I love beauty products so much, I made a career out of testing ‘em. I’ve sampled more makeup than I care to admit, swatch skincare like it's going out of style, and have smelled a headache-inducing number of perfumes over the years. But that’s what makes me beyond qualified to tell you what items are worth adding to your cart during Nordstrom’s Winter Sale. The once-yearly event, which is running February 10 through February 20, offers up to 50 percent off more than 100 beauty items—and the many, many, many options can get a little overwhelming.
Cue my handy little guide that’s about to break down what items are worth your money across every category. From starter kits that are simply never slashed in price *this* much (it’s my job to know this) to luxury perfumes that I was jaw-droppingly shocked to see in the sale section, I’ve got you—and your beauty needs—covered. Scroll ahead to see exactly what I recommend scooping up before the sale wraps.
You’re not going to casually stumble upon some Lancôme Absolu at a discounted price, so trust me when I say that now is the time to act. This kit is 30 percent off and complete with five, full-sized items that’ll last you months. So while it’s certainly an investment, it’s a good one. The Absolu line is results-driven, and guarantees a stronger skin barrier, added radiance, and a handful of anti-aging benefits. My personal favorite in the bunch is the eye cream—it makes my dark circles disappear overnight.
This product lands on my list for its fabulous formula and gets bonus points for its refillable packaging. The smell automatically transports me to a summer state of mind and the texture is a dream—it’s silky, dries down quickly, and provides long lasting hydration. I slather it on my hands approximately 12 times a day and coat my body in it post-shower. It’s a pretty decent size too, so it’s going to last a while. Just pop the pouch into your OG bottle and you’re good to go.
There’s no better on-the-go eye set than this little guy—I’m obsessed with every item. First and foremost, I can't say enough good things about the eyeshadow sticks. They’re the easiest possible product to apply, are super blendable, and provide a stunning shimmer. Pop over to the mascara, and you have a win yet again. A travel-size mascara is honestly the way to go (you need to replace mascara every three months, FYI) and this formula gives both length and volume. Last but certainly not least, there's a little baby eye makeup remover that you toss in your bag for emergency use.
The Revitalash Mascara is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated beauty products on the market. I know—a big claim, but I stand by it. The primer makes for the perfect base and the volumizing formula gives my lashes a non-clumpy, extra-dense finish. Toss the eyelash conditioner, brow gel, and a twenty percent discount into the mix, and this combo set is hard to turn down. In fact, I’m scooping one up for myself and one for a friend.
Makeup is nothing without a good primer—it’s the key to long-lasting wear and smooth application. And no brand knows how to do staying power quite like MAC. Their Prep + Prime Natural Radiance is a silky formula that has super strength when it comes to gripping foundation. Plus, it does this all while providing a little glow. The same goes for the lip and under-eye primer. You’ll get hydration, smoothness, and the perfect level of tackiness.
There’s no such thing as having too many candles, so take this on-sale opportunity to add a few to your collection. Otherland tops my wish list because the packaging is top-notch, the scents are addicting, and they last forever. I’ve smelled just about every flavor in the lineup and Rattan remains one of my favorites. It’s blends sandalwood, golden amber, and warm musk to create a scent that’s perfect for a cozy night in during winter.
Hear me out: I’m not a floral fragrance fan. It always reminds me of an old lady who sprayed five too many spritzes before walking out the door. But this—this is different. The fresh floral profile, which is made of water lotus and magnolia oil, is cut with a bit of warmth thanks to notes like cedarwood and sandalwood. The end result isn’t overpowering or overly rose garden-y. Instead, it’s a feminine, delicate, and delightful perfume that I actually enjoy putting on my skin.
Do not sleep on this duo—seriously, I mean it. The perfume? Fabulous. It’s a classic rose-centric blend that you’ll want to whip out for a date night or to channel a little feminine energy. The accompanying body cream? Even better. You can wear it on its own to get a hint of what the eau de parfum smells like, or layer it for a more amped up payoff. Either way, you’ll be reaching for one or the other on the regular.
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.
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