The Sample Dish

24 June

A picture of a Unicorn Jewellery Dish holding beauty samples
Sample sizes can be an absolutely fantastic way to try a product before committing to the full size. It gives you a chance to see if the product really meets it's claims, whether it works well with your own skins needs as well as providing the results you want to see. You either love them, or hate them, but for me samples are blooming marvellous and I often get far more use out of a travel sample size from a high-end brand, than I do a full size from a high-street brand.

Getting hold of sample sizes is actually pretty easy. There's monthly beauty boxes who provide a mix of both full size and sample sizes in their boxes each month (I recommend Birchbox and Love Me Beauty for beauty samples!), there's magazine freebies which are often great samples from high-end brands, gift-with-purchase offers or gift-sets and travel sets, as well as simply asking at beauty counters. The last one might leave a few of you feeling unsure - I for one regularly chicken out asking for a sample at counters; you expect the answer to be no. But most of the time, brands are more than happy to send you away with a few days sample of their latest foundation or must-have scientific skincare product. With a high-end price tag, I think bases and skincare are particularly important to be sure about before committing to the full size, and samples are a great way to see if that £30 foundation will work with your skin or whether the newest £40 facial oil will make your skin happier. 

But sample sizes can also be the bane of my life sometimes! Did you know, hiding under my dressing table, is a little box full of samples? Samples I keep saying 'I'll use soon', but that still sit in the box for months on end. Lately I'm taking the more forward approach - having several samples out at a time, on my dressing table where I can see them and grab them with ease. Popped into my delightful Unicorn Jewellery Dish (£6.68)I have primers, for both the face and eyes, mascaras and hand creams. I'm turning to these samples daily, in an attempt to use them up, decide whether they're worth the full size purchase or popping them in the bin and forgetting about them if not! It feels satisfying to finish each sample up, and it's definitely leaving me with more room in my makeup stash. My and my Unicorn dish, we'll get through these samples in no time!

How do you get through beauty samples? Do you like beauty samples or do you find them pointless? What's the best sample you've tried? Let me know!  

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  1. The website you got your dish from is amazing!

    I'm terrible for stashing samples they just get chucked into the backs of drawers never to be seen again. The dish is a very good idea.

    Keli | xx

  2. I love samples, especially perfume samples and I have two glass jars which I keep everything in. One contains sachets and the other vials and bottles x

  3. I get all my samples from my Birchbox. I am too nervous to ask at counters too! Love your unicorn dish. That website has some beautiful products x

    Mapped Out | Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle

  4. I love samples and I love your Unicorn dish, definitely need to get me one of those!

    Jess xo

  5. Gotta love samples - and miniatures! I've got my sachet style samples in a clear bag to be gazed at, added to, and quite possibly curled up around like dragon treasure. Then the larger samples are separated in handily pre-colour coded Birchbox bags. The LiB boxes are so pretty, I leave the tissue lining in and keep my makeup in them.
    Oh ... it's an addiction that ensnares all aspects of my life :D

  6. AnonymousJune 24, 2014

    I also have a sample stash! They can be soo handy. I usually keep primer ones as it's just not worth me buying a full-size as I only wear make up around once a month! I've also saved myself so much money through sample sizes (granted that isn't the brand's objective ;)), but it helps me make an informed choice. I think they are also particularly handy for people with sensitive skin. They're also good to keep for when you go away for a night and just need one or two days use of something like a shampoo!

  7. I love samples! My dressing table drawer is full of them. Your unicorn dish is adorable.

    Katie from

  8. Such a lovely idea and a great way to get your samples used up. I love your unicorn dish - Gifts & Pieces have so many wonderful products on their website! xo

    Megan Jane // Seek My Scribbles UK Fashion & Beauty Blog

  9. I love samples and have so many just sitting around in boxes. This is a really cute idea, I especially love your little unicorn! Cute!

    Lyndsay | Fizzy Peaches

  10. AnonymousJune 24, 2014

    Latest In Beauty are also fab for their collections, that usually include a variety of samples and some full sizes and always amazing value.

    I don't mind asking for samples in stores, it's why manufacturers make them after all, and most are happy to give generously (I've walked away with full skincare routines before when I only asked to try one thing!) although I notice some companies are more precious about giving them out (Benefit i'm looking at you)!

    I hate it when my stash runs low, although with my current beauty box addiction, that's not a problem these days!

  11. I like proper samples like the ones you have sown here, little bottles etc as it gives you a chance to test something out properly - I hate those like plastic peel back ones that give you less than one use - that will never get me to buy a product lol :) Great post and jewelry dish too! x

  12. AnonymousJune 25, 2014

    I love samples, I save some for holidays and taking to the gym. They are a great way to try a product you might not buy the full size of :-)

  13. Your unicorn dish is amazing! :)
    I need to start using up some of my sample products!


  15. I hate when brands don't do samples, seems stingy. You have to know what you're dealing with before you shell out for it. I LOVE that dish too!