One of the best ways to find a product that works and suits you is from a sample, however, companies can’t afford to produce samples for every single product. A sample is supposed to be just that—something you can try for free before you buy to see if it suits your skin, and whether you like it. Skin reactions do occur and that’s when samples are useful, as one, a skin reaction can be painful, and it also wastes a full sized product when it is returned, which is then destroyed for hygiene reasons (think of the environmental factors here too).
As an ex-beauty counter manager, what people don’t realize is that the cost of samples comes off a monthly marketing budget. With the exception of launch samples or sachets, many companies also limit the amount available, and that’s why there isn’t a constant supply of samples, so people aren’t always lying when they say they don’t have any samples. Feelunique have come up with ways to solve both of these issues, by offering a Try Me before you buy service, and an opportunity to Pick ‘n’ Mix your choice of samples from an extensive selection. This is an ideal solution for those who have been disappointed with beauty box subscriptions where they receive unsuitable samples.
This service allows you to buy a product, and with it comes a sample for you to try before you open the full sized version. If the product doesn’t agree with you or you simply don’t like it, you can return it for free (postage paid) and get a refund. The range of products this is available for does change, and currently there are about 180 items that can be ordered via this service. It’s simple and ensures people don’t have a reaction, which is ideal for serums or targeted treatments which tend to have more active ingredients, or more expensive products where the customer may hesitate in investing in a purchase. These are some of the items that are currently offered that are that are some of my favorites:
- NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil 50ml
- Elemis Pro-collagen MARINE Mask 50 ml
- Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate 30ml
- GUERLAIN Météorites Oxygen Care Moisturizer & Radiance Booster 30ml
- Percy & Reed Bountifully Bouncy Volumising Shampoo 250ml
- Calvin Klein Eternity Now for Women Eau De Parfum
- Ole Henriksen empower featherweight moisturizer™ 50g
Pick ‘n’ Mix
Once a month you can pick five samples of your choice and pay £3.95 for shipping costs. The £3.95 can then be redeemed via a code (sent via email) on a subsequent purchase and is valid for a year. This is a great way to sample brands that are exclusive, or ones that you’ve always wanted to try, but never stumbled across any samples. Currently there are 500 samples to choose from, from fragrances, skincare, or body products. Here are some of my favorite brands that offer samples via this service:
Aveda ~ A great range of natural hair, skin, and body care products to choose from.
Bioderma ~ Famed for their micellar water, this French company also offers specific skincare and sun care products.
Burberry ~ Classic and new women’s and men’s fragrances are available to sample.
By Terry ~ A luxury skincare and makeup brand by makeup artist Terry de Gunzburg.
Carita ~ A favorite premium skincare brand of mine, where their products are used in some of the best beauty salons in the world. Once you’ve tried this it’s hard to use anything else.
Caudalie ~ Renowned for harnessing grape technology, this is a favored brand I recommend for all age groups.
Darphin ~ A French house that specializes in skincare.
Dr. Hauschka ~ A certified natural and organic skincare company, with some cult beauty products, such as the Rose Day Cream.
Elemis ~ One of my favorite skin care brands with a range to suit everyone.
Emma Hardie ~ A British facialist with her own skincare range.
Eucerin ~ An affordable and reliable company for skincare and suncare.
Matis ~ Used in spas and beauty salons around the world, this French company has been around since 1936 offering high performance skincare products.
Natura Bisse ~ A Spanish company that offers a luxury skincare range.
Nuxe ~ A French company that combines natural ingredients in their products.
Paul Mitchell ~ A trusted US hair salon brand with a variety of treatments to choose from.
Prada ~ Sample some of the Italian designer’s fragrances.
REN ~ A relatively new skin care company with ranges to suit all skin types.
StriVectin ~ An anti-aging skin care range with several targeted treatments to choose from.
Thalgo ~ Famed for using marine alage in their products, their body products are some of the best in the world, with skincare ranges that use the same technology.
Trilogy ~ Ethical and affordable skin, and body care ranges which includes their famous rosehip oil range.
Does sampling get new customers?
While beauty subscription boxes do offer good value random sampling, the conversion rate (to buying a full sized item, or a new brand loyal customer) in relation to the samples distributed in often minimal. In my own experience from behind the beauty counters, samples can work with customers that are looking for specific products, but the hallowed phrase, “I tried a sample and want to buy it,” is not as frequent as a beauty consultant would like. Often it comes from brand loyal customers who prefer to stick to the brand, while new customers tend to prefer to buy a starter or travel set so that they can sample the regimen for a week or two before buying. When customers are looking for a new regimen, they want to try all the products in one go, and not a sample that is part of the regimen. The majority are content to pay for a starter set, and are then more likely to convert.
Having tried several beauty box subscriptions, 50% of the samples I received won’t be used and sadly I see this as a waste. I can regift them naturally, but as I did pay for them, that’s my own money wasted on samples that were not products I was interested in or were unsuitable. Some beauty boxes such as Latest in Beauty allow you to choose your own products, and this gives you more control, although the selections can be limited. I like the idea of choosing my own samples from brands I am interested in, and in the long run saves time and creates less environmental waste. Reviews are one thing, but the one that matters is your own, and that’s why it’s important that you have access to try products for yourself without too much of a financial risk.
©2016. Beauty Super Spy.