Counter Samples: When purchasing from a counter, I tend to ask the sale representative if there are any samples that he or she recommends. Most often, you will not even need to ask as associates will offer potential samples. When I purchased my much-beloved Chanel Candeur lipstick, the Chanel representative offered me the Chanel Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle sample creme. Be sure to also consider Gifts with Purchase promotions where brands offer free makeup products if you spend a certain amount (Clinique Bonus Time helps us keep track of the most popular gifts with purchase offers).
Sephora Free Samples and Value Sets: From free deluxe samples to free birthday gifts and affordable value sets, Sephora is one of the best places to find mini beauty products. Every year, my sister and I take advantage of the free birthday gift which includes two items from popular brands (past gifts included Fresh Sugar, Benefit, and Make Up For Ever). I also discovered some of my favorite beauty items in the checkout section at Sephora which features mini kits with their highest rated products (consider the $15.00 Benefit highlighting kit, the $20.00 Too Faced Beauty Blogger Darlings kit, and the $16.00 Stila Pretty Pick-Me Up blush and gloss kit). Around the holidays, Sephora also curates deluxe value sets with a multitude of beauty products (one of my best friends gifted me the Sephora Give Me More Lip Kit so I’m set for life with my mini lipstick collection).
Reward Points Systems: The majority of beauty stores have purchase reward systems that come with many perks. Sephora, Ulta, Beauty.com, and Drugstore.com are just a few examples where you can redeem points and select samples (as an example, Sephora currently offers a mini-mascara and Tory Burch perfume as rewards). Add in free shipping codes and additional purchases to receive more points, and the never-ending cycle of samples and beauty goodies starts again.
Beauty Box Subscriptions: This one is a no-brainer - for a set monthly price, you receive deluxe makeup samples and full-sized beauty products. If you review the products and earn points, you can further receive free samples from each respective subscription (popular services include Ipsy, Glossybox, and Birchbox although there are numerous options suited for your budget and makeup preferences). If you are unhappy with your samples, you can also trade and exchange for whatever products you’d like.
Influenster and Free Sample Services: As companies realize that consumers are more comfortable purchasing products only after trying them, free sample services have recently become increasingly popular. For example, I received several makeup and nail polish products to review from Influenster and PINCHme. And because there is no such thing as a “free lunch,” keep in mind you often have to complete a review or survey after sampling the items.
As if makeup couldn’t get more fun, tiny beauty items add just a pinch of cute - start researching, get to purchasing, and happy sampling!