As much as I love trying new things, especially new beauty products, I can’t bear parting with money for something I’m not sure I’ll love. Hence pretty much everything in my collection came either with very strong recommendations from people I trust, or I first tried as a free sample.
Samples are a great way to dip your toe in the water of something new, and they’re really easy to get hold of. Magazines are usually my starting point – particularly over the summer there’s usually a free product on the front, and inside you’ll find several sachets of other things. Through magazine sachets I’ve tried two new shampoos just this month, and a conditioner, as well as Smashbox primer, Garnier BB cream, and Dior foundation.
The Dior foundation is a perfect example of my next pointer for samples – just ask for them! I loved the formulation of Dior Nudeskin foundation, but the sample shade was Beige, and I’m a few shades paler. So I popped into Boots when it was quiet, and got matched to the right shade. I then walked away with a little bottle of the right shade to test out at home. There’s probably five or six face-worths in there! Nearly a week of trialling a foundation before I have to contemplate handing over any cash. Sneak preview: Dior Nudeskin is amazing. So silky!
Finding the perfect match for you within a product range is another great reason to pick up samples. Garnier was offering samples of its Moisture Match range through their website, and were sending out sachets of three different products within the range. A coincidental change of address (being a student near the end of term has it’s benefits!) and I was holding six samples. There’s about two face-worths per sachet, so that’s nearly two weeks of moisturisor whilst I figure out which one I love most. A lot of trial and error for a £6 drugstore moisturisor, I know, but when the Protect & Glow sample made my eyelids swell up it was worth knowing that I’d react to it before having bought a whole tube.
Whilst one or two days of a product might not be enough to know for sure if something’s for you, it certainly gives you a good idea. I wore the Smashbox primer to an important meeting, with my makeup otherwise as it always is, and got told that I looked great! That’s enough recommendation for me to start saving up for the full size primer!
And the best use for samples? Utterly minimalist packing for weekends away. Not even a travel mini is as small as a sachet, and you can just bin the packaging before you come home. I’m away in London this weekend with only a large handbag for luggage and have got LOreal EverRiche shampoo and Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter to try out!
Have you ever bought anything because of coming across a free sample? Do you think it’s worth hunting them out before buying a full size product?