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Cheap Beauty Tip: Try Before You Buy

Updated: Feb 11, 2012 17:37
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How many times have you bought a skin care or makeup product only to find that you’ve used it once or twice? Now, it’s just been sitting in your drawer months, maybe even years later after you’ve originally purchased it. What a waste of money! If only you could have tried the product for free first.

Companies are starting to realize how important it is for their clients to be able to try beauty, makeup and skin care products before buying them; samples are an awesome way to try out a product. With samples, there are no strings attached, no complicated return policies to deal with and they’re FREE!

Looking to score a FREE sample of the latest makeup or skin care product? Sample Saturdays at Nordstroms features a sample-of-the-day, FREE to clients who come up to any makeup or skin care product counter and ask. The FREE sample offered each Saturday is usually a brand new or best selling item. There is only one sample featured every Saturday. Samples are one per client, per Saturday, hence the name Sample Saturdays.

Are you completely overwhelmed whenever you walk into a Sephora store? With all of the bright lights, loud music, swarms of people everywhere and pretty products all over the place, how does one even begin to navigate their way around the store to find what they need?  Luckily, Sephora understands the whole “Try Before You Buy” concept. Next time you’re in the store, find a Cast Member (an employee) and ask them for guidance. Tell them the types of products you are in the market for. Cast Members are more than happy to make you a FREE, customizable sample or two of the products you want to try.

Aren’t near a Sephora store? No problem. If you shop online at, you always get to choose three, free samples with every order. Plus, you have the option of adding one FREE promotion code, good for a deluxe-sized sample of a product, to your order. Join their FREE Beauty Insider program and you’ll earn 1 point for every dollar you spend. You can redeem those points for other FREE deluxe-sized samples either online or in the store.

What if you’re a sample junkie who doesn’t want to deal with the mall? You can get your fix each month by joining an online sampling program subscription service. At, members pay $12 a month and receive six samples of their choice. If members opt for the annual rate of $132, they get their 12th kit FREE. To get set up, members log into the website and fill out their custom beauty profile. They can then select up to six samples each month, recommended to them based off of their questionnaire. Samples are delivered to the member’s house directly, and there’s no extra charge for shipping. If a member falls in love with the sample, they can purchase the full-sized version through directly. is another online sampling program subscription service that delivers a box of customizable samples each month.  For $10, members will receive four or five customizable, deluxe samples based off of the questionnaire they completed when they registered for the program. Full-sized products of the samples sent out to members are available for purchase through the site. Annual memberships are also available.

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Kathleen Neves - Beauty Babe on a Budget

Kathleen Neves - Beauty Babe on a Budget

Licensed esthetician by day and product junkie and writer by night. I love reading, writing and researching beauty and makeup topics such as education, new makeup/skin care product launches, product reviews, beauty advice, product ingredients, special/local beauty events, as well as documenting my own professional experience as an esthetician. Living in San Francisco is expensive so I am always on the hunt for cost effective beauty bargains.