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The Best Beauty Buys at Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale

There are exclusive sets, giant-sized bottles, and beauty tools that rarely go on sale.

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Bobbi Brown On Trend Eyes & Cheeks Collection ($98)

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Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale — the retailer’s biggest, most important sale of the year — is finally open to the public today. A Nordstrom representative says this sale is just as big a deal for the store as the holidays. It’s also a big deal for shoppers because it gives everyone a chance to see new fall merchandise and buy it at a discount; after the sale wraps up on August 6th, the prices go back up.

This sale is particularly great for beauty junkies who have loyalty to certain brands, or for people who are looking to try new ones, because the beauty companies partner with Nordstrom to provide special sets, special sizes (from travel to gigantic), and special deals you can’t find anywhere else. This year, the retailer is also offering a ton of beauty tools for your face and hair at 33% off, which is pretty amazing because tools, one of the industry’s fastest-growing categories, rarely go on sale. If you live near a Nordstrom store, you can pop in starting on July 21st for a series of different daily beauty events, like MAC makeovers and a free fragrance samples.

I hit a sale preview to scope out the selection. Here’s the best of the bunch at all price points, along with some scoop from the Nordstrom beauty team members on which items they think will be quick sell-outs based on what they know about their customers’ buying habits. You can shop the full selection here.

GloPRO Microneedling Regeneration Tool ($163, from $244)

Face Tools

GloPRO Microneedling Regeneration Tool, $163 (was $244): The popularity of microneedling, the process of rolling tiny needles all over your face, has been growing. This brand in particular has been selling like crazy — it even comes with a larger head for rolling on larger body parts to deal with cellulite.

Me Clear Anti-Blemish Device, $26 (was $39): There is a lot of science to back up blue light therapy for acne. This is one of the cheapest and most effective versions I’ve seen. (It also has the stamp of approval from a hormonal teen boy I live with.)

Jo Malone Cologne Collection, $115

Candles & Fragrance

Nest Fragrances Sicilian Tangerine and Grapefruit Candle Duo,$52 (exclusive to the sale): Citrus candles are popular for a reason — they're happy and energizing, and Nest is one of the best in the candle business.

Le Labo Santal 33 Collection, $95 (exclusive to the sale): This five-piece travel kit (including two shower gels, two body lotions, and a fragrance sample) is a great way to intro someone to cult-favorite Le Labo.

Jo Malone Cologne Collection, $115 (exclusive to the sale): Expect this exclusive little sampler from Jo Malone to sell out.

MAC Look in a Box Early to Red Lip Kit ($36.50, exclusive)


MAC Look in a Box Early to Red Lip Kit, $36.50 (exclusive to the sale): It’s a lip kit, but not by Kylie. The Retro-Matte Liquid Lip Color really stays put once it’s on your face.

Winky Lux Flower Balm Favorites Lip Trio, $22 (exclusive to the sale): These clear balms react with your pH to change color. Most importantly, they have a tiny flower in them.

La Mer Mini Miracles Set, $85 (exclusive)


La Mer Mini Miracles Set, $85 (exclusive to the sale): The question I get asked most often: “Does La Mer work?” Here is a relatively affordable way to try it out. (If you’re already a fan, here is a jumbo jar for $1,095.)

SK-II Skincare Trio, $99 (exclusive to the sale): Ditto on SK-II. The sheet masks are definitely wonderful.

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Duo, $35 (exclusive to the sale): This gentle exfoliating acid is super popular. Here are two in a bundle (one normally costs $29).

Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel Pads 90 Day Supply, $155 (exclusive to the sale): This holy grail peel pad exfoliates, brightens, and smooths everything out. (A 60 day supply is $148 at Sephora, to put this price into perspective.)

Dermovia Lace Your Face by Dr. Pimple Popper Clear Complexion Kit ($35, from $55)


Dermovia Lace Your Face by Dr. Pimple Popper Clear Complexion Kit, $35 (was $55): A lace sheet mask plus a seal of approval by the internet’s favorite pimple doctor makes this product an Instagram classic.

Kiehl’s Day-to-Night Masque Duo, $23 (exclusive to the sale): Here are two of the brand’s cultiest masks in one place. The turmeric one is especially effective.

Nars Angel Pride Cheek Palette ($59, exclusive)

Face & Cheeks

Nars Angel Pride Cheek Palette, $59 (exclusive to the sale): There is not a bad color in this palette, which of course includes Orgasm. Nordstrom expects this one to fly out of there.

RMS Beauty Glowing Set, $80 (exclusive to the sale): Want a more natural version? RMS has great formulas, especially for its Living Luminizer.

Bobbi Brown On Trend Graphic Liner Set, $32 (exclusive)


Bobbi Brown On Trend Graphic Liner Set, $32 (exclusive to the sale): This set includes all of Bobbi’s OG eye products, which are celebrated for a reason.

Eyeko Alert Mascara and Treatment Duo, $34 (exclusive to the sale): This semi-cult-y brand is getting more mainstream recognition for its great eye products. The mascara is particularly great, and the shadow/liner is waterproof.

Ouai Hair Kit, $26


Drybar Full Size Faves Set, $49 (exclusive to the sale): If you love Drybar products, here are the best-sellers at a discount.

Ouai Hair Kit, $26 (exclusive to the sale): Been wanting to try this buzzy brand by the Kardashians' favorite hair stylist? The wave spray smells delicious and is never crunchy, and the dry shampoo foam is unique to the category.

Aveda Hair Essentials Collection, $39 (exclusive to the sale): Aveda is a classic that still makes great, wonderful-smelling products.

Sigma Beauty Innovation Duo, $35 (exclusive)

Random Neat Stuff

Sigma Beauty Innovation Duo, $35 (exclusive to the sale): Sigma got its start as an Instagram brand, but its brushes and brush cleaning pad have been much copied.

Butter London Cool Classics Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer Set, $29 (exclusive to the sale): This is a perfect neutral nail polish set.

Gehwol Biosana Swiss Foot File,15.90, was $19: This thing is completely satisfying to use, like a sander for your feet. It gently but thoroughly gets rid of rough skin.

Racked occasionally accepts products for research and reviewing purposes. For more information, see our ethics policy here.

This story was originally published on July 13, and was updated when the sale went live to the public on July 21.