The Sample Stash Dilemma

Ahhh… nothing adds a big of extra happiness to your beauty purchases like that little sample they throw in your bag. A cute little vial of perfume. An sachet of that expensive face cream. You scoop it up carefully like a little squirrel carrying a precious winter berry and add it to your growing stash….so now what?

Beauty Sample Stash

I’m sure this happens to most of us, you responsibly store away your beauty samples telling yourself that it’s going to come in handy for travel or use on a day that you’ve unexpectedly ran out of other things. I do the exact same thing…except that I usually never bring “new” products on a trip in case my skin reacts badly and since I always have my eye on the next new product to try I am also rarely without a certain crucial product in my daily regime.

Beauty Sample Stash
Where does that leave my sample stash box? Over flowing and quite unloved.
“It’s not that I don’t like you, all you preciously little packets of mysterious and (often) expensive things… I just want it to be the right time. I want to open you up when I need you.”

The prospect of using a sample sometimes makes me weary. What if I fall in love with something I can’t afford? I’ll be lusting after it every sleepless night and wander around like a heartbroken love bird.

Beauty Sample Stash

Having a stash of multiple samples is always nice, especially when it comes to skincare so I can have bit of time to let me skin make up it’s mind. There have also been times I’ve been curious about a product and just ordered a handful of samples which were extremely helpful to test out textures and colours. And let me tell you, sometime they turn out well…and other times…. let’s just say thank goodness I didn’t buy the full size!

Beauty Sample Stash
But what about those small single package samples? Take those eye creams for example, it’s just too much for one application and so I end up having to leave the sample open until I use it again the next night. Annoyingly this not only makes the product dry out faster but also makes me feel terribly unsanitary. Other times, a single sample is quite literally for one time use but then again how do I know I wasn’t just fooled by a one night stand?
Beauty Sample Stash
As of late, I’ve been making a real effort to use and work through my sample box, something I never thought I would need to do. With the habit of keeping everything together in a neat little box, I often forget exactly what I have in there after all from long lost bb creams I’ve ordered to perfume vials I’ve been saving up for special dates which are slowly but surely evaporating out of the tube. So with today’s parting words, I challenge you to go through your sample stash and pick out one thing you’re going to pop open tonight and enjoy because really…that specially “occasion” you’re saving that sample for is likely just in your imagination.

How do you oraganize and keep your sample stash under control?
Do you eager open them immediately or are you a saver like me?

24 thoughts on “The Sample Stash Dilemma

  1. Her Ugliness says:

    I think I have just as many samples like you! At the beginning I just stored them and tried to use one from time to time. By now I have gotten the habit of collecting them until I have multiple ones of the same sample. And only when I have multiples and it means I can try the product for a longer time I start using them, because I feel like only then can I really say whether the product works for me or not.


  2. Núria says:

    I also got many samples and never used them. Now I've made my mind to use them so when I travel I take enough samples of face moisturizer, body lotion, serum, etc, and finish them up. But I still have tons of them, specially the foundations that are way darker than my skintone T_T.


  3. Sarah Midaregami says:

    I rarely wait to use my samples because I know I won't use them during a travel (I never run out of products, I have a lot in my stash ^^;).I usually use lotions, serums and creams on my neck because I don't like the ingredient list (like high-end products… Full of silicone and mineral oil… No way). It's different for the cleansing oils, cleansers, shampoos, treatments… I use them when I sleep over or during a travel.Sometime, when I'm a little bored and I want to test something new, I try a sample instead of buying a new product. I feel less frustrated ^^;


  4. Suki says:

    If I get samples and there is something that will definitely not cause a face skin reaction, like a perfume or a body cream, I try to use it because as you said that special occasion never comes up. But if it's a face cream or foundation, I'm always hesitant because I have very sensitive skin so I give the samples to my mother and friends 🙂


  5. Aleeza says:

    Yes! So many samples! I have a container full of them — some from my beauty box obsession, and others were just included in my purchases. I'm making it my mission to use up as many as I can. I'm calling it, Project Sample Pan haha. I don't want them to sit there & waste — and potentially expire. Plus, in hindsight, I did pay for a lot of them :/ x


  6. ichigo hime says:

    Wow, you sure have a great collection! xD I have only a few samples, but luckily I received 2-3 of most of them, so if I like them it would be great for small travels :3 I usually try to test at least one wvery 15 days, but nowadays even weekends are busy, so they're accumulating x_x


  7. noire says:

    I'm more of a saver and would use them occasionally when I remember : ) I spot several Etude House Mineral BB Samples there, do you know which shade looks good on you? You know you are my skin tone reference! It's funny but even though we're from very different ethnicities out skin tones seem to be very similar since all the foundation and BB cream shades you've recommended me so far perfectly match my complexion : )Very nice sample stash, hope you find new and exciting products to love ^^ xx


  8. Alanna says:

    Ah, I need to clean my bathroom drawers out! Samples everywhere plus all the little things I always think I will need but never use, like denture cleaner! Haha


  9. PBunnieP says:

    I've been trying to do that with my Korean beauty samples, I find that they tend to all give out whatever is hot and popular the moment. For a while, I kept getting The Face Shop Smim Brightening Cream and Etude's BB-Dation. I never quite know what to do with single sample skincare though…it's like I use it once and then what?


  10. PBunnieP says:

    Base products are confusing for me too, I feel like I'm wasting them if I don't use them (especially the high end ones) but I doubt I'm going to have a good experience because they colours just aren't right.


  11. PBunnieP says:

    Thank you for the kind award!I think I need a “plan” to start using up those samples. I'm sure they expire at some point as well…maybe I'll make one day of the week a “sample day”.


  12. PBunnieP says:

    We need to do this together! “Project Sample Pan” sounds like something I need… I think those little innocent samples are slowly taking over my drawers and boxes, it's getting slightly ridiculous…sometimes I don't even remember when I got the sample and worry about how long they've been sitting there.


  13. PBunnieP says:

    When it comes to skincare, I only tend to use samples when I'm feeling “adventurous” and / or I don't have somewhere important to go. What if I get a bad reaction overnight? I think I tend to be the kind of person who needs to do a lot of research into a product before jumping in… besides, many samples don't label the ingredients lists so that makes me hesitant as well.


  14. PBunnieP says:

    I'm usually the lightest shade in Etude products but I'm not crazy about the Precious Mineral Bright Fit…it's not a terrible match but the tone just doesn't seem right (I swatched it in my “De-stash: Base Products” post). I know quite a few people read my blog for colour / skintone matches, it just goes to show how similar many of us actually are! Oh and if you ever need a reference for my colours, I try to keep everything updated in the “MY STATS” tab at the top of the page.


  15. PBunnieP says:

    I feel like I tend to easily forget about them when they're sitting neatly in a box…maybe I need to actually bring them out and just put them on the table or something.


  16. JEANNE. says:

    So many samples!!I also have many samples, but I never use them.. But I'd like to take them when I go traveling (and I don't have the travel size ones), the one that I always use in daily basis in samples hehehe..


  17. Shannon says:

    I tend to just keep collecting skincare ones until I have enough that I know I'll be able to properly test it – say enough for a week. And I never ever take samples on vacation unless it's a product I already love. I don't want the hassle of finding that a product makes me break out while I'm trying to enjoy myself! I always give away samples that I know I cant or wont use, and I'm not usually impressed enough with expensive samples that I treasure them or anything.My favourite way to store my samples is to leave them where I might use them – BB cream ones near my foundation, moisturisers in the bathroom and so on. If I leave them in a box they just never get used! And I also organise the products by which ones I'm most keen to try, or which I don't think will break me out (I hate how hard it is to find ingredients lists to Asian products!)


  18. Hikari crystal says:

    I think those little samples are nice to be given away to friends and when i really find one I'm interested in and have like 5 samples I squeeze them all out and store them in a travel sized jar. I mostly use them after I finish my regular product and before i open the new one.


  19. Jayne says:

    I do a post called “Sample Sundays” where I hold the blogging world accountable for my sample usage! Now that I sub to so many beauty boxes, my samples box is actually EIGHT boxes sorted by product type!


  20. sleepandwater says:

    Wow that is certainly a bit of sample overload! I just keep mine in a rectangular plastic clear box that I bought from Daiso. Most of it is skin care – masks and things 🙂 I try to use them on the weekend or when I'm bored after work :p


  21. Jessica says:

    I'm a saver just like you! I tend to hoard my samples for travel (“Just in case” I always tell myself) and then they get tossed into the sample box and forgotten. Just the past few months, I started consciously taking samples out and trying them out at home. Like you said, you never know if your skin is going to get irritated or if the colour of a makeup product really matches you, so the best time to try those out is at home. I've gotten through a good chunk of them but still have lots more to go. I do a monthly “Empties” post and use that as motivation to get through those sample packets so I can blog about them later.Nice to meet another “Bunnie”! Will be following you from now on! 🙂


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