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Sometimes it can be hard to shell out big bucks for a beauty product you’ve never tried – what if it doesn’t work? What if you have a weird reaction to it? It’s too bad there isn’t a way that you could sample a tiny version of the latest cosmetics…but hang on, there are plenty of ways to get free samples of the hottest new cosmetics and hygiene products if you know where to look. You don’t have to be the beauty editor at a major publication to score samples, so here’s how to find freebies.
When placing an order on Sephora’s website, you can choose up to three free samples to be shipped with your purchase. This isn’t a cost-free endeavor – you do have to purchase something to have your samples sent to you – but if you are already buying your favorite makeup, getting a few samples is a bonus. To check out the free samples, find the “3 Free Samples” link in the top right corner of Sephora’s site, right next to “Shopping List.”
Much like Sephora, many makeup counters in your local department store still offer a free gift of samples with a purchase. Many of these offers tend to come out around Mother’s Day to entice you to spend just enough to get the free products while you’re buying your mom’s gift. If you are loyal to a brand like Clinique, you may want to stock up on your favorite products when they are giving away a free gift. If you’re not loyal to one brand, try talking to the sales associate behind the counter. Andrea Deckard, a shopping expert with Savings.com, recommends telling the sales associate that “you’re torn between products.” They may be able to provide you with free samples so you can test it out. Don’t try this too often, though; many former beauty counter workers say that they can tell who is there for the free samples and will avoid giving them any.
Major chains will often offer free samples online. Many people don’t know that Walmart has an entire page devoted to free samples that users can order and receive in the mail. Unfortunately, when supplies run out, the offer is gone. Users must check the site regularly because the samples change often and the supplies don’t last. Target groups many of their samples into a seasonal beauty bag. By liking Target Style on Facebook, you’ll be the first to know when you can sign up to get one of the limited amount of beauty bags, which is an actual zippered cosmetics bag filled with product samples and coupons, that are given away every few months. I’m talking hotel-sized shampoos, lotions, and facial cleansers. They take four to six weeks to arrive, but considering that is it completely free, it is worth the wait.
Once you start signing up for samples, you can aim big. Like, full-sized bottles big. Allure gives out full-sized products for the first few days of each month on their Free Stuff page. The offers only last until they run out, which About.com warns could be as quickly as within a few minutes. For the month of August, Allure is having a free stuff blowout. They will give out many items each day. Unfortunately for those with a 9 to 5 day job, most of these giveaways start during the typical workday and only run Monday to Friday. The first giveaway of the day is at 12 p.m. and others start hourly until about 5 o’clock; there might be one more giveaway at 7 p.m. If your work computer doesn’t block the site and your boss won’t notice, go for it. Otherwise, you may be out of luck for these coveted items.
Sometimes you can get samples straight from the manufacturer. Procter & Gamble has a website devoted to coupons and free samples, though you can only request one sample per quarter. There are also a limited amount of samples available at a time (there are currently two available) so check back and make sure that you sign up for something you actually want, because the wrong-shade foundation you request today could prevent you from receiving a hot Covergirl lipstick sample next month.
Staying on top of every beauty trend can be expensive, so go easy on your wallet with these free samples. Sure, it can be a hassle to squeeze your shampoo out of a little foil pouch, but remember, it’s free.