Free samples? Yes please!

Posted on May 18, 2010

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Free beauty samples, anyone?

I’m a little bit addicted to free samples. Whether it’s for free teabags or free garlic, if it’s free I just sort of want it. Whether I need it or not.

Which is why, when I came across latestinbeauty.com, I got a teeny bit excited. Samples of expensive moisturisers I’ll never be able to afford to buy? Miniatures of perfumes I’ll wear once and never wear again? Yes please!

Of course, that’s not really the aim of it. The idea is that you try these products, for free(ish – I’ll explain later) and love them so much just from one use that you go out and buy the real thing. I rarely do, but shh…don’t tell anyone.

Anyway – how does it work? This isn’t your usual “free stuff” site where you click on various listings that take you to various websites where you find that the offer for a free sample of fabric softener has expired. This is a website that actually has the samples sitting in their very own office.

So you register on the site and give a bit of information about yourself – skin type, hair type, etc. – and then you can see what they have on offer. They have three categories: Skincare, Make-up & Fragrances and Hair & Body. You can select one free sample from each section, which they then send for you to try out.

There are a couple of catches, however. You have to pay £1 towards delivery costs, which is payable via text message. Though I wasn’t all that happy about having to pay this, it is quite low and the fact that I didn’t have to register any card details helped (if I had to do that, I probably wouldn’t have used the site at all).

You can only get three samples per month, which is one from each section – probably to prevent people who just love random samples taking advantage. Finally, you can only select from products that have been deemed appropriate for you based on your description of yourself on registration. Though this is annoying on one level, you can understand it from the brands’ point of view – there’s no point sending free anti-wrinkle samples to an 18-year-old. You can then review the products for the benefit of other users.

The site doesn’t have many samples available just yet, but hopefully that will grow over time. I received samples of the following:

  • Mary Kay TimeWise Miracle Set, two sachets of cleanser (3g) and moisturiser (1g)
  • Christina Aguilera Eau De Parfum, 1.2ml glass vial
  • DKNY Delicious Night Fragrances Set, 1x bubble vial EDP + 1x 7ml sachet of body lotion advertised but I actually received three vials and two sachets.

I’m watching this space with this site – whether I use it again will probably depend on whether their range of items expands, as I’m not going to want the same things again.

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