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8 Best beauty buys

Katarina Kovacevic is a freelance travel writer specializing in hotels and resorts. She's the author of The Food Lovers' Guide to Phoenix & Scottsdale and founder/editor of Style Jaunt, a blog about fashionable travel. Her work has appea...

Beauty bargains

The market's flooded with beauty products these days -- a girl doesn't know where to start. So we've narrowed them down to a handful of the best beauty gear items to put on your list next time you hit the store. And the best part is, they won't empty your wallet!

Woman Applying Lotion

1

Tan in a bottle

Stay away from the tanning beds. I repeat: Do not fry your skin in a tanning bed! A little (protected) exposure to natural sunlight here and there actually can be beneficial to your skin's health, but lying for hours on end in a UV-filled coffin is just asking for wrinkles. Instead, opt for a bottled self-tanner. They typically run about $7, and the continuous-spray bottles make it easier to get an even, allover tone.

>> Fake a tan year-round: Self-tanner tips & techniques

2

Ionic blow dryer

Sounds expensive, doesn't it? Well, it doesn't have to be. You can find models at your local beauty store that run less than $20. An ionic blow dryer works about 40 percent faster than typical dryers, and its dual temperature setting leaves your hair feeling silky and looking shiny.

>> Splurge or steal: Hair dryers

3

Brush case

Quality makeup brushes are the secret to any fabulous face. If you've got a high-end set, you've probably dropped a pretty penny. That's why it's important to drop another, oh, say $5 to $7 typically, on a brush case. They come in different colors and eye-popping designs, and will protect your brushes from dirt and germs.

>> Makeup brush guide

4

Cleansing cloths

Cheap and convenient! Facial cleansing cloths are perfect for those late nights when you're almost too tired to pull down the covers. No water and no fuss -- just pull a cloth out of the moisture-controlling container, swipe over your face and toss. It'll get rid of all the makeup and gunk with one swoop, and they cost only about $5.

>> Your 2-minute beauty routine

5

Nail buffer

It's the fastest and most convenient way to give yourself a quick manicure. Nail buffers get rid of ridges and chips with a few easy swipes and leave your tips looking shiny and healthy. An ordinary nail buffer goes for less than $5. You can find an electric version for $15 to $20.

>> Don't skip these at-home manicure steps

6

Aromatherapy bath salts

Take your pick of scents -- lavender, lilac, chamomile, they're all out there. A warm bath with aromatherapy bath salts is a fabulous way to unwind after a stressful day in the office. Or, opt for a more uplifting scent before a night on the town. Bath salts range from $5 to $10, depending on brand.

>> At-home beauty treatment inspired by ancient Egypt

7

Cellulite-fighting gel

These cottage-cheese-busting serums typically run around $10 at your local drugstore and work wonders on your not-so-wonderful parts. They're made with gentle minerals, so they're ideal for everyday use and for all skin types. And, it's a two-fer: The gel works to moisturize your skin in addition to tightening up cellulite.

>> 6 Tips to fight cellulite

8

Curl-conditioning cream

Not all conditioners are created equal. Particularly if you have curly or wavy hair, look for a conditioner that caters specifically to your hair type. These specially designed products add just the right amount of moisture to your cute coils without weighing them down with too much gunk. Several brands offer products at less than $10.

>> How to manage curly hair in humid weather

Live large... but spend small. Read more!

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