Foundation samples are not that hard to come by in the UK. Obviously you can’t march to a store and say “Give me a sample of xyz foundation”, but if you show a genuine interest in their products the SAs will shade match you, give you a face makeover and possibly hook you up with a sample, so you can try before you buy. The best brands when it comes to samples in my experience so far are Chanel and MAC. You can’t really beat MAC, they are amazing at doing foundation and concealer samples. And the worst of all? Clinique!!! I have asked them for samples in two different occasions and both times they refused saying it won’t be economical! Say what?! Moving on to the samples I have at the moment and what I think about each
1) MAC Matchmaster (Shade 4) – Pictured above is the standard MAC sample pot. I got this at the MAC store in Chennai. I asked the SA for one while cynically thinking in my head “Ya right, like he is even going to give one”. But the SA put me to shame by immediately offering one. I wasn’t even making a purchase which tells a lot about the brand ethics. I am yet to give this a fair chance, hence can't really comment on how it fares, but from the few times I used it it seems more like an occasion foundation rather than daily-wear.
2) Dr Perricone “No Foundation, Foundation” – I got this as part of my online order for Dr Perricone’s Omega-3 capsules. The shade is pretty similar to my skintone, but the formula is a whole different story. It is thin and feels like there is not enough pigment in it. Makes me look oily in an instant and oxidises as well. I feel like it is one of those foundations you need to give a vigorous shake before applying, but I cannot really do that in this tube packaging. Definitely not a full-size purchase material for me.
3) Chanel Perfection Lumiere (70 Beige) – This is a sample I got when I went for a Chanel makeover. The lady at the counter gave me three samples and actually asked me not to purchase then and there. They will last me well over a week if used daily. If she had not offered the samples I would definitely have bought the foundation because I thought it looked stellar on me. But when I took it home and used it a few times I failed to get the same effect. I felt it made my face super oily by afternoon and felt a bit too much for my skin. Thank god for the thoughtful SA who saved me a chunk of money!
One complain with this is the sachets do not keep any left-over product intact, it oozes out all over the places and the product dries up pretty quickly. So you can only get one use out of a sachet, which is a bit wasteful.
4) Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua (50 Beige) – This is truly the best sample packaging I have come across thus far! I got it along with my Chanel cream blusher purchase. This has been my favourite of the bunch, a sheer to light coverage foundation that does not oxidise and does not make me uber oily either. It actually adds a bit of luminosity to the skin. At first it goes on liquid-y, but soon sets and looks beautiful. It very much reminds me of my fav liquid foundation Benefit Hello Flawless. My next foundation purchase sorted?
5) My next sample – Before I zero in on the vita lumiere aqua, I want to try the Giorgio Armani foundations, which have been getting a lot of rave in the internet world. Where I live there is no immediate access to the brand, so a weekend trip to Selfridges is needed!
Do you have any sample procuring experiences?
I somehow believe getting samples in India is like an experience in its own. Most SAs think people asking for samples are cheap and are lurking around just for free stuff. I absolutely HATE that attitude and it never fails to get on my nerves! I had a very bad experience at the INGLOT store in Chennai when I asked the SA to try one of their blushers. She applied it on one cheek and asked if I wanted to buy. I said “I don’t know yet, I want to give it some time”. She immediately refused to do my other cheek. I was furious at that point, she finally obliged albeit reluctantly and said they don’t do free makeovers! I am never ever going to buy anything from that brand! (This crappy experience apart, that same day I had a really good shopping/gossiping session with Aarthi :D It was so much fun just relaxing without having to worry about the little ones!)