Back when I worked in retail during my uni years I had a coveted role as a makeup artist on a department store cosmetics counter. Retail, like hospitality, as anyone who’s worked either job will know, gives you a rather unique perspective on the human condition. (General rule of thumb, by the way – the more someone acts like they own the store, the more likely their card is to be declined due to insufficient funds.)
The most frustrating of all customers? The serial sample shopper. This customer never actually buys anything and instead subsists entirely upon freebies gained by feigning interest in products. Of course for those of us who are genuine beauty junkies, samples are the backbone of discovery, allowing us to try new things without fully committing. Sample shoppers give the rest of us a bad name.
The good news? With online shopping now firmly a way of life for many of us, you can sample shop guilt-free, anytime you like. Here are my favourite places to try new things…
Cult Beauty – a smattering of trial sizes so you can pick up a little of something interesting as well as free luxury samples with every order over £40.
Mecca Cosmetica – sign up to Mecca’s loyalty program, Beauty Loop and spend more than $300 AUD a year to get a palette of benefits like four boxes of samples a year (no purchase necessary!) and a free makeup session on your birthday.
Lucky Scent – specialising in rare and hard-to-find fragrances and perfumes, here you can pick up a sample of almost any scent in their library for as little as $3 USD.
B-Glowing – a store full of obsession-worthy products and the best in emerging beauty with your choice of three free samples packed for each and every order. Enough said, right?