Sample stash

As a result of frequenting numerous cosmetics counters (and befriending many of the sales associates) over the years, I have amassed a hoard of gift with purchases (gwp), cosmetics samples, and Sephora VIB points redemption items; everything from face creams, to makeup removers, to mini lipsticks and mini mascaras.

My sample drawer. So many samples, so little time!

One of my goals this year is to whittle down my sample stash.  Normally as soon as I receive gwp items,  I immediately weed out products that aren’t suitable for my skin type or I already know I don’t like.  I pass these onto my friends and coworkers.   I do have my samples somewhat sorted, by type: day moisturizers, night moisturizers, serums, eye creams, makeup removers, face primers, etc.  I need to go through my sample stash once again, this time with a more critical eye and purge items that I know I won’t get around to using.

A small “sampling” of my samples. (hurhurhur)

And of course, the other tactic to reduce my sample stash is to actually use them! I’m going to try to do some sort of schedule to give myself more discipline to use up the samples. The bulk of my sample stash are skincare items, but since I have sensitive skin, I make it a point to not test out too many new items concurrently. At most, I used to test out something new maybe once a month.  I will now try to test something new every other week, maybe alternating between night and day skincare so as to not overload my skin.  And I need to test out a new mascara at least once a month.

They’re just so darn cute, look at the itty bitty tubes and compacts!

Lego piece for scale.

Likely I will always keep a stash of sample sized items, since they are convenient for travelling.  Speaking of travelling, why am I compelled to squirrel away all the little toiletry bottles from hotel rooms when I’m on vacation:

Just look at those brands! L’Occitane, Aveda, ThisWorks, Molton Brown, Thann…! I’ve got 4 baggies full, sorted by type: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body lotion.

I do have to say though, those cosmetics companies know what they’re doing when they give out samples.  I have discovered so many items that I now love, through trying out the samples first, including:

♦  Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream
♦  Biotherm Biocils Lash Optimizer
♦  Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
♦  Kibio Ki-Crème
♦  Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye

All of these items I went out and purchased the full sized products after I was done with the samples. You got me, cosmetics companies, you got me good!

What about you?  How’s your sample situation?  What samples have you fallen in love with and purchased the full size product?

10 thoughts on “Sample stash

    1. It’s just so EASY to collect samples, and I’m hesitant to test out new things on my face all the time since my skin is sensitive… so they sit in my drawer for ages. I’ve been making a dent lately with the sample shampoos and shower gels and I gave more away to my friends. But just like you, I still have so much, especially skincare.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel you. I had a reaction on my face that put my out of commission. I will no longer try 8 things at one time. I like to have one sample or two for a while before I move to another. My body can do more than that but my face, no. I have also stopped using certain masks. If it smells like toothpaste, I am not using it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I also have many sample sizes from various sources, including beauty box subscriptions. With those my strategy is to start using them as soon as I receive the box and use them up (easier to do with skincare and hair products).


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