12 Sneaky Ways To Get Free Makeup Samples 2023 (Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, etc.)

12 Sneaky Ways To Get Free Makeup Samples 2023 (Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, etc.)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

Are you on the hunt for free makeup samples?

Wondering if there’s really such a thing as “free makeup”?

Yeah, you bet there is!

Okay, it’s confession time.

Sometimes I’ve been given too many free decent-size makeup samples that ended up going to waste. It’s not that I wanted to throw them out, but they were hanging out in my bathroom vanity for YEARS, and it’s sad I didn’t get the chance to use them before going bad.

I know, it’s a ridiculous first-world problem, isn’t it?

I love makeup and skincare products, and I love trying out new products to see which ones work best for my skin.

Luckily for me, many companies offer free samples of their products so that you can test them out before making a major purchase.

In this article, I’ll share some tips and tricks on how to get free makeup samples from popular brands and online retailers.

How to get free makeup samples

free makeup samples companies

I’m not going to guarantee a lifetime supply of free makeup, but there are many sneaky ways to get makeup and beauty samples for free, sometimes even the full-size products, when you use the recommendations I talk about in this post.

I created this post about free makeup samples so I can help you find the best resources to save money on beauty, makeup, and cosmetic products.

We know that beauty and makeup products have become a necessity for most women.

According to sources, Americans will spend an average of $244 and $313 on cosmetics every month.

Whether you’re a broke girl struggling to pay her bills, or you just want to find the best shopping hacks to save money, there are many free makeup samples out there for you to snatch!

I know that every time before I shop, I like to spend some time looking for free beauty and makeup samples.

Not only does this help me save money on cosmetics, but it also allows me to try new products before dumping my hard-earned money into something I’m not familiar with.

Anyways, let’s go through a list of ways to score free beauty products!

1. Get free makeup samples by mail

There are two ways to get free makeup samples in the mail.

One way is to become a product tester by trying out products and giving companies your honest review in return. This is the best way to get free makeup samples without doing surveys.

Of course, you can always join these legitimate and free online survey sites so you can redeem free makeup products, but becoming a product tester is the “no survey” option.

I personally enjoy using Swagbucks to earn free $50 to $100 Sephora gift cards! Aside from answering surveys, you get rewarded by shopping online for things you normally buy, playing games on your smartphone, or watching short video clips online during your spare time.

By using Swagbucks on a regular basis, I’m able to save money and redeem any free full-size beauty products from Sephora like this Ole Henriksen Vitamin C serum – check out the $50 Sephora gift card below I got just from using Swagbucks.

This was the gift card I used to snatch my free Vitamin C serum and eye cream products for my skincare routine!

$5 BONUS TODAY: You’ll even get a FREE $5 bonus just for signing up for a Swagbucks account here. It’s free to join and doesn’t cost you anything. Just remember to verify the e-mail from Swagbucks immediately so you can snatch your $5 welcome bonus today!

free makeup samples and products sephora

free makeup samples and products from sephora gift cards

You could even check out how I use Swagbucks as a hack to get high-quality and skincare products for FREE from Sephora here! I’ll show you how I use it to redeem products worth over $100!

Secondly, another “no survey” option is to redeem free samples of makeup when you make a purchase in-store or online. This is a company’s way to give you products to try before actually buying them.

2. Become a makeup and beauty product tester

Your voice and opinion about their products matter to companies.

Some companies will send you free makeup samples, or even the full-size version, for you to test and try them out.

They are willing to provide you with free makeup in exchange for your feedback about that product.

All you have to do is write your experience about the product, what you like or don’t like about it, and what you think the company can do to make it better.

Membership to join and test products should always be free. Here are a few legitimate sites I recommend trying:

  • Influenster
  • PINCHme
  • Vogue Insiders
  • InStyle
  • BzzAgent
  • L’Oreal Consumer Participation Program
  • Toluna

3. Join Branded Surveys

Another free way to get makeup and beauty samples is to join Branded Surveys and take quick and short surveys related to makeup and beauty. It’s 100% free to join their program!

If you don’t already know, Branded Surveys is a platform that connects consumers with brands including those in the beauty sector. Companies are always looking to understand their customers better and improve their products, and they are willing to reward you for your honest opinions.

By taking part in these surveys, you can earn points which can be redeemed for cash, gift cards to beauty boutiques, or even free makeup samples! It is a win-win situation as you get to have your say on the products you use while getting rewarded.

Also, taking these surveys will make you an influencer in the beauty world as your opinions will help shape the future of beauty and makeup products. So, if you are a makeup enthusiast and love trying new products, joining Branded Surveys is a great way to score some free makeup products while making a difference in the beauty industry.

Snatch your FREE 100 points today: You’ll even get a free welcome bonus of 100 points just for signing up for a Branded Surveys account here. It’s free to join and doesn’t cost you anything. Just remember to verify the e-mail from Branded Surveys immediately so you can snatch your welcome bonus today!

4. Join Other Online Survey Sites

free makeup samples surveys

Similar to testing out products in return for free makeup samples, you can also become an online survey taker.

Membership to these best survey sites that pay you PayPal money, gift cards, or free products (e.g. skincare and makeup) is always free and open to newcomers like you!

It’s easy to complete the surveys since they are in multiple-choice format.

By taking surveys online and giving your opinion about products, you get to redeem free gift cards that can be used towards the beauty or cosmetic product you like.

So, instead of getting free samples, you get the full-size product at no charge!

Your choices of beauty and cosmetic gift cards include Sephora, MAC, Macy’s, JCPenney, Drugstores, and more.

You could even choose to redeem free Amazon gift cards or PayPal cash. This makes a great option if you like purchasing cosmetics or beauty-related products online through Amazon.

Here are a few survey sites I personally use to earn free gift cards so I can redeem free beauty products:

  • Survey Junkie
  • Swagbucks Surveys
  • MyPoints

5. Collect free Sephora gift cards

Get paid when you shop at Sephora or MAC!

What I like to do is collect points on Swagbucks so that I can redeem free gift cards to Sephora or MAC. This strategy is just as good as getting free makeup samples.

In fact, when I collect enough to redeem a $50 Sephora gift card, I would usually go to the store or online to redeem the full-size product I want for free!

This is has been one of my secret weapons for scoring free beauty products and saving money each year on the stuff I truly love.

You can sign up for Swagbucks here for FREE and get a $5 welcome bonus today. Your choice of a Sephora or MAC gift card! 🙂

6. Get free makeup samples inside those gift sets

One of my favorite ways to score free makeup is by redeeming a free beauty gift set through an in-store or online purchase.

Most department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s run promotions where they offer you a free gift (a pretty good one too) when you buy from them.

These free cosmetic gift sets usually come with a cute makeup bag with a good amount of free makeup samples in them.

My favorite free gift sets are the ones from Clinique!

I’m always on the lookout for these promotional offers and I’ll time my purchases when they have special sales. This is one way to stretch your wallet if you want to save money on cosmetics.

If I’m already going to make a purchase on my must-have beauty products that I use daily, then I may as well score some free makeup samples that come with their free gift sets.

In the next section, I’ll go through which companies give out free makeup samples.

7. Take advantage of brand launches

Brand launches are like the dream lottery for makeup enthusiasts – full of potential for scoring free makeup samples. When a fresh-as-a-daisy brand pops up or an old timer decides to shake things up with new products, they usually start tossing out free samples like party favors.

Their game plan is to whip up a buzz so enticing, it’s like the sweet hum of a honey-smeared bee to the ears of potential customers, all while urging them to dip into their product pool. And how, pray tell, do you snag these golden makeup nuggets? More often than not, it’s as simple as joining their website or hitting that follow button on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

But hold your horses! These brands don’t just end the party at free samples. They love to roll out the red carpet with glitzy giveaways and contests that are practically begging for your attention. Play your cards right, engage with these brands like it’s your new bestie, and voila! You could find yourself on the VIP list. But just a heads up, they might ask you for a review or social media post in return for their little treasures. After all, nothing in life is truly free… or is it?

8. Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces can be a makeup lover’s dream when it comes to free samples. Websites like Freeflys, SampleSource, and PINCHme serve as fantastic platforms showcasing a variety of complimentary makeup goodies from countless brands.

I have to say there is a small catch – you’ll need to sign up and often provide some feedback or a review about the products you try out. It’s kind of like a give-and-take relationship: they supply the samples, and you share your valuable insights in return.

One of the best things about these platforms is their diversity. You can try an array of products from different brands, experimenting until you find the perfect match for your skin, all without spending a single penny. It’s like owning your personal beauty experiment station!

Don’t forget, these sites update regularly. So, make a habit of checking back often or set up alerts so that you never miss out on an exciting deal. And who knows? Your next must-have makeup item could be just a click away, and yes, totally free!

9. Companies that give makeup samples for free

As I mentioned above, there are research companies that provide you with both free makeup samples and full-size products in return for your honest opinion about the product.

Another way to try makeup products for free is to head to the mall or actual store. Sometimes you can even request the samples to be shipped to your home.

Here is a list of popular and well-known department stores and companies that give out free beauty products.

  • Sephora
  • Nordstrom
  • Ulta
  • Kiehl’s
  • The Body Shop
  • Aveda

10. Fill out surveys for the beauty company you purchase from

Aside from getting free Sephora gift cards by filling out surveys online, plenty of makeup and beauty companies including drugstores and retailers like Walmart provide you with a link to fill out a survey questionnaire at the end of your receipt each time you make a purchase.

They ask you to fill out these surveys because they want to gather information about their target demographic.

By filling out these surveys, you get the chance to win a gift card or cash, from which you can redeem free makeup or beauty products of the latest products.

11. Sign up for newsletters and email lists

Most makeup brands have email addresses that you can subscribe to in order to get the latest information on product launches, promotions, and discounts.

Signing up for these lists can often get you free samples of new products as well as coupons or discount codes to use when making a purchase.

But beware, some of these lists can be very spammy where they constantly send you sales and promotions luring you to spend like crazy, so you may want to set up a separate email address just for signing up for promotional offers from makeup companies.

On top of that, you want to make sure that you discipline yourself by not falling into the trap of buying products that you don’t really need just because you received a discount.

12. Follow beauty brands and influencers on social media

Most makeup and beauty companies in addition to beauty influencers have active social media accounts where they post updates about new products, promotions, and giveaways.

By following them on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can stay on top of the latest news from your favorite brands.

And often times, companies will run giveaways or contests where they reward their followers with free samples just for engaging with them online.

You can try to see if anyone is offering giveaways on Instagram by searching for the hashtag or responding to a post from one of your favorite brands.

How to get free makeup samples at Sephora?

Sephora is one place I recommend dropping by to get free samples of makeup and beauty products. Because you can sample almost any product in Sephora for free!

It’s definitely a great way to try to test out products before making an actual purchase. All you have to do is ask someone who works there. Just point to the product you would like to sample and the Sephora store representative will be more than happy to help.

How to get free Sephora makeup samples online

Another way I like to collect or get free Sephora makeup samples is via online when I order my favorite Sephora products.

In most cases, Sephora gives you 2 makeup samples to choose from when you make a purchase online. However, sometimes when my order gets shipped to me, I see more than 5 free samples of makeup (and really good ones too) for me to try.

Can you sample makeup at Sephora?

Yes, absolutely, you can sample makeup at Sephora. But I must confess, I steer clear of in-store sampling myself. Call it my personal quirk or a smidge of paranoia, but I believe it’s essential to play it safe, especially when hygiene is concerned.

If you’re at ease with in-store sampling, then Sephora is the place to be. They’ve got a pretty generous sample policy, covering almost everything from makeup and skincare to fragrances. Their staff uses fresh, disposable applicators to prepare these samples to avoid any cross-contamination. But here’s a friendly tip: avoid applying testers directly on your face, particularly around your eyes or lips. Better safe than sorry, right?

Now, if you’re shopping online with Sephora, you’re in for a treat! You can pick free samples at checkout. It’s a neat and safe way to try before you buy.

While Sephora does a commendable job maintaining hygiene, we’ve all got a role to play. So remember, keep those hands sanitized, avoid makeup sharing, and test products on your hand or arm, not on your face. Let’s keep the beauty exploration fun and safe!

Is it free for Sephora to do your makeup?

Sure, Sephora does dish out free makeup services, but typically these are bite-sized offerings that focus on just one feature, like your peepers or your pout, perfect for walk-in customers.

Now, if you’re on the hunt for a full-face makeup application or a custom makeover, it usually comes free with a little shopping. Picture this: Sephora used to give a complete makeover at zero cost when you made a $50 purchase or a tailor-made one-hour session with a beauty advisor for a $125 purchase. My mom and sister, though, decided to skip this after checking it out. They ended up picking a local beauty salon that catered specifically to their skin type.

However, remember, Sephora’s rules aren’t set in stone. They can vary by store and may have been tweaked recently.

Related post on free makeup: How To Get Your Sephora Birthday Gift For Free!

Nordstrom free beauty samples

Another great way to get free makeup samples is to make your way to Nordstrom’s beauty counter.

The sales representative will also help you apply the product you want to learn more about onto your face or skin. The company wants you to try and experience the product before making a purchase, so they will give you free samples in a travel size container for you to take home.

You can choose from many free cosmetic or beauty samples like foundation, eye shadow, face masks, hair treatment, or face cream

If you ever happen to shop online at Nordstrom, be sure to check out their “Gifts with Purchase” section under their main “Beauty” menu. This section gives you their “Featured Gifts with Purchase” specials where you can choose from the most popular beauty and cosmetic brands like Estée Lauder, Clinique, Lancôme, and more.

The array of selection is pretty good and some of their “free cosmetic gifts” offers usually start at a minimum purchase of just $25.

These beautiful gift sets come in decent sizes and are generally better than the typical “free makeup samples with no purchase necessary” type of offers. It’s definitely worth it if you are going to spend the money regardless.

Does Ulta give free samples in store?

There have been a lot of mixed responses from customers about whether or not Ulta gives out free makeup samples. Some customers report that they do give out samples for people to try, but a lot of the time, it has been reported that they don’t.

Based on many customers’ experiences at Ulta, the sales representative will probably give you a very small sample that’s enough to last for one day. In other words, they don’t usually give out free samples like how Sephora or Nordstrom does.

According to one Reddit source, a user reported that they asked for a sample at Ulta, but the sales representative responded, “We don’t do samples.”

However, like most other beauty stores, Ulta does offer you a free gift with purchase. When you shop online at the Ulta store, you can find “Gift with purchase” under the “Sales and Coupons” section.

They also offer free coupons for you to save money under the same menu.

Conclusion about free makeup samples

Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking for ways to save money on your daily beauty regime, there are many legitimate ways to score free makeup and skincare products.

From mini samples to full-size products, there are many ways around getting a ton of makeup items for free!

Here is a recap of things you can do to save money on your beauty essentials.

  1. Become a beauty product tester and get free makeup samples by mail
  2. Take online surveys in exchange for beauty products
  3. Get paid to shop and redeem for free $100 Sephora gift cards
  4. Look for free gifts with purchase (these gifts come with many valuable samples)
  5. Ask and collect free samples from these companies (Sephora, Nordstrom, Kiehl’s, The Body Shop, and Aveda)

If all else fails, there are plenty of online retailers that offer free makeup samples with every purchase.

So even if you can’t get your hands on a sample from the brands that you love, you can still stock up on plenty of quality products from other sources.

Readers, what are your thoughts about free makeup samples? Are you going to try the recommendations from this article today? Let me know what makeup samples you’ve tried in the comments below!