Best of Beauty

Why Allure Readers Are Obsessed With These 2020 Best of Beauty Drugstore Winners

We asked our readers for their favorite 2020 Allure Best of Beauty-winning beauty products under $10, and they shared hair-care and skin-care products from St. Ives, Simple Skincare, Dove, Suave, and TRESemmé — all of which have won multiple awards.
Illustrated by Reyna Noriega

We have to admit, it’s extra exciting when we find a drugstore holy-grail item: a beauty find that is exactly what we’ve been hunting for — and affordable to boot. It’s like the beauty gods are shining down on us. Of course, there are some brands we know will always have our back, like these: St. Ives, Simple Skincare, Dove, Suave, and TRESemmé — all of which are past winners of multiple Best of Beauty awards.

And these perennial favorites did not disappoint in 2020: Whether it’s a micellar water that comes in a cute on-the-go pouch, a volumizing spray that brings the flattest of hair to new heights, or a face scrub Cleopatra would approve of, these five Best of Beauty steals deserve all their flowers.

ANTIPERSPIRANT

Dove Even Tone Antiperspirant Restoring Powder

One of the surprisingly more difficult products to figure out can be antiperspirant. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, and what works for one person might be a complete failure for another. (Like snowflakes, no two pits are the same!) That’s why it’s always interesting to hear about an antiperspirant that gets props all around. See, the Dove Even Tone Antiperspirant Restoring Powder isn’t your typical antiperspirant. It actually doubles as skin care, as it’s infused with moisturizing ingredients like vitamin B3 that can help restore your natural underarm skin tone while ensuring you don’t stink.

Dove Even Tone Antiperspirant Deodorant Restoring Powder

“I have to say, I love the results. It helped somehow to return my underarms to their original skin tone after using it for a while, but mostly what I love about this product is the scent,” says Lenissa C., a customer from New York City, adding that “it keeps my underarms protected from any sweatiness and odor.”

The ultimate test for an antiperspirant is someone who has a tendency to sweat a lot. That’s why Allure associate digital beauty director Sarah Kinonen’s testimonial is key. “Pandemic aside, I am an incredibly anxious person. (I blame my Aquarian tendencies and my type-A personality.) The moment I feel unease, it shows — on my underarms,” she says, adding that she’s tried a number of antiperspirants to “sop up the sweat,” but nothing compares to this one. “If I could give this two Allure Best of Beauty awards, I would, but one 2020 honor should (hopefully) suffice.”

FACE CLEANSER

Simple Kind to Skin Mini Micellar Cleansing Water

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When micellar water entered the scene, it quickly became a game changer. If you were too tired or too busy (read: lazy) to head to the bathroom to do your normal face-washing routine, a few swipes of a soaked cotton pad, and boom — all evidence of the day would be wiped away (literally). But, as with any face cleanser, finding the right micellar water is key. It has to be powerful enough to remove heavy makeup without leaving any trace of residue behind (no raccoon eyes, please) but also gentle enough that it doesn’t irritate your skin. We’re basically hoping for a Goldilocks situation. Enter Simple Kind to Skin Mini Micellar Cleansing Water.

Simple Kind to Skin Mini Micellar Cleansing Water

This micellar water means serious business. You can count on it to remove that experimental glitter cat eye, while its hydrating formula (which contains vitamin B3, vitamin C, and triple-purified water) will keep your canvas soft, smooth, and ready for the next day. And it’s not just the formula that makes it special, the packaging has its own benefits, especially when it comes to traveling, or in one customer’s case, spending time in the great outdoors. “I used this when camping recently,” says Vanessa L., who is based in Brooklyn. “I like the size and how it left my skin feeling clean but not tight. Especially after a day's worth of sweat and sunscreen.”

That handy-dandy pouch? It’s adorable! No wonder Allure digital beauty editor Devon Abelman calls it the “Capri Sun of micellar waters.” She also gives props to its sustainability factor, pointing to the palm-size package that helps ensure not a single drop goes to waste, as well as the ease and functionality over a typical bottle. “No matter where I am, I can squeeze some of the cleansing water onto a cotton pad before melting away my colorful makeup with it,” she says. “Removes makeup in seconds without stripping the moisture from my skin. Instead, it’s left radiant and hydrated.”

FACE SCRUB

St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Rose Water & Aloe Vera Scrub

Sometimes even the most luxe chemical exfoliant can’t compare to a classic, dependable physical scrub. With the right ingredients and formula, a face scrub can help improve your skin’s texture while keeping it clean, hydrated, and feeling fresh as a daisy, or in this case, a rose. The St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Rose Water & Aloe Vera Scrub contains natural walnut shell powder, aloe vera, and rose petals: a winning combo for keeping your skin smooth, soothed, and pampered.

St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Rose Water & Aloe Vera Scrub

One customer has been swearing by St. Ives for her sensitive skin for years and is impressed by this scrub in particular. “St. Ives is my go-to brand for facial scrubs, and this one is just amazing,'' says Paula C., who is based in Savannah, Georgia. “My skin is very dry and a little sensitive. This product cleans it, leaving a soft texture and great smell.”

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Another fan of the scrub, and in particular, the presence of rose, is Allure senior beauty editor Dianna Mazzone. “This creamy formula gently smooths away dry skin with the help of crushed rose petals,” says Mazzone, who adds that the combination of the petals with rose water gives it a luxurious, spa-like scent. “I apply it on damp skin using small circular motions before rinsing it away. My skin is left soft, glowing, and primed for the rest of my routine.” (Do you know who else loved incorporating rose water into their beauty regimen? Cleopatra!)

BEST CURL DEFINER 

Suave Curl Defining Cream for Natural Hair

Suave Hair Care is one of the best-kept secrets in drugstores because it’s super affordable and gets the job done beautifully. When it comes to curly hair, this is doubly impressive considering how difficult it can be to achieve and maintain healthy, frizz-free ringlets. Suave’s Curl Defining Cream for Natural Hair has a lot going for it — and it smells amazing, too. “Upon dispensing this cream, I got a whiff of an incredible scent. The texture is absolutely perfect,” says Amanda E., a customer from Oxford, Massachusetts. “It helped define my natural curls all day without weighing them down.”

Suave Professionals for Natural Hair Curl Defining Cream

If there’s anyone to ask about curly hair routines, it’s Allure commerce editor Nykia Spradley. "After many attempts at perfecting my just-right curl-defining routine, I’m officially adding mixologist to my credentials,” jokes Spradley. “I’ve attempted various iterations of the LOC method, and I’ve figured out that the cream is key, and Suave’s Curl Defining Cream for Natural Hair works well in my mix.” She says the combination of shea butter and coconut oil does the trick for her thirsty curls. Her method? “I do a bit of a shingling technique by applying a generous dollop to small sections of damp hair and working it through by finger-combing from root to ends. I can see my curls begin to get in formation as soon as I apply the cream,” she says, adding that her hair is on the finer side and in the 3C to 4A range, so heavier creams tend to weigh it down. “With this, it feels weightless. My curls are left defined and bouncy.” A curly hair dream!

VOLUMIZER

TRESemmé Volume Thickening Spray

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Flat-haired people, you know the drill. You spend forever with the curling iron, only to give your look a spritz of hairspray then see it immediately fall down. A good thickening spray can be the missing ingredient, and TRESemmé Volume Thickening Spray is pretty darn promising. “Everyone has that side of their head that is just flatter than a pancake,” says Gabriella R., from Modesto, California. “This thickening spray helps you add volume to make it look even, or try new hairstyles with a fuller look.”

Tresemme Volume Thickening Spray

Allure beauty editor Paige Stables knows the plight of fallen hair well. “To my fellow flat-haired friends, the impossible is now possible — you can defy gravity. Or at least your hair can with several spritzes of this lightweight body-boosting styler,” says Stables. “I target the volumizer directly on damp roots to take my fine hair to new heights, and for allover texture, I mist it throughout dry hair from mid-lengths to ends. Either way, the result is the same: tons and tons of touchable volume.” That’s all we needed to hear! Adding to cart, now.

Looking for something to make your skin baby soft or your curls retain their bounce? Check out the Unilever 2020 Best of Beauty award winners in the Body and Hair categories.