Sunday, 22 September 2013

Samples - Who doesn't love a freebie? (Benefit, E45, Clarins, Belle Pierre, Estee Lauder, Olay, Alpha H)

I don't know about you, but I LOVE samples. As you can see from the photo, I have collected quite a few. These are just from the last 6-8 weeks.
I find that this is one this that Beauty Bloggers would love to have more of, to be able to try products before investing in them and spending hard earned cash on them, when you don't know whether 1 - they will agree with your skin and 2 - whether you will actually like and feel benefit from them.

There are various ways to get samples of products. The four easiest and most common ways;
  1. When Shopping
  2. When making purchases online
  3. Registering interest in products and requesting samples or nominating yourself to 'test' something
  4. Collaboration/Affiliation with a brand, who will provide products (and a fee, in some cases) in exchange for a review of the product


So, the last few times that I have been shopping, I have made a concerted effort to search out product samples for products that have caught my attention and that I have wanted to try. For example, recently, I have been on the look out for a new foundation and, if you follow me on Twitter, you will have heard me asking about a cleanser.
Clarins were very helpful in this respect. I went into Debenhams and I had a skin analysis with one of their advisors. She discussed products and gave me some samples. I got a cleansing milk, toner, refiner and moisturiser to try. They are very accommodating and happy to discuss each product in depth. Apparently Clinique are happy to do the same and this really does allow you a week or so to try a product, before committing to overhauling your skincare routine. The rest of the Clarins samples were picked up on another shopping trip prior to my skin analysis, but were randomly similar, without realising. I hadn't even had chance to have a look at them at that point.
Another company more than happy to chat about their products and provide samples is Benefit. I have had some lovely little testers from them to trial and I have loved their light face moisturiser (to the right of the photo). This is a lovely light refreshing day moisturiser, perfect for summer.


Free samples on websites

I have come across a handful of the samples above in this way. Recently, following a purchase from Look fantastic, I have acquired some free samples with my purchase. This is how I have come across the 'Alpha H - Liquid Gold' sample. (It's lovely by the way - about a weeks usage, using every other day and it makes your skin feel lovely and refreshed and super soft).
This is also how I have come across the BellaPierre eyeshadow pigment. This is a full size product - retailing at around £12. It's a beautiful purple colour and I love it. It's gorgeous. Definitely nice ways to get samples, in addition to your purchases and to allow you to test other products, which are often more high end.
You can also purchase high end samples from Latest in Beauty, for fractions of the price of full size samples, it's definitely worth a peek.  Clinique and other brands also offer samples with purchases occasionally, it's definitely worth looking out for.
Have you noticed any other websites that give free samples away?


Registering interest

I find that occasionally, there are free samples on websites, that simply require an email address or you to 'like' something on Facebook and the company or brand will send you a free sample of a product.
I have registered for a couple of these in the past and this is how I ended up randomly receiving my L'Oreal Skin Perfection full size samples to trial. I have also received the Olay sample, E45 samples and the Kerastase samples in this way. All will be tried over the coming weeks. It's hard to choose which product to try when I have so many at the moment.


Affiliation with a brand

This is more common for more well known or popular bloggers. I haven't done this yet, but I know that other beauty bloggers do have PR samples sent to them for them to review and to 'spread the word' about.  I think that this can be done either by the blogger contacting them or the brand contacting the blogger. Personally, I don't think that I would approach the company (not yet at least, I'm still technically a new blogger on the scene and I don't have a big enough audience just yet). Bloggers can also be paid for doing these kinds of blogs too - and so they should be. After all, our blogs are another form of advertising for them. I am sure that we have all bought products following reading a really good review and thinking 'I MUST HAVE THAT'. Much more effective than an advert in some cases.
I know that some companies also have affiliate schemes, this is also worth looking into, if you have good viewing figures and subscriptions to your blogs.
I do like this idea and (if any companies want to send any PR samples for review my way) I would do reviews, however, I do believe that it must be honest. If I don't like a product, I would be saying so. This may be a blog about products that I 'LOVE' but it doesn't mean that I can't give criticism where criticism is due.
Any of you experienced or done PR reviews and received samples?

Top Tip:


Be polite and friendly. Don't just ask for the samples - ask about the products and show interest.If you are genuinely in search of something, like my foundation, or moisturiser, they are more than happy to discuss and provide small samples for a few days usage.

The samples are ultimately there to assist you in making an informed decision about a product you have interest in - ask the sales assistant for information about the product and things that other customers have reported about the product. (For example, I have a lovely Smashbox Blemish Control Primer to try, the sales assistant gave me tips on usage, other customer comments and was more than happy to discuss the whole range of primers and their differences. Now I have information to make an informed decision once I have tested this).
Don't give out tonnes of information about yourself to random companies. Research legitimate companies.
Well, this is a little bit of a random post, but I hope you have enjoyed it.
What are the best samples you have got and where from?
Thanks for reading.
LL x



  1. Great post. I did something similar along these lines called try before you buy as it's always a good idea to talk to the beauty assistants and try products before you commit. No matter how many rave reviews a beauty product might get if it doesn't work for you you'll be disappointed as well as out of pocket.

    My mum makes me laugh in that she'll ask for samples particularly if she's buying full sizes.


    1. Definitely. There is nothing worse than buying full size and being disappointed with the product!!

      Always worth asking, as they are usually more than happy to provide samples! :)

      Thanks for reading. LL x


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LL x