Trial Sized

I have a ridiculous love for products in tiny packaging. Maybe it’s because they’re so cute, or perhaps it’s because I’m not great at sharing and thus prefer individually sized portions, of everything ranging from snacks to detergents to, naturally, beauty products.

Of course I’m a sucker for free samples, but I’m also a huge fan of beauty minis and trial sizes. They are good for travel, or for tossing into your purse, but most of all they are great for testing. When a hot new product comes out, or a big brand boasts its quality, I certainly want to see what the fuss is about. But I don’t necessarily want to drop a huge amount of money on a product I’m not sure I’ll love. Which is why you’ll often find me in the 99 cent aisle of the drugstore, stocking up on deodorant and conditioner minis. Or ordering travel sets from my favorite online beauty stores. Sephora has a beauty-to-go section that features pages of hair, body, and skin products, not to mention makeup and perfumes. Sephora also puts together deluxe sample kits that you can purchase for a pretty reasonable price – you usually get around 10 products for between 30 and 40 dollars.

My favorite mini set, also available at Sephora, is the Bliss Sinkside Six Pack, filled with travel sizes of 6 very popular Bliss Lemon  & Sage products. The products work great, the smell is refreshing, and for $25 you get to revamp your whole shower experience.

And those bottles are adorable.

Oh, Sephora…

Sephora is a beauty junkie’s ultimate fix: a limitless supply of products and tools all gathered into one store. I love ordering myself a big ol’ box full of treats from; it is not unusual to find me gleefully tearing open a package filled with lip glosses, eyeliners, body lotions and various other beauty tools. This past week I ordered myself a variety of new products to try, and yesterday I came home to find them neatly packaged along with two perfume samples and a slew of haircare samples designed to keep my hair from frizzing. Sephora’s selection and service are what got me hooked initially, but the generous samples (you can pick three free with every order, and deluxe samples are often available with new promotions) and free shipping (with 50 dollar orders) have made me a loyal Sephora customer for years.

Of my latest beauty purchases, one product already stands out as worth mentioning: Benefit’s “Hello Flawless!” powder makeup. It comes in a cute mirrored case, with both a powder brush and an applicator sponge included. I found that the velvety powder did almost nothing for me when I used the brush, but when applied with the sponge my skin looked, well, flawless. It’s very smooth and natural looking, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone that  likes coverage but isn’t a fan of thicker liquid foundations.

A word of caution to fair skinned ladies: I chose the lightest shade available, and it’s still bordering on being too dark. It’ll work for me in the summer months, but come winter (and pasty skin), I’ll have to go with something lighter.