Monday, May 24, 2010

Saving Money on Makeup

Not too long ago I came across an article in the Women’s Day magazine on how to save money on expensive makeup. At first I wanted to skip the article. I am a tightwad and I buy my makeup at the drug stores for pennies. However, I was bored so I decided to read it. The author (will call her “deal seeker”) shared that her family was trying to cut corners in their budget and her husband suggested that she would stop buying expensive makeup. Although she knew that her husband was right, the “deal seeker” could not imagine going a month without her favorite makeup products. And the experiment idea of acquiring free makeup was born.

The “deal seeker” decided to find ways to continue to use her favorite brands of makeup for free. One weekend she took a trip to the department store, where she browsed through the makeup isles. Finally she became brave enough to ask a sales associate for a free sample. The rejection came quicker than she expected as she was informed that free samples were not available.

Not wanting to quite her mission, the “deal seeker” decided to take a different approach to free makeup. She came up to a different counter and told the sales associate that she was interested in trying a specific color of lipstick. The sales associate quickly found the right lipstick color with hopes of making a sale. The “deal seeker” than asked if she can have a sample to try it out for a few days at home just to find out that her request was welcomed with open arms.

Feeling the empowerment of her success, the “deal seeker” moved from counter to counter asking to try out different products while receiving lots and lots of free samples to take home. Overall she saved over $100 dollars and her free makeup lasted her several months.

Saving money on expensive makeup was appealing to me too. But I am not a big fan of makeup, so going and asking for samples was not of interest to me. I was proud of the “deal seeker”, however did not want to try her approach until I thought of my mom. Right before my mom came to visit us for Christmas I spent several hours one weekend e-mailing companies asking for samples. Many companies like Clinique responded that they do not send samples, but I can go to the make up counter at the department store and ask for samples there.

When my mom finally arrived, several days into her trip we did just that. We went to the mall and walked from counter to counter asking for free samples. Taking the approach of the “deal seeker” pretending that I was interested in buying make up products was not my cup of tea. Instead I would politely introduce my mom to the sales associate informing them that she is visiting the US for Christmas. I then nicely ask if they would be so kind to give her samples to take home with her.

I was really surprised how many sales associates were willing to give samples to my mom. I learned that Clinique workers were the most generous in giving full size products, while Sephora store had shelves stuffed with samples. By the end of our free makeup hunt my mom’s free bag courtesy of well known make up company was full of expensive makeup ranging from face lotions to Estee Lauder face foundation. Happy that our mission was a success I asked my mom if she was embarrassed by me asking for free samples. My mom looked at me and said, “Why would I be embarrassed?! I didn’t understand a word you were saying so I just stood there and smiled.” As we giggled walking through the busy isles of the mall, I was happy to know that my mom can enjoy her goodies. In fact, several weeks ago during our phone conversation she mentioned how much she enjoys using her free samples. One time use packet of lotion lasts her several days as she carefully squeezes every bit of the lotion out it. In several months, when my mom returns for a visit we will repeat our mission of acquiring free makeup and I will be certain to update of us success.

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