Right now I'm loving minis . . . usable minis that is! I have a weakness for cute miniature things like mini lint rollers, mini toothpaste tubes, mini brushes, puppies, kittens, bunnies etc. There's something about cute that gets me all the time. Makeup is no exception - but for me it has to be something that is functional, usable and not-to-mini. I know I should be grateful for any kind of mini sample, especially these days when good ones are SO hard to come by. However, if something isn't functional I'll just end up tossing it.
Makeup mini fails for me:
- mini pigment vials in those holiday sets (can't get a brush into the product)
- mini NARS lipglosses (can you even get 1 application on the lips with these?)
- mini perfume vials without a pump spritzer or roller ball (my fingers are small, but not THAT small and I end up with the cologne all over my hands and the floor)
Functionality is even more important if I'm going to spend money on something less than full size. I'll rarely purchase something "mini" unless it's usable or if it's in a cute set (even those mini pigment sets still get to me even though they're not super easy to use). I have small hands but some things are too small even for me.
A few makeup mini successes that I'm loving right now:
- OPI mini nail polishes
- Laura Mercier mini eyeshadows
- Anastasia Mini Tweezers *
- Diptyque Eau Duelle (yummy vanilla)
- Urban Decay Little Sins Primer Potions Set *
- Chanel mini foundation brush
- MAC ss7 SH *
- Laura Mercier double-ended mini brush
- Chanel mini glossimer
- Chanel mini makeup removers
- Diorshow mini
- Chanel mini perfumes with the rollerballs
- La Mer new eye balm sample
items with the * were purchased, the rest were from GWPs and samples
So you may be wondering: where does one find good samples? I've come across good ones over the years but it's hit or miss. I find that if you develop a good relationship with a sales associate they will often times call you when there are decent promotions or put something aside for you when they know there is something you like.
How does one develop a "good relationship"? It's like any relationship - it takes time and a bit of work. Be polite and patient. Don't lecture the sales associate if they suggest something you hate (I've seen this so many times). Be understanding and patient. Take some interest in your makeup artist's personal life. Customer loyalty helps. Keep your returns to a minimum.
That being said - being a good customer doesn't ensure that you'll get good samples either. I find it ridiculous these days when high end department stores think that an ugly cheap makeup bag will 4 tiny samples will be considered a great incentive for a customer to spend the minimum of $300. Even a full-sized product valued at $25 isn't always the best incentive for a $350 minimum purchase.
Anyhow, there are the occasional good finds that keep me happy. I know that if certain retailers offered better samples and incentives they'd have more of my business. Many times I don't need an incentive to make me buy but it's always nice to have. How often do we have something specific on our wishlist (like the Chanel Holiday Blush) that we know we just have to have? The question for women who know what they want is where to buy it. I think retailers miss out when they don't look at the competition and think about what they can do better or differently to stand out.
But I digress . . . what are you loving right now? It doesn't have to be minis. I'd love to hear what you like right now :)