I honestly wouldn’t consider purchasing foundation, skincare or perfume without first trying a sample, so it always surprises me when people say they are reluctant to ask for them, yet so many people feel this way.
I know some beauty advisors can come across as a little intimidating, but daft as it sounds, they’re just ordinary people doing their job - to inform you of the best products for you and convince you to buy them – so don’t be afraid to ask!
Most beauty products sold at these counters come at a hefty price – and personally I can’t afford to make mistakes, so I want to be very sure that I’m making the right choice first time. I wouldn’t dream of buying foundation that I’ve just tried on my wrist or only seen in harsh department store lighting. I like to be sure that my skin won’t react badly to skincare, and that perfume wears nicely on my skin, that I don’t go off the scent after a few days, etc, etc.
Here’s my guide to
blagging requesting samples…
Look smart and well groomed – yes I know it shouldn’t matter but it does. If you fall out of bed with a hangover and rock up at Dior in skanky gear with greasy hair and no make up, the beauty advisor will assume that you don’t care about your appearance and therefore will not want to spend money at his or her counter.
Express an interest in the product – don’t just walk up to the Chanel counter and ask for a sample of foundation or moisturiser. Request information and advice, ask if the advisor will try the product on your skin. Tell them what qualities you’re looking for in the product. All of this implies that you are seriously considering a purchase and will encourage the advisor to offer you a sample.
Just ask – you’ve spent some time talking about the product and nodding enthusiastically, so it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a sample. Say you’d like to see how it lasts on your skin/ looks in different lights/ how your skin reacts to it, etc. If they have no samples left (and often they genuinely don’t), don’t sigh and roll your eyes. Just ask if they have any little containers they could put some in. If not, magically produce one from your bag/pocket – or pop into Boots and buy one! (I keep old sample/travel pots for this very purpose).
Ask for written details – if info such as the advisor’s name and product details haven’t already been offered (and they should be in my opinion), ask for a note of them so that you know who and what to ask for when you return to make a purchase, assuming you’ll love your sample of course. This keeps the advisor on your side, helps build a rapport and will encourage them to take you seriously if and when you return. So the whole thing should be a doddle next time!
Are you uncomfortable about asking for samples – and if so, have you made any expensive mistake as a result? Any beauty advisors wish to offer further tips? Please tell me your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below - thanks for reading! x