It's April in March! Just about all of our flowers and trees have burst into leaf or bloom a month early. These daffodils in my garden are definitely early. Our days have been delightful. Unfortunately, driving rains are predicted for this weekend, and they may wash the blooms right off the flowering trees, including the magnificent cherry trees that are blooming all over town.
Today, let's talk about samples, a perk of ordering online (and occasionally in stores). I'm always grateful to receive samples, but I've been thinking about their purpose. With makeup, they can be useful when they give us an opportunity to try - from a clean source - a lip color on our lips. They can be just as frustrating in the makeup category when the retailer offers/gives us a packet foundation sample in a color that's so far off from our own coloring, we can't learn much of anything that would help us make a purchase decision.
Fragrance samples can be extremely useful. There are usually a few "wears" in them, and they provide us with the opportunity to determine whether a scent compliments our skin chemistry and personal tastes. However, the arrival from Sephora of fragrance samples I didn't request, in place of what I selected, infuriates me. When I already know I despise a scent, I don't want it in my box, polluting my purchases.
Skin care samples are problematic. Have you ever made a decision to purchase skin care after using a single-use packet sample? I haven't. I need at least a few days, and preferably a week or more of use, to determine whether the product will be effective on my skin. About the only thing a packet sample can tell me is whether or not I like the smell and feel of the product. That's not enough. Consequently, I wonder why manufacturers bother to make skin care packets. Is it only because they're inexpensive to produce? Do they think the packets generate good will? The skin care exceptions, for me, are single-use mask samples. I love them. They allow me to experience a single application, and I do know after using one, whether I will purchase the product. Ask your Sisley counter for a mask sample, use it, then tell me you don't want it!
What do you think about beauty samples? Do they entice you to purchase? When? If you could rule the world for a day, how would you manufacture and distribute samples? What do you love? What do you hate?
Do you want to talk about other things? It's time for The Friday Forum, our open chat. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers will have moved on.
This was a big week for me. I received many new fragrances and samples of the glorious new Xerjoff Oud Stars Collection (from MiN New York), my Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge d'Armani Sheer Lipsticks arrived (by pony express), and my UPS guy dropped off my newest Sephora + PANTONE UNIVERSE selections last night (with their classy packaging). I see the sun rising, so I'm going to try to get photos today - important because no sun is predicted for the weekend. I'm also excited about a possible new partnership with my local SPACE.NK. It's a fabulous store within Bloomingdale's at Tysons Corner Center, and they are interested in helping me provide you with information - and possibly a special gift day for local readers. Stay tuned.
Please remember to support the Giorgio Armani Acqua for Life Campaign to help UNICEF provide clean water for children in need. Armani will donate $1 for the first 100,000 people who “like” the “Acqua for Life” Facebook page from March 1, 2012 to March 31. How hard is that? Just a click.
Don't forget to enter the Bobbi Brown Bare to Bold Eye Shadow Palette giveaway contest. The deadline is tomorrow, March 24, at midnight. It's a beautiful palette.
Garden photo by Best Things in Beauty. Xerjoff photo courtesy of Basenotes; Nude packet sample courtesy of Sephora