So today I actually had some motivation so I've been good and put it towards blogging. I've been meaning to do this kind of post for ages but I've been really sceptical of it because I'm so aware of the fact that it is basically a bragging type of blog post....I actually love reading posts on things people get for free etc so I know some of you will like this but I'm sure some of you will hate the fact that I'm basically going "Whoo!! Look at how great it is to work on a makeup counter!" (I can assure you that yes, the perks are great, but like any retail job there are still some shitty customers to deal with. Don't get me wrong, some are utterly lovely people, but you do get the few who are either SO fussy or get annoyed that you don't stock things/don't know where places are exactly in store/don't understand why you can't colour match them to a Dior foundation etc.)
Anyway, back to the bit I can brag about.... So, in case you didn't know, I recently made the leap from Assistant at Benefit to Counter Manager at Bare Minerals (just across the brow bar from Benefit...) Now then, I was HIGHLY allergic to a lot of Benefit stuff so I pretty much couldn't wear anything by them for fear of having a gross rash on my face. I'm not sure what it was but there must have been one key ingredient that set me off because I could use certain things but not others. How odd right? Basically this meant that I never brought anything when I was there because I wouldn't have used it and, although I was suppose to, I never got an allocation (which was annoying because they would have made fab presents!) Anyway, Bare Minerals is treating me much better and when I first started I got some lovely freebies from them so I could wear stuff on counter and be able to recommend their products (I was very nervous about using their products in case the same thing happened, but I think it's actually cleared my skin up to better then it was before!) Since starting on Bare Minerals, I've also learnt about the whole "free samples" thing...apparently we can take two per day! That's 10 free samples per week if I wanted! Now then, this does obviously depend on who a) has samples and b) if they have enough to be able to share them. After all, they are really for customers as a nice little incentive! But if there's something that you genuinely want to try and the girls have samples of it then usually they are happy to give you one to try (you're likely to end up buying it and giving them commission then! Haha!) I do love free things and makeup so obviously I always jump to try new stuff, but I'm not cheeky with it (hopefully....) I mean, if someone offers then I'll take it and if there's something I'd really like to try then I'll ask but if someone can't spare a sample then I'm not going to get stroppy or anything you know? So on to my little freebie haul for the last few months....
So here it all is a group of free stuff. Exciting right?? (Bonus points for spotting the clutter in the corner. Just because I have a double distinction in photography, doesn't mean that I'm not lazy when it comes to actually taking photos! Haha!)
First up is the Bare Minerals selection...I know this looks like a lot but 8 of the items are actually from the 9 piece Get Started Kit in Light (the 9th piece is a DVD but I chose not to include that as it's not the best freebie in the world....informative and not as cheesy as I'd hope to be honest, but not a great freebie all the same...)
- So in the light kit you get: the three brushes (Full Flawless Face, Flawless Face and Maximum Cover Concealer), two foundations in Fairly Light and Light (I'm lucky as I can wear both of these, although I prefer the Fairly Light colour), Warmth All Over Face Colour (this looks SO dark but actually works beautifully), Mineral Veil (a finishing powder that absorbs excess oil) and Prime Time Original Primer. I have taken loads of pictures to do a full post on this soon hopefully so you can see how it works/what I think of it (here's a hint, I work for the company so I pretty much love it....)
- In the top left hand corner of the picture is a Bare Minerals Correcting Concealer SPF20. Now then, I know I'm always saying "I don't wear concealer" but actually, I'm pretty much in love with this product! It's amazing and creamy without being too creamy but dries nicely, without being really drying on your skin either. Plus the coverage is brilliant. Again, blog post coming up on that soon and because these aren't out until September, this was a lovely thing to get in the post!
- The two little pots with the bit of paper above (I am a great photographer right??) are samples of some eyeshadows that I got the other day. The testers were being thrown out so I nabbed the little bit that was left to try them. I love the grey one as it has a slight blue tone and looks beautiful for a subtle smokey eye and the dark brown is gorgeous for an everyday look. Will have to invest in these soon!
- Flawless Definition Mascara - I love this mascara! It has beeswax, jojoba and shea butter in it and doesn't irritate my eyes at all! Good times! I love this for a daily mascara as it just separates your lashes without being over the top...however, you can layer it easily for a more extreme look. I really want to get the Curl and Lengthen mascara though as it's my favourite on counter....
Ok so I don't use Clarins really because I am poor and just can't justify buying a face cream for £34 really. I had a few small samples of the HydraQuench range and I LOVED them. They completely cleared up my dry cheeks and just made my skin feel lovely. I really wanted to buy the full size one but really just couldn't use my money for it (even with 20% staff discount) However, I'm friends with the girl who works on the counter and she had a spare space on her allocation and she used it to get me the salon size (double the size of the normal pot, and in a squeezy tube! Bonus!) as a gift! How nice is that! I was really surprised but very grateful. She even gave her free gift from the two products she was buying for her friend (who didn't want the free gift....what?! Madness!) In the gift I got decent sample sizes of the HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase 15ml (handy for dry patches when they randomly appear. I blame the weather...), HydraQuench Cream 15ml (handy for travel!), Foot Beauty Treatment Cream 30ml (my sister has really bad hard skin on her feet at the moment, so this will be an amazing little gift for her!) and a Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer 5ml (People have been raving about this so I was so excited to try it! It smells like candyfloss too which is AMAZING!)
So a while back I decided to try the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation and I fell in love with it. I used to wear it all the time when I was on the Benefit counter (cheeky!), but as I couldn't afford the real deal, I lived off those little pots of samples. The one on the left is a Double Wear light sample and the one on the right is a normal Double Wear sample (that's my shade FYI...in case anyone wants to ever buy me a present, so you can colour match to how pale I am! Haha!) The lades on the counter are so lovely and were happy to give me samples (in fact one of them kept asking if I needed anymore, even when she'd given me some the week before! I don't wear foundation too heavy so these pots lasted me WAY longer than the 10 days that they should last!)
Again, my promises to buy the full size were a little unfounded due to being utterly poor, so even though I really did intend to buy the full size I just couldn't justify it. This annoys me because I always feel bad about having samples and then not buying the product if I love it! Again, I'm good friends with one of the girls on the counter and did her a little beauty box of goodies for her birthday and the next week she surprised me with the full size Double Wear Light! I couldn't believe! I had to make sure that she knew I didn't get her a present to get one in return! Haha! She said it was because I'd gone all out for her birthday and it was a very belated gift for my birthday as no one did anything for it. (In all fairness, I had only been there for one week when it was my birthday and I was quite quiet still...which seems hard to believe right?? Haha!) Anyway, it was a fab gift and, although I obviously don't wear it to work and I do genuinely love my Bare Minerals Foundation, I do love this for special occasions and going out for a little extra coverage (plus I always follow it with my Bare Minerals Foundation so it's not cheating on my job too much right?) I love the classy box too so I'm keeping it in it!
This isn't in the big picture at the top because I have no idea where I've put it....which is annoying as I've seen it recently!
I was having a discussion with the girl on Clinique a few months back (when I was still on Benefit) about how I really want to try a small brush mascara as I sometimes find the big brushes are no good for my small eyes. Then Clinique did their mascara exchange and had samples of this High Lengths Mascara, which I really fancied the idea of trying but completely forgot to bring any of my old mascaras in to exchange it! What a fool! She was kind enough to offer me one as a sample when the deal had finished though as she had a few left. I love this mascara for length and definition but I think their new one is better for layering (from what I've seen on counter anyway) I do love this little travel size one though and I really do love how unique the brush is!
Dior Lasting Lipcolour in 536 'Lucky' - I will be totally honest here, I've never tried anything by Dior at all. Nothing. One of the girls from Estee Lauder is moving over to Dior and was utterly shocked when I said I'd never tried anything by Dior, so she gave me a cheeky sample so I could fall in love with the brand. I'll be honest, I didn't think I'd actually like this lipstick as much as I do! I mean, I loved the colour straight away but when I put it on...well....it was beautiful! Not only was the colour just pure gorgeous and like nothing I already own, but the feel of it was beautiful too! I'm utterly sold and would be very tempted to buy the full size of this...and maybe have a little look at their other lipsticks.... Plus how freaking cute is that packaging?! Super cute!
And last, but not least, the one thing that bloggers seem to be split upon the most....perfume samples!! Now then, the reason I hate getting perfume samples in beauty boxes is because a) they are usually floral and I dislike most floral scents and b) they are clearly easy to get. I know you're all going to say about the fact that I work there so clearly it's easier for me to get them but if you ask they will always give you some in my Debenhams (I can be overly sure about every Debenhams but the ladies on mine are pretty good. Unless you're rude about it in which case they say they don't have any, which is fair enough in my opinion!) Also myself and Leanne once had a little trip round town having a "see who can get the most free stuff" and perfume samples are easy to get...especially if you do what we did (it's a bit cheeky I know...) and say "I'm looking for a new perfume, I like this, this and this. I prefer these kinds of scents, what do you have like it?" and then when they recommend a few perfumes, ask for samples on a "need to see how it settles/some give me headaches" Now then, I know how cheeky this sounds, but I still do this because I genuinely do get headaches from some perfume (which is awesome when your counter is right next to the perfume section....) Also remember that perfume companies usually send out craploads of samples (seriously. Too many in fact!) and that people usually want them when the fragrance is new and then forget to ask. You'd be surprised by the samples we do have (also the free gifts that are left....) I found a Daisy Eau So Fresh sample the other day and promptly ear marked it for my next sample stash! Handy for my handbag for top ups on nights out thank you very much! Also I actually did end up buying two perfumes that were recommended to me, so clearly samples work!
Also I always think you should try perfumes before committing for a reason that will become clear in a minute....
- Marc Jacobs - Dot - This comes in a beautiful bottle that would look super cute on any dressing room table (although it's a bit of a nightmare to hold and spray with one hand...) and the scent is gorgeous.....but it doesn't last on me at all. It fades really quickly compared to my Daisy Eau So Fresh. So whilst I love this perfume and it's bottle, I wouldn't buy it at it's current price (around £47 for a 50ml bottle. The smaller bottles are cheaper but no where near as cute as the 50ml bottle!) Maybe if I found it on eBay for cheap or it drops in Mega Week, then maybe I'd invest....
- Marc Jacobs - Oh, Lola! - I seriously have a thing for Marc Jacobs perfume because, again, I love this scent! It's a fruity, floral scent so it's not overwhelmingly floral to my nose, which I like. This one stays on me a really long time, which is odd as both this and Dot are Eau de Parfum sprays. I feel like this one has a very feminine scent once it's settled on me properly and I like that about it. I would definitely consider buying this!
- Calvin Klein - Sheer Beauty - Another fruity floral scent that I actually really like.When it's settled it's quite subtle on me but still smells really nice. For and Eau de Toilette this one lasts quite well on me I think. I would possibly consider this as a more "serious" perfume if that makes sense??
- Calvin Klein - Euphoria - Again, this smells amazing! (Clearly the ladies on fragrance know what they're talking about when they recommend stuff!) It's quite fruity but has "rich lack orchid and sensual woods" in it (not sure how wood is sensual but there we go!) so it's a little muskier then the Sheer Beauty on. This is a really nice evening scent I think and it's an Eau de Parfum so it last AGES on me! I would buy this just so I could say "Oh that Calvin Klein perfume? Oh yes....it's my evening scent..."
- Paco Rabanne - Black XS L'Exces - I have the original Black XS for women, which was a Christmas present, and I've utterly fallen in love with it, so when I was offered this sample I was happy to grab it! From what I can gather this is suppose to be the more intense version of the original - basically the same scent but the original is a Eau de Toilette and this one is and Eau de Parfum. I haven't actually opened this yet but having sprayed it at work I can say that I've still yet to make up my mind. I know it's suppose to be the same scent basically but I just really like the original and that one stays on me all day anyway so I'm not sure I'd make the switch to this one to be honest.
- Escada - Especially Escada - I quite like this scent but it's a tad too floral for me really. It does end up giving me a little bit of a headache by the end of the day. Also this is the only sample that doesn't have a spray and therefore the most annoying of all samples! I have, however, discovered the Escada summer fragrances and the fact that we do a little set of all of them that I am very interested in as I love all the summer ones! (Although this means that I would get annoyed when they run out as I'm fairly sure these are limited edition...what with being summer fragrances and all...)
- Kenzo - Madly Kenzo - This was exclusive to Debenhams when it first came out (possibly still is?) and there was abig display of it, and when I first sprayed it I quite liked it so was given two samples to take home. However, it now just smells like stale energy drink mixed with a hangover to me. Don't ask me why I think it smells like that because I've never worn this out so I don't even associate it with a particular night out, but I sprayed this on the other day and by the end of the day I just wanted to vomit. It was making me feel really ill and gave me a really bad headache too! Clothes that I'd only worn for half a day HAD to be washed and I actually showered before I went to bed. I know some staff actually really like this. but frankly I need this sample to be in my bin already. Gross. (You see why perfume samples are a great thing?? Imagine if I'd brought that perfume on a whim because I liked it on first spray? I'd be so angry with myself!)
So that's my little bragging post, but also one to remind you that free samples are out there, you just need to ask if you're buying something o a counter (or a lot of stuff!) I really hope I get little samples on my counter soon as I love having them as little treats for people (although I am one of those harsh people that says no if people come up and the first thing they say is "Have you got samples." in the rudest way possible (note the lack of question mark? That's how rude and blunt people are sometimes!) I had a lady the other day who asked me (Bare Minerals Counter Manager....) for some perfume samples. Now then, the fragrance lady had gone on lunch and I do know where the samples are, but it's not my section so I don't like to give out samples to just anyone.... So I said "Sorry I don't work on fragrance but I can try and find one if you know what it is you're after?" Lady: "What do you mean you don't work on there? You're stood near it." (I kid you not. Well I stand near lots of things but that doesn't mean I work there....) "I don't want a particular one, I just want samples. I'm not going to actually buy anything because it's fucking expensive." Me: "Oh ok, well I'm really sorry but I don't really know where they keep the samples. The lady on fragrance will be back in 10 minutes if you want to come back and ask her?" Lady: "Ugh. Fuck no. I'll go somewhere else" Now, OBVIOUSLY that is a really bad way to ask for cheeky samples. Plus don't swear at me when I don't work on the section...or ever really. And really, telling me you'll go somewhere else isn't really that damaging to me anyway as you're not buying anything! Seriously, sometimes I hate people. Anyway, basically if you're nice you can usually get samples from me, but if you're rude then you can jog on! Haha!) I do have a little allocation to put in soon (£250!!) so expect another little "holy crap I've never had a job with perks this great before!" post (because I am very aware that the perks of my job are unlike most jobs....most of the time I feel bad for getting free things!)
Are there any bits that you really like/dislike in my freebie stash? Any perfumes that you can recommend for me so I can try them out? (I love having recommendations!) Anyone think I'm being way too cheeky with my bragging ad that I should just be quiet and stop making you jealous?? Haha!
Until Next time,