Beauty Products: A Guide To Obtaining The Unobtainable

10:13:00 PM

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You see the latest must-have beauty product online. It takes over Instagram; dominates beauty blogs and style magazines and you just can't help yourself... you want it.
Then the crushing reality sets in. You might want it, but there's nowhere near you that has it in stock. That leaves you with one of two options, neither of which is immediately appealing:

1) You go without. However, by this point, you have convinced yourself that this item is the only thing missing from your life and the idea of having to go without seems unfathomable.

2) You buy it online. The process of online shopping for cosmetic products has been streamlined to the point of being hassle free, but there is always one sting in the tail: you can't try before you buy. What if you end up handing over a stack of hard-earned cash only to discover the color is wrong for you? Or that you are allergic to one of the ingredients? Returns policies on cosmetic items - for basic hygiene reasons - can be difficult to navigate.

So is that it, the end of the road, option one it is? Surely there's some other solution?

Until humanity figures out a way to trial cosmetics without disrupting their hygienic seal, then all you can do is use one of these workarounds. They might not be perfect, but they will go at least some way to mitigating the risk.

Sample Hunter - What Can You Find?
There are ways and means of finding a sample of a particular product before you pay the price for the full thing. To start with, scour online auction sites. Occasionally you will find someone selling (for a fortunately low price) a free sample they received of a must-have product. Usually, this will only be a couple of milliliters in a sachet, but it should be enough to reassure any concerns you have about essential allergens.

Of course, the one downside of this is that it's completely hit and miss. You can't guarantee you'll be able to find the exact product you want in the exact shade you want to try, but it's worth checking just in case.

Write To The Band - How Are Your Powers of Persuasion?
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It might seem cheeky, but if you don't ask, you don't get! It's worth taking the time to send a quick email to ask if there are any samples available for a product. Send it directly to the brand - the PR and/or marketing departments tend to work best - and see what they say.

Make sure you mention why you want to try a sample before buying, especially if you're doing it due to allergic or sensitive skin issues. It might sway the decision in your favor. You could even offer to pay a representative amount, which would be a small outlay to prevent a bigger financial disaster of buying - and disliking - the full-size product. Make sure you mention your relationship with the brand and how, if you like the product, you will be buying the full size in no time. There's no guarantee they will agree, but you might as well give it a try!

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