Budget Beauty Bonanza!

ESSENCE.COM Aug, 30, 2011

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At a Nylon fete, Zoe Saldana found a Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara ($7.79, walgreens.com) in her goody bag, and no doubt, became as addicted as we are! The mascara elongates lashes like no other.

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Revlon Illuminance Creme Eye Shadow ($6.99, amazon.com) is a palette of four dewy hues that come in every trendy color under the sun. Use your index finger to blend over your lid.

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Mark Self Sanctuary Berry Cranberry Body Butter ($8, meetmark.com) smells divine, keeps skin moisturized all day, and leaves it feeling as soft as a baby’s bottom. Couldn’t be yummier.

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Hard Candy Just Nails Nail Polish ($5 each, walmart.com) come in the brightest, sexiest, most mani/pedi-perfect shades. The best part? Each bottle comes affixed with a matching, jumbo cocktail ring.

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Take a cue from Kelly Rowland and switch up your style with clip-in bangs! Inexpensive and already styled, they’re a mane must-have. We’re huge fans of Hairdo Clip In Bangs ($29, qvc.com).

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Garnier Nutritioniste Nutri-Pure Detoxifying Cleansing Towelettes ($5.99, ulta.com) remove all traces of makeup in one swipe. A godsend when you’re too tired to wash off your makeup!

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Black Opal Fade & Conceal Concealer ($7.99, drugstore.com) is two genius products in one! One side contains a fade lotion to lighten dark spots; the other side is one of the best concealers, ever.

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Pantene Pro-V Relaxed & Natural Conditioner ($16 for 3, amazon.com) softens dehydrated, fragile hair, whether it’s straightened, chemical-free, or somewhere in-between.

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Cover Girl Queen Natural Hues Bronzer ($8.18, amazon.com) flatters the brown skin spectrum. No wonder Queen Latifah rocks this sheer, slightly shimmery bronzer to every red carpet appearance.

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If laser hair removal treatments and waxing appointments aren’t in your budget, get a close shave with a great disposable razor. Venus Spa Breeze Disposables ($8.99) is the first 2-in-1 razor that contains a built-in shave gel bar, eliminating the need for a fancy shave cream.

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Instead of spending a small fortune on a zillion different eye creams, cleansers and masks, invest in an all-in-one skincare kit like Aveeno Positively Ageless Complete Starter Regimen ($39.99). This comprehensive skincare system comes stocked with an exfoliating cleanser, eye cream, daily moisturizer and eye cream—all of which contain antioxidant-rich Shitake mushrooms.

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Who cares if you can’t afford an indulgent Caribbean vacation right now? Save your dollars and fake a sexy, beachy glow with Nars’ new Orgasm Illuminator ($29). Worn alone or mixed with your favorite foundation, this radiance-boosting highlighting cream creates an allover healthy glow on face, neck and décolleté (no wonder Rihanna is such a huge fan!).

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Look no further than your local drugstore for budget beauty gems! Take a cue from Kerry Washington, who spends only $7 on her favorite product, L’Oreal Voluminous Volume Building Mascara.

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Just one pot of Makeup For Ever Flash Color ($18) can replace your eyeshadow, blush and lipstick. Available in twenty-three fabulous shades, these multi-purpose hues can be used to create bold, opaque looks or a sheer stain on eyes, cheeks and lips. Wear alone or blend several shades together to produce your own customized makeup moment.

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If your wallet is screaming, “Don’t spend another dime!” then reach for that trusty old faithful, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly ($5). This multipurpose moisturizer smooths callused feet, hydrates ashy elbows and knees, leaves lips feeling kissably soft, and keeps cuticles from drying out. The genius of Vaseline doesn’t end with skincare—try rubbing it on dull leather boots to keep them looking brand spanking new!

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Coveting a hot smoky eye look for your next fancy event? Instead of splurging on fancy department store brands or paying a makeup artist to prettify your eyes, go for CoverGirl Smoky ShadowBlast Shadow Sticks ($8.49, each). Makeup artist extraordinaire and P& G Global Creative Design Director Pat McGrath created the eyeshadow crayons to help you apply, blend and smudge your shadow to smoky perfection in just two steps. Brilliant!

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Mary J. Blige loves Carol’s Daughter Some of Margeurite’s Magic ($16.50, carolsdaughter.com), a shea and cocoa butter-blended hairdress that moisturizes dry hair and prevents breakage.

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Wear your favorite designer fragrance at a fraction of the price by going for a roller ball version of the scent. Vera Wang Princess Rollerball ($18) is a decadent blend of vanilla, exotic flowers and succulent fruits, and it’s small enough to pop in your purse, leave at your desk or pack in your carry-on for a weekend getaway. The best part? It’s almost forty bucks less than the full-size Vera Wang Princess perfume!

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Sonia Kashuk Double Duty Beauty Brush Set ($21.99) comes with doubled-ended brushes that work overtime to help you get gorgeous. The set contains a foundation/concealer brush, blush/contour brush, lash/smudging brush, and an eye shadow/blending brush. Eight for the price of four—who could pass that up?

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Looking for something special to do this Valentines day? Look for money-saving deals that’ll have you and your boo relaxing without stressing about the bill! We love this deal from Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas: Through February 14th, you’ll receive a free $15 gift card with each gift card purchase of $100 or more.