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15 gorgeous gifts that look crazy expensive—but start at $30

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Lifestyles of the rich and famous? Nope, just an array of great gets from Nordstrom. (Photo: Nordstrom)


Everyone wants to give the perfect gift. There’s no sweeter sound than the “oohs” and “ahs” of loved ones and friends when they finally open that perfect present you chose with care and creativity.

But sometimes it’s just not easy to know what to get. For the sister who seems to have everything, that new friend you don’t know quite so well yet, your grown kids whose style is a little hard to nail—it can be tough to choose right.

In these cases, nothing sticks the landing like something expensive—or (and this is key), something that looks expensive. That’s why we perused the e-racks at Nordstrom to find the best luxe-looking gifts for under $100. Falling squarely within the category of something folks would love but not buy for themselves, these gifts will bring those “oohs” and “ahs” you crave.

Behold, our favorite deceptively inexpensive Nordstrom gifts—that look way pricer than they really are.

La Mer Mini Miracles Set

Ohh-la-la, La Mer! (Photo: Nordstrom)

Anyone who knows a thing about luxe skincare would flip for a gift by La Mer. Normally eye-poppingly expensive, La Mer products are the top echelon in beauty. This shockingly well-priced set includes three top sellers: La Mer’s famed soft cream, its treatment lotion, and its eye concentrate—all inside a sapphire-toned makeup bag.

Shop it: $90 ($122 value), nordstrom.com

Nordstrom Kennebunk Plush Throw

The home accessory everyone loves—a plush, luxurious throw. It's a can't-miss gift. (Photo: Nordstrom)


Pick a color, any color—this plush throw comes in 11 sophisticated shades. There is literally no better gift to get when you’re not sure what to get. Everyone loves a cozy throw. This one, in keeping with our rules of curation, feels way more expensive than it is. It washes nicely, retaining its softness. And you can “customize” by selecting a hue in keeping with your recipient’s home. From dusty rose to cream to poppy, every color is a winner. A sure bet.

Shop it: $29 (Was $39.50), nordstrom.com

Halogen V-Neck Cashmere Sweater

Cashmere is on everyone's wishlist. Make her dreams come true with this flattering v-neck sweater. (Photo: Nordstrom)

Who said cashmere has to run you three-figures? This classic tailored V-neck in 100-percent cashmere pullover is super-soft and luxurious, and available for just $66. There’s a color to suit every taste (15 options)—a full palette from the palest neutrals to the bright blue pictured above. Best of all, this sweater is cut to flatter—with a notched hem, it falls gently rather than cinching in at the waist. Round up on sizing; this runs a bit small. (And for that friend who loves her sweaters slouchy, step up twice.)

Shop it: $66 (was $98), nordstrom.com

American Atelier Daphne Decanter and Whiskey Glasses

Like something from the set of Downton Abbey. So fancy! (Photo: Nordstrom)

For the friend who enjoys hosting—or is a whiskey connoisseur—this set from American Atelier is a fantastic option. Just picture this beauty on a home bar. The decanter and glasses in a modern honeycomb pattern and is blingy without being flashy—and, at just 60 bucks, it’s a steal.
Shop it: $60, nordstrom.com

Skin Gym Jade Facial Trio Set

Create your own mini spa day with this set. (Photo: Nordstrom)

You’d love to take your bestie away to a spa in Hawaii, but, er...that’s not in the budget. Instead, treat her to this three-piece facial set. It includes a jade facial roller, an eye roller for de-puffing, and a “gua sha” tool (an awesome stone to run along the face for vitality). She can pop the tools in the freezer for a truly luxe cooling treatment. Bonus? Each of these pieces is a little work of art and will look great on her vanity.

Shop it: $49 ($86 value), nordstrom.com

Kate Spade New York That Sparkle Stud Earrings

She can tell people she inherited them from a rich aunt. (Photo: Nordstrom)

These glitzy cubic zirconia studs have a beautiful halo that makes them look like they cost thousands (don’t worry, we won’t tell that they were under $50). Bet they become her go-to for fancy functions. Also in faux diamond, pearl, emerald, and ruby—so it’s easy to match her taste.

Shop it: $48, nordstrom.com

Solid Cashmere Infinity Scarf

An endless swirl of cashmere. Will she like it? Duh! (Photo: Nordstrom)


The perfect one-size-fits-all gift, this looped cashmere scarf would please literally any female human from age 18 to 100. You might want to grab one just in case you forget someone (and then if you don’t, it’s yours in the new year—a reward for successful holidays). This accessory wraps effortlessly, whether your recipient likes a drapey cowl or a cuddled-against-the-cold feel. In any of the four luscious neutrals, it’ll make you look like you dropped big bucks.

Shop it: $74 (was $99), nordstrom.com

Bobbi Brown In a Flash Eyeshadow Palette

The beauty-maven's equivalent of a fresh new set of crayons. Utter joy. (Photo: Nordstrom)

This wildly versatile limited-edition palette has 12 irresistible shades, ranging from golden honey to lilac—plus a pitch-black for smokey eyes. Each pigmented shade is inspired by the lights of New York’s Fifth Avenue, which you know every fashionista would appreciate. A serious steal at $40.

Shop it: $40 ($208 value), nordstrom.com

Nordstrom at Home Wine Rack

Beauty in the every day. Give your friend a great rack. (Photo: Nordstrom)

Imagine your recipient’s face when opening this beautiful brushed-metal wine rack. On a countertop or the bottom of a bar cart, it would add elegance (not to mention organization). This elegant sculptural piece goes with any type of decor, and would please any wine drinker.

Shop it: $49, nordstrom.com

Lexon Mino Bluetooth Speaker

A mini powerhouse of epic sound. (Photo: Nordstrom)

This tiny-but-mighty Bluetooth speaker (small enough to slip in a pocket) is designed to go places—the beach, a party, a tailgate, or even just room to room. The simple, sleek, sparkly surface (in 6 colors) gives it a rich visual presence—and thanks to its powerful clear sound, no one will suspect it was only 30 bucks.

Shop it: $30, nordstrom.com

The Foggy Dog Velvet Dog Collar

Puppy love, in the form of a stylin' collar. (Photo: Nordstrom)

This velvet dog collar makes a pup into the chicest pooch in the park. A nylon core means it’s not as delicate as it looks. Durable and dapper, it’s a delightful gift for the fashiony dog-parent on your list.

Shop it: $35, nordstrom.com

Caslon Faux Shearling Jacket

A warm, chic hug for the holidays. (Photo: Nordstrom)

Shearling is a huge trend for winter 2020. This faux take—vegan friendly—is rugged-chic without being bulky. The perfect topper. We especially love the length and the lapel. Your recipient will too—she will be thrilled. Also available in basic black.

Shop it: $99, nordstrom.com

Zestt Organic Cotton Travel Set

In-flight luxury and comfort (even in Economy class). (Photo: Nordstrom)

Have a frequent flyer on your list? Ensure they’re always comfy with this cozy cotton set—an elegant generously sized throw (the perfect in-flight shawl) and eye mask that tuck beautifully into a matching pouch. Buy doubles. This is a treat you’ll want for your next vacation.

Shop it: $88, nordstrom.com

Anthropologie Everst Set of 3 Cheese Knives

For slicing, and spreading and spearing, these cheese knives are tiny works of art. (Photo: Nordstrom)

For the person on your list just venturing into entertaining—or anyone who appreciates artful kitchenware, this swoon-worthy trio of cheese knives is an absolute delight. With handles inspired by birch branches, it’s as pretty as it is functional. These tools, which make even the simplest spread look fancy, are heirlooms-in-waiting.

Shop it: $48, nordstrom.com

Yves Saint Laurent Mini Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick Set

Sealed with a kiss—a great glam gift for anyone who's reluctant to indulge herself.(Photo: Nordstrom)

Give the gift of beautiful lips—from one of the most iconic makeup brands in the world. This gorgeous set, made in France, features a neutral-to-bold array of five scaled-down YSL lipsticks, tucked into a beautiful zip case. The piece de resistance is the stunning box. Expect gasps of surprise and delight.

Shop it: $60, nordstrom.com

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