Back when MakeupAlley still allowed makeup swapping, I gathered tons of samples from generous women that included freebie makeup with their swap items. As a person who has only ‘hit pan’ on maybe 3 makeup products in her entire life, makeup samples go a long way and I love them. Free samples reduced my makeup and skincare budget. Especially my makeup Ipsy subscription.
I rarely purchase full sizes because of the price, plus I never stick with a product long enough to finish them off before expiration. This is why scoring free makeup samples would be a great approach to try new products while saving money on makeup.
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Tips For Getting Makeup Freebies:
1. Request samples from any brand
It might not be obvious, but makeup stores offer free samples if you make a request and if there are stocks available. Brands like L’Oreal and Whole Blends offer free samples of their products at no cost to your side. In the golden age of Instagram and social media, anyone can be an influencer.
Companies can give out products to you for free in exchange for extra exposure. You can also request online or tweet/Instagram message companies that you want to work with. The shipping fee is usually shouldered by the company.
2. Join test review groups
Feedback is very important for companies, some would even give their products for free just to receive feedback. Joining a test review group is a great way to receive free samples. Most of the time, companies give mini samples to their reviewers, but there are companies who give full-size products.
3. Take advantage of online store promotions
Cosmetic stores, especially those who have online stores, usually offer online promotions. The most typical scheme is to give free samples after an online purchase was dome. Most of the cosmetic stores such as Sephora and Ulta use this technique to attract more customers.
Note: Black Friday & Cyber Mondays are great times to score a sale on particular brands. Big timer beauty resellers like Sephora and Ulta have their own Annual Friends & Family sale at various times of the year too.
4. Use social media
Another part of social media marketing is the creation of Social Media accounts. If there are giveaways or promos, companies tend to use their social media accounts. Follow the social media accounts of cosmetic stores to score deals and free samples if available.
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5. Try Thrift Stores
Thrift Stores offer secondhand goods in order to raise funds for charity. Sometimes, you can find cosmetic products displayed in thrift stores with a very low price that it’s almost free. Before buying anything from a thrift shop, it’s important to inspect the items thoroughly. You can clean pressed powder makeup with cheap alcohol spray.
6. Read a Makeup Freebie Guide
If you wanted to do even more research, dig into this kindle guidebook on how to get into the makeup freebies world. It offers a clearer step by step guide that goes beyond this post if you find some parts of freebie hunting confusing.
7. Get Another Email Address
Most all entry and freebie websites ask for your email address. Unless you want to be spammed with newsletters and announcements FOREVER, make a new email address to use specifically for this type of stuff. Just don’t forget to check it every once in a while ?
8. Be aware of scams.
There are a zillion websites out there that promise freebies of all kinds. If a website asks for your credit card or social security information for a free deal, exit out of that tab immediately, silly goose.
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7 Sites That Give Free Beauty Samples
1. Freaky Freddies
Not the most modern-looking site in the list, but nonetheless, Freak Freddie’s is a freebie site operating since 1997. The site has a lot of categories such as kids stuff, electronics, baby stuff, CDs, and DVDs. Their Beauty section offers free makeup samples from familiar and not-so-familiar brands. Their beauty and hair freebies are limited so you might want to be fast for new freebies.
2. Free Mania
This is another free site that offers a wide variety of freebies. If you’re lucky (and early), you can get freebies from brands such as Kiehl’s, Garnier, and Maybelline. Other body care brands such as Axe and Aveda are often spotted in the site. If you’re lucky, the site also offers free services such as a 7-day yoga trial, which is great if you want to try new things. For more free stuff, check their free coupons and baby products.
Influenster is a review site where brands send their products to be tested by reviewers online. You will get free stuff through their VoxBoxes, however, you need to make a comprehensive review about the product. Majority of the products listed on the site are hair and makeup products. You’ll occasionally find products for pets and even pool bags.
4. She Speaks
She speaks is more of a blog site than a freebie-dedicated site. However, readers can share reviews and opinions on different products. What makes this a good site for freebies is the opportunity to do product reviews in which products will be given to you for free to check. The site also offers occasional giveaways, like this Huggies giveaway which is valid until August 30.
5. Smiley 360
Smiley 360 is also a review site and usually send free stuff for its users to test and make a review, possibly, via their blogs. What makes this site difference is the fact that you need to build your profile and earn points first before the site can assign product reviews or “missions”. Completing your profile and answering surveys are the ways to earn points.
Tomoson offers free products in exchange for reviews. Reviewers can scroll in the page and find the product you want to review. After choosing the product, reviewers must apply for it and get approved to receive the sample Some of the products require reviewers to have their own blogs, but some only require social media mention.
7. Honest Co. Subscription Box
This subscription box offers bundles based on category. The main product categories are diapers, formula bundles, essentials, and health and wellness. Honest Company gives a free trial for those who want to try their subscription service. As of now, you can get free diapers and baby wipes. Makeup bundles can sometimes appear in their trial bundle.
16 Free Samples By Popular Makeup Brands (2019)
Aveda is one of the most popular brands that generously give a decent selection of freebies for their fans. From scalp revitalizers and cleansers to conditioners and moisturizing creme, body washes, and even brochures for men’s birthday self-care. Aveda doesn’t disappoint its fans online and offline. You can get the freebie information on their site and request the free samples in their physical stores. As a gift, there is a free personalized 20-minute facial in addition to free skin and hair services in select Aveda stores, along with other deals.
2. ELF Cosmetics
ELF Cosmetics offers free samples when you buy certain items in their store. One of their recent promotions is a free Date Night Set and free shipping once you buy $25 worth of products. Alternatively, you can choose among other freebies if you don’t want the Date Night Set.
Freebies range from skin care products such as cleansers, and from makeup products like lip gloss. The company offers a 15% student discount combinable to other promotions. It’s normal for ELF to give out 50% off coupons (say Black Friday or their Birthday sale), they’re crazy good deals and for the quality compare to the price, ELF is a total bang for your buck.
Clinique gives freebies if the customer’s online purchase met the promotional requirement. As of now, Clinique offers free Moisture Surge and a mini Foundation Buff Brush when you buy $45 worth of products by using the code “2PERFECT”. You’ll also get a 15% discount on your first order.
Lancome is another skincare and makeup brand that offers free samples from both online and offline stores. The store gives generous freebies to its loyal customers when they offer special promotions. From August 1 to August 5, they will give you free four deluxe samples if you purchase $49 worth of products and above including free shipping. If you’re a member, you will always receive free stuff when you order in their store.
Fine print limits to 4 deluxe free samples for non-member customers and members on the site always have free samples of their choice in any order.
5. REN Clean Skincare
REN Clean Skincare is known for its products focused on skincare such as sunscreens, cleaning products, and products for different kind of skins. If you join the brand’s newsletter, you’ll get a 20% discount for your first order. The store is currently offering a free sample of Radiance and Evercalm skin-soothing products are offered for free with $65 orders. Enjoy free two samples for every purchase that you made through their site.
Sephora offers 2 free samples for every purchase made on their site. The customer can choose the 2 free samples they like, which makes a sweeter deal. However, getting two similar samples are not allowed. Sephora offers clay masks, concealers, lipsticks, and other products for you to choose from. For additional freebies, make sure to visit the nearest Sephora store near you during your birthday month. They are giving a free birthday gift and no purchase is even required.
Smashbox offers a wide variety of makeup products for sale. Their bestsellers are usually skincare products which offer skin moisturizers and oil control. The store also got a wide variety of freebies for their loyal customers. As of the writing, they offer two free packette samples with each order in the site. Shipping is free for all orders from the US. A 20% discount is available for each spending of $50.
Just like the other brands, Ulta offers freebies when a purchase is qualified for the freebie policy. However, instead of other brand tactics, they have the “Gift with Purchase” programs where you can get a certain freebie when you purchase a specific item. Freebies range from pouches and bags to free deluxe spray products and makeup minis. The brand offers free standard shipping for items over $50.
9. Walgreens Well Brand
Walgreens offers weekly deals like buy 1 get 1 promo on the top of a hefty discount. Dove, Maybelline, L’Oreal, and Revlon are some of the brands featured on the site. You can also join the Balance Reward program where you can earn points by purchasing products. Every 1,000 points can be exchanged to $1 which can be used in online and offline purchases. Right now, Walgreens is offering Beauty Enthusiast Sample Bag for only $0.01.
Nordstrom offers a variety of products for women, men, and kids. Designer items are also available in their online store. If you visit any branch and ask for samples, you might be given items for free when there are stocks available. As a part of their anniversary sale, customers can choose between five women’s or men’s sample pack after buying any makeup, skincare, grooming, or fragrance products online. If you’re up to spending $100 on makeups, Nordstrom will give you great gifts worth $87 in value.
The Sample Spot at Target stores offers a lot of free products and deals. Makeup products are also available, but not all the time. Still, Sample Spots are great places to see if you want to save money on your next Target visit.
12. Rite Aid & CVS
CVS is a pharmacy store, but they occasionally offer beauty products and freebies. Deals offered varies, but you can get cosmetics, fragrances, hair, and skin care-related products. However, you need to get an ExtraCare Rewards program membership to be eligible.
13. MAC Cosmetics
MAC Cosmetics is currently one of the top three global makeup brands in the world. One of its best strategies in gaining and retaining customers is giving free samples if you opt for their Afterpay program. The store currently promotes hydrating products such as Natural Radiance Yellow and Natural Radiance pink. All the orders in the site have free shipping, which can be upgraded to a 2-day shipping service for only $10. As of this writing, MAC Cosmetics offer 40% off on lip and eye products.
14. Urban Decay
Urban Decay focuses on giving its customers the best eye and lip products in their inventory. The store proud itself as one of the providers of cruelty-free makeup products. To bolster their promotions, Urban Decay offers two free samples with every purchase made online. If you plan to buy on the site, take advantage of the discount which can save you up to 50% off of the original price.
All makeup sample lovers already know of Ipsy! Ipsy doesn’t offer free samples. However, they sometimes do sales up to 80% off on selected items that are rare. Ipsy is for shoppers who want to try new products each month. The site offers a subscription service where customers receive 5+ premium product samples monthly for only $12. Shipping is always free.
Its school season once again, which means back-to-school sales are here. Macy’s offers 20% off on their back to school sales. If you’re planning to do a back-to-school makeup shopping, this store is one of your best bet. They currently offer three free samples when you purchase $75 worth of products. Samples include Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Serum and the Elizabeth Arden Deluxe Prevage Eye Serum. If you happen to be near Macy’s department store, try your luck and request for a free beauty sample.
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SC | MissFunctional Money says
Lily! Great roundup. I live for the Lancome deals and always strategize buying what I need when they’re doing extra gifts. 🙂
Thanks for this post! I’m just slowly getting into makeup. Another cool option is Allure’s monthly beauty box. I think it’s $10 (before taxes) the first month and $15 each month thereafter. I think some people find out what the products are beforehand (from beauty bloggers) and cancel the subscription if they don’t like what is in the next month’s box. I had it for October and November. There are some good items but for me a monthly subscription is too much so I cancelled it.
Lily | The Frugal Gene says
OOooooh I didn’t know Allure had a beauty box. I’ll check it out xD