Happy Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (officially) everybody! Access opened up yesterday for cardholders to make purchases and for everyone else to browse and plan. As happened last year, they encountered website issues — which meant, as last year, they gave shoppers 10x points on purchases made yesterday and (it seems) 3x today! It’s not that I’m wishing Nordstrom bad juju during this holiest of times, but I would certainly not be disappointed if this happens annually.
That said, it can be intimidating. There’s way, way, way more to be seen than they show you in the catalog – I believe clicking “Women” (all clothes, shoes, accessories, etc) yielded 55 pages of content. Lucky for you, I love looking through all that, and I’ve culled my favorite skin, beauty, and hair picks for your consideration.
L to R: Supergoop! SPF 50 Antioxidant Infused Sunscreen Mist Trio | Rodin Olio Lusso Lavender Absolute Skin Care Duo | Skinny Dip Purple + Gold Glitter Manicure Set \ Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 Home & Away Duo
I’ve been asked a few times what, if I could only have one skincare product for the rest of my life, I would choose. Every time my answer is the same: sunscreen. THE SUN IS SO, SO, SO BAD FOR YOUR SKIN, GUYS. It is worse for your skin than smoking. Aside from the cancer-related stuff, which is the top reason you should worry about sun, it also ages your skin incredibly fast. Even if you’re not going outdoors, you need to be wearing sunscreen every.damn.day. I like sprays because it makes it less likely you’ll miss a spot. These two Supergoop! options cover your bases – the Antioxidant Infused Sunscreen Mist gets your body, and the Defense Refresh Setting Mist goes on after your makeup and both sets the look (diffuses lines, keeps it in place) and refreshes your skin with hydration.
I’ve never used Rodin Olio Lusso products, but everyone and their grandmother seems to love them and the packaging is insanely chic. At $98 this duo is a bit expensive to simply do it for the ‘gram, but if you’ve been wanting to try it out, this discounted set is a good gateway.
And finally, a tiny, glittery manicure set. I bought this one last year — in a rose gold glitter — and it’s a consistent life saver. It has everything I might need: tiny scissors, a nail clipper, a cuticle pusher and digger (I don’t know what those things are actually called, but you get what I mean), tweezers, and a nail file. It lives next to the lip balm and hand cream I keep in my desk at work, and is used on the regular.
L to R: Dior Addict Coral Lip Glow Set | Trish McEvoy The Power of Makeup Planner Collection Sunlit Glamour | Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Glowing Skin Palette | Tom Ford Iris Bronze Eye & Lip Set
The NAS is all about luxury makeup at much better prices. If you’re a total makeup beginner and looking to create a kit with just plain good stuff, you can’t do better than this Trish McEvoy kit. It’s filled with all the basics in beautiful warm neutral colors, and the planner-style setup means it can all be easily packed away or kept on a shelf.
In my opinion, nobody does lips better than Dior. I wear the lip plumping gloss regularly, and it’s amazingly effective and beautiful. This kit includes a full size lipstick and lip balm (reportedly what Meghan Markle wore on her wedding day), and a tiny sampler of the plumping gloss. The lipstick is a Nordstrom exclusive color, and I’m eager to try it out — it looks like a gorgeous subtle brick red.
If you’re decent with cosmetics but not sure where to begin on a contour, may I suggest Charlotte Tilbury’s palette? Her contour colors are beloved by women of all backgrounds, skin colors, and levels of maintenance. This seems like an excellent entry point.
And finally, this Tom Ford kit — if you want rich, lush colors, Tom Ford is your guy. Oftentimes highly pigmented products can look a bit extra, but Tom Ford’s stuff manages to be simultaneously subtle and powerful. This comes with the full-size eye palette in what appear to be pretty versatile colors, as well as two mini-lipsticks. Applause.
The NAS is a great time to try out a new hair product. The Ouai and Bumble and bumble kits are great opportunities to give some seriously-lauded products a test. I’ve used all three of the Bumble and bumble products, and they all do amazing work — I particularly love the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil primer for when my hair’s feeling a little stressed out, like after I’ve been coloring or heat-styling it too many days in a row. I’ve not used the Ouai leave-in conditioner, but I adore the dry texture foam and the rose oil smells amazing.
I’ve been using Revitalash Advanced for a few years now, with a break to try out lash extensions, and it’s really amazing. The number of people who’ve asked if I’m wearing falsies is staggering, and anytime I’m trying out makeup the Sephora/Nordstrom/Ulta/etc salesperson always comments on how long my lashes are. You brush it on your lash line every night and they just grow, grow, grow. The only downside is it’s expensive, but this is the second year in a row I’ve picked up this 2-for-1 deal at the NAS, which helps with the sting.
And finally, are you a person with a beard? Do you have a person with a beard in your life? Give that beard some love. Just like the hair on your head, a beard needs to be moisturized and treated regularly — the longer the beard, the more important this is, but beards of all sizes could use a little conditioner. This Murdock London set has a moisturizer and an oil to keep those chin locks shiny and healthy, and the packaging is sharp as hell.
L to R: Dermovia Lace Your Face Dr. Pimple Popper Clear Complexion Kit | Patchology Down to Mask DIY Spa Kit | Fresh Binge Masking Treatment Set
OH, YOU DIDN’T THINK I HAD FORGOTTEN MASKS, DID YOU? The NAS is an excellent time to get masks, because (a) masks are often pretty expensive if you buy them full-price or full-size, and (b) the NAS is all about skincare and beauty kits. This Dermovia collaboration with Dr. Sandra Lee (also known as Dr. Pimple Popper, and if you’re squeamish I wouldn’t recommend looking her up online) is something they sell year-round, but they’ve discounted it significantly. Each mask can be used twice, and the design — lace, to hold a LOT more essence, with ear hooks to keep the mask on your face and neck — is ingenious. The set is technically supposed to be used four weeks in a row (which, I guess, means each mask twice per week) in a specific order, but tbh it doesn’t really matter that much how or when you use them.
I’ve never used Patchology products, but this spa kit may be the turning point in our relationship. It has *everything* you need for a full-body mask day — eyes, lips, hands, feet, face, everything. The host of Natch Beaut has shared her love for these and I generally trust her judgment.
And finally, this Fresh package is another stellar buy. I love Fresh’s masks, but I *hate* that they come in tubs — to me, the whole point of a mask is powerful active ingredients, but if you’ve got it stored in a jar then those actives are losing their potency every time you unscrew the lid (to say nothing of how unsanitary it is to keep dipping your grody little fingers into the jar time after time). Furthermore, when you’re scooping it out of a jar, you’re faced with the decision to either gamble on scooping out too much, or double-dipping, which either means you keep contaminating your product or you wash a bunch down the drain unused. So I typically only get Fresh masks as sample sizes or in travel sizes like these. Sure, you don’t totally get away from the packaging issues, but at least when the sizes are smaller there’s less product to waste.