What Products Have You Purchased From Samples You Loved?

January 3, 2010

I rarely need an incentive to purchase something pretty, but I am always thrilled to get extra samples whether it’s with a gift-with-purchase or a voluntary throw-in from a friendly sales associate. It allows me to try something out before purchasing to see if it works for me and also opens me up to a number of lines and products I never would have given a second thought.

My favorite discovery was for Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara. I have tried a few other GA mascaras in the past and was not at all impressed. After a few pricey splurges with mediocre results I thought I had sworn off buying any mascara launched by the brand. This was until I got a mini size from a GWP at Neimans and I was immediately smitten. I’ve also come to love Diorshow’s Mascara as well because of a mini size. I just got a YSL Faux Cils miniature and am excited to try that one out as well since it seems to have been very difficult to come by.

I made a list of my favorite items that I’ve purchased from an actual sample I received and was surprised to find how many there were (in alphabetical order, not necessarily included in the photo above):

  • Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara
  • Chanel Imaginaire Glossimer
  • Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser
  • Dior Diorshow Mascara
  • Kiehl’s Shower Gel (Grapefruit, Cucumber, Mango) & Body Scrubs
  • Laura Mercier Brown Copper Kohl Eye Pencil
  • Laura Mercier Pink Champagne Lipstick
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
  • Nars Mud Mask
  • Paul & Joe Refreshing Skin Toner

Sometimes I find a sample isn’t large enough to test the actual results. I am still on the hunt for a good eye cream – but at this point in my life, no sample will be large enough to see the “full effect.” I’m in my late 20’s and am lucky to not have any wrinkles yet, so I can’t really see what difference an eye cream makes since at this point it’s more of a preventative treatment than a corrective one. I have been told by just about every woman over 30 that they wish they had started using eye cream sooner – sales associates put on the heavy-duty sales tactics when trying to sell me scientific eye creams and being the skeptic I am, I’m convinced they are simply trying to get me hooked for life.

Given this perspective, I find it both understandable and somewhat justified that so many bloggers receive free “press samples” from a number of cosmetic companies. It opens up doors to new products and lines that don’t get much press and allows people to try new things and tell others about their thoughts and experiences.

I still find the whole concept of free press samples a bit touchy and controversial at times. I have my own personal concerns and thoughts about this issue, but I think it’s an ingenious way of advertising socially, and blogging or showing things on YouTube in any form is hard work and time consuming. I personally don’t always need a review of a product to find a post or article interesting, sometimes just the info is enough to make me happy to have something to look forward to.

To get back on subject of samples/freebies/GWPs:

Tell me what samples or product minis have you loved so much it made you go out and purchase the full size?

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