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Anti-Haul: 10 Beauty Things You Don't Need from Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale

My current no-buy is coming to an end, and the start of public access of the Nordstrom anniversary sale marks a vulnerable time for my wallet.

Luckily, for the most part, I find the Nordstrom anniversary sale to be overrated. As a self-professed bargain shopper, I'm just not that impressed at having to worry about finding my size on a $100 acrylic sweater discounted by 20% #sorrynotsorry.

But of course, the same cannot be said of the beauty section. Beauty deals are a bit harder to come by so when I see luxury products for 20-30% off, I get grabby hands. But once I took a step back, I realized that many of the deals truly aren't that impressive. And that's how we got here-- the Nordstrom anniversary sale anti-haul.

This anti-haul is a bit different from past anti-hauls because many of these items are actually good items; they're just not an amazing deal. If you were going to purchase these items for full price anyways, then go for the sale! But if you're only planning on buying these items because they're on sale, I suggest taking a step back and reevaluating if it's truly worth it.

I did include affiliate links in the post in case anyone is interested in the products despite my raging on them 🙃


Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Set

$49.00; $66.00 value

Most people interested in this set are probably going for the eyeshadow palette (retailing for $29) and then Nordstrom is looking to suck you in by saying hey, why don't you take these two extras for another $20 bucks? But don't fall for it!

Both items are a regular feature at Nordstrom Rack and various Ulta and Sephora sales. Furthermore, as someone who has repurchased the eyeshadow primer a couple of times-- the full-sized bottle is absolutely not worth it! You only need a little of the product per use. As a result, the tube always goes bad before I can finish it.

Instead of going for the set and purchasing 2 extra products you probably don't want or need, keep your $20 and go for the individual palette instead.

MAC Basic Brush Set

$52.50; $172.00 value

When I saw this set had a $172.00 value, I literally snorted. The brushes that come in the MAC kits are always inferior quality to those that are sold individually. It's simply a fact of life. MAC also switched to making fully synthetic brushes (no more goat hair) and the reviews have mostly been abysmal. I ran my fingers over them at my local Nordstrom and in my non-professional opinion they're sorta scratchy. They also have shorter handles as they're travel sized. Overall, there's nothing about these brushes that justify the $50+ price tag asides from the brand name,

Save yourself the money and treat yourself to some Real Techniques brushes instead.

SK-II Deluxe Skin Care Set

$191.00; $274.00 value

This set includes a full-size of the brand's claim to fame facial treatment essence. I tried it thanks to Influenster a few years ago and do not see the hype. It smells bad, is difficult to apply (very watery), and doesn't provide any extraordinary benefits to the skin. All in all I wouldn't pay $40 for this, let alone $100.

The second full-sized product in this set is their facial treatment cleanser. I haven't tried it but worth noting is that it comes with a relatively small amount of product.

If you are into their essence, their welcome set is a better value. It doesn't come with the cleanser but you save $80!

CHANEL Rouge Coco Pink Set

$100.00; No value listed

If you were to buy all three lip products individually, it would come to $97.00. For $3 more you get the bag. BUT if you buy them individually, you get to pick which shades you like the most. With this set, you're restricted to by the pre-selected colors. Personally I'd rather save the $3 and avoid the makeup bag which I would probably lose in a few weeks anyways, and pick colors I'll love.

Jo Malone Travel Candle Collection

$95.00; $105.00 value

Because honesty is the best policy, I almost bought this set. I almost spent $100 on candles because the set had a whopping savings of $10! That's literally less than a 10% savings! If you were planning on purchasing all 3 scents anyways, it's a mediocre deal. If you were going to purchase it like me because you saw "JO MALONE" and "SALE" in the same sentence and lost all sense of reason because you kind of like 2 scents, it's a horrible deal.

All three scents are sold individually at Sephora, Neimans, and Bloomingdales. You could wait for a sale at any of those retailers and pick 1, 2, or 3 scents you love and save more money than you would with this N-sale set. You could even wait for ebates to have a double cashback day (Nordstrom is no longer a part of ebates.)

Basically, the less than 10% savings isn't worth it unless you were immediately planning on purchasing all 3 scents anyways.

AERIN Beauty Five-Piece Fragrance Discovery Set

$115.00 with no reported value because issa scam

You want me to pay over $100 for perfume packaged with STOPPERS? No.

(The scents are beautiful but the amount of perfume you get + the crappy design automatically makes this a pass for me. The bottles are much smaller IRL.)

Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Glowing Skin Palette

$75.00; $153.00 value

This is yet another product I had contemplated purchasing. If you read my previous post, you may remember that the brand's pressed powder has been a favorite of mine recently! It's lightweight, blends like a dream, and doesn't dry me out. This palette features that powder along with 5 others from the Charlotte Tilbury line. Unfortunately, after trying it out in stores and reading reviews online, I've concluded it isn't worth the $75.00.

I have three major issues with this palette.

First, the pan sizes are really small. They come with 0.09 oz each, which is about 1/3 of the size of their full-sized powders. Meh.

Second, the palette is so muted. I don't need wham bam in your face blush all the time, but I would like some sense of vibrancy. As a POC, these dull-ass shades just end up looking chalky and grey on me. I have one of lighter blushes from their permanent line and it shows up beautifully on me-- it might be a light shade but the color is saturated enough to show up on my skin. That's not the case for the bronzer and blush shades in this palette.

Third, the quality of the powders in this palette aren't the same as the quality of the individually sold powders. They're drier and chalkier and more glittery.

Dior DreamSkin Advanced Set

$165.00; $254 value

I got this serum as a PR gift and it is not all that and a bag of chips. In fact, I think calling it skincare is a bit of a reach. It's a fragranced, shimmery primer. It temporarily blurs the appearance of pores because of its high silicone content. You could browse the primer section of any makeup store and find multiple products that provide equivalent results at a fraction of the price.

Nurse Jamie Uplift Facial Trio

$69.00; $99.00 value

I will never get the hype around this $70.00 glorified stick. There are much, much, much cheaper instruments you can use to massage your face.

In addition to the stick, you also get a silicone mask... which you can buy for less than $5 at Daiso (or on Amazon or eBay if you don't have access to a Daiso.) Everything about this set is ridiculous. NEXT!

NARS Undressed Liquid Lip Set I

$49.00; $100.00 value

Unpopular opinion but I'm not all that impressed with NARS's liquid lipstick formulations. They're not horrible but they're nowhere near as good as their classic lipsticks. They're prone to transferring and smudging more easily.

On top of that, the color selection in this set is so dull. 4 slightly different nude shades in similar formulas-- wow.

The Not-so Bad

Of course I don't hate *everything* at the sale-- there are actually a few things I think are worth it and am possibly going to buy:

1. This Stila Good to Glow Liquid Eyeshadow set that retails for $35.00 and come with 3 full-sized liquid eyeshadows. They come down to $11.67 each as opposed to $24.00 each.

2. A Nordstrom Sale classic: the Diptyque 5 candle set. I bought this last year and have no regrets! The candles are teeny but they have good throw and easily fill up my bedroom. It's a nice way to get introduced to the brand. Comes with 5 mini candles (each is half the size of their $35.00 candles) and retails for $55.00. Unfortunately, these mini candles are not sold individually, they're only sold in holiday sets.

3. My go-to moisturizer in the spring was Herbivore's Pink Cloud moisturizer, which retails for $48.00. For $4 you can get a travel-sized mist and mask with Herbivore Botanicals Rosewater + Gemstone Trio.

4. Mini Le Labo scents. Need I say more? Also mini Margiela scents (a set of two as opposed to their usual sets which come with 3.)

5. The Slip Silk Pillowcases are a total splurge but I don't regret my purchase in the least bit. If you're a savvy shopper you can get them on sale at Dermstore or Urban Outfitters (which I did) but this Nordstrom set isn't a bad deal either. You get 2 for $110 (so $55 each) whereas they usually retail for $85 a pop.

Are you shopping the sale or are you all around unimpressed? I have a feeling I'll only end up purchasing 1 or 2 things.

Anyways, thanks for reading and hope you have a lovely weekend!


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