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When we purchase beauty products, it’s, more often than not, for the functional purposes. This is not to say that they should, thus, come in hideously branded packaging that are best tucked into the privacy of some drawer. Our list of affordable beauty products, all under $40, are effective, gorgeous and would sit quite beautifully on your vanity.

Estee Lauder Limited Edition 24K Gold Plated Alligator Compact Powder, $35.45

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The Estee Lauder Golden Alligator Compact Powder is one of a few affordable beauty products that easily doubles as a decorative piece. It comes in a 24 karat gold plated compact that is carved into an alligator pattern. Its portability provides ease of access, allowing you to touch up your makeup anytime. It’s also refillable, which means you wont be disposing this beauty anytime soon. The value of the golden alligator compact isn’t just limited to its beauty and decorative purposes. Created in honor of Evelyn Lauder’s dream, which was to see the eradication of breast cancer, Estee Lauder donates, on each purchase, 20% of the suggested retail price to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

ORIBE Run Through Detangling Primer, $36

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ORIBE Hair Care Run Through Detangling Primer qualifies as one of the affordable beauty products that produces maximum utility. It’s main use is as a detangler, but it also doubles as a conditioner and heat protector. The lightweight detangler conditions and primes the hair for use while sealing cuticles. The result is incredibly silky, soft hair. ORIBE primer comes in an elegant blue gold bottle that is far from hideous to the eye.

Smith and Cult nail polish, $18

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Smith and Cult nail polish comes in a variety of colors and was formulated with neither Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, Triphenyl nor Phosphate. It boasts of a”long-wear, high shine formula,” given its highly pigmented colors. Its base coat adheres smoothly to the nails while top coat provides clarity and shine. It is also contained in a beautiful glass and gold jar making it one of our affordable beauty products that would sit perfectly on your vanity without messing up the decorative flow.

 Mai Couture Blush Wallet, $25

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Mai couture is known for their innovative, yet affordable beauty products which come in classy wallets that can be easily carried around. The blush wallet contains paper strips that provide ease of access and allows for a perfect finish when applying make up. Its process makes it easier for one to apply color to the cheek with as little as a finger, melting away unwanted oils in the process. It’s the ultimate beauty hack and it comes in a variety of colors with products ranging from  foundations to bronzers. Prices may be cheaper depending on the product.

ORIBE Hair Care Curl Gloss Hydration & Hold, $37

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ORIBE Hair Care Curl Gloss Hydration & Hold is an award winning hair care product that provides “curl without crunch.” Made with passion flower, jicama, and capuacu, it conditions the hair, while also combatting humidity for defined curls that last as long as the entire day. Oribe Curl Gloss comes in a sleek green gold embossed bottle that’s beautiful to look at. It’d work wonders on your hair and settle beautifully on your vanity when not in use.

Yves Saint Laurent Couture Mono, $34.06

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There’s something about gold pieces—they’re elegant, classy and reek of royalty. The Yves Saint Laurent Couture Mono  comes in a beautiful gold casing with two applicators, a foam tip for blending and brush that allows for precision. It doesn’t crease and it lasts as long as the entire day. Available in shimmer, satin, matte and metallic finishes, the couture mono has sixteen different shades that one can choose from. At $34 it definitely counts as an affordable beauty product.

Oribe Shampoo, $33

NMC12KP_muORIBE shampoo comes in different varieties, including, but not limited to, ultra gentle, gold-lust, and signature. Contained in a beautiful marble-like bottle, ORIBE shampoos are custom-blended  in order to detangle, silken and protect the hair. Each type has its distinctive feature and ingredient but are all created from natural extracts to protect your hair from damage and boost your keratin for optimal growth. Keep a back-up bottle on your vanity until the one in the shower runs out.

Linden Bath Oil – Paper, Cotton & String Chapter, $16.99

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Linden Bath Oil – Paper, Cotton & String Chapter- $16.99 is a fragrance bath oil that is made out of chamomile, ginseng, cocoa butter and bee balm. Known for its smooth lather, it nourishes and smoothens the skin, leaving it looking radiantly healthy. Linden bath oil is contained in a beautiful blue transparent bottle with a bronze cap that gives it and exquisite and exotic look.

 Antonym Cosmetics Ecocert Certified Organic Baked Blush, Copper, $34

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The Ecocert Certified Organic Baked Blush, Copper is perfect for those who prefer an organic makeup routine.  Made out of natural ingredients, the bronzer is contained in a beautiful sustainable bamboo. It is certified by ecocert green life and has not been tested on animals. It’s known to provide a natural youthful glow, and it’s silky smooth when applied and flattering to various skins types given its transparency and swirled color finish.

Estee Lauder Cleanser 3.4 Oz Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, $21.11

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Taking off makeup is daunting enough when you don’t have good makeup wipes. Makeup junkies know that eye makeup is perhaps the toughest of them all. Estee Lauder Cleanser 3.4 Oz Gentle Eye Makeup Remover For Women is one of the affordable beauty products that completely removes eye makeup without leaving any oily residue. It’s oil-free formula neither damages nor irritates the skin.

Bobby Brown Brush Cleaning Spray, $22

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Given the direct contact between make up tools and the face, it becomes just as important to care for our same make up tools as we would our skin. Bobbi Brown’s Brush Cleaning Spray meets this need. Its alcohol free formula allows for instant brush cleaning in the midst of makeup applications. This comes in handy especially when you’re pressed for time or you’re making use of an eye shadow with an interchangeable makeup pallet. Bobbi brush-cleaning spray is contained in a beautiful black sleek can.

Niven Morgan Jean Baptiste 1717 Body Lotion, $27

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Niven Morgan Jean Baptiste is an affordable, but luxurious, body lotion. It is made out of organic aloe-vera, shea-butter, algae, cucumber extracts and supplemented with Vitamins A, B5, C, and E. Users claim that the lotion revitalizes and soothes dry skin. Nivea Morgan Jean Baptiste combines the scents of jasmine, wild roses, lily, vanilla, caramel, water hyacinths and warm patchouli to evoke a sense of exoticism. Its beautiful cream bottle is designed with a red patch that looks like a royalty seal and reeks of  “french exquisiteness.”

Lilian Ogbuefi is a Creative Writer/Blogger interning at 301 digital media and currently completing her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and English at Fisk University, Nashville Tennessee. She identifies as a story teller and believes that story telling is the ultimate way to preserve thoughts and ideas while influencing the actions and decisions of the individual that interprets the story behind the art, thus, promoting change in the society. As a writer and filmmaker, she strives to embrace this modern form of expression by infusing it with as much positive messages as possible. At the end of the day, what’s truly important to her are, the messages we pass, the stories we tell and the changes we influence. “Stories change lives; make them count”.