Sample Size Me! Trial Size Me! But Don’t Super Size Me Till I’m Ready!

If you are like me, you love samples. And trial sizes. They are precious little gifts. Especially when you are in the market to buy a pricier cosmetic or product.    I mean—really!  If you go to a specialty market, a sampling of cheese or sausage is always offered.  Been to an ice cream shop lately?  You can sample just about any flavor!


And might I add, these samples are looking quite delicious!

So—why is it that we oftentimes forget about sampling cosmetics? Why don’t we look for trial sizes—or better yet, why aren’t trial sizes for all products sold?



A few items from my stash bag.  I couldn’t empty out the entire bag or Chippy would be at the Vet’s office from eating many items that he shouldn’t!

Take it from me.  My two favorite stores for cosmetics sampling are Sephora and Nordstrom!

Back when my Lancôme guru Elena was at Nordie’s I would leave every purchase with a ton of samples—and Lancôme is a brand that has incredibly generous sized ones!


A “sampling” of some of the many samples from Lancome that I have hoarded, stashed, amassed  collected. It’s time to make a Genefique purchase so I can get more samples!

Nordstrom welcomes the request for samples!  Like a scent?  You can get a sample at both Nordstrom and Sephora and try before you buy!

The samples also come in handy when traveling.  I’m pretty honest with the cosmetics pros. I will ask for a sample of foundation and explain I’m traveling over the weekend and want to try something new.  Nine out of ten times, I get an extra sample.  And I thank profusely!


These samples will come in handy on summer trips because of the sunscreen! 

And you never know what could come of a sample that you receive without asking for it.  Back in November I received a sample of Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonder Glow primer. I loved it so much, but not as a primer; I use it to illuminate—that I made the purchase!


I’ll pack these samples on my next trip overseas.  I can use the Magic Cream while in-flight to keep the moisture in!  To the left is the regular size Wonder Glow. It actually works well on those “no makeup” days to give a dewy glow. I like it and was glad that I received a generous sampling!

I am also big on trial sizes.  If only I had seen or tried a trial size of Vaseline’s Spray and Go moisturizer before I tried it.  For me, it was awful. It didn’t dry immediately and felt very “filmy” under my clothing.  My daughter, Oona, agreed.


I was very surprised to read the great reviews on this moisturizer. It felt filmy on me and I cannot stand that feeling.  I wouldn’t have wasted the money if a trial size was available!

In fact, Oona told me about Jergen’s wet moisturizer. You put it on your body upon exiting your bath or shower before you dry. I tried the trial size and this stuff is GREAT!!!  I will be purchasing the full size when this trial empties.  When this moisturizer dries, your skin doesn’t feel filmy—especially under clothing.  It softens the skin too. I am a fan!


A winner and a non-winner.  On the left, Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer–I’m telling you, this is GREAT!  To the right, the e.l.f. Exfoliating Scrub that just didn’t cut it with me!

I made a purchase of another product—not a trial size nor a sample.  e.l.f. Exfoliating Scrub.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me.  It definitely exfoliates, but left my skin dry. Really dry. Dry to the point my face was just taut and felt awful.  But—on the good side, I was reminded of an exfoliating scrub I used to have on hand all the time.

St. Ives.  Anyone every use that?  It was great and left my skin feeling soft and not dry. I need to search for this again.


I need to scope this down.  Hmmmm. Perhaps I can find a trial size!  I miss this apricot scrub. St. Ives makes the best–and the price is right!

I’m also going to be weeding through my samples and trial sizes for an upcoming weekend trip to DC.  We’re going to head back—probably next month when the weather gets just a little bit less gloomy.  My little samples will be happy.


I load up on trial size deodorants. I have them in my purses and all travel bags.  I don’t care too much for the scent of underarm body odor!


Oh look on the cotton swab pack. A fallen hair!  Welcome to my life.  Hair  there and everywhere!  That little Barbasol trial size? I bring them on every trip. I also stuff the boy’s stocking at Christmas with these–and Bonaparte’s too.  I must have spent hundreds of dollars on those little cans over the years!  More SPF and my little tan friend–Jergens Natural Glow!  I could use some now!


Downey Wrinkle Releaser “PLUS”.  I may spray it on my face to release my wrinkles into thin air. Maybe that is what the “Plus” is for!


I know why these Lancome samples are very generous. The brand’s makeup remover is so gentle that it doesn’t take all the makeup off. In fact, I don’t even know why I still have these!


OK. Every time I go to a hotel and the Orange Ginger bath products are hanging around, I take them. Yes. I will sneak out to the housekeeping cart and help myself.  Why? Because I can’t find this at Bath and Body Works anymore!  I LOVE this scent. I don’t even use the conditioner, I just open the little bottles and sniff! 


I did not place this back in the sample bag. I’m using this after I finish the post!

How do you sample?  Are you a fan of stores that very willingly allow you to take home a sample?  Do you ask?  Do you bring the smaller sizes on trips?  I’m curious.  Do tell!


This calculator is not a sample size, nor a trial size. It is SUPERSIZED!  I found it when I was cleaning out a cabinet at the office. Naturally,  I claimed it as mine. Nobody argued with me!  I swear it is the greatest calculator ever!  I can see all the numbers. It’s resting against my computer!!  My new toy!

I have a great sample for you today in the form of a song.  I’ve been listening to this one by Stanislas, a French singer. The song is “Le Manège. It’s about taking a ride through life and it’s so ethereal and haunting and beautiful at the same time. I keep replaying it.  Enjoy!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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8 Responses to Sample Size Me! Trial Size Me! But Don’t Super Size Me Till I’m Ready!

  1. Gail Hanlon says:

    I’m with you on sample and trial sizes! I used to travel a lot for work and I kept all the samples that were given away in magazines or with beauty buys, and used them for my trips. Extremely useful! And I discovered some great products as a result.


    • Catherine says:

      Hi Gail. Right??? Those little give-aways in magazines are also great little samples to hold onto. I remember getting into the “sample” scene as a young teen. Many magazines like Seventeen and Ingenue offered .50 samples of makeup that I would send for all the time. I can still remember the great scent of Angel Face cosmetics!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!!

  2. I love the samples too, so you can carry them around when you need a quick face fix.
    I just discovered Vaseline’s Mature Skin Rejuvenation and love it! Not oily and has a light pleasant scent and WORKS for dry skin.

    • Catherine says:

      Tami. Really? Hot damn! I didn’t realize Vaseline had a Mature Skin Rejuvenation. I’ll definitely try it—kudos for the brand to actually call it like it is!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. maidsdayoff says:

    Not sure if they have Bed, Bath & Beyond in your neck of the woods, but they have a HUGE selection of travel and trial size products. It’s my new go-to place before a trip.
    Also, after many years, I recently rediscovered St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Used to use it a lot decades ago! I found it at WalMart, and honestly, I think WalMart’s Equate brand is just as good. I’m currently loving the St. Ives Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub. Not sure there’s such a thing as a pink lemon, but whatever! It is less abrasive than the apricot – almost like sand – and I love the scent!

    • Catherine says:

      Oh…yes! We head to what Bonaparte calls “Bed and Breakfast” (Bed Bath and Beyond) before our summer trips and stock up! Seriously–that St. Ives brand is great and the Equate brand from Walmart is also a very very good brand!!! I’m gonna have to look for that pink lemon! XOXOXOXO!!!

  4. Yvonne Gray says:

    I have the Lancome Regenerie cleanser sample size and it has been to NY three times, Chicago, Charleston, Williamsburg, Madrid and Paris. I am surprised Charlotte Tilbury gives such generous samples. What are you going to do in DC? Let me know when you come and if you have time we can have a quick coffee but I certainly understand the time constraints of travelling. I think you are on a Trump blackout but surprised you haven’t mentioned Nordstrom, and now TJ Maxx removing Number One Daughter’s product from the shelves. I expect it is a business decision as can’t imagine they will be selling on the East or West Coast. cheers Y

  5. JulietC says:

    I love a sample, Kiehls and Nuxe are generously sized I think. I have awkward skin – not sensitive, not delicate, not… awkward as in stroppy, it can go from liking a product a lot to hating it overnight – it reacted to Liz Earle, I mean Liz Earle for crying out loud. But so far – touch wood Nuxe and Kiehls are fine and they are great with samples. There are also the odd online provider that are generous but really I like to hoard my special babies and every now and then have a splodge night when I do the face masque and other stuff and just wallow, I guess I haven’t grow out of the small child/mud pie phase

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