The Complete Guide to Makeup Samples + Travel Size Beauty

Travel Size Makeup Samples

Right about now as we are heading into Spring/Summer I always get a bit obsessed with makeup samples, holiday or no holiday planned. As I’m not one for full-on splurging on makeup all too often and like to spend my money wisely I’m a big believer in trying before you buy and using travel size beauty products over full-size products.

To share some of my savvy ways when in comes to makeup samples… in the past 6 months I haven’t had to purchase any kind of hair masks as I’ve been using up my stash of luxury hair conditioner sachets and you will only find vials and miniature fragrances in my bag so that I don’t use up the perfumes I love too quickly! As for when I do go on holiday you can bet I will have a stash of free face mask samples with me and a multitude of travel size products, from sunscreen to body moisturizer and of course lots of travel size makeup. You could say I’m a girl, obsessed!

But where do you find good quality makeup samples and travel size beauty products I hear you cry? Well I’m here to tell you… because I keep my sample stash fully stocked through various sources; sometimes free, sometimes not. 

But first of all here are 6 reasons to love travel size beauty products:

  • Makes high-end beauty brands more affordable 
  • You can try out lots of products/brands you normally wouldn’t
  • Perfect for travel 
  • Ideal for hand luggage liquid restrictions on planes 
  • They make nice extra gifts
  • Try before you buy

    Free Makeup Samples

       Where to find Makeup Samples

      High Street Travel Beauty Products
      The high street is full of travel beauty products, especially when it comes to toiletries and holiday essentials. Before any holiday I head to Boots and pick up some travel size toiletries (you can even find this section in airport Boots stores!). The best compact sizes in my option for holidays is any normally bulky/heavy items, such as – shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, body lotion and hair products. Taking just what you need in these smaller sizes will not only cut down on weight but save so much room in your suitcase! My favourite brands that offer travel size products in Boots are – OGX (shampoo & conditioner), Soap & Glory and The Sanctuary, which are often on a 3 for 2 offer.
      You can also find a similar selection of travel toiletries in most supermarkets and Superdrug stores. Even if you aren’t going on holiday I’d still recommend checking out these sections of stores as you can find new products to try out from the brands you already love or it even may even make you want to try out a new brand without buying a full-size product.

      Luxury Travel Beauty Products
      Luxury makeup samples and travel size products are slightly different I’ve found, of course they are slightly more money but there are many more travel size beauty products available along with try-me style gift sets. You are also more likely to find these online than in-store, however it is possible to pick up luxury travel products in certain stores. Luxury travel toiletries can be found at John Lewis, M&S and Selfridges. Travel kits can also be found at various makeup counters, it’s just a case of looking around. High end brands good for travel/mini sizes include – Too Faced, Korres, Nuxe, Benefit, Smashbox, Bumble and Bumble and Philip Kingsley, to name just a few.

      As for asking for free samples at high-end makeup counters this can still be done when making a purchase (99% of the time they will give you a handful of good samples!) but if you don’t intend to buy anything it is slightly tricky. Foundation samples and skincare samples are the more easier samples to obtain by showing a genuine interest in a product, possibly the sales assistant trying it out on you to find your correct shade and then asking if any samples are available to try out the product at home. This can be hit and miss as they may not have samples in stock but it’s worth a shot!

      Extra tip: If you are buying a high-end foundation asking for a few samples in a darker shade as you are going on holiday (possibly a teeny white lie, oops!) is a really good idea. This means you can use these samples if your skin becomes darker in summer or on holiday!

      makeup sample collection


      Makeup Samples from eBay
      eBay is defintiely a tricky one due to the amount of counterfeit products on the website however if you know what you are looking for you can safely avoid buying fakes! If you are looking to try a specific foundation in your own shade before buying it in-store or online then it’s worth looking on eBay. Quite a few UK based sellers making a living from selling decanted samples of popular high-end foundations or sachet samples. You can also find this with popular fragrances which you can actually buy decanted into a travel atomiser, ideal for taking your favourite summer fragrance on holiday without buying a bottle of it or decanting from your own with an atomiser. As for other travel size makeup products I would suggest buying with caution as fake makeup is rife on eBay even in miniature form these days. Brands to be wary of include – Benefit, MAC and Too Faced.

      Magazine Freebies 
      Magazine freebies are a great way to snap up makeup samples with magazine issues in the spring/summer months, in particular, offering some really good free products for the price of a magazine! I personally only buy £4-5 magazines when the free beauty gift offered is something I’ve been wanting to try and mainly go for £1-2 magazines such as Glamour & Marie Claire (when on offer) when they include free samples. My personal favourite magazine freebies are nail polish and hand cream and they are generally full size. And I’m all over Benefit freebies when they pop up! You do however need to be quick as they go fast (checking petrol station/service station magazine stands is always a good shout) and if the free gift is a product you already use and love – stock up! I say this because sample sizes when bought in bulk often work out much cheaper than buying the full-size equivalent!

      It’s also worth pulling out sachet samples from the magazine you buy and keeping them all together. Perfect for when you want to try out something new or when going on holiday.

      Extra tip: A lot of sachet samples give more than one application so to keep the sample fresh once open, seal with washi tape after each use. This works particularly well for shampoo/conditioner sachets and face mask samples.

      Feelunique Pick n Mix samples

      Where to shop Makeup Sample Services 

      Feelunique Pick ‘n’ Mix
      This is a makeup sample service I’m talked about so much on Makeup Savvy and have taken advance of most months since discovering it. Simply pick 5 samples from a huge range for the price of Feelunique’s p&p (£3.95). I’ve picked up some amazing makeup and skincare samples this way from brands such as Bioderma, Benefit, Charlotte Tilbury, Burt’s Bees and Emma Hardie. Perfect for trying out new products and without a doubt ideal for holiday travel samples. The above image shows the samples I recently picked up!

      Extra tip: I always make sure to pick up a conditioner sachet samples from high-end brands with each order if I can because I use them on dry or damp hair as intensive hair masks!

      Latest in Beauty DIY Beauty Boxes
      A DIY beauty box here that you can buy as a one-off personalised box or monthly at a discounted price. I personally would suggest the one-off boxes make more sense and deciding if you want to go for 3 products (£16) 6 products (£22) or 9 products (£25). This may seem steep but most of the products available are high-end and full size and if not you can be sure they will be large samples which often retail for £10+ alone. This is perfect if you are after one of the full-size products, for example when my favourite Moroccanoil Treatment runs out (RRP £13.45) I plan to pick it up in a 3 product LIB box making the 2 other samples only £2.55 but their true cost will be much more.


      The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club
      If you are into discovering new perfumes then this affordable £5 quarterly fragrance club may be for you. Included in each box will be 5+ fragrance samples to try out with money-off vouchers for each if you decide to purchase any fragrance full size. You can also pick up the Spring 2017 Discovery Club box without signing up to the club for only £5.

      Smashbox Try Me Minis

      Direct from Beauty Brand Samples 


      Smashbox Travel-Size Minis
      Travel-size minis from £5.00 or 4 for £15 + 2 free samples per order and free delivery!
      As for can see, above, I picked up the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil to try out and selected the Photo Finish Foundation Primer and Photo Finish Lid Primer as my two free samples all for only £5 – such a good little deal.

      Benefit Minis
      Benefit minis can be picked up in multiple places but the biggest range is availabe online and in larger Boots stores . Benefit minis can be bought individually but offers include 4 for £15 on standard Benefit minis and 3 for £25 on newer launches. However the official Benefit online store offers three sets of 6 samples for only £17.50 – definitely worth checking out!

      MAC Sized To Go 
      MAC now offer 15 different travel size products of some of their most popular products. All travel minis cost £10 each and some really do offer good value for money, for example a 30ml strobing cream where a very little in needed seems like a pretty good deal for £10! Mini products include cult classic Fix +, mini pigments, mascaras and lipglass’ available in 12 shades.

      As for nail polish minis (because how goes through a full-size nail polish?) Essie, Nails Inc and OPI all offer mini sets.

      Perfume Samples

      Makeup Samples really are worth picking up for so many reasons so I hope I’ve inspired you to become a little more makeup sample savvy from this blog post! 

      My question to you would be which product would you love to buy a miniature version of that’s currently not available in a smaller size? After much thinking, for me it would be my favourite Guerlain Insolence perfume and YSL Faux Cils mascara mini. 

      Fee xo.


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