When I was younger I was a sample addict. Any magazine, newspaper or shop offering a little packet or box of something for free and I was all over it! Then I started buying my own makeup, investing in statement products I knew would see me through, and samples just didn't seem as 'high-end' anymore. Snap back to now, and I'm head over heels for them again, especially as I've got a few little beauties just waiting to be opened that could mean the difference between a happy Adrienne with an empty purse, or a very dissatisfied beauty obsessive. Now I look to samples to show me exactly what I should and shouldn't be buying, and I highly recommend fellow beauty bloggers to dive right into this glorious well of inspiration.
Where a lot of people get very basic samples are their favourite monthly glossies; I've been able to pick up some fantastic mini sized cult products this way. Most recently Elle have been knocking it out of the park with some truly wonderful brands giving away some truly awesome samples. Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray is one that has gone into my full size rotation and I just picked up the latest copy to find out there is a Benefit lipgloss I've been eyeing for a good while. Magazines run for a few pounds, so getting either full size or travel samples really works out to be a cost effective way to stock up on your beauty essentials.
There are a few obvious sample websites you can sign up to, which are easy enough to find with a quick Google search, but I'm talking dedicated beauty sites. This way you're not overloaded with junk emails about products that you don't want, but instead get wonderfully crafted beauty emails dedicated to the kind of products you usually buy on a day to day basis. SpaceNK offer 2-3 random samples with each order but do say you can call them to request a specific product sample. Very handy if you've been lusting after a foundation that you can't colour match or a hand cream you're not sure will be worth the price tag. Cult Beauty send you 3 free samples on orders over £40, which can be easily achievable especially if you're gift shopping. There's a fantastic feature on the site to be able to choose your product samples before check out, so it's definitely worth looking into when you need a new lipstick before hitting the high street.
Speaking of the high street, popping into somewhere like Boots or Superdrug as well as the higher end department stores like Debenhams and House of Fraser can sometimes give you a small pot to consider at you leisure. It's usually easier getting hold of a few perfume files as they tend to have a few stored for each bottle behind the counter, but if you're looking for makeup or skincare you need to show genuine interest in the product. It's no good demanding samples as soon as you come up to the counter, you'll want to let the assistant know what you're looking into, why you're looking into it and why you could benefit from samples to take home with the potential to buying a full size. Origins and L'Occitane are brands I love for giving out samples with purchases at the till. I've got some lovely little products that I may not have thought to try before that have made their way into my bag from the lovely assistants.
Ever gone to the brand themselves? Some big names in the beauty industry like to give out samples with purchases, much like Origins. Investing in REN? They'll be sure to send you a little something extra! Dizzy over Diptyque? Don't worry, they'll be sending you a few wonderful samples to make that candle purchase all the sweeter. This is what I love most, it's nice to receive a little surprise in the post with that you bought. The hardest thing is opening them and using them when they're so pretty in their own right!
So, are you a sample fiend like me? What has been your favourite of the bunch?
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