At Allure, we pride ourself on our longstanding tradition of recommending only the products that we have truly tested, loved, and deemed worthy of your hard-earned cash — something we kept in mind throughout the entire 2023 Allure Best of Beauty Awards process. We know the economy has been bananas lately (seriously, have you seen the price of bananas?) which is why it feels more urgent than ever to sift through the thousands of products flooding store shelves and scope out the brighteners, smoothers, lipsticks, and lotions that get the job done — beautifully — for less. The 33 winners on this page equal $331.50 total.
Even better? In terms of effectiveness, lightness, and elegance, they rival fancier products we’ve tried. That means you can build a selective drugstore in your bathroom or just experiment with new colors and formulas without risking a dent to your budget or even the slightest a tug of buyer’s remorse. That’s because every $15-or-less product featured here went through our same rigorous testing process and passed with flying colors — and that’s a promise you can take to the bank. Here, the best and brightest of the bunch.
Once you’re done with this buck-saving category, be sure to check out all 391 products that made the official Allure Best of Beauty Awards list this year. Now, we all love a good beauty deal (see: all the new editor-loved picks on this page), but if you just got paid and are feeling luxe, head to our Splurges category and peruse extra-fancy perfume, makeup, skin-care, and hair-care products to your heart’s content. Or, if makeup brushes and blow-dryers are more your style, please allow us to point you in the direction of our Tools winners. Wherever you go, whichever products you choose, you can be sure of this: If it’s on one of these lists, we really love it.
Best of Beauty Awards 2023: Steals
Jump to your favorite category or keep reading to see every affordable skin-care product, palette, and press-on that won this year:
Best Steals: Body
Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant Spray
Why it won: The brand’s first (and may we say, best) of its kind, the skin-softening Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant Spray delivers a blast of odor-fighting ingredients, but without a trace of aluminum.
Olay Hyaluronic Body Wash
Why it won: The generous bottle of Olay Hyaluronic Body Wash contains enough hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to soften and brighten every inch every day for weeks on end.
Beloved by Love Beauty and Planet Cherry Blossom & Tea Rose Vegan Bar Soap
Why it won: The heart-shaped Beloved by Love Beauty and Planet Cherry Blossom & Tea Rose Vegan Bar Soap positively pumps your skin full of moisture, while the delicate rose scent is just a heartbeat away from your all-time favorite designer fragrance.
Athena Club The Razor Kit
Why it won: Cushioned in hyaluronic acid, the steel blades go easy on your skin, while the ergonomic handle goes easy on your wrist. Throw in a nifty magnet that holds Athena Club The Razor Kit upright and it’s a wonder this kit goes so easy on your wallet.
Bliss Cloud 9 Almond Milk & Vanilla Body Lotion
Why it won: The lightweight Bliss Cloud 9 Almond Milk & Vanilla Body Lotion deposits a veil of moisture that absorbs in seconds. That means you can slather it on post-shower and walk straight to your bedroom without picking up dust like a human Roomba.
Bath & Body Works Kitchen Lemon Gentle & Clean Foaming Hand Soap
Why it won: With Italian bergamot and essential oils, the Bath & Body Works Kitchen Lemon Gentle & Clean Foaming Hand Soap smells fancy, feels indulgent, and sits at every sink in our homes.
Loved01 Face + Body Oil
Why it won: Designed specifically for melanin-rich skin but beloved by all our testers, the versatile Loved01 Face + Body Oil uses plant-based oils (rose hip, sea buckthorn, sunflower) to calm, hydrate, and protect against environmental stressors. A light drizzle disappears into skin and hair, leaving behind a supple finish and gorgeous glow.
Best Steals: Skin Care
The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Dewy Sunscreen SPF 30
Why it won: Combined with glycerin and squalane, the souped-up polypeptide in The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Dewy Sunscreen SPF 30 gives your skin an amazingly dewy finish, even under makeup. “This sunscreen is a game-changer — it actually makes you want to wear sunscreen,” says shopping market editor Angela Trakoshis. “The glow is so good.”
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser
Why it won: The ultra-gentle The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser dissolves makeup and protects your skin’s moisture barrier with only eight ingredients. That means fewer opportunities for irritation and even more reasons to stock up.
Nyx Professional Makeup Face Freezie Reusable Cooling Undereye Patches
Why it won: Kind of like cucumber slices — but so much cooler. Pop the Nyx Professional Makeup Face Freezie Reusable Cooling Undereye Patches in the fridge and then relax as the squishy, gel-filled crescents take down bloat and perk up tired eyes.
St. Ives Deep Cleanse Cream Wash
Why it won: The St. Ives Deep Cleanse Cream Wash is very cool. Made with mint and tea tree extracts, the bracing wash controls shine, decongests pores, and gets circulation humming — for a song.
Curology Micellar Makeup Remover
Why it won: The no-rinse Curology Micellar Makeup Remover is as innocuous as water and as effective as a cleansing wipe. The combination of purified water and mild surfactants cushions skin while whisking away makeup.
Good Light Luna Pimple Patches
Why it won: “Yes! I have a zit!” was one editor’s excited reaction to the prospect of getting to test the Good Light Luna Pimple Patches. Applied overnight, the disc absorbs the fluids at the core of every pimple, reducing swelling and redness while you sleep.
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Jelly Water with Charcoal
Why it won: Chockful of charcoal (to absorb oil) and micelles (to attract impurities), the bouncy Garnier Micellar Cleansing Jelly Water with Charcoal boosts moisture and lifts away makeup — no scrubbing or rinsing required. Easy, peasy.
Best Steals: Makeup
Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Ink Pen
Why it won: The laser-sharp point on Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Ink Pen is a cinch to maneuver, while the jet-black pigment refuses to budge. Not quite as permanent as a tattoo — but close.
Sephora Collection Shape & Set Clear Brow Gel
Why it won: The translucent formula in Sephora Collection Shape & Set Clear Brow Gel gives brows a healthy sheen, while the dual-sided brush fluffs, sculpts, and defines. “Looove the applicator on this one,” says deputy digital director Kara McGrath. “The flat side gives my brows a laminated look, while the bristle side fluffs them right up— it’s the best of both worlds.”
E.L.F. Cosmetics Halo Glow Liquid Filter
Why it won: There’s a reason why TikTok can’t get enough of the luminizing E.L.F. Cosmetics Halo Glow Liquid Filter. For the frost-averse, this radiant tint hydrates the high points of your face with hyaluronic acid and squalane, depositing a dewy sheen without a hint of shimmer.
Makeup Revolution Ultra Cream Bronzer
Why it won: Soft enough to blend with your fingertips, Makeup Revolution Ultra Cream Bronzer‘s creamy pigment renders such a believable bronze, your friends might scold you for sunbathing (the trademark of a great bronzer, and caring friends).
Wet n Wild Powder Brush
Why it won: The plush fan diffuses every form of powder (foundation, blush, bronzer) to give a seamless, streak-free finish. And despite the unassuming price, we have yet to see the Wet n Wild Powder Brush shed a single bristle.
No7 Flawless Finishing Loose Powder
Why it won: With kaolin clay to control shine, the gossamer-fine No7 Flawless Finishing Loose Powder blurs pores without sinking into lines. “No creasing or caking here,” says senior copy manager Dawn Rebecky. “And there’s just something so fun about getting ready with a loose powder. Poof. Magic.”
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
Why it won: An internet favorite for its falsie-like effect, Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara‘s glossy-black pigment builds clump-free volume no matter how much you glop on. And at $5 a tube, you can afford to glop on a lot.
CoverGirl Clean Fresh Yummy Gloss
Why it won: Y2K makeup is back in full swing. Exhibit A? The juicy CoverGirl Clean Fresh Yummy Gloss. Available in 12 transparent shades, the vegan formula delivers subtle color, loads of moisture, and a creamy texture that hugs your lips.
Flower Beauty Plump Up Gloss Stick
Why it won: Not your garden variety lip treatment: Each slim Flower Beauty Plump Up Gloss Stick delivers a hint of tint and a wallop of moisture (hyaluronic acid, castor oil, vitamin E), giving us bee-stung lips — minus the tingle associated with other lip-plumping formulas.
Best Steals: Hair Care
Saltair Moisture Bound Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner:
Why it won: At first glance, we were convinced the Saltair Moisture Bound Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner duo belonged in the Splurges category. Honest mistake. Housed in sleek aluminum bottles and bubbling over with hydrating ingredients such as squalane, rice protein, and monoi oil, everything about this shine-boosting pair is indulgent — except the price tag.
Why it won: Made from extra-durable acetate, the metal-free Invisibobble Everclaw clip anchors your hair without snagging and rolls around the bottom of your bag without breaking (even when you accidentally crush it under your laptop).
L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray
Why it won: As the story goes, the ultrafine L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray was once so highly prized in the States that stylists returning home from fashion week would try sneaking it past customs. Even though it is now available in U.S. drugstores, that has done nothing to dim our love for the shine-inducing, brush-out formula.
Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo
Why it won: Along with ridding hair of daily dirt, oil, and grime, shampoos are infamous for stripping hair of the natural fats that give strands that super-shiny, camera-ready look and feel. Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo, though, adds those lipids right back into the cuticles during the rinse-and-repeat portion of your shower. The result? Commercial-worthy shine — without all the production.
Hask Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub
Why it won: One tube contains a trio of benefits: sugar crystals gently exfoliate; tea tree oil regulates sebum; rosemary extract helps to reduce irritation. Used once a week, the gritty Hask Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub enhances shine and encourages lift at the roots.
Tresemmé One Step Wave Spray
Why it won: Our new routine for achieving softer, fuller, more defined waves: 1. Spritz the Tresemmé One Step Wave Spray on damp hair. 2. Air-dry. 3. That’s it.
Marc Anthony Repair Bond + Rescuplex Leave-In Treatment
Why it won: A favorite among our most color-treated and heat-styled testers, the detangling Marc Anthony Repair Bond + Rescuplex Leave-In Treatment also contains polymers that can help restore frazzled hair’s disulfide bonds. Its nourishing oils (like rice bran and rosemary) are a lovely bonus.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum
Why it won: It’s the OG smoothing John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum with even more frizz-fighting muscle than before. A cocktail of fruit oils (like coconut and moringa) and omega fatty acids softens split ends and glosses over cuticles while a solid dose of dimethicone repels heat and humidity.
Planet Goody Ocean Rescue Palm Hair Brush
Why it won: The Planet Goody Ocean Rescue Palm Hair Brush glides through wet and dry hair without hitting a snag — and sits in our bag without eating up space. It’s the perfect travel companion.
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