What Are the Best Tips for Getting Free Cosmetics?

Nicole Etolen

Cosmetics are products that are used to enhance or accentuate the features, and include items such as eye color, lip color, or face powder. They can be expensive at times, especially for those who want to possess a wide variety of cosmetics. Samples and other trial sizes are a great way to try out different colors and establish a list of favorites for future purchases. The best tips for getting free cosmetics include approaching companies to request them, getting free makeovers at cosmetic counters in departments stores, and combining coupons with other discounts.

Mascara is a type of cosmetic.
Mascara is a type of cosmetic.

One of the best tips for getting free cosmetics is to simply ask for them. Many cosmetic companies offer samples to customers who take the time to request them, and some may even provide a full-size product. When requesting samples directly from the company, it is important to be polite and not too specific in requests. For example, asking for samples of the company’s newest lip color is likely to yield better results than asking for a very specific lip color. Signing up for email newsletters from cosmetic companies is another way to find free cosmetics samples, as the company will often announce sampling promotions there first.

The cosmetics managers at high-end department stores often provide customers with free makeup and lessons.
The cosmetics managers at high-end department stores often provide customers with free makeup and lessons.

Cosmetic counters in specialty or department stores often offer free makeovers in the hope of enticing customers into making purchases. While customers do not get to take the products home with them, this is a good option for those who want to try out new colors without committing to a full-size purchase. Many of these counters also run promotions that include free cosmetics with purchase. Companies that rely on catalog sales rather than selling through a physical store also often offer in-home makeovers and provide samples with purchase.

Combing coupons with sales is a great way to get nearly free or free cosmetics. Coupons can be found in numerous different places, including newspapers, online, and by requesting them from the companies. In many cases, an item goes on sale approximately six weeks after a coupon is released, so holding on to the coupon until closer to the expiration date can often net better deals. The best way to use coupons is to combine them with high-discount clearance sales, which can result in a free item, or in some cases, an “overage,” in which the store actually owes the customer money. Not all stores allow overages, however, and in those cases, the product will simply be free.

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Discussion Comments


@jonrss - Wow, cool idea. I never would have thought of that. I once went to a closing sale that a beauty store was having and was able to get a lot of free makeup by making just a few small purchases.

They were desperate to get rid of anything they had so it was all going for bargain basement prices. It was pretty picked over by the time I was there but still worth it for all the money I saved.


I have seen free cosmetics show up on Craigslist a few times. If you look in the free section there are some times when people are moving or cleaning and they want to get rid of used or unopened cosmetics. I was able to get 20 free tubes of lipstick once this way.


I have found that the best way to get free cosmetics is to know people who work in cosmetology. They get samples and all the time and if you are friendly they will sometimes pass them along to you.

I am extra lucky because my oldest fried Cheryl is a beautician and she is always helping me get free or cheap cosmetics. I make it worth her while because I always recommend her when I hear that some one is looking to get a make over.

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