Thursday, 13 June 2013

Sampling: Skincare

I have quite a collection of mini skincare goodies in my stash, I usually dip into them when I'm feeling bored of my current routine or if my skin is starting to play up. After this weekend I've broke out on my cheeks and chin, unfortunately I blame the booze and lovely indian takeaway I had - in addition to the glasses of milk with chocolate digestives (I knew I would suffer after I had even one sip of that cows milk grrr) I just couldn't resist. The trusty Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm and Caudalie Beauty Elixir combination aren't quite working their magic at the moment so I've turned to my stash of samples in the hope of finding something new which will give my skin a kick up the arse. Above is just a selected few samples I have at the moment.

I find that good skincare can be so expensive that it's reasonable to want to try before you buy - the amount of money I've spent on products which do not work for my skin is ridiculous. I am never successful when asking for samples at beauty counters - I've never had a single brand ambassador give me samples unless I was buying something from their counter - ridiculous in my opinion. It's not like in the US where we can return products which don't work for us. So here are the alternative ways I get samples and save money in doing so.
1) Email skincare companies
For me this has been the best way to try out new products for my skin. Not all brands are generous enough to give out skincare advice or send out a bundle of samples in the post, but some are. The companies which have stood out to me as having excellent customer service are Aesop and Elemis. When I want to try a product I start off with emailing the company directly (contact details are found on their official website), I just say that I'm interested in trying their product(s) as I'm not sure if it/they would work for my skin. I ask if they wouldn't mind sending some sample and I also add that I don't mind paying. This is because I don't mind paying a small fee for a sample as it still saves money as opposed to buying the full sized product. When I emailed both Aesop and Elemis, I had a speedy reply from both asking me a few questions about my skin. Following this I then received a detailed email recommending the products which they think might suit my skin and stating that samples had been sent out in the post. Brilliant. Some (most) companies however do not offer this service and suggest asking for samples at beauty counters (hmmmmn).
2) Choosing samples with online orders
A great way to try new products from some of your favourite brands. Most brands offer to send out samples when you make an order from their official website, whereby they allow you to choose a few samples upon checkout. Ren are one of my favourite companies for this (I always choose mini masks as they are great for travelling), but I think the majority of companies will send/give samples when making a purchase.
3) Buying mini travel size products
Some brands offer the option to buy travel/mini sized products for a cheaper price which I think is really handy if you're unsure of purchasing the full size. Off the top of my head I've noticed Elemis, Aveda & Soap and Glory do this.
Other ways include;
4) Looking through magazines Often when brands are advertising a new product in a magazine they will sometimes include a small sachet sample inside.
5) 'Liking' beauty companies on Facebook Many companies will state on their Facebook wall when they are sending out samples. You just input your home address and email address and the product sample is sent out.
6) Beauty Boxes A great way to try new lotions and potions is to subscribe to a beauty box. I was subscribed to the FeelUnique beauty box which I thought was brilliant, but unfortunately they stopped selling them. I've never subscribed to any others so I couldn't give advice there but it's a good way to try out new things.
I find I do save money with my stash of samples, many a time I've tried a sample only to realise it's not good for my skin or that it's just not worth the money. If you have any more tips please leave me a comment. Do you have luck when asking for samples at beauty counters?
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