I’ve had a passion for all things beauty since I was young, and genuinely enjoy sharing what I’ve learned through trial and error.
And I do a lot of trial and error.
Tried & True Beauty: My Top Hair, Makeup & Skincare Products At Nordstrom
The trial and error is necessary to weed out which beauty products are 100% worth the cost, and which ones don’t quite live up to their lofty claims — if they work at all.
So after a year (or more) of rigorous testing (ha — by me), here are my top 25 beauty products of the year (all conveniently found at Nordstrom). Some of these products are new, and some I’ve been using for years — and are still going strong.
Bottom line? This is my 2021 beauty short list: the 25 skin, makeup and hair products that I whole-heartedly recommend, the 25 products that I think everyone should know about.
My Top 3 Overall Beauty Product Picks
Last year I wrote about my favorite beauty products and had so much fun putting that article together. My top three overall picks actually haven’t changed since last year. I’m still swearing by these three products because they are still yielding visible results. I’ve genuinely seen a difference in my skin (or hair) after using them.
1. REVITABROW® & REVITALASH®
RevitaLash RevitaBrow ADVANCED Eyebrow Conditioner | RevitaLash® Cosmetics ADVANCED Eyelash Conditioner
These two products work. I basically had no eyebrows before I started using RevitaBrow, and now I can even get away without filling them in every day. And I had totally ruined my lashes by wearing lash extensions (see how wonky they are below?), which had made my real lashes super-sparse and short. RevitaLash brought them back and then some…and with a little mascara they’re nice and full and long.
2. DYSON SUPERSONIC™ HAIR DRYER
I went dark last fall partly due to the pandemic and partly because I was curious. I’m glad I tried it, but I’m now back to the blonde color I love. Because there’s so much damage involved in lightening hair so much, I swear by the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer. I can’t risk damaging it more with other dryers — this one dries my hair in less time and leaves it MUCH smoother, so I don’t need to overdo it with other heat tools. It is 100% worth every penny.
3. DR. DENNIS GROSS SKINCARE DRX SPECTRALITE™ FACEWARE PRO LED LIGHT THERAPY DEVICE
THIS. This LED face mask promises to smooth wrinkles, firm skin, diminish discoloration and clear acne. I’ve been using it now for over two years and love the difference in my skin. Just three minutes a day, and I literally haven’t had a breakout since I started. My skin is brighter, more even and feels great. (Shana also swears by her LED mask — and they both keep selling out!)
My Favorite Hair Care Products
1. Bumble and Bumble Repair Blow Dry
Bumble and Bumble Repair Blow Dry
My hair is so much softer when I use this before I blow dry! This heat-protective serum-in-creme helps to seal split ends and leaves your hair smoother. (The reviews are really good, too!)
2. Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray
Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray
Oribe is just so good. I’m pretty much obsessed with everything they make — last year I wrote about their Gold Lust shampoo and conditioner (still two of my favorites) and this year I’ve added their Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray (which I tried after reading those amazing reviews). It speeds up drying time, adds shine, helps protect your hair against heat damage and gives it the best blowout ever (and it smells amazing, per usual for Oribe).
3. Dyson Corrale Straightener
The Corrale Straightener is another Dyson win. Like I said before, lightening hair can do so much damage — this tool helps to minimize the amount of damage that heat can cause. The plates flex with your hair which allows for faster styling (and less heat). I can straighten or curl or wave with this (cordless!) straightener and the styles last for days!
My Favorite Makeup Products
1. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Primer & Highlighter
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Primer & Highlighter
Another repeat from last year, Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter is my number one go-to. It can be mixed with foundation, worn alone, as primer or highlighter, and leaves your skin looking seriously radiant. There’s a reason I own multiple bottles!
2. Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation
Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation
This has become my favorite foundation. I’ve tried them all, I swear, but I keep coming back to this one. The lightweight formula is buildable — not thick or cakey — and is hydrating without being greasy (I often mix this with the Hollywood Flawless Filter for a beautiful glowy finish.)
3. Clé De Peau Beauté Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 25
Clé De Peau Beauté Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 25
I had read about the Clé De Peau Beauté concealer over and over again before I tried it, and it really is that good. A little goes a long way to cover up dark under-eye circles without creasing, and it lasts all day long. I also love that it has SPF in it!
4. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Cheek to Chic Blush
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Cheek to Chic Blush
This is the best blush I’ve ever tried (and that’s saying something). The two colors blend together so nicely and leave a glow that’s more illuminating, less glittery. (It’s so good that they added a pillow talk intense color.)
5. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
This is the spray I used on all my brides (and myself!) on their wedding day. It keeps makeup looking fresh all day long, even through heat and humidity. I love this stuff.
6. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip Cheat Lip Liner
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip Cheat Lip Liner
Not too pink, not too brown, this is my favorite lip liner to use on a daily basis and looks good on its own or with lots of different glosses and lip colors. It’s waterproof, won’t smudge or feather, and can help add a little oomph to your lips. (I have it in pillow talk medium and am anxiously waiting for the pillow talk intense as well.)
7. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof is the only liquid liner I use because of the ease of application and staying power. Also the liner I use to draw cat whiskers on G (she often likes to dress up as a cat) because it doesn’t smudge — at all — but removes easily with makeup remover.
8. Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Eyeliner Pencil
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Eyeliner Pencil
I’ve literally been using this Clinique eyeliner since high school. It applies so smoothly, blends easily with the sponge tip, and stays until you take it off. My favorite color is black/brown because it’s dark without being overly harsh (like black can be) on older skin.
9. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (also in a Gift Set that’s perfect for gifting!)
I still love using my Dipbrow Pomade, but Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is much more user-friendly and easier to work with — the slim pencil makes it easier to shape and define smaller brows. Brush brows into shape with the spoolie and then fill in with the color — use two different shades for a more natural look.
10. Bobbi Brown Crushed Oil-Infused Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown Crushed Oil-Infused Lip Gloss
I LOVE these glosses. They hydrate lips without being sticky and come in the most beautiful colors (I love rock and red for the holidays).
11. Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow is the easiest way to add sparkle to your eyes without getting it all over your face! I apply it right to my lid (a little goes a long way — it’s always easier to add than to take away!) and then blend with my finger or a small brush (if my nails are too long!). The shadow dries and is ON for the night (and comes off easily with makeup remover).
My Favorite Skincare Products
1. Elemis Superfood Facial Oil
This oil brightens dull skin and leaves it feeling so soft and smooth! It’s a “highly-concentrated, award-winning facial oil with a blend of nine superfood oils including broccoli, rosehip, flaxseed and daikon radish.” All I know is I agree with the reviewers on this one!
2. Tula Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm
Tula Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm
Zack keeps stealing this Tula eye balm from me because it’s really good. It’s like sleep in a tube: one swipe under your eyes and your face is instantly refreshed. Your eyes are brighter and even feel better (that’s the cooling). It can be worn under or over makeup, and I love using it as a little pick-me-up in the afternoon.
3. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
Kiehl’s is my go-to moisturizer every winter when my skin starts feeling dry and parched. It’s ultra-hydrating without being greasy and absorbs completely into skin.
4. BeautyBio GloPRO Microneedling Regeneration Tool
BeautyBio GloPRO Microneedling Regeneration Tool
Every single skincare product I use is more effective because of this microneedling tool. Shana first suggested it to me and I’ve been using it ever since. The micro-needles trigger the skin’s natural healing process and induces micro-regeneration deep beneath.
5. Osea Undaria Algae Body Oil
I first tried this body oil this past summer after reading rave reviews about it — and was not disappointed. It leaves your skin so soft and glowy without being greasy. I swear, it’s like putting a filter on your skin! (Reviewers agree, too!)
6. Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase
An anti-aging, anti-crease, anti-frizz “8-hour beauty treatment” every night — I was recently telling my mom how amazing this pillowcase was when she told me she had a satin one. She brought it out to me so I could feel it and I was like, “Mom, this one is different — wait til you feel it.” She was 100% unconvinced until she actually felt mine and said, “ohhhh, ok I get it.” This one is worth it, guys.
7. Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
Ahh!! This enzyme mask is everything, you guys! I tried it because the reviews were SO so good and I’m so glad I did. It exfoliates, and peels and softens skin, leaving it positively glowing. (I love how it tingles on your skin and the smell is amazing.)
Shop All My Beauty Favorites
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Photography Credits: Vafa Photography
A huge thank you to Nordstrom & ShopStyle Collective for sponsoring this post! I have a passion for all things beauty and always love a chance to share it with our readers — and readers, thank you SO much for your continued support. It is so very much appreciated! (As always, all thoughts, opinions and product selects are my own.)
I am so curious about the LED masks. Does anyone know if they can be harmful? If there’s any UV light frequencies emitted? I wonder if anyone has any articles or research that they can link up especially on long term use? Just so interested.
Thank you,, so many things to try. Beautiful sweater! Can you share the link?
Thank you, this is a fabulous round up, you always give the best recommendations and tips (and I know to trust them because you look so fantastic, although it is clear your loveliness stems from your inner self!). I have a couple specific questions. Do you use the bumble&bumble and oribe heat protectants on the same day, or do you seitch up use as you feel it? Do you use retinoids, and if so how do you space with the light mask (like, retinoids at night, light mask in morning, or how else?). Come to think, I’d love to hear current skin care regimen from you and the other TME authors! Thanks again!
Love this list, I already have a few items on it from your past recommendations. So curious about the foundation.
Thank you for sharing your picks, I’ve added a few to my holiday wish list! But please – what is the sweater you’re wearing? I’m absolutely in LOVE with the color!
Also, which shade of the Cle de peau beaute concealer did you choose?
Speaking of beauty products… what’s the nail color you’re wearing, please? Thank you!