There are only a few more days before the Nordstrom Anniversary sale ends. Prices go up on August 3rd. I placed one last order online today for a few more items. Thanks to several of my readers who recommended this Deborah Lippmann The Stripper Duo – I don’t think I’ve ever seen the jumbo size in stores so I’m glad I was able to get this from the sale. Sara Happ is another highly recommended brand – my friend swears by the clear shine lipgloss so I ordered two of The Sparkling Pink Lip Set (one for me, one for her). This Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap is on discount for the sale – I stocked up on a few for my husband. The fourth item I ordered is this Ahava Mineral Hand Cream Duo – several readers emailed me about this the last time I wrote about hand creams stating this was their favorite – I’m giving it a try. Last but not least I ordered the Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Hair Set.
The Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Palette provides a selection of five soft neutrals that will give the eye a super soft polished look. The texture of the shadows is very soft and the colors meld onto the skin smoothly and evenly. Each of the 4 shadows layers well with each other and there is a dark gel liner at the end which has good pigment. I found the liner to be budge proof but it is creamy so it will take a little time to set and dry. I prefer topping any pencil or gel liner with a bit of power shadow to help it set.
If you’re looking for a super conservative eye look that you can do everyday these are the palettes for you. Either of the Eye Reviver Palettes are pretty much goof proof and impossible to overdo if you want a soft looking eyeshadow look.
The colors of the Dior Nordy Girl palette include:
Soft matte pale pink white
Shimmering pigmented light pink frost
Shimmering mauve plum
Shimmering pink mauve
Matte plum-brown liner
For comparisons, I pulled both the 001 and Nordy Girl to swatch side by side.
I had mixed feelings about the original version (post + eye look here). These palettes are good staples but given the neutral nature of each, they are very easy to dupe and if you own a lot of eyeshadows or palettes it’s likely that you probably own similar colors. That being said, Dior does make very good quality palettes – the shadows are smooth with soft medium buildable pigment that makes for a polished look no matter what colors they have. These Eye Reviver Palettes have soft texture shadows that fall in between a full matte and full shimmer. The shimmer is finely milled but super natural on the eye so if you hate frost eyeshadow or complete mattes, the shadows in these palettes fall somewhere in between. If you prefer all mattes, the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics are hands down my top picks.
Since they both seem very similar, I don’t think you need both. The pigment of the colors with Nordy Girl is better in the sense the colors are richer and more pigmented on the skin. The 2 lightest shades have really good pigment, however the next 3 medium shades are almost identical on my medium olive-toned skin. The pigment of the Original 001 is slightly sheerer but there is more contrast between the five shades which allows for more variation.
I own a lot of similar shadows so I can’t call them must-haves for me. I am pleased with the quality, lasting power and overall color scheme. If I were to recommend a good starter palette to someone new to makeup, I would recommend these as goof-proof easy to use eyeshadows.
If I had to pick one of the two, I favor the Original Version because it has more contrast in the colors. The Nordy Girl is more visible on my skin and has a more dramatic feel because cool tones look sharper on my olive skintone. If you’re deciding between the two, I would say base your decision on your preference for warm (opt for 001) or cool tones (pick Nordy Girl).
I picked up the T3 Compact Styling Set ($150, limited-edition set) from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It’s a two-piece value set that comes with the Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer (retails separately for $150) and SinglePass Compact Flat Iron (retails separately for $79). I’ve had the compact dryer on my wishlist for a while and the sale helped me pull the trigger. Both are very compact and perfect for travel or if you have limited space in your bathroom. I’ve been testing both for a few days and have comparisons to other styling hair tools that I currently own.
The T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer is really well designed. It comes in a simple sleek black design with a removable nozzle. I like that it’s lightweight but still has a lot of power. The noise level is minimal, it’s designed with a quiet motor which you can still hear but it’s not as loud as others that I’ve tried. The handle absorbs vibration from the motor which is nice so it’s not bothersome if you have to dry your hair for an extended amount of time. It comes with 2 speeds and 2 heat settings along with a cool shot option. I have thick hair that gets frizzy without any hair treatment (product or styling tool) so it takes a long time for me to dry my hair. Dry time with this one was fairly quick – about 15 to 20 minutes when dried in sections.
I photographed the dryer in my hands so you could get a sense of the size. It’s small and compact but not too small. I like that it has a folding option which makes it nice for travel or storage. (On the nails is Chanel Le Vernis in Chataigne, new for fall.)
I now own three hair dryers with this purchase: T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer, Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer and a mini from Original & Mineral. The best ones I’ve owned were from Solano, in particular the Supersolano which is hands down well worth the price – it makes the hair ultra sleek and shiny and doesn’t overheat the hair. I went through two and after my second one died (after about 6 years) I decided to try new things. I wish I hadn’t because they are just so good.
Onto the ones I own. I’ve had the Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer for quite some time and really like it. It dries the hair nicely, it’s large but not heavy, noise level isn’t too loud and it comes in a fun bright yellow color. Since it’s a larger dryer there is more room for options. It has three temperature settings, two speeds and self-lock cool shot so you don’t have to hold it down with your thumb.
I bought the Original & Mineral one that came in a Net-A-Porter set which is super cute and compact. It has a lot of power for something that tiny, but unfortunately the design is very simplistic and the handle doesn’t absorb any vibrations so you can feel it in your hand. It does a good job at drying the hair quickly though which is nice.
The T3 Compact Dryer has less power compared to the Drybar, but more power than the O&M. I’ve brought the Drybar one with me on trips although it does take up a lot of space. The T3 is much more travel-friendly. It’s also dual voltage 125V/250V for worldwide use while the Drybar option is 100V/120V and requires a step-down converter + adapter.
Close ups of the options:
The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron is basically a free add-on with the Nordstrom Anniversary Set. I purchased the SinglePass Straightening Iron (full size) a number of years ago and hated it. It left my hair frizzy and made it look fried. Based on the number of rave reviews on the compact version, I decided to give it a try since the set came at a really good price. The SinglePass Compact Flat Iron performs much better than the Full Size (maybe I had a dud), but I would say for me it doesn’t really live up to the name “single pass.” It takes at least two passes per section for my super thick hair but it does leave the hair shiny, sleek and smooth. I could probably section off smaller amounts of hair but it would take 3 times longer to straighten everything. The iron is really well designed and comes with a cap which I wish all flat irons came with.
Comparisons to two other flat irons I own. GHD Bird of Paradise is a full-size flat iron that measures 26.5 cm long with plates that are 2.4 cm x 9 cm. I’ve had this since December of last year and really like it although out of all the flat irons I’ve owned, the HAI Ceramic Convertible Iron is hands down the best one I’ve tried (mine died after I dropped it on a hard surface, but it lasted 4 years before it stopped working).
The CHI Smart Titanium Ceramic Travel Iron is fairly new to me. I received this one at a QVC event a few weeks ago and really like it. I can’t find the temperature listing anywhere but I was told it heats up to 390 degrees. This one measures 22 cm long with plates that are 2 cm x 7.5 cm. For my hair it does a better job at straightening with a single stroke but it is very small so it takes longer to straighten my hair.
The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron by comparison heats up to 410 degrees. It’s similar in size to the CHI. The T3 Compact Iron is 22 cm long with plates that are 2 cm wide x 7.8 cm long.
I’m overall really pleased with the set. I had the Compact Dryer on my wishlist and the Flat Iron with this set was an added bonus. I really like the Dryer – it performs well, it’s compact and well designed. It will be my travel dryer for all my upcoming trips.
For the flat iron I have mixed feelings. With any travel sized flat iron I think it should be expected that it won’t work the same as a full sized flat iron for my super thick hair. The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron works well but it takes more time for me to straighten my hair compared to ones from GHD and HAI. Out of the two travel flat irons I featured, I have a slight preference for the CHI, although the two are very close in performance. The T3 has a more visually pleasing design and the cap is an added bonus for me (even though many brands have an extra storage or carrying case for travel).
That being said I have close friends who are die-hard loyal fans of T3 and swear by the line. Since I don’t need two travel flat irons, I will probably be regifting this one to a friend.
The T3 Compact Styling Set retails for $150 and is currently a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive (it’s a $229 value). In case you miss out on the sale this month, you can purchase the Featherweight Compact Dryer and SinglePass Compact Flat Iron individually. I give the compact dryer a huge thumbs up and the compact flat iron a semi-thumbs up mainly because I am super picky about flat irons in general, but it’s great for the size and travel purposes.
Did you check out the T3 Styling Set from the sale? Do you have any T3 favorites? If not what are your favorite styling tools?
The CHI flat iron was gifted as a press sample. All other items purchased by me.
I’ve been browsing items from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for a few days now. I stopped by my local store for Early Access last week to take a quick peek and bought two of the beauty exclusives from MAC and Dior. Since things looked like they were selling out quickly I stopped by my local store again today – there were a lot of things I had on my list that sold out including the Deborah Lippmann Undressed Set and YSL Rock Attitude Glossy Stain. If you see something on your radar I recommend you order online or visit your store as soon as you can.
Beauty Exclusives I picked up include the Dior Eye Reviver Palette in Rosy Nordy Girl and the Vernis in Majesty (peach). They also had some of the fall collection out, I picked up the Cosmopolite Nail Polish (muted plum).
I think the best value find for me is the T3 Compact Styling Set which is priced at $150. The Compact Folding Dryer is $150 by itself so with this Nordstrom set you basically get the flat iron for free. I love that the dryer will fold into a more compact size. If I could have only bought one thing from the sale, this would be it (they are boxed together).
MAC seemed to be selling through their sets faster than usual at the store. I picked up the MAC Look in a Box Pretty Natural Lip Kit that has Subculture Lipliner, Pretty Natural Lipstick and Feeling Fine Lipglass. I picked up mine during early access. Today my local store was completely sold out. It seems to have sold out online too but right now just came back. If you missed out – order soon, or keep the link bookmarked. It keeps popping back in stock. I’m a sucker for a good nude pink lipstick. Subculture Lipliner is a staple neutral I think everyone should own anyways.
Palettes are always big during the sale. I picked up three palettes, two are gifts for friends but I think now I want them too. The Chanel Travel Palette is something I picked up for a friend. It has the Les Beiges Powder 20, a blush, five eye colors, lip colors, mini brushes and a small mascara. I am not a fan of compacts that don’t have separators for cream and powder – I can see this one becoming a mess. Still it’s really pretty and the pink blush and lips are so so gorgeous.
Lorac has the best priced deal with a $15 The Skinny Black Eyeshadow Palette. I bought this because it’s a steal – how can anyone resist? My store had about 20 or so left on the floor display – there seemed to be a lot left.
For me, I picked up the new MAC Nordstrom’s Finest Exclusive 15 Pan. It’s not a Anniversary Sale Exclusive, but my associate said it’s a Nordstrom Exclusive (kinda confusing to me). I’m sure it has a lot of repeats for me because I already own a lot of singles but the convenience of having everything in one palette is appealing.
There seemed to be a lot of new fall items trickling in. Armani had a display unit for the new powder foundation but it didn’t have any product inside, nor did they have anything to sell. I’m hoping it will launch soon because I’m eager to test it out. I did pick up a few Fluid Sheers, left to right is 14, 17 and 18. It’s been a while since I last checked out anything from Armani but I’ve been told 17 and 18 are new.
Last but not least I picked up three clothing items – I ordered mine online and they arrived a few days ago. Rag and Bone Theo Pullover is a super soft black v-neck sweater. I find sizing in brands these days all over the place for tops. For most Rag and Bone I am an XS – this sweater fits nicely but has a slightly loose feel. It’s not too large on me but the look is slightly more relaxed than what the model shows. I ordered a Splendid Jersey Wrap Robe which runs true to size. I also ordered these J Brand Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans.
Did you pick up anything from the sale? Or are you planning to shop the sale this weekend? What did you end up picking out? I keep forgetting to stop by the shoes section – although since it’s summer I can’t get into the mood for boots.
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access starts today for Nordstrom Cardholders. At the top of my list each year for the sale are the Beauty Exclusives, Paige Denim and anything from Zella (I’m obsessed with their capris). The catalog arrived last week with a sneak peek. I’m happy to see there is a wider selection online and in stores. Be sure to check out the gift with purchase offerings too – store options may vary. On my wishlist and radar:
Shoes are always good for fall preview. These Enzo Angiolini Manna Heels look like classic staples but might be too high of a heel for me. (Have you tried these before?) I’m in some need of a couple pairs of ankle booties. The Dolce Vita Kadie Bootie is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Last but not least, Longchamp has several colors of their Le Pliage Expandable Tote for the sale in Black, Navy, Red and Slate. When we were in Paris, my husband and I picked up Expandable 21 inch version (not on sale) because our carry ons weren’t quite enough (after this purchase, we each had 2 bags to carry on flights). After using it for 3 weeks I’m a huge fan of expandable bags.
A few other things on my radar.
Are you shopping Early Access? What’s on your list?