Monday 18 April 2011

A Question of Samples

You may or may not be aware that many cosmetic counters carry drawers of samples to be handed out to customers (well I assume that is what they are for) but have you ever noticed how hard to is to get a sample of a product that you may be interested in ?

They appear to guard them as if they were the Crown Jewels unless they have been advertised as having samples to give and sometimes even then they are reluctant to hand them over. Rarely will you be asked if you would like a sample, if you ask if they have a sample, the usual response is no. Sometimes the counter staff will pop some random samples in after you have purchased something but as they have not been thought out, they may not be suitable for you which I think is a real shame.

If I am going to spend in excessive of approx £30 I like to try (wherever possible) before I buy, I don't think a tiny squeeze on the hand is enough to decide whether I am going to like/the product is going to be suitable for me.

Personally, I have quite often purchased the product having been given a sample - Quite a few of the big companies now provide 7 day samples of their foundations which I think is excellent and I have made full use of this service. I have bought Estee Lauder Double Wear, Lancome's Teint Miracle and am about to buy Clinique's Anti Rednesss Solutions Makeup after receiving generous samples.

Most of us are not after a freebie but genuinely want to try a product, and let's be honest the 5ml is not exactly going to last forever is it!

I find the best way to try make-up before buying is to have a makeover. Although some companies charge for them, very often the fee is redeemable against purchase. Some companies do however offer free makeovers. I have had quite a few makeovers over the years and have bought some if not all the products that were used to make me up. Makeovers are a great way of seeing what suits you and learning more about application and techniques.

What have been your experiences? Are some counters better than others? Do you like to try before you buy?


  1. Trying before you buy is defiantly something to do. I try to squeeze samples out people at counters. I have to try before I buy because of my skin, if I react to it I will have wasted my money! You wouldn't go into a shop and buy a dress without trying it on! Why should make up be any different? Rant over. Great post hun xxx

  2. I agree hon, sample giving in the UK is ridiculous. They hardly ever offer..
    Why, get a grip, you're not that precious, little Miss Make up counter guard!!!!
    Highly annoying!

  3. I think you're totally right!

    And about foundation sample, I, for my part fall in the colour that they usually give, but what about people with lighter or darker skin? They cannot have a good idea of the product if the colour match is way different!

    I haven't really used that service, but if you're a Debenhams Beauty Reward cardholder, I think you're entitled to free makeover anytime. At least that's what they claim. Maybe you should give it a try!

  4. I definately need to try before I buy esp with foundation. The lighting in stores are awful and it never looks the same in natural daylight and I always like to play around and mix my shades to get the right skin tone for me.

    It's ridiculous, I used to work near the beauty dept and they hoarde so many samples behind their counter, they tend to pick and choose who they want to give samples too, it's so bad!

  5. I completely agree that you have to try before you buy, especially with foundation. Often it looks fab for a little while but over the course of a few hours, or used with a different concealer or moisturiser it can react differently and I'd want to know about that before deciding to buy. I generally feel obligated to make a purchase before requesting a sample because they do make you feel that you have to have parted with some cash before they will share!

  6. I would never have thought to ask for samples, of course it totally makes sense to try before you buy. Thanks for the heads up on this.

  7. Girls on the counter at John Lewis were great when i asked for Melvita samples, they couldn't find enough to give me. although there were not Melvita employees. the stand is not actually manned.
    But it is annoying especially seeing as you are meant to look at the foundation in natural light.


Please leave your comments, I love reading them and will reply to all :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails