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Sometimes it can be dizzying, the array of products available – or let’s face it – being pushed on us, in the constant struggle for beauty. I’m here to encourage you to relax! Beauty can be nearly effortless and you really don’t have to break the bank to look your best. I think we all know deep down, that there is no product that will take the place of those good ole’ life style basics: proper hydration, proper nutrition, ample sleep, a peaceful mind and a lovely disposition.

Anyway, that said, I get a lot of you asking me for affordable recommendations. I would like to share with you some of my favorite finds that can help give us that little extra edge when it comes to our daily face. Think of it as dew on an already exquisite orchid’s petal. 😉

So, with no further ado, the Beauty on a Budget Awards go to:

Lashes – Let’s face it, getting individually applied eyelashes made of the silken underbelly fur of endangered exotic animals is too expensive to maintain on a very regular basis and hard on your natural lashes to boot! It’s best to save those for special occasions. So of course, everyone wants to know what the best lash enhancing mascara is. Unless spending a small fortune on a high end formula is your thing (and if it is, please splurge on Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara in Bleu; it’s worth it!), I’ll let you in on a little secret. The best Beauty on a Budget mascara is L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara. Personally, I rock the Carbon Black. Other shades and a waterproof formula are also available.

Lips – When it comes to your pout, you no doubt, want to make a statement. Well, read my lips: You don’t have to spend a fortune on your lipstick! Of course, if you’re interested in those few must have colors from higher end brands (Ruby Woo by MAC, anyone?), go for it! No kit is complete without a range of products for a variety of occasions. But, I’m presenting the Beauty on a Budget Awards here, and this one goes to Wet’n’Wild. Before you gasp, hear me out. In addition to sumptuous textures and a vast array of colors that suit all skin shades at inexpensive prices, I have also found that Wet’n’Wild also seems to somehow have a match for so many of the pricier brands’ colors. I’m just saying, look closely and compare before you hawk the family jewels to get the latest must have lip shade. Wet’n’Wild just may be able to hook you up.

Foundation – I say it all the time: Your skin is pretty much the most vital element when it comes to a flawless look. And when it comes to flawless, sometimes we all need a little help. The amount of potions and formulas can really be overwhelming while the results are anything but. Let me help you out by awarding the Beauty on a Budget Award for foundation to Maybelline! Yes, Maybelline. Their Dream Matte Mousse is an absolute dream, creamy, silkening and heavy enough for those days and especially evenings, which call for a stronger application. On days when a lighter touch will do, I go for Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. And on days, where I feel my complexion is popping and I need close to nothing, I go for Maybelline’s Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser.

Skin – Now what’s the point of having a gorgeous face, if the rest of your skin is like that of an alligator. I have, in the past, given my dear readers recipes for skin smoothers that require the use of butters and oils and now, I have the most amazing find for you. The Beauty on a Budget Award for fine oils and butters goes to a brand called Nature’s Oil. Their products are high quality, 100% pure and the prices are amazing! I get mine through Amazon and am partial to their Sweet Almond Oil, Pure Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter. They have tons of other products, so check them out. Trust me ladies, I stay glowing!

Hair – Okay, I don’t generally advise you ladies in the hair department, but what artwork is complete without the frame. In order to maximize your look, you have to have your edges laid. After years of using the epic brown gel, I finally made a switch. When I want my baby hair pumpin (to match my lip gloss that’s shinin’), I use Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel. In addition to being a really nice color (my edge toothbrush no longer looks like it was dipped in tar!), it works really well without leaving my hair crusty, and also, the price simply cannot be beat!

Find out more about Risha Rox

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