Nordstrom Makeup Returns Policy: Ultimate Guide


As one of the most popular and shopped at department stores in the US, Nordstrom is a great place to source high-quality, designer makeup and cosmetics from brands such as:

  • Dior
  • Armani
  • Chanel
  • Clinique
  • Gucci
  • Givenchy
  • YSL and
  • Valentino

If you’ve purchased make-up or cosmetics from Nordstrom but you’re looking to make a return; perhaps it’s not the color you were looking for, the quality isn’t up to scratch or you’ve changed your mind, you’ll want to get to grips with Nordstrom’s returns policy.

To talk you through it, we’ve prepared a full guide that will explain how long you get to make a return, how to make a return, what to do with no receipt, and how other competitors’ makeup returns policies measure up.

Keep reading to find out…

What is Nordstrom’s Returns Policy on Makeup and Cosmetics? The Short Answer

You can return makeup to Nordstrom at any time for a refund or exchange as part of their 100% satisfaction promise. They want you to be happy with your purchase so they don’t impose time limits on most of the goods they sell.

This means you can return cosmetics to Nordstrom at any time if:

  • You’re not happy with your order
  • The order was a mistake
  • The product is defective or faulty
  • It’s an unwanted gift
  • The product is the wrong one

Pretty much any reason will do.

However, this doesn’t give you carte blanche to simply return makeup over and over again and we’d advise against doing that.

The policy is designed to be flexible but you’re likely to have your account suspended or your return refused if you abuse the policy by making repeated returns.

Can I Return Used Makeup to Nordstrom?


You can return used makeup to Nordstrom but as per the above, we wouldn’t recommend making a habit of this.

Our advice is to stick to the spirit of the policy which is to only use Nordstrom’s generous unlimited returns window when you really need to.

So returning makeup once a year after a few wears and finding it looks poor or irritates your skin, is fine.

Repeatedly using half a bottle of foundation, returning it, and ordering another so you get a full bottle as a replacement is not.

What is Nordstrom’s No Receipt Policy?

If you don’t have a receipt but paid by debit or credit card then Nordstrom will usually be able to trace the sale on their system.

We would advise taking a copy of your bank statement along if you’re making a store return and don’t have a receipt just in case.

If you ordered online then you will have been sent an email confirmation with your order number on and your order will also be visible in your online account under the orders section. Therefore, online orders should never present a problem.

If you’re unable to provide any proof of purchase, then Nordstrom will usually require a Government authorized ID and they may only refund you with in-store credits to use in their store.

How to Return Makeup to Nordstrom


Nordstrom offers 3 options when it comes to returns. We’ll go through each in turn.


The obvious one is to simply return your makeup back the store you purchased it from or any of Nordstrom’s other branches.

Simply present your return to the front desk or customer service area and they will process the return there and then.

This is often the fasted way to get your refund, especially if you’re receiving cash as a refund rather than card repayment.

Online Returns

You can also initiate your return online by doing the following:

  • Go to your Nordstrom account
  • Locate your order history from the menu in the corner
  • Choose the option to make a return
  • Nordstrom will then email you a pre-paid returns label
  • Print the label and include it with your makeup
  • You can also show the QR code you’re given to the local USPS drop-off point and they’ll print the label for you
  • Leave the package with USPS


Thirdly, Nordstrom offers a curbside drop-off option when you start the online process (see above) and then take your product to a contactless drop-off location at your nearest Nordstrom store (we advise phoning your local store before doing this to make sure they offer this facility at your branch).

Does it Cost to Make a Makeup Return to Nordstrom?

No, they provide free returns via USPS.

You will be sent a prepaid returns label when you initiate your return.

Moreover, they don’t charge a restocking fee like some other stores do.


How Long Does a Makeup Return to Nordstrom Take?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to seeing the money back in your account as it can often depend on your bank or card issuer but here is a rough guide:

Returns ProcessRefund ETA
In-store5-7 working days (immediately if cash return)
Curbside5-7 working days
Online returns10-14 working days to receive and process your return and then 5-7 days to receive the refund to your bank account

Your refund will be processed to the same card you initially paid with. You can also request a gift card if you prefer that.

How Does Nordstrom’s Makeup Returns Policy Hold Up?

We’ve taken a look at some of Nordstrom’s competitors to see how their policies compare to Nordstrom’s.

Let’s take a look.

Competitor Returns Window
Amazon30 days
Costco 100% satisfaction guarantee (return any time)
Walmart90 days
Sephora 60 days
Walgreens30 days but at discretion of manager
Ulta60 days

Final Thoughts

Apart from Costco, no other competitor gets anywhere close to the generosity of Nordstrom’s returns policy.

That coupled with free returns and a brilliant selection makes it pretty hard to beat, especially if you’re buying a particularly picky or fussy friend/family member who just loves to return your gifts.

The only downside is that Nordstrom’s prices aren’t always the cheapest and return processing times are slightly longer than other stores in our experience.

About the author

Oliver graduated from law school in 2008 and has practiced exclusively in the field of civil litigation for the last 10 years. He has a wealth of experience and expertise in litigation involving large financial losses and a special interest in consumer law. He has achieved numerous 7 figure settlements and has been involved in multi-billion dollar class-action consumer lawsuits against companies such as the Volkswagen Group. Away from the law, he is a consumer information and personal finance writer, having been featured in key publications such as Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, NewsBreak, MEL Magazine, and many more.

-Chief Editor and Founder

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