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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Samples: To Pay, or Not to Pay...Thank is the Questio

Lately, I have been purchasing my fair share of cosmetics and helping the economy, like every good citizen should.   During the process of giving my debit card a hefty workout, I came upon a phenomenon, sampling.  It is no secret that companies of all types have been sampling for years, as there are hundreds of websites solely dedicated to it.  In case you’re interested, I have found that there are three kinds of sampling, just take a look.  n

My January Birchbox
Right now there is a new generation of sampling, I like to call it "subscription sampling."  Subscription sampling is when you pay a nominal fee for a company to choose an array of samples to send you. I myself belong to a few "subscription sampling" websites.  Birchbox and Julep are the two that I am currently subscribed to.  For $10.00 a month, Birchbox will send you a box of deluxe samples with products like NARS, Stila and BVLGARI, to name a few.  There is no way for you to know what will be in your package, which can be part of the appeal, and honestly, part of the drawback.  I, however, happen to love surprises.  When my Birchbox is waiting for me when I get home, I can't wait to rip into it.  This month I received Jouer Lip Gloss in Birchbox pink, VMV Hypoallergenics Re-Everything: Eye Serum 12ML, Zoya P Nail Polish in Kristen, Juicy Couture's signature fragrance, and Larabar "Mini Bar."  I will definitely utilize all of the products I received this month, not to say that my February box couldn’t be a bust.  I think, for the $10.00 and the promise of a monthly surprise gift, the service is absolutely worth every penny.   I also subscribe to Julep, which is a company that focuses on all things nail.  For $20 monthly, you receive an array of hand, foot and nail products like "Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener" and Nail polish, all of which are targeted at grooming and beautifying your little digits.  When I received my first box I had 3 full sized products including the Glycolic Hand scrub and two polishes in colors Demi and Jennifer, which total in cost over twice what they charge for the subscription alone.  I love all things manicure and for me, this is another subscription worth it's weight in sparkles.   If you aren't necessarily always sure what to try and you would like for the decision to be made for you, taking this route of sampling may be just for you.
Another way to sample is the "sample kit" or "store favorites kit."  Sephora is big on samples kits at a low cost.  If you are not quite sure what product is right for you, this could be the way to go.  Sometimes walking into the shiny gates of Sephora, I begin to get frisky for a new product but I don't necessarily want to commit to just one.   Like a good majority of us, I can eviscerate my entire bank account on one visit to cosmetics heaven.   Sample kits like "Sephora Favorites Lashtash" sell for $45.  This has a sampling of 10 high end mascaras and mascara remover which, lets face it, can't be beat.  With brands like Urban Decay, Too Faced, Josie Maran and tarte, this kit fills me with butterflies of anticipation.  By taking this path, you can get 10 very different products, find the one you like and not pay top dollar for each one individually.  If you bought each full size mascara in the kit, you'd have to spend hundreds of dollars.  The average person doesn't buy 10 of any single product at a clip, barring eye shadow of course. Next time you are in your favorite cosmetics store take a look for deals like these as they are absolutely worth your time and money.

Samples from Sephora
The last form of makeup sampling is freebies.  Just the phrase rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?  Whoever said nothing in life is free hasn't been to the right cosmetics counter. When I get the itch to shop for beauty products, in conjunction with the money and time to burn, there is nearly nothing that can stop me.  That being said, there is the occasional issue of fund constraints when it comes to my love affair with high-end cosmetics. Unfortunately, that can occasionally pose a problem.  However, like my mom always told me, "when there is a will, there is a way." It wasn't until recently that I was told to simply ASK for a sample.  ASK? Can it be that easy? Can this be true?  No pleading, begging, crying or bartering?  So, I did, I asked.  I walked right up to the make-up artist at the Laura Mercier display and asked for a sample of her illumination powder.  The tall blonde woman looked at me and asked only one question, "Which of them would you like to try today?"  I was astounded, did this really happen?  She scooped the glimmering powder into a little container, slipped it into a small baggy, labeled and handed it over. "Would you like to sample anything else today," she asked me, words I will never forget as long as I shall live.  Since that day I haven't ended my addiction to "trying out" the good stuff. What better way to save yourself a load of buyer’s remorse after a spending spree, right? 

Lets face it, make up can get a bit pricey depending on what you've got your eye on, but attainting it is far from impossible.  If you take a few of my tips, you may find yourself closer to your dream products than you realize possible.

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