula.

35 of 50

Flower Beauty Jet Set Invisible Powder Spray

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

Testers called this powder spray "game- changing" for its ability to absorb oil and keep makeup in check.

36 of 50

Milani Color Fetish Matte Lipstick

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

Testers loved everything about this formula, from the "elevated packaging" to the "stay-put but not drying" finish. "Hands down my favorite," summed up one.

37 of 50

Joah Beauty Air Light Satin Lipstick

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

"It feels like a cushiony cloud," said one tester of this shea butter- infused lipstick that has the staying power of a matte but the finish of a cream.

38 of 50

Wet n Wild Impossible Primer

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

"It's better than many high-end versions," said one tester of the silicone-free find, which acts like a blurring filter for skin and creates a smooth canvas for makeup.

39 of 50

Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

Beauty Awards 2021- Makeup

"This might be the best mascara ever," raved one tester of the TikTok- famous formula that makes even the shortest lashes look unbelievably long without a single clump.

Best Hair Products

40 of 50

Aveeno Sunflower Oil Blend System

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

The antioxidant-rich main ingredient repairs over-processed hair. And testers loved the "fancy" peony and vanilla scent.

41 of 50

Gold Series From Pantene Anti- Breakage Combing Crème

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

"I had the best hair day of 2021," raved one tester after using this lengthening cream that strengthens textured hair.

42 of 50

Garnier Fructis Texturizing Invisible Dry Shampoo in Beach Tonic

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

If you like to go a day (or two . . . or three) between shampoos, this spray will keep your hair looking fresh.

43 of 50

Pantene Sulfate- Free Hydrating Glow System

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

"I looked like I went to the salon!" reported one tester of her "shiny and smooth" hair after using this silicone-free combo.

44 of 50

TRESemmé Flawless Curls Defining Cream

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

This coconut-scented styler lets curls air-dry to defined and bouncy perfection. Said one tester: "I'm buying another bottle when this one runs out!"

45 of 50

Nexxus Curl Define System

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

The brand nailed it with their first line created specifically for curls and coils. "It's a great combo," said one tester, who loved how well it detangled.

46 of 50

Head & Shoulders Supreme Detox & Hydrate Hair and Scalp System

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

This hydrating duo fights flakes and feels like a "surprisingly indulgent" treatment for your hair.

47 of 50

Neutrogena Healthy Scalp Hydro Boost Deep Treatment Hair Mask

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

Though typically found in skin care, hyaluronic acid powers this gel-cream. "I couldn't stop touching my hair," said one tester of the silky results.

48 of 50

Love Beauty and Planet Rice Oil & Angelica Essence System

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

The shampoo cleanses without stripping away natural oils, while the conditioner adds moisture to keep curls frizz-free.

49 of 50

Odele Detangling Leave-In Tonic

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

Testers said this spray made blowouts a breeze, and also worked wonders on air-dried hair. "It didn't leave any residue behind," said one new fan.

50 of 50

L'Oréal Paris EverPure Scalp Care + Detox Scrub

Beauty Awards 2021- Hair

This "standout" won over skeptics for the way it gently sloughs away dirt, oil and product buildup for a feeling one tester described as "clean and recharged."

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