A guide to scoring the best samples!

  • Sign up for email notifications. Stores like Sephora will send out email updates when new and exciting samples become available.
  • Join loyalty programs. Many are free and offer perks like birthday gifts, upgraded samples and gifts with purchase.
  • Shop online! Many stores offer exclusive free samples & incentives with online purchases that are not available in-store.
  • Ask an associate for a free sample. If you are eyeing a product, chances are the brand has provided the store with single-use samples to give out to customers. If that is not the case, the associate will make a sample for you from the product demo.
  • Buy gift sets! Gift sets are a great value and give you the opportunity to try multiple products for the price of one.
  • Shop at the end of the season. All stores hold end-of-season clearance sales, even beauty stores. Sephora has an amazing mascara gift set (with about 12 mascaras for $50) that I buy every year after Christmas - and it lasts me all year. Holt Renfrew has a different makeup bag each season (last summer it was a beach bag!) filled with deluxe samples for $45 - and at the end of the season it goes on clearance for $25!