Saving Money by using samples.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I was at Sephora on Friday with K, mindlessly wandering around, smelling thing and covering my hands with all sorts of eye-shadow colors when we came across a little tiny jar of cuticle oil.

K uses cuticle oil all the time, and I thought, hey, why not try it out? So I grab the bottle labelled "tester" and slap some oil on all my cuticles, rub in it, and continue to wander through the store. Well, the oil worked! I have very soft cuticles. Immediately, the voice of my previous self rang loud: Well, what are you waiting for? Go buy it!

My new-self voice kicked in automatically and it got me thinking: If I bought this little jar of oil (a $25 value, by the way), how often would I actually use it? And how long would it take me to use up the whole bottle? I'm guessing, since my cuticles are still soft and supple after two days of intense fast-food job (including washing dishes in sandpaper-like industrial-strength dishwashing solution), I would probably only use it once or twice a week - tops.

My thinking is, since this Sephora is located in the same mall where I work, why couldn't I just stop in every week or so on the way to work and oil the cuticles up real nice with their sample?

Now, of course, this won't work with everything, but, here's a list of products that I could see using the testers instead of purchasing it myself:

  • Perfume
  • Eyeshadow
  • Lotions
  • Some lip-glosses

Now, of course, you'd have to be careful to ensure that you are using clean applicators and/or a reputable store to ensure that you don't contact any strange germs. I would stay away from things like mascara or eyeliner - anything that comes in contact with a mucus membrane (ie. noses, eyes, etc).

I always tried to get haircuts on the same day that I had an evening planned, since my hairstylist always styles my hair as well as cutting it, and he's got waaay more skill than I do when it comes to my hair.

But, for those looking for makeup - most makeup counters (I usually frequent MAC) will do both eyes for free, usually when there is a promise of buying a product. Although, on many occasions, I have gone in with some questions regarding colors or matching an outfit and have left the counter, not only with no money spent, but with two completely done up eyes!

Do you use any in-store shortcuts for aquiring samples and/or using products for little or no cost?


Miss Noodle said...

Get on the mailing list for Origins, the upscale cosmetics place. They have totally heavenly natural products, and sometimes give out samples for free if you bring in an e-mail coupon and answer a dumb questionnaire in store.

L said...

That's a great tip - however, when it comes to Origins, my sister worked there for a year, you wouldn't believe how full our house is of those products! They give so many freebies out to their staff, I'm sure my sister has at least a 2 year supply of some of her favs. I will do some searching around other cosmetics counters and see if they give out some freebies.... :)