I’m not one of those girls that can afford to spend a load of money on major beauty hauls. Besides, when I find a product I like, I stick to it. Why mess with a good thing? But free samples are another story. They’re a fun way to try out something new with low commitment, and I honestly have ended up buying full sized versions once the samples ran out. I’ve discovered some of my favorite products that way, including Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation (quite the name).
I get to try out free samples lots of ways, including Sephora’s Beauty Insider and Rewards program, but one of my favorites is Birchbox. Birchbox offers a subscription service where for $10 a month they’ll send you a few samples of beauty products to try out, including skincare and hair products, makeup, nail polish, and perfume. It’s a really great deal for $10 a month, and it’s so much fun to receive a treat in the mail!
What it is: Origin’s Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
How to use it: Once a week or as often as needed, open pores with warm, moist towel and layer mask on. Allow to dry, rinse well. Watch your skin shake off the shroud of dullness and take on a new clarity.
What I think of it: This mask is my go-to for keeping my oily skin in control. Every time I put it on, it literally feels like it’s pulling all the toxins out. It’s not the strongest acne fighting mask, but it’s gentle and instantly refreshes skin.
What it is: Dr. Lipp’s Original Nipple Balm for Lips
How to use it: Can be applied to any dry or itchy skin patches including lips, nipples, cuticles, knees or elbows, sunburns, diaper rash, burns, and more. It can also be used on split ends and smoothing fine lines under the eyes.
What I think of it: I was a little baffled by the name, but this stuff is amazing! It’s more intense than your standard lip balm, almost a thick gel. I’ve only used it on my lips so far, but it’s so intensely nourishing that I could imagine it being a godsend to someone who struggles with chapped lips.
What it is: Glycolic Gommage Extreme Renewal
How to use it: Cleanse and dry skin. Apply a thick, even layer of product to the face and neck, avoiding the immediate eye area. Allow approximately 10 minutes to dry. Reactivate and exfoliate by massaging with warm water and wet fingertips, gradually adding more and more water until the product is partially removed from skin. Splash off or wipe clean any residual product from the skin
What I think of it: After just one use, my skin was instantly more smooth and soft. The next morning my skin looked noticeably refreshed. One of the best parts is the mask is easy to remove and requires no scrubbing, unlike many others.
What it is: Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls
How to use it: Evenly distribute a capful or more to damp, freshly washed, conditioned, and detangled hair. To dry, either air dry or use a diffuser attachment on a blow dryer.
What I think of it: I’ve used products like this for years because I have hair that naturally curls slightly and curls even better with some help. This didn’t create the tightest ringlets, but it isn’t supposed to, and there is no question that the curls are incredibly soft, even softer than my natural hair with no product. Plus, at $22 for 8.5 ounces, the price can’t be beat in comparison to similar creams.
What it is: Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
How to use it: You know, silly!
What I think of it: I’m not big into bright lipsticks, but I love this one! First off, it stays on incredibly well, almost like a stain, but it doesn’t dry out your lips like a stain does. It felt natural, didn’t bleed, and I’m confident I could kiss my boyfriend with no issues (a must). The big reason I’m tentative about lipsticks is the smearing factor, but also because my pale skin typically clashes with extreme colors. The blue base in the red, however, complimented my skin tone nicely, and I bet it would be a fun color for a night out or a retro costume party.
What it is: Ruffian’s Nail Lacquer in Fox Hunt
How to use it: Begin with a base coat to set a strong foundation for long-lasting wear. Apply 1-2 coats of nail polish in smooth, even brushstrokes. Finish with a glossy top coat.
What I think of it: This nail polish went on so easily and with such precision, I actually went online to order more colors and was disappointed to learn that they only have a few. I’m even going to go so far as to say this is my favorite nail polish to work with ever. Although I’m usually hesitant about warm colored nail polish colors (I usually learn towards purples), I decided the orange-ish red was a fun and unexpected pop in my outfits, especially on my toe nails.
Also, this is my kitty cat, Panda! She is not a beauty product, and she is certainly not sample size, but she came to hang out with me on my back porch while I was taking photos. Despite the look of “I have seen things that cannot be unseen” in her eyes, she leads a happy life of lounging and looking at birds thorough the window.
In things other than cats, have you ever tried a sample that you loved?