These days, everyone is on a tight budget. Plus, we’ve all had to get creative with our beauty routines during quarantines and lockdowns. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your love of makeup! We rounded up some of the best ways to get free makeup samples – you don’t even need to leave your couch to get some of these freebies.  

Click the links below to jump to each section, or keep reading to learn how to get free makeup samples.

1. Score Free Samples from Sephora

This major retailer has some serious hacks that even the savviest of makeup artists may not have heard of. Here’s a few of our favorite Sephora secrets: 

  • Ask for free samples in-store. Sephora stores are broken up by “worlds,” including makeup, skincare, and fragrances. You can ask for up to three free samples per world and the Sephora staff will happily oblige.
  • Check out Sephora Beauty Offers. This online hub features exclusive deals and freebies you can only get from Sephora.com. From complimentary gifts to full-size freebies, it’s always worth checking this page for beauty samples.
  • Order online to get free samples. When you order online, you can choose up to two free samples of various products. Past samples have included Urban Decay’s Stay Naked Liquid Foundation and Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani Matte Lipstick. 
  • Get a free makeover. Ask one of the Sephora staff about their free fifteen-minute makeovers. Their makeovers include things like smokey eyes, foundation applications, and even false eyelashes – all free! You may even be able to snag some free samples from your makeup artist. 
  • Join the Beauty Insider Rewards program. Redeem points for free products, as well as exclusive access to seasonal sales and even an end-of-year credit. Beauty Insider members also receive a free birthday gift during their birthday month. 
  • Buy the Sephora Perfume Sampler. It may sound counterintuitive to spend $65 on travel-size perfumes when you’re looking to spend money, but there’s a hidden freebie in Sephora Perfume Samplers. Inside the box, you’ll find a coupon for a free full-sized bottle of a classic fragrance like Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Versace Bright Crystal, or Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium. 

2. Get Free Samples from ULTA 

ULTA is another major cosmetics retailer that carries everything from budget beauty brands like e.l.f. Cosmetics to high-end lines like Burberry and Coach.

  • Take advantage of online offers. ULTA’s Buy More Save More section features hundreds of current deals you can use in store and online. From BOGO sales to free gifts with purchase, this page is worth bookmarking! 
  • Join the Ultamate Rewards program. It’s completely free to join and allows you the opportunity to collect and redeem points on every purchase, online or in-store. If you shop in-store and want to redeem points, be sure to mention it – cashiers usually won’t ask if you’d like to use your points. 
  • Subscribe to their email list. ULTA sends out special coupons, discount codes, and free product sample offers frequently.
  • Shop During ULTA’s 21 Days of Beauty sale. This major sale happens twice a year – during the spring and fall – and features half-off discounts on even luxury brands. 
  • Go through their clearance shelves in-store. Discounted products on these shelves may be up to 90 percent off and are marked with a yellow or red sticker – the yellow stickers are the best deals.

3. Check Cosmetic Brands 

Sometimes, the best way to get free makeup samples is to go straight to the source. Cosmetics brands will often hand out samples and travel-sized products for free, or with a purchase. You may even be able to request them online and have them shipped free! 

  • MAC: MAC stores will give out free samples of any liquid foundation, as well as select moisturizers and priming products. Their samples are large enough to last up to 10 days, making them perfect to test products out for an extended period before committing to a purchase. 
  • Too Faced: For every online order, Too Faced will send you two freebies. These samples are usually mini products, but you may get lucky and receive a deluxe-size product on occasion.
  • Smashbox: The Offers section of Smashbox’s website features tons of great deals, including free gifts, 50 percent off discounts, and more. 

4. Scour Freebie Sites 

There are hundreds of freebie sites on the internet, and while not all of them are completely reliable, there are a few gems that are perfect for getting free makeup samples. 

Keep in mind that some sites may require you to create an account and enter your contact information before you’re granted access to the freebies. 

5. Join Product Testing Groups

Want to get paid in makeup? Join a product testing group to get makeup in exchange for your honest review. It’s free to sign up and though there may be a waitlist, it’s a great way to test new products. 

Here are a few of the best product testing programs for makeup lovers: 

6. Search Beauty Hashtags

Social media is a great place to find free makeup samples if you know where to look. Makeup influencers, cosmetics brands, and retailers often feature giveaways and freebies on their social channels using specific hashtags.

7. Follow and Join Social Profiles

You can also join freebie groups on Facebook. For example, Free Beauty Samples is a Facebook-specific group that frequently posts freebies and discounts.

Be sure to follow cosmetics brands on social media. Brands are getting bigger on social platforms and often share sales and exclusive deals with their social followers. You could even try DMing a brand to request a sample!

8. Shop at Department Stores

Stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom often give out free samples to shoppers who ask for them. In fact, Nordstrom automatically includes three samples with any beauty purchase.

9. Join Amazon Prime Samples

Did you know that even the retail giant has a samples program? Prime Samples allows you to try products using credits you can earn on every purchase. Read more about it here

10. Try a Subscription Service

Beauty subscription boxes like Boxycharm and Ipsy are popular because they provide incredible value at a low cost. For example, Boxycharm costs $25 per month, but always delivers a box that is worth at least $125 in products. Plus, many subscription boxes offer free or discounted first boxes to let you try it out.

11. Use Makeup Coupons 

Learning how to coupon is a great way to score freebies of all kinds, and makeup is no exception! Here are coupons that will help you get free makeup and other beauty goodies. 

  • Box of Style: Use code SUMMER25 to save $25 off your Summer Box.
  • ColourPop: Use code 5TALYA at checkout to take up to 50 percent off your order or $5 on your order of $10 or more. 
  • Cover FX: Use code WELCOME to take 15 percent off orders of $65 or more. 
  • NYX: Use code FREESHIP to get free shipping on every order. This offer expires July 31, 2020. 
  • Sephora: Use code AVOKIWI at checkout to get a free trial-sized Briogeo avocado mask and kiwi superfood mask with any $25 purchase. 

12. Grab Free Skincare Samples 

Love trying out new skincare products? From luxury face creams to customized acne treatments, you can get fresh, glowing skin with these free skincare samples.

  • Curology: Curology offers a 30-day free trial that will let you get a face cream customized to your unique needs – just pay shipping and handling. 
  • Kiehl’s: You can get three free packette samples with every Kiehl’s purchase. Samples are nearly unlimited, so you can choose to test anything from their brand, including skin care, hair products, and body products. 
  • La Mer: Though La Mer is one of the more high-end skincare brands, its sampling program is worth noting. Every purchase comes with two deluxe-size samples and free shipping.
  • LUSH: Much like Sephora, LUSH will give you a free sample of anything in the store if you ask (within reason).
  • Mario Badescu: The sampling program from Mario Badescu is totally personalized. Take a quick Skin Analysis Quiz online, pay a small shipping fee, and you’ll get tailored samples that are perfect for your specific skin type. Every online purchase also delivers three samples to your door. 
  • The Body Shop: Join their rewards program, Love Your Body Club, to get two free samples of your choice or a welcome packet with two pre-selected samples. Be sure to join in store if you’d like to choose your own samples, as online sign-ups receive the welcome packet automatically. 

Keep in mind that other retailers, like Sephora and ULTA also offer skincare samples, so be sure to check these stores when hunting for free skincare samples. 

Low Cost Beauty Hacks We Love

Makeup junkies know how expensive their hobby can be. According to a 2017 study which looked at spending habits of men and women, “women who invest regularly in their appearance spend an average of $3,756 a year.” Broken down, this study found that women spend the most on beauty services like facials and haircuts. This suggests that the experience and ritual involved with maintaining a beauty routine is more valuable than individual products. 

As important as beauty routines clearly are, it’s been hard to maintain our usual habits lately. Salons and spas across the country are closed, making it tough to keep up with the services we value so much.   

To help you stay on top of your beauty routine, we created an infographic with easy DIY hacks. Check it out below. 

Whether you’re a seasoned makeup junkie or just starting out, saving money on your favorite products is a must. These free makeup samples will help you test new products, find hidden gems, and save you some serious cash.

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