Top 10 Beauty Essentials Of The Year

The Rank & Style 2020 Beauty Award Winners Are Here

The Rank & Style 2020 Beauty Award Winners Are Here

While we can probably all agree that 2020 was full of bad, we think it's time to focus on the good: the beauty products that saved our grown-out strands, helped our unmanicured hands look far less haggard, and, overall, gave us that mood boost we desperately needed. Separating the good from the great and the better from the best was tough, to say the least. After all, the past 12 months alone brought us an overwhelming amount of beauty launches to obsess over: mask-proof lipsticks, sparkly wrinkle patches, press-on nails—you get the picture. But thankfully, narrowing down the best on the web is exactly what Rank & Style is here for. With this in mind, we tapped our handy algorithm that factors in best-selling buzz, user reviews, and editorial mentions to help us figure out which beauty products reigned supreme in 2020. Out of all the primers, palettes, and powders on the market, these are the ones that not only earned the approval of our data-driven algorithm, but also the approval of the Rank & Style readers who bought them, loved them, and raved about them nonstop. So scroll through to shop the most buzz-worthy hair, skin, and makeup buys of 2020, and start the new year off right with only the best in your beauty cabinet. Opening image: @dermstore

Love our Rank & Style Beauty Awards? Be sure to check out our Top 10 Fashion Award Winners next!

Jump To Products

January 22, 2021

FacebookPinterest logoTwitter logoEmail icon

Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
Rank & Style Approved


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask


WHY IT WON: Pretty pink container and soothing sensation aside, beauty buffs love this mask for its powerful formula. Unlike your standard drugstore lip balm that simply sits on your lips and fades after a few minutes, this baby stays put all night long and is practically guaranteed to tackle even the driest, flakiest, most winter-ridden lips in a single sleep. On top of all this? A little goes a long way, so one jar will last for months and months.

WHAT IT DOES: One of the most culty lip products on the market, this pillowy-soft mask uses exclusive Moisture Wrap technology to form a protective film over the lips to lock in moisture and active ingredients. It works its magic while you sleep, leaving you with a flake-, feather-, and fine line-free pout by sunrise.

Pureology Hydrate Conditioner


WHY IT WON: On top of being sulfate-, paraben-, and mineral oil-free, this culty conditioner also actively works to protect tresses from the typical culprits of color fading like UV rays and pollution. Plus, the formula is incredibly concentrated—we're talking 70-uses-in-one-bottle concentrated.

WHAT IT DOES: This ultra-hydrating conditioner moisturizes, detangles, strengthens, and prevents breakage, all with an AntiFade complex that keeps color-treated tresses looking as vibrant as possible.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara


WHY IT WON: It's tough to find common ground when it comes to mascara. After all, everyone has different lashes. But this mascara—ladies and gents—is the exception. Whether you need lengthening, volumizing, or curling, have oily lids or dry ones, or prefer going glam to an au naturel look, this top-notch formula and its one-of-a-kind wand can handle it.

WHAT IT DOES: Made with a unique wand that can be used both horizontally and vertically, this mascara lifts, defines, and curls even your tiniest lashes to provide the look of falsies in a flash.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46


WHY IT WON: Aside from the obvious (read: multitasking abilities, invisible formula, high SPF), this unicorn of a sunscreen is great for all skin types—even those with acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation. It's also incredibly accessible for a product backed by both dermatologists and Beyonce.

WHAT IT DOES: This oil-free sunscreen practically disappears upon application and provides the skin with superb protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, all while moisturizing, clearing pores, and reducing shine.

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex


WHY IT WON: On top of its ability to simultaneously tackle crow's feet, wrinkles, and dark circles while remaining super gentle on sensitive skin, this eye cream also helps combat advanced glycation end products (that's what the A.G.E. stands for) which are a major factor in the aging process.

WHAT IT DOES: This dermatologist-tested eye cream helps improve the eye area both instantly and over time. It’s filled with optical diffusers that minimize the appearance of dark circles, plus blueberry extract that helps to prevent further signs of aging.

EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser


WHY IT WON: Foaming cleansers often get a bad rap for being harsh, but this one is far from it. It's pH balanced and ultra-gentle, meaning even the most sensitive skin will get a good clean without any irritation or dryness.

WHAT IT DOES: Formulated with Ultra-Fine Self-Foaming Technology, this gentle foaming cleanser deep cleans the skin and easily removes pollutants and impurities. It's also enriched with bromelain, a pineapple-derived enzyme that leaves the complexion looking and feeling smoother and softer.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer


WHY IT WON: Reviewers constantly rave about this award-winning concealer for its ability to provide seriously good coverage without feeling heavy, cakey, or pore-clogging. You can thank the abundance of skin-loving ingredients for that—think magnolia bark extract, grape seed extract, and vitamin E. 

WHAT IT DOES: This hardworking concealer can mask imperfections like lines, wrinkles, and dark circles for 16 hours, all the while helping to hydrate, firm, reduce redness, and strengthen the look of skin by helping its barrier retain moisture. It comes in 30 shades—all of which are also available in mini sizes.

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush


WHY IT WON: Read any of the 140,000-plus reviews on Amazon, and you'll learn that there are many reasons to love this thing. It provides serious volume in record time, works on all hair types (even natural), and can provide everything from sleek strands to full-bodied curls depending on your preference.

WHAT IT DOES: Not a fan of the whole "round brush in one hand and hairdryer in the other" thing? Yeah, us either. Revlon's genius, do-it-all dryer aims to make the task a whole lot easier. Both a volumizing round brush and a powerful hairdryer in one, this baby makes achieving a salon-worthy blowout at home a total breeze.

Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo


WHY IT WON: Whether your damage is from environmental stressors, heat styling, or chemical treatments, Olaplex can fix it. Unlike most shampoos for damaged hair, this one actually re-links broken bonds so that hair doesn't just look healthier—it actually is healthier.

WHAT IT DOES: Olaplex is an in-salon treatment that helps repair damage and promote healthier hair. It's the reason so many celebs (think Kim K, Ariana Grande, Drew Berrymore, and more) are able to go blonde and back without destroying their strands, and here it is in a handy shampoo form.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup


WHY IT WON: Besides being great for every skin type in the book, this foundation is a cinch to build and blend and provides top-notch coverage for 24 hours. Bonus: it comes in over 55 inclusive shades. Way to go, Estée Lauder.

WHAT IT DOES: Made with all skin types in mind, this cult-favorite foundation provides medium coverage without feeling mask-like and controls shiny spots without clinging to dry ones.

View All Top 10 Lists
Arrow white

The Latest

Image credits: supergoop!

Sun Protection & Care

Top 10 Natural Sunscreens

These 10 Clean Sunscreens Are Better For Your Skin And The Environment

View All Beauty

From Our Partners

Image credits: jane iredale

Jane Iredale

Meet TikTok's NEW favorite eye shadow stick, ColorLuxe by Jane Iredale.

Shop Now

Arrow white

Straight-to-the-point emails to make finding what you love even easier.