One of my very favorite things to do is to score a big free sample promotion at Ulta or Sephora. Last week I got a set of 29 items from Ulta, plus the usual two samples that you can always choose with every purchase. I make sure to strategize the replacement of my pricier regular products to grab promotions like these whenever I can, since there is usually a minimum purchase required. Last week I replaced my Perricone eye cream. I make sure to pace those replacements out so as to maximize my opportunities, so I’ll postpone replacing my mascara, for example, until some other appealing sample set comes up (unless of course I am totally out–but I try never to let that happen.)
The cleanser samples, in particular, are my favorites for travel, since unlike the rest of my skin care routine–I’m not super picky about my cleanser. The samples I’m not interested in I save for my skin care-loving friends, and for you, my readers, when I do giveaways for commenters.
There were cleansers, serums, moisturizers, eye creams, lip balms, masks… all sorts of little treasures! I’ve been working my way through many of them. And while my bar is really, really high for replacing the products in my beloved routine, I have found some awesome masks, and an Algenist moisturizer/sunscreen/blurring primer (pictured below) that is a game-changer.
Another delight of the sample life is that when I share my samples with friends, they share their samples with me! So my dear friend Lillian shared a precious dollop of her Hormeta Flash Gold Shining Maskthat I tried last weekend.
I’m honestly not sure that this $200 mask made all that much difference, and I won’t be going out to buy it, but I did appreciate the chance to try it. Thanks, Lillian!
And continuing in my experimental mode, I’m still on this strange and quixotic false lashes project. I have no idea why – I’m just endlessly curious to see if I can make them work. After weeks of struggle, I finally took some advice serendipitously offered by the checkout clerk at TJ Maxx (who I was commiserating with!) and switched to small partials just in my outer corners. And lo, it worked!
All this to say – the fun of makeup for me is experimentation. It’s fun to have a place in life to just play, with no stakes at all. In the stresses of life in the US these days, a space to play is good.