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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Comparing Sample Sizes from different companies: Sample is a Sample, or is it?

Hi there,

One of my favorite aspects of mineral makeup and indie cosmetics is the sample system. More often than not, companies offer 'samples' of assorted products in an effort to try before you buy, er commit. I lurves it! It appeals to my sense of hoarding makeup. I am shameless and won't say I 'collect' or 'appreciate'...heck no, I full on hog out! I love getting the little baggies and jars of yum-yum with enough product to keep me from running out, but not driving me to the poorhouse whilst I enjoy a wide variety of shades. Plus, if the beauties are addictive enough, I WILL buy full sizes...even if it takes me a bit to get there (because I'm drowning in samples)!

BUT, unlike a rose (which is still a rose by any other name...don't leave hate comments on my bad Shakespeare ha ha) samples are definitely not equal. Some companies send out big hefty samples that feel like a full size *cough*Fyrinnae*cough* and some are eensy little bits of product in ridiculous jars or worse, tiny baggies.

Here's a comparison. Good ol' Taco Bell sauce packet and a pretty sample (courtesy of SNS) of Suds N Sass eye shadow. I'd say this is the norm in the sample world. About 1/8 of a tsp, although I've never measured. This will last you at least a month with daily use if you don't spackle like Tammy Faye Baker. Yes, that reference dates me. Pshaw.

But I have a bit of a gripe with how sometimes samples appear to be not quite accurate or really lonely in big jars (i.e. what a waste of plastic jars). J Lynne cosmetics, whose stuff I think is really well made, gives you something that reminds me of a cosmetic combover. No one is fooled by the hair on the bald spot. Just like I'm not fooled by the big jar thinking I have a LOAD of makeup in it. Nope....it's just well, bare. Two samples of J Lynne below and then Fryinnae on the right.

What bugs me is I don't think it's the same amount in the J Lynne samples. Based on eyeballing it, the sample of green shadow looks to be more than the brown. Either way it's scant and I wasn't happy. Why pay more for less?

J Lynne samples cost $1.25 US and Fyrinnae $2.00 US. You tell me, which one would you be happier getting? Although I do love J Lynne's jars- they're prismatic on the bottom and hefty. Good for repotting I guess. But I didn't buy jars, I bought samples. I'm only trying to be positive about it.

Above is a veritable cornucopia of samples! Samples GALORE! Hi-Fi cosmetics, All Natural Face, Aromaleigh, Detrivore, Monave, Suds N Sass, and last and yes, least, Silk Naturals. That's the tiniest sample I've gotten. I hate to say it but their lip gloss sample was also a disappointment. It literally was the end of a swab with colour on it. It was way too close to my 'specimens' I saw as a hospital lab rat to be something I'd want to swipe on my lips. So, no bueno.

Below is another comparison of J Lynne vs Fyrinnae (the shade is BBQ sauce btw). It's just not right, is it? But then again, I'm grateful to have samples at all, right?

By far the best samples are Fyrinnae, hands down. The worst (in my opinion) are Silk Naturals. Have you had wonky sample experiences? I've had reliable sampling of very very decent quantity from Aromaleigh- just seeing those baggies brings on 'home' feeling. AL was my first and deepest 'indie' love. Other really great samples have come from Hi-Fi Cosmetics- such great stuff.

But here's the lowdown on Samples, eyeshadows only (blush/glows/foundations/lips prices & sizes vary) in US dollars:

Aromaleighv2: Sample sets avail. only and samples of rouge, approximately $1.50 to $18.00 based on set. http://www.aromaleigh.com/

Kiss My Sass/Suds N Sass: 1/4 tsp either bag or jar, $2.50 for jar, $1.00 for bag

Morgana Cryptoria (formerly Morgana Minerals): $1.50 for 1/8 tsp baggie (comes in refill baggies too fyi) http://www.morganacryptoria.com/

***SUPERSTAR SAMPLES***Fyrinnae: Arcane Magic Eyeshadows (and some other LE's) 1/4 tsp in 5g jar $2.00, others 1/3 tsp. in 5g jar $2.00 http://www.fyrinnae.com/

High Voltage Cosmetics: 1/4 tsp in baggie $1.00 http://hvcosmetics.zxq.net/new.html

Detrivore Cosmetics: 1/4 tsp (guess, actual amt I couldn't locate on the site) in baggie $1.00 http://www.detrivorecosmetics.com/ (best prices for full sizes I've ever found) Psst! On Ebay Distorria has 50 samples for $25- holla!

Evil Shades: $1.00 I'm assuming in a bag as I've not heard of them using jars. Site states size is large enough for "2-5 applications" with normal use. Probably avg. sample size like AL. http://www.evilshades.com/

J Lynne Cosmetics: $1.25 for "Sample Jar" amt I couldn't find on the site with a quick look but based on my experience it's probably around 1/4 tsp or less. I have no idea, actually. HUGE jar- great for restocking. http://www.jlynnecosmetics.com/

Hi-Fi Cosmetics: I couldn't really see any samples per se beyond what comes in sets which are usually 10 samples for $8.99 or so. BUT Veronica always throws in freebies and her stuff is top notch. So less than $1 per sample and about 1/4 tsp in long sample bag.

Meow Cosmetics: $1.00 p/bag contains 1/16 tsp http://www.meowcosmetics.com/

Monave: site states 5g in bag for $1.00 BUT the bag I got is not 5 grams of product. Must be a typo. http://www.monave.com/

Archetype Cosmetics: BEST BARGAIN .25 cents (yes, a quarter) for 1/8 tsp in sample baggie http://www.archetypecosmetics.com/ *have read about shipping issues or not receiving orders at all, be warned*

Silk Naturals: Samples are in a pulldown menu (kinda tricky) but the samples I got were super small and although I LOVE the eyeshadows, it's a bit of a headache. Just order full sizes. Great MAC/NARS supposed dupes, but I didn't find them exact, so double meh. http://www.silknaturals.com/

Concrete Minerals: Samples in 5g jars with 1/4 tsp of product, 4 for $9.99 http://www.etsy.com/shop/concreteminerals

Shiro Cosmetics: 1/4 tsp in bag $1.00 http://www.shirocosmetics.com/

All Natural Face: No samples of eye colours, but face/cheek samples are a steal. Like 8 for $2.00. Serious. http://www.theallnaturalface.com/

BFTE (formerly Beauty From The Earth): "Sample Jar" size unspecified as far as I could see $2.00 per jar. http://www.bftecosmetics.com/

About Face/She Space/Heatheresque: Sample Kits available, some listed at 4 for $3.00 in bags http://www.heatheresque.com/

If there is a company I've missed, sorry about that. I tried to list the ones I've used and had experience with or read a bit about. What has been your sampling experience? Do you think it's a great idea or a waste of product or blatant freebies? I'd love to know your take. Thanks for stopping by!

Have a great day,


Robyn said...

Really happy with Hi-Fi's samples - generous amount and she sends you loads, too! My last order I got two e/s, one glitter and a lipgloss sample which was enough for at least six applications. I'd rather pay $2 for a Fyrinnae mini in a bag than a baggie from a lot of other places, too.

Amanda said...

I tried to look up Fyrinnae and the web site was gone! Well...said it would be back soon. Any ideas what's going on?

TianneMarie said...

Hey Robyn! I love Hi-Fi too. It's one of those products that you can regularly count on to be top notch. I agree with you on Fyrinnae- it's just not worth getting boring mixed mica when you get seriously beautiful shades for nearly the same price.

Hi Amanda! I saw that too, but I checked this morning and they're back on. Happy shopping!