I Spent 5 Hours Ranking Beauty Products From Nordstrom's Sale—Here's the Verdict

By now you know what to do. We're a number of days deep into Nordstrom's highly anticipated Anniversary Sale, and all of the most coveted items are quickly flying from the retailer's (theoretical) beauty- and fashion-stocked shelves. From August 19 through 30, you can score up to 40% off on a significant portion of your beauty wish list, and folks, the going is good. As in, high-demand brands like La Mer, Charlotte Tilbury, Nars, NuFace, Oribe, Dermaflash, and so many more, are offering some of their most beloved items at significantly reduced prices. What's more, some of said products are available in limited-edition jumbo sizes, two-packs, three-packs, and every other conceivable way we like to take our beauty products.

With so much to choose from (and because I'm a beauty nerd—what can I say?), I've spent the past five hours or so sifting through all of the goods. Of course, you can't go wrong, and overall, the assortment is full of the crème de la crème, but below, I'm ranking 20 of the most exciting finds in order of how I'd stack them in your shopping cart. Keep scrolling! 

#20: Trish McEvoy Power of Skincare Collection Carpe Diem Volume II

The fact that this set is up for grabs at $225 when it's worth more than $600 is pretty astounding. If you're looking to cover (literally) every skincare base, this luxe set is one of the best bargains within Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale assortment. You'll score 40 Correct and Brighten Beta Hydroxy Daily Exfoliating Pads, a full-size Beauty Booster Eye Serum, a full-size Beauty Booster Serum, a full-size Beauty Booster Oil, a full-size Beauty Booster Anti-Fatigue Cream SPF 30, a full-size Even Skin Vitamin C Cream, two Correct and Brighten Weekly Peels, one Instant Solutions Triangle of Light Eye Mask, and one travel-size Gentle Cleansing Wash.

#19: Estée Lauder Full Size Perfectionist Pro UV Fluid & Brightening Treatment

Consider this your ultimate skin-protecting and brightening dynamic duo. It comes complete with two (full-size) heavy hitters from the skin maestros at Estée Lauder: its Perfectionist Pro Multi-Defense UV Fluid SPF 45 Sunscreen and its Perfectionist Pro Rapid Brightening Treatment.

#18: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer & Translucent Setting Powder Duo

I never stray far from my collection of Hourglass makeup. For blurred yet still natural-looking coverage, I can't recommend its holy-grail loose setting powder and primer enough. 

#17: MAC Cosmetics MAC Brush With the Best Set

I'm super picky about my makeup brushes, and after hearing makeup artist after makeup artist rave about MAC's professional-caliber options, I pretty much stick to the brand exclusively for any and all brush needs. They're high-quality and have super-long life expectancies, which makes them expensive. This discounted set is such a fabulous get. (I might order multiple so I'm set for life.)

#16: BeautyBio GloPro Microneedling Regeneration Facial Set

Here lies a complete regimen to tackle practically any and all skincare woes but most notably enlarged pores and loss of elasticity. BeautyBio's set helps firm and tone every inch of your face thanks to an all-star lineup featuring its GloPro Microneedling Rejuvenation Tool, full-size Ultimate Vitamin C Facial Moisturizer, GloPro Eye MicroTip Attachment, Bright Eyes Colloidal Silver Eye Gels, and handy Skin Prep Pads, which help remove impurities before you begin the rest of your regimen.

#15: Nars Vacances Face Set

Controversial opinion, but Nars's hit mascara called Climax might be our favorite naughtily named mascara. This well-priced set allows you to give it a test drive on your lashes while also decking out your lids and cheekbones with the prettiest, fall-perfect shades. 

#14: RevitaLash RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner Duo

This is one of the only brow-growth formulas that hasn't given me a lick of irritation, and I appreciate how safe and nutritious it is. The proprietary blend of scientifically advanced peptides, revitalizing extracts, and nutritive vitamins deliver visible polished results. Plus, what's better than getting two full-size tubes for the price of one?

#13: Slip Pure Silk Caramel Queen Pillowcase Duo

Though it might sound high-maintenance, my silk pillowcase habit has completely spoiled me for any other kind of pillowcase. These Slip ones reign supreme, and I've noticed a huge difference in both my hair and skin health since I made the switch. Since they're not all too budget-friendly on the regular, I wait for sales (like this one!) to stock up.  

#12: Jo Malone London Mini Discovery Set

I'm of the firm belief that every single person should own at least one perfume from Jo Malone London in their lifetime. The brand is so classic, and the colognes are uncomplicated yet beautiful—the type of fragrance that you wear versus it wearing you. Does that make sense? Anyhow, I'm personally psyched to add this mini discovery set to my cart. You'll get (my favorite) Jo Malone cologne—Wood Sage & Sea Salt—plus its English Pear & Freesia candle and fan-favorite Peony & Blush Suede Body Crème.

#11: Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Skin Secrets Set

One of the biggest takeaways I've learned as a beauty editor who regularly talks to, DMs, and interviews celebrity makeup artists is the truth that skin prep is just as (or more) important than your makeup application. I've dabbled with lots of products, but Charlotte Tilbury's iconic face formulas always deliver the best results, even when I'm broken-out, dehydrated, or sleep-deprived. Her concoctions really are the closest thing to magic on the skincare market and do provide instant gratification. 

#10: Moon Juice SuperYou Set

I would honestly be terrified to know how much money I've wasted on completely ineffective supplements over the years. That said, one brand I always come back to is Moon Juice. SuperYou is a great adaptogenic option for anyone looking to improve energy, focus, stress reactions, and mood in one adorably packaged go. 

#9: GHD Curve Classic 1 1/4-Inch Curl Iron

This beloved curling iron from GHD is a must-have for plenty of celebrity hairstylists, and it's also one of the few models that effortlessly works with all hair types, textures, and lengths. It's easy to use, fuss-free, and even guarantees less damage.

#8: Chantecaille Energizing Eye Kit

I don't know about you, but quality hours of sleep have been few and far between this year, and I've been leaning (extremely) heavily into my collection of eye creams, masks, gels, serums, what have you. As if on cue, Nordstrom struck a deal on two of my absolute favorite things to help cure my eye woes. If you haven't had the chance to try Chantecaille's 24-karat-gold and plant-stem-cell eye masks and serum, you're in for an extra-special treat. 

#7: Fresh Travel Size Soy Face Cleanser & Mask Set

I basically consider myself a Fresh fiend. I love, hoard, and regularly recommend pretty much every and any product it makes to anyone who will listen. This set just so happens to house a few of my all-time-favorite things: a handy travel/test-it size of the cult-favorite Soy Face Cleanser alongside three skin-loving masks. They're perfect for tucking into your suitcase the next time you get the heck out of dodge but don't want to sacrifice your glow. 

#6: T3 Cura Professional Digital Ionic Hair Dryer

Truth: I've tried every single expensive hair dryer, and this one from T3 is the one I always come back to and gift my friends and family with. (Two years later, and my mom still brings it up in almost every phone conversation.) It's an investment, but this major discount is the best excuse to go ahead and treat yourself. (Your strands will thank you!)

#5: PMD Personal Microderm Classic Device and Hand & Foot Kit

This has been the year of many at-home beauty experiments. I've officially swapped my previous in-office treatments (like exfoliating microdermabrasion) for nifty devices that create similar results at home. This microdermabrasion-inspired tool from PMD does just that and even comes with additional attachments to address rough, built-up skin in other stubborn areas like the hands and feet. 

#4: Dermaflash Lilac Exfoliation & Peach Fuzz Removal Device

Honestly, I don't really remember what life was like before I had my beloved Dermaflash device. Easy to use and non-irritating, it's the quickest, low-lift way to eradicate dead skin cell buildup and peach fuzz for a svelter, smoother, far more sculpted facial appearance. (Truly, it's quite magical!) 

#3: Drybar The Smooth Crew Kit

Drybar is one of our favorite haircare brands, so you can understand why we're so excited about this kit of essentials, which includes the Brush Crush Heated Straightening Brush, Super Lemon Drop Detangling Brush, full-size Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler, travel-size Hot Toddy Heat Protectant Mist, and travel-size Detox Original Scent Dry Shampoo. 

#2: La Mer The Replenishing Moisture Collection

I only ever buy La Mer when I can get it on a deal. Plus, I actually prefer buying mini sizes for two reasons: A) They're perfect for travel, even the road trips that have defined 2020, and B) La Mer's formulas are so lush and high-quality you literally need only the tiniest bit per application. Thus, travel-size sampling actually lasts a lot longer than you'd expect and allows you to really test the formula's efficacy before you go for the all-out sprint (aka, a super-spendy full size).

This set features the brand's most iconic products: Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream, The Replenishing Oil Exfoliator, The Regenerating Serum, The Eye Concentrate, and one Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask.

#1: NuFace NuBody Skin Toning Device Set

This famed microcurrent device is one of the most expensive items on my beauty want list. Considering it's more than $100 off, now's the time to bite. While the brand makes multiple tools and devices, this one is specifically meant to tone, firm, and smooth your body.

Up next: Nordstrom's Beauty Discounts Are Next-Level—These Products Will Sell Out First

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