Do you find yourself carrying huge pouches of toiletries wherever you go? I know I'm guilty of carrying way too many products than I'd ever end up using on a weekend trip. Chances are you have more than a few sample sized beauty products lying around in your drawer - untouched and unloved. Sample sized products are not only a way to find out if they work for you, they're also a great travel-friendly choice to throw into your kit. I also keep a few sample sized products in my office drawer as part of my emergency stash! Never know when you'll end up needing that moisturiser or perfume right?
If you've ever visited a Sephora or any beauty retailer abroad, brands are more than happy to hand out samples of perfumes, skincare, makeup and even hair care products. The beauty samples culture hasn't taken off in India just yet, but there are a few brands that give away samples of their best selling products so you can try them before committing to the full sized product. Here are a few brands in India that will willingly hand you some mini freebies without judgement!
A luxury skincare brand and one of my personal favourite brands for skincare! My two all-time favourite products at Kiehl's are the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution (Rs 4,300) and the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (Rs 2,100). I wouldn't have ever made the commitment to buy these products had I not been handed over those generous samples. Kiehl's has samples of almost every product they retail. Don't get me wrong, those samplers are TINY, but one will easily last you 2-3 days. Ask for 2 samples, they will last you a week. A week is good enough to know whether a product works for your skin type or not!
K-beauty favourite, Innisfree always hands out samples of their moisturisers, serums and face masks. Be sure you ask the counter to throw in some samples. Innisfree stores always have promotional offers where they give you mini kits on a purchase of Rs. 2,000 and above. I'd suggest you ask for samples of the Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum (Rs 1,950) and the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask (Rs 1,100) the next time you're around an Innisfree store. These are the brands global best selling products.
A recent discovery, I just realized that Clinique hands out samples too! I received complimentary samples of the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (Rs 2,050) on a recent purchase at the store. The moisture surge is my all time favourite summer moisturiser so I was more than happy! Stash these in your vacay toiletries kit and you won't need to carry a big tub of moisturiser again.
Didn't expect this did you? Bobbi Brown has started giving away a 10-day supply of their newest foundation so you can give it a try before investing in it. The Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15 (Rs 3,700) is pretty expensive and everyone's skin tends to react differently to makeup after a few hours. I know I have a bunch of products that I don't use anymore because I either bought the wrong shade or they don't suit my skin so this is a great hack to try before investing in a foundation. If you're lucky you'll get samples of the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base (Rs 4,700).
If I died and went to heaven, I pray that it would be a Sephora store! How can you walk in and walk out empty-handed? I'm guilty of spending hours in Sephora's aisles swatching and testing till my skin falls off! I prefer Sephora stores outside of India unfortunately, Sephora globally has some really great return policies. You can be rest assured you'll get a refund for a product if you use it and you don't like it or you pick the wrong shade. Makeup samples, perfume samples how can you not love those? I have a mini perfume sampler stashed away in most of my weekend clutches. Nothing better than smelling like a breeze through those sweaty clubbing nights right?
One of my personal favourite Indian Ayurveda brands, Kama Ayurveda has hidden treasures waiting for you! I know I've received samples of the Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi brightening Ayurvedic Face Scrub (Rs 1,195) and the Kama Ayurveda Rejuvenating & Brightening Ayurvedic Night Cream (Rs 1,950) that convinced me to invest in the full-sized products.
The next time you're packing for a vacation, or even an overnight trip it may help to dig into your drawer for samples and travel sized products. They not only make your travel bag lighter but are a great way to try something new!