Companies usually offer free makeup samples for one of three reasons: entice excitement about a new product, draw you to the store or web site so you'll buy other products, or to obtain your contact information so they can send you advertisements. Savvy shoppers know how to find the freebies they want while avoiding an avalanche of junk mail.
Start at the Source
One good way to find makeup freebies is to visit your favorite companies' web sites every few weeks. Olay, Neutrogena, and others frequently offer free samples or discount coupons. Even the more expensive cosmetics, like MAC, L'Oreal, and Bobbi Brown, occasionally advertise samples online. In some cases, you can get a freebie if you make a purchase through the web site.
Sephora offers three free makeup, fragrance, or skincare samples with every online purchase. Many of these samples feature new and emerging lines as well as established brands. You can also visit Sephora retailers and request free samples of many in-store products.
Much like Sephora, Fresh is another retailer that offers three free cosmetic, fragrance, or skincare samples with every online order. Many of Fresh's products are quite pricey at retail value, making free samples a real treat.
Companies that sell makeup at department stores sometimes offer special sample kits when you make a purchase at the counter. Several times a year, Clinique Makeup offers bonus packages with generous samples of new products and old favorites. Check online to see if your favorite company gives similar freebies, and when.
Secrets to Samples
Even when the company isn't officially offering samples, smart shoppers know to ask if there's something they want to try. Some of the department store companies keep sample sizes on hand, but you have ask for them. Some companies provide tiny vials so that the makeup specialist can make you your own, personalized sample from the tester lipsticks, creams, or other products.
The secret to getting these unofficial samples is threefold. First, smile and be pleasant: remember, the person behind the counter is doing you a favor. Second, don't be a sample hog. Ask for only one or two things at a time. Lastly, if you're going to make a habit of asking, be sure to be a good customer, too. You're much more likely to get free makeup samples if you come back regularly to buy some of the products you've tried.
Freebies on the Internet
An Internet search for "free makeup samples" turns up dozens of sites that promise to connect you with free offers. Some of these are maintained as a hobby by women who just enjoy surfing the web for freebies. They keep track of which cosmetics companies are offering samples and provide links to the companies' web sites. Some even rate the quality of the offers.
Other freebie sites are for-profit companies that collect personal information. These sites often promise huge rewards, like high-value gift cards or lots of samples from different sources. Think twice before sending detailed information in exchange for free samples. If you wind up with a mailbox full of spam-or worse, become the victim of identity theft-those samples might not have been worth it. Avoid sites with URL's that read:
These titles are created specifically to lure undiscriminating seekers. Also, sites that seems generic and are low in genuine cosmetic critiques are frequently prone to spam.
Instead, focus more on established Internet blogs run by makeup experts who offer sincere giveaways. These cosmetic bloggers with high traffic sites will often receive products from large cosmetic brands who want to promote their latest items. Try blogs such as:
Many of these blogs will feature a promise not to share your email address or personal information with outside sources.
Other Sources of Free Makeup Samples
When you're at the drugstore or specialty store like Ulta, keep an eye out for free makeup samples attached to products you already buy. For example, even if you don't need a new bottle of moisturizer right this minute, you might want to pick one up if a sample of the company's new eye cream is included.
Peruse for advertisements on TV and in your favorite magazines. With a careful eye, you might discover something free from a new company or from a brand you've been wanting to try. You might even catch a free sample of a product you use every day, in a size that's handy for your travel makeup bag.