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Chanel Rouge Coco Mini from Saks

April 4, 2010
One benefit of being on a mailing list is that you get notifications of new products and sometimes cute promotions. The most recent one I received was for a sample of the Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle (good when you present the mailer at the counter). Also at the counter were cute little pink and white flowered perfume spray cards to sample their new Chance perfume. I really wanted to get it because who can resist a pretty pink bottle of perfume? But alas, the scent was just not for me. The card however was irresistibly cute and I happily smelled it all the way home trying to convince myself that I could possibly wear that scent.

Dear Chanel, If you read this, this is the cutest sample + packaging I have seen in a long time! Please do one for the new Hydramax Lip Care Treatment. I would definitely consider splurging on an expensive lip balm if I had the chance to try it beforehand. (I saw the tester at the counter, but who trusts lip testers of potted lip products where anyone can stick their finger in if not watched 24/7?)

I doubt Chanel would take the time to read this blog, but who knows. These days I find that it’s hard to come by good samples. Even store events typically have crummy samples of products I would never use. This may be rude of me to say, but getting bad samples for spending $100 is almost worse than no sample at all. For me, a mini or sample size product should be given of something a store or brand wants to sell + also be relevant to customer interests. It should let the customer try a certain color or product so they can get a feel for how it can work for him or her.

While it is hard for me to find good samples, there are a number of skincare items I’ve fallen in love with from samples. NARS, Shiseido, Clinique, Paul & Joe are a few brands that have good samples to name a few. Things like skincare require a few trial uses before I can truly make a decision on whether or not that product will work for my skintype. If it weren’t for the fabulous GWP Paul & Joe skincare samples I received from BG, I probably would have never tried their skincare line and would have totally missed out.

Also, since customers have so many options of where to buy, I think customers should be given more incentives in the form of loyalty programs as a token of appreciation for giving a certain brand or store their business.

I have been guilty of getting sucked into numerous beauty events with the gift being a cheapo tote + 6 stingy samples that I don’t know I’d ever use. Many times, I already know there is something I want to buy – my mind has already been made up that I do intend to purchase something (ie the Chanel Rouge Cocos). The decision for me is where to buy it? Stores or brands that typically have better customer service, friendly more sincere sales reps, and better incentive programs usually get my loyalty.

I’ve been trying to convert my mother to Chanel for sometime now. I already have the Mademoiselle Rouge Coco, so this will be passed along to her. Hopefully she will be as excited about the cute little bag and packaging as I am and will maybe branch out of her usual go-to’s. (She’s an loyal EL + Lancome fan, which are great each in their own way, I just want her to try new stuff!)

Hope everyone has a Happy Easter!


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?