Friday, March 18, 2016

Can I have a sample please?

When I landed in London following my flight home from Florida I had one intention, to dump my suitcases at home and head straight to my nearest Chanel counter. You see there was no one more excited than me at another addition to the Chanel Les Beiges line up and this time it was a foundation launching that very day.

Already a fan of Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid and Powder surely the foundation would not let me down but unfortunately jetlag did and instead I decided to catch some sleep and revisit my plans for purchasing the foundation the next day.

With 24 hours to take stock of my unnecessary urgency with making the purchase I was able to rationalise and think that firstly I didn't actually need a new foundation (but when is that ever an issue?) and secondly did it not make sense to read some reviews and see what people were thinking of it first.

This I did but I do find if it's a product I want I tend to only hear what I want to and ignore what I don't but I did think there was value in waiting till I was back to work and could visit my local Chanel counters where I have a comfortable relationship with the staff.

You would think I was rewarded for my patience but that was not to be the case as my skin took on a state of dryness which would make testing out a new foundation in store a pointless exercise. Instead I had the bright idea of asking if there were any samples available that I could take home and have available for such a time as my skin had settled itself.

I popped to the House of Fraser counter and was able to get a sample without any bother and was rather pleased with myself, I fully expected to have some sort of battle with staff but clearly with the foundation having been newly released there were samples available for customers such as myself. I was further impressed that she quickly colour matched me before I had to request my shade preference.

Buoyed by this experience and both cheekily and sensing a blog post ahead I decided to try out a few more counters to see whether they would be so carefree with the foundation samples. Visits to John Lewis and Boots both provided samples although not in my colour choice. What this has done is give me the opportunity to try shades up and down for both comparison and to be mindful should I want to adopt the multiple bottle/shade options for tanning and otherwise.

My reason for sharing this ramble of sorts is to encourage and remind you that samples are available from counters. In the case of new releases it's more likely than perhaps older products but I found all the sale assistants were willing to provide samples and wanted to apply for me there and then which if it were not for the state of my skin I would've jumped at. One counter assistant when I referenced my skin was nice enough to suggest I try at home and to come back when it was in a better condition and she'd give me a makeover.

In a time when people can often be intimidated by counter assistances or share bad experiences I thought it was worth talking about my successful experience. Likewise with so many choices available and money precious is it not right to take a step back, not let impulse takeover and try a product. With foundation there's no more testing than applying yourself, seeing how it looks under those office lights, with your favourite blush and at the end of the day are you still looking how you'd like?

And a quick note on the foundation itself; I love it. A more flawless even coverage than the lighter Healthy Glow Fluid but sharing the same luminosity on the skin. It's more impressive feature for me seems to be its staying power. At the end of the day I always find I need to add a little touch up before extending my evening but I caught sight of myself in the mirror hours after returning home one evening and couldn't believe how it remained no less different than when I applied that morning.

Whilst I'd love to purchase this immediately I'm going to stick with my earlier caution. I'm trying to adopt a use what I have policy and instead it's being added to my birthday list.

Have you had a good experience with beauty counter staff recently?

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  1. Someimes you are made to feel like the sales girl is actually paying for the samples out of her own pocket!! Its weird isnt it when you get colour matched at different counters and no two colours are the same - that happened to me at a Dior counter I got zapped at one and was a certain number went to a different town (same shop though) got zapped and was a totally different shade - so I ended up not buying either as I had lost confidence in the product that it was actually going to suit me one was really light and the other darker (i'd probably have chosen the lighter) When you pay a lot of money for a product I expect it to be right as I've wasted so much money... oops sorry its turned into a bit of a rant lol feel free to delete ;-) xx

    1. HAHA I'm not deleting I like it when a post sparks comments and passion!

      It's so difficult to find the right match without spending a fortune unlike the US where they can return beauty products if not suitable.

      I'm lucky in that a lot of the counter staff I deal with seem to be great but there are some that they look at you like you're just after a freebie!

  2. I never think to ask for samples and I should definitely get into the habit of asking!

    Have a great weekend. x

    1. I must admit I rarely have in the past but it's been products I've tested from samples, whether in magazines or similar that often lead to me making a purchase.

  3. I've always found the Dior counter girls in our John Lewis in Southampton great - always helpful and ready to let you have a sample. The same with LancĂ´me. The only time I had a problem was with a snooty Liz Earle counter assistant who informed me Liz Earle did not provide samples! x Great post.

    1. Oh that's a shame and shows it must always come down to the sales assistant as I know my friends rave about the service from Liz Earle girls in their local John Lewis. Its interesting to see how one person could make such a difference to the sales of the brand x

  4. I'm definitely not shy about asking for a sample - I feel like if I'm going to spend that much money on a product, I at least want to know it's good!

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

    1. Completely agree. I managed to pick up a sample of the Rosie at M&S radiance cream at the weekend too.

  5. I worked in cosmetics and I myself can't stand how people just hand a random shade out. I think this pet peeve passed through my every day life and anyone that was looking a sample of foundation I just had to sit them down. After all what is the point in giving someone a sample that could be wrong for them. People want to be happy with something. Bit of time and care and effort never hurt anyone!

    Rachael x | N o v e m b e r S t o r m s | | I n s t a g r a m |

    1. I couldn't agree more. Even when I'm sent products it can be difficult to review a product when the shade is off, especially if it's significantly so. Often you can't see past the shade being wrong to even think about the appearance of the skin or the glow etc.

      Glad to hear from someone on the other side of the counter!


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