How to Get Free Makeup Samples and PR Packages
How to Get Makeup Companies to Send You Free Stuff
Over the past few months, I have encountered the "$39 Experiment," and other creative efforts to get free makeup. Thousands of people are reporting great results by contacting companies directly. They report that you don't have to participate in spammy surveys or websites to receive samples. You don't even have to spend one penny writing to them either. Email and online forms work!
Here's how to write your letter or email to convince a company to send you samples and PR packages. These techniques work. The chances of you receiving samples is relatively high, provided you know who to write to. I have written to many companies and many sent me free samples and full-sized products. You can also get a great selection of travel-size products this way.
This kind of activity has always been kept a secret. Only a lucky few who know that you can get free makeup see results.
I am here to expose the truths and how to best tackle the letter!
What You'll Need
The easiest and best way to receive free samples is to write to the company directly. There is no need to fill out dodgy surveys or questionnaires, which usually amount to nothing and should be avoided. Here is a step by step overview of what to do:
- Make a list of the companies you're interested in.
- Find their addresses (email or postal) on the company website.
- Write out your email/letter (we'll discuss this in detail below).
- Send it and wait for the mail to come!
- Special tips for receiving PR packages are included below.
Examples of Products You May Receive
Examples of Companies
What You Might Receive
Juara, REN, DermOrganic
Samples/full sized products of skincare products including moisturisers, cleansers or hand cream.
Eye shadows, lipstick/lipgloss.
DermOrganic, Living Proof
Any haircare products including shampoo and conditioners, sample sized or full sized.
Lacoste and Boss
Perfume companies almost always have plenty of samples to send for free.
It's easy to write to companies for free products. This guide will teach you how to write the email or letter and which companies to contact.
1. Decide Who to Contact
Whether you want the samples only for personal use, to try in your work as a makeup artist, or to review on your beauty blog, the first step to decide which companies you want to contact. There are literally hundreds of companies across the world that could potentially send you samples, so don't feel limited.
I have written to about 15 companies and I will mention the ones that sent me free samples (and the ones that didn't!). Since many companies simply won't respond at all, make sure you have a few on your list so you get some results!
For inspiration, take a look at some cosmetics or personal care products in your home. Some companies I recommend writing to are:
- Carmex: Known to send samples in the U.S.
- Burt's Bees: May send samples in the U.S.
- DermOrganic: Sends lots of samples.
- REN: Sends samples.
- Juara: Sends samples sometimes.
- Many of the brands featured in the photos here send samples!
2. Find the Address
Once you have an idea of the companies you would like to contact, it is time to search for the addresses. The best way to do so is to visit the company website. Look for a "Contact Us" or "Help" or "About Us" link at the top or bottom of the homepage. That's usually where you'll find all the details you need.
Some companies may only provide an email address. Others may provide postal mailing addresses, and still, others require you to fill out a form to contact customer service. Any of these methods can work.
Make sure to choose the correct email address. Some companies have different emails for technical support and other departments. Look for "customer service," "media relations," or "public relations."
3. What to Write in a Letter
The most important part of this process is to write an excellent letter. You want to make the company think, "Wow, this is a really loyal customer!" or "We could get some amazing publicity from this blogger!" It sounds difficult, but here are some ideas to get you started writing a professional and convincing letter or email.
Note: I believe in giving compliments to the company. Only after that do I ask for free samples. This method works a lot better than the complaint route (unless you have a legit complaint and proof of purchase).
- Dear Sir/Madam,: A polite and formal greeting works best.
- Introduction: Say that you are writing to tell them what a great range of products they have. Give many compliments about their company, from how their products always work wonders on your skin to how their products deliver each time. If their cleanser or eye shadow is your favorite, now is your chance to tell them what you think. They really do value our (the consumers) opinions.
- Personal Experience: Include an experience that you had with their cosmetics. It could be how glossy your hair is after using their shampoo or how their skin cream cleared up the dry skin on your hand. This adds more credibility and personality to the letter.
- Ask for Samples: Do not ask bluntly. This it does not work. Mention that your hairdresser recommended their shampoo range or that you want to "try before you buy" and see which one works best on you.
- Skin or Hair Type: Some companies will need to know your skin type/condition so they know which samples to send. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to mention this.
- Your Address: Don't forget this!
- Gratitude: Say thank you for taking the time to read your letter and that you would be so grateful if they send you samples. Say that you are looking forward to their response.
- Sign off: "Yours faithfully," "Kind Regards," or "Best Wishes."
A Sample Email or Online Form Message
Here is a sample email to a fictional skincare company. You can use this template for any personal care company you write to or to fill out an online request form.
I am a dedicated fan of your company because I love the way that you combine such pure techniques with science to create wonderful skincare products! I absolutely adore your products because they always deliver what I need, whether it is to give my skin more vitality or to cleanse. Each product always delivers, I value your experience in creating such stunning products each and every time.
A friend recently recommended that I try out some of your bath and skincare products. I would love to try some products out before I buy, to see which work best on me and which I love using.
Could you please send me some samples from your skincare or bath product ranges? I would be so grateful if you could. I would be very happy with any samples at all. My address is ___ Thank you! I am looking forward to trying them out!
Requesting Free Makeup From Stores
Your favorite cosmetics store may also be a source of free samples. Let the employees know how much you enjoy their products! Compliments and positive feedback go a long way to convincing people to be generous!
Why Do Companies Send Samples?
Most blogs and websites have reported that they have received the most free samples from cosmetics and makeup companies. Why is this?
- Manufacturing samples and even full-sized cosmetics are relatively cheap for the company, so they can easily afford to send samples to those that ask.
- You may want to try out the latest product of theirs, but ask for a sample to "try before you buy." If you like the sample, chances are you will probably buy the product afterward and even recommend it to family and friends. This is what the company is banking on.
- Cosmetic companies generally include samples of their latest products when you order online and purchase some items. These samples are stocked and ready to be shipped if someone writes asking to try out a couple of their products.
- Companies send PR packages to artists and bloggers when there is a new season launch. They want people to know about new products. They may also be holding a blogging event for artists and bloggers who review products. This is a key way for companies to promote their goods.
If you ever try writing to companies for free stuff, I would recommend writing to cosmetics/personal care companies because they are the most likely to send samples.
What to Write if You Want a PR Package
If you are a beauty blogger, makeup reviewer, or makeup artist looking for free samples, you will get better results from companies if you convince them that you're likely to send more business their way.
Here are some tips to getting a free PR package in the mail:
- Establish your credibility by including the URL of your site, business, or YouTube channel, if you have one.
- Ask or find out whether the company is launching a new line of products. They will be more likely to send samples if they are trying to spread the word about new items.
- Ask about any blogger events the company is holding or participating in. Makeup bloggers and artists usually receive free samples at these events.
- Ask them about what they require for "credits." This is when a magazine reviews a product and mentions it by name. Some companies are particular about where they are credited. This question will boost your credibility and may get you more samples.
- If you have done makeup at an event, contact the makeup manufacturer and include event images. Ask them whether you can thank them for providing the makeup (another way of asking them to send you more!).
Since I've been asked for more tips on getting PR packages, I've also written an extensive article which contains more in-depth advice on how to maximize your chances of getting a PR package from a beauty company.
Phrases to Include
If you are feeling a little stuck on what to write, here are some phrases you can use. You can alter this language by filling in the blanks or changing the words to match your style and according to the product you are talking about.
- I am writing to say how much I adore your skincare/makeup products.
- I believe that ___ creates the finest hair/skin products in the world.
- I am such a fan of your company!
- It is nice to know that your products will always deliver every time.
- My personal favourite is the ___. It's my savior! Thanks to this amazing product, my skin glows so radiantly!
- I like the way that your company combines natural botanicals with science to create a truly powerful yet organic and natural product.
- My friends and family always say how soft my hair is when I use your shampoo!
- My skin is usually dull and dry, but after using your cleanser it regains its youthful self!
- I use ___ every day. Without it, I could not survive!
Asking for Samples
- My hairdresser recently recommended that I should try out your shampoo range because it works most effectively with my hair type. I would love to try some of the hair products in your range before I buy. Thank you!
- I would love to sample some of your other products.
- I would like to try out some of your products just to see which work best on my skin/hair.
4. Send it Off!
The final step is to send your letter or email to the company of your choice. Make sure to send it to the correct address and department. Emails or letters that are sent to the wrong department in customer service are more likely to be discarded than forwarded to the relevant department.
What to Expect
You will likely have to wait for a couple of days for a response via email and another two weeks for your samples to be posted. Sometimes it can take up to two months for any response at all, so be patient. I usually give up after a week, but it really varies depending upon the company.
The majority of companies send free samples, since beauty and personal care have the most samples to give away. A positive and well-written letter is the key to success. For an approximate number, I would say that one in two beauty cosmetics will send samples. Perfume companies usually always send samples.
Would you like to write to a cosmetic company, right now?
Just to show and prove that this method actually works, I followed in the footsteps of the $39 Experiment and wrote to a few companies. I will showcase my results.
- DermOrganic: Talk about fantastic customer service! I wrote an email to them and after two hours, they replied immediately and said they would send samples. They were also pretty happy about my compliments too. A few days later, I received samples from them including products from their haircare range and skincare range plus a coupon. Nice!
What They Sent
Two sample boxes including their hair care range and skin care range worth $12. I also received a coupon too for 25% off my next purchase.
Cleansing and moisturizing creams plus a facial mask.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this guide and that it will encourage you to try it too. Just try for yourself and see what results you can reap.
I appreciate any comments or questions! Thank you for reading!
Questions & Answers
Can I receive the makeup samples if I'm not a beauty blogger?
It depends on the nature of the company's free sample policy. I've seen that smaller, local companies tend to give out more free samples to people who aren't social media influencers or beauty bloggers. International companies often refuse to send out free samples and will only do so if you have a certain amount of followers, etc., It just entirely depends on the company, I guess, and I'll be writing some more articles about this in the future, so keep an eye out for those.Helpful 244
Could you still get free beauty samples even if you have a beauty page on Instagram?
Yes, definitely! In fact, companies love to negotiate and build working relationships with Instagrammers, since you'll help promote their products and increase sales for them. Make sure to mention the fact you're an Instagrammer. I have some more tips in another article I wrote: https://bellatory.com/fashion-industry/How-To-Get-...
Make sure to check it out before you contact the company, as it gives some more tips and tricks you can use to make sure your email showcases your flair as an Instagrammer/beauty blogger at its best.Helpful 147
Will companies send PR packages to countries outside of America?
Yes, of course! Beauty companies don't care where you live, as long as you've got followers online who read your reviews and can purchase from the beauty company online. In fact, they love to send to social media influencers and beauty bloggers from around the world, because it'll expand the company's reach to new audiences and new countries.Helpful 105
Can I get free makeup samples from a company based in another country?
Yes, definitely! In fact, companies love hearing from overseas purchasers and users of their products. For example, I'm from Europe, but I've written to many companies before that are based in the US, and they've sent me free samples.Helpful 21
Would I be more likely to receive makeup samples and PR packages from makeup companies if I have a growing number of followers on my Instagram account?
It depends on the number of followers you have at that moment, as well as how engaged they are with your page. For example, if you have thousands of followers, but they interact very little with your photos, then companies might see that your audience isn't engaged with the products that you're using or advertising. However, even if you had fewer followers, as long as they are very active, companies would see that high engagement and would value it a lot more.Helpful 21
© 2014 Susan W