If you love makeup or need it for work, you already know how expensive it can be. According to Byrdie, the average person spends a pretty penny on their beauty products—$3,756 per year to be specific!
Luckily for you, there are many ways to get beauty products for free or at a massive discount. You can even score samples worth over $100 if you know where to look.
Don’t waste time looking for these places on your own. We have already done the research for you! To create this shortlist of where to get free makeup samples, we checked official sources and reviews to verify that they’re legit.
This list is a nice mix of brands that throw in freebies for every purchase and legit sites which give out beauty products for simple tasks. We also added places that give you sample-size makeup at no cost.
So if you want to stock up on the latest eyeshadow, foundation, and mascara without blowing your beauty budget, keep reading!
In this article
The Best Retailers to Get Free Cosmetic Samples
Many beauty brands offer free samples at their physical stores or makeup counters in department stores like Macy's or Nordstrom.
This is a marketing tactic on their part: they know that once you try their products, they might be able to upsell you.
They also might offer to do your makeup for free so that you can see what their products look like on your face.
Here are some great places to visit for complimentary cosmetics:
Sephora is the Mecca of makeup, and there's no doubt that it's one of the best places to find free samples.
You can get everything from mini tubes of lipstick to full-sized bottles of foundation at their stores.
In addition to offering samples from their in-house brands, they also carry names like Urban Decay, NARS, Benefit, and Anastasia.
Pretty much every major city in the US has at least one Sephora location, and you can find them in malls or high-end shopping districts.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples at Sephora:
- Ask! Most Sephora employees are happy to give you what samples they have available at the moment.
- Sign up for Sephora's Beauty Insider program. It's free to join, and it gives you access to tons of different freebies throughout the year.
Ulta is a popular location for beauty lovers. At Ulta, you can get free makeup samples from cult-favorite brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills and Butter London.
You can also get samples from popular mainstream brands like L'Oreal and NYX.
You can find Ulta stores all over the United States.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples at Ulta:
- Go to the Ulta customer service desk and ask if they have any “samples” or “testers” you can try. There are always tons of extra sample pots lying around for customers.
- Use the rewards program. As an Ultra Beauty Club member, you can earn points by making purchases and redeeming those points for free products.
CVS has locations in all 50 states, so it's pretty easy to find one of these drugstores near you.
Once you're there, you can find free makeup samples from brands like Maybelline, NYC New York Color, Physicians Formula, Garnier, and L'Oreal all around the store.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples at CVS:
- Talk to the beauty advisor in your local CVS store and ask if they have available freebies.
- Sign up for the ExtraCare Beauty Club through the app or in-store. You'll earn points for buying qualifying products. Use these points for free items.
Nordstrom stores offer a great variety of samples from both classic brands, like La Mer, Yves Saint Laurent, MAC, and Bobbi Brown, plus newer brands like Sunday Riley.
You can also get perfume and fragrance samples. The stores are all over the country so it's super accessible no matter where you live.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples at Nordstrom:
- Visit the counter of the brand you want: if it's Bobbi Brown, you have to go to their section. Request free samples from the salesperson.
- See if Nordstrom is running any “gift with purchase” offers—this is an easy way to get beauty products for free.
- Nordstrom has a rewards program called The Nordy Club. If you join, you'll get a $10 gift card just for signing up. Then keep spending and earn points toward future purchases.
Target's Hey, Bullseye Program
Hey, Bullseye is Target's review program, which means you can get free makeup samples sent right to your door from many brands, such as Maybelline, CoverGirl, NYX, and more.
How to Get Free Samples from Hey Bullseye:
- Sign up for the Hey, Bullseye program.
- Fill out the survey about the kind of products you like to receive and where to ship them.
- Get your free makeup samples box in the mail.
- Write an honest review and send it in.
Macy’s is one of the most popular department stores in the country, and it’s a great place to find beauty freebies.
While you can find pretty much every brand of makeup there, it’s a particularly good place to get samples from brands like Lancôme, Shiseido, and MAC.
Macy's has plenty of locations throughout the US, so you're never too far away from a store.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples at Macy’s:
- Ask for a sample at each brand’s beauty counter.
- Get more free cosmetics by joining Macy's Star Rewards program.
- Shop during special events.
The Best Makeup Brands that Give Free Samples
Most top beauty brands are super generous with free samples, complimentary makeup packs, BOGO (buy one get one) offers, free shipping and returns, and other fun surprises.
You can usually find these promos on their websites, but make sure to join their rewards programs too—they're another great way to score tons of coupons and deals.
If you don't have much money to spare for makeup right now, here's another clever trick: ask your friends and family if they need anything and offer to use your account to buy for them.
That said, here are some of your best options:
Estee Lauder is one of the industry's biggest names, and for good reason: their products are top-of-the-line, and they offer a wide variety of shades and finishes.
When you buy from Estee Lauder, they will give you free samples from their entire line of products.
If there's something specific you'd like to try, they'll swap out any product in your order that's not in your sample box.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from Estee Lauder:
- Buy a product on their website.
- At the checkout page, there's always a drop-down menu with free samples that you can choose from. Select at least one of them (or more if they're available).
- When you're checking out, don't forget to sign up for the Estee E-List Loyalty Program for more samples, prizes, discounts, etc.
If you're looking for a makeup brand that lets you try their products before you buy them, Clinique is a fantastic choice.
Known for their gentle, dermatologist-recommended skin care and high-performing cosmetics, Clinique offers free samples with almost every online purchase.
And they're not just one-and-done samples—they offer “deluxe” sizes of their most popular items, including their Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and their All About Eyes eye cream.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from Clinique:
- Before you check out, click on the “Add a Sample” button in your cart. You can add up to 3 different samples with every order (as long as they're in stock).
- If it's your first time shopping from Clinique, you'll get a free 7-day supply of their 3-Step Skincare System for Dry combination skin types.
MAC Cosmetics is one of the most popular makeup brands out there.
The sheer variety of shades is a makeup-lover's dream—from the bright, eye-catching hues of their line of RiRi Hearts lipsticks to the subtle, elegant shades they offer in their Studio Fix foundation and concealer line.
And when you buy one product, you can often get freebies at checkout.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from MAC:
- Get a free full-size lipstick with any order over $50.
- Get a free foundation/concealer/powder sample with every order.
- Join the MAC Lover Loyalty Program to receive alerts on their beauty events. They often have free sample offers that are separate from buying products, like free lipstick days and free makeup application events.
Get free samples of makeup when you shop at Kiehl's, a skincare brand focused on sustainability and providing the highest-quality ingredients to their customers.
Kiehl's gives out free samples with every purchase, so they're a great choice if you want to try out a new product before committing to a full-size tube.
They also offer at least one sample per order—which means that if you order a ton of products at once, you can get a lot of samples without paying extra.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from Kiehl's:
- When you buy products from Kiehl's and spend at least $35, you're eligible to get free samples. The samples are selected based on your skin type, but they can include anything from facial moisturizer to hair oil.
- Sign up for Kiehl's Rewards program. They'll send two deluxe samples when you sign up and more when you reach a certain number of points.
Aveda is famous for their super-natural beauty products and services.
While they're best known for their hair products and shampoos, they also offer fragrances, skincare products, makeup, and even home items.
When you purchase, Aveda will usually give you three samples—one for your face, one for your skin, and one for your hair.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from Aveda:
- When you buy an Aveda product, you can choose three samples online (or five in stores) to accompany your purchase.
- If you're looking for more than one sample per product, try visiting an Aveda store—they'll often let you pick up as many as you want.
- If you're a member of their rewards program, the company will often send you free samples with your online orders.
Elf Cosmetics is one of the most affordable and accessible makeup brands out there.
They offer a wide range of products, from foundation to eyeshadow palettes to lipsticks, and their products are all cruelty-free.
When you purchase at Elf, they usually send a small sample or two along with it.
For example, if you buy mascara, they'll send you some mascara primer and/or an eyeliner pencil. If you buy lipstick, they might send you a lip liner or face primer as well.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from Elf:
- Sign up for their Beauty Squads Rewards program. Every time you shop from Elf Cosmetics using your rewards program account, you'll get a free sample.
- Each month, they rotate the kinds of samples they offer, so it's always a surprise.
- Follow Elf on social media. They often post giveaways and special promotions on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Lancôme is a luxury French brand that has been making cosmetics since 1935, and it was one of the first companies to offer free samples with purchases, a practice that is still carried out today.
Lancôme offers a range of samples, from lipsticks and eyeliners to foundations, moisturizers, and more.
They also have a rewards program, the Beauty Pass, which helps you earn points and get more freebies when you shop from them.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from Lancôme:
- Order Lancôme products on their website. You can get up to 5 free samples with a purchase.
- Make sure you use your Beauty Pass rewards. You'll get points for every purchase or review you make, which can be redeemed for free products.
- Shop in stores. Some Lancôme boutiques offer samples as well; ask the sales associate and see what they have.
The Best Review Sites To Get Free Makeup Samples by Mail
Companies understand that shoppers are more likely to buy a product if their friends, family, or favorite influencer recommend it.
As part of their marketing strategy, beauty brands often send out loaded PR packages to online review sites, especially before launching a new product.
Review sites then give these out to their followers in exchange for articles and promotion on social media—but in most cases, you'll need to have a blog or a significant follower count to be eligible.
If you do, here's a list of the best review sites where you can get a free makeup samples box:
BzzAgent is a product review site for consumers. They partner with big-name brands like Dove and Johnson & Johnson and allow reviewers to share their opinions on the products they receive.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from BzzAgent:
- Sign up for a BzzAgent account on their website.
- Connect your social media accounts.
- When you see an offer for a Bzz Campaign, apply for the campaign. If you’re accepted, you'll receive a box of free beauty samples from the brand running the campaign.
- Reviews are typically required within a few days of receipt, and there's usually a separate social media component, such as posting a picture of the product on Instagram or sharing a link to the product on Twitter.
Tomoson is yet another awesome place to get makeup samples. They partner with brands like Sally Hansen, Wet n Wild, and Pantene Pro-V to provide bloggers with free samples of new products in exchange for honest reviews.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from Tomoson
- Join their Review Program by creating an account and then applying to the campaigns you want to be part of.
- You'll get approved or denied based on whether the brand thinks you're a good fit for the product. If you're approved, you'll receive an email with instructions on how to get your sample.
- Once you've received your free sample and tried it out, submit your review of the product through the Tomoson dashboard and check back for new campaigns.
PINCHme is a review site that's been embraced by bloggers and beauty enthusiasts alike.
The site partners with brands like Covergirl, L’Oréal Paris, Chanel, Burt’s Bees, and more.
They distribute samples of their partner brands to their followers in exchange for reviews and promotion on social media.
How to Get Free Makeup Samples from PINCHme:
- PINCHme is free for anyone to join—you just need an email and a social media account.
- When you sign up, you'll be asked about your current beauty routine and which products you're interested in reviewing.
- After you're approved, you'll be shown a list of available samples, and you can choose which ones you want.
- Once your package arrives, write your review in the form provided on their website.
The Best Websites for Cosmetic Freebies
When you're looking for free makeup samples, affiliate websites are your best friend.
These sites earn a commission from the sales they drive to their affiliates, such as beauty companies. To get more views and increase the chances of someone using their link to buy a product, they offer tons of freebies to their readers. It’s a win-win!
Here are some of the best affiliate websites where you can find free makeup:
Go Freebies offers a range of different freebies for their readers in the beauty and lifestyle categories.
They offer a wide variety of free makeup samples on their site, including free lip gloss from L'Oreal and free mascara from Maybelline.
Most of the items they offer come in the form of coupons or rebates so you can get them in stores like Walmart or Target.
My Free Product Samples
My Free Product Samples has hundreds of listings for free makeup samples, covering everything from mascara to blush to foundation.
Some of the more popular brands include Maybelline, Benefit, L'Oreal, and Sephora.
The samples are often simple one-item requests, so all you have to do is fill out a form with your name and address to get them sent straight to your mailbox.
Hunt4Freebies is another great place for free makeup samples.
They focus mainly on eye products, though you can also find some lip glosses and other goodies on this site.
Just click “Get Freebie” on any product you're interested in and follow the prompts on the form.
Freaky Freddie's Free Funhouse
Freaky Freddie's Free Funhouse is an affiliate website that gives away all kinds of goodies to its users.
Based on their previous offerings, you can expect to receive free blush, lipstick, skincare products, and makeup brushes.
It's possible to get these by entering your email address on their site or by filling out a form with your mailing address (in which case you'll be sent physical products in the mail).
Free Stuff Finder
Free Stuff Finder provides freebies for all of life's needs—not just makeup.
You can expect to find free makeup samples here as well as free samples for food and drink, pet supplies, baby products, and household goods.
You can get these samples by clicking on the links provided and filling out forms on affiliate company websites.
6 More Ways to Get Free Beauty Products
We’re not done yet! With a little time and research, you can get even more makeup loot bags using these methods:
Apply to cosmetic testing panels as a product tester
This is a great way to not only get your hands on new, unreleased products before they hit shelves but also help product developers make sure they're getting the formula right.
The best way to do this is to search on Google for “product tester” plus the name of a brand you like, and then sign up for their email list to get started.
Follow makeup brands on social media and join their giveaways
If you have a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account, follow your favorite brands on social media.
They often hold giveaways for free products (or gift cards), which you can enter by engaging with the brand's posts, following a link in their bio, or responding to them directly via DM.
You can also download their apps to get free makeup and get real-time alerts for promos, raffles, new products, prizes, and more.
Join loyalty programs. Most top makeup brands have one!
This is an easy way to get free stuff right off the bat—and after that, you can keep getting freebies (or at least discounted products) for life, as long as you keep making purchases.
To make it even more fun, some brands have a tiered points system for members. The more you buy, the more points you accumulate, until you get VIP status!
Aside from freebies, you can get everything from permanent free shipping, gift bags with EVERY purchase, huge discounts, birthday gifts, access to exclusive product launches, and more.
Find makeup companies with email lists and subscribe.
Many will send out free product samples periodically to subscribers of their email lists.
It's a great way for them to show off their newest products and get more people interested in the brand.
Join online makeup communities and forums.
Many influencers hold giveaways for sponsored products, so they can get more eyes on their content while also giving back to a community they love!
Trade your old makeup for vouchers and free cosmetics.
As part of their sustainability initiatives, many major beauty brands have makeup recycling programs.
These programs usually work like this: Every time you recycle an empty product with that brand, they either send you a coupon good for a discount on your next purchase with them or give you points that add up to free products.
With some brands, like MAC (their Back-To-MAC program), you can even trade-in six empties and receive a free product of your choice from MAC.
Wrapping It Up
And that's it! You now have everything you need to save big on the beauty products you love.
Remember, when you're looking for free makeup samples, don't be shy. It never hurts to ask, and many places are more than happy to accommodate your request.
We hope you have fun exploring different ways to get free beauty products and finding the ones that work best for your lifestyle and your budget. Happy saving!