Where can you get free beauty samples? Most places that sell makeup and beauty supplies, actually. Although you won't usually find free beauty samples in drugstores like CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid, most upscale cosmetic counter type shops are happy to give you free little containers of whatever you like, to take home and try. Many of these places also offer free facials and makeovers as a fun, educational experience, or give you free perfume samples to see how a scent last for you at home.
In the mortar and brick shops, don't be afraid to ask for multiple samples for different kinds of things. At Sephora, for example, you can get samples of perfume, sunscreen, moisturizer, lotions, serums, scrubs, powders and cleansers galore! And all the makeup is available with little clean try-on stations (with one-use applicators) for you to go nuts, all for free. They actually encourage you to try on as many things as you like. If you are ever near a Sephora store, don't miss your chance to load up on samples from hundreds of famous beauty product lines. Fun times!
Online stores are also in on the act, and will toss in packets of whatever promotions they are running at the time, or even allow you to make sample requests. It's all part of their excellent customer service, but they really do hope to hook you with their goodies full time. I don't mind. :)
Keep an eye out for free beauty samples (and even full size items) that come as a gift with purchase.
If you sign up for mailing lists of a shop's events and specials, you often even get a free birthday gift each year. Sephora in particular has a very nice full size free birthday gift for me each April. I think the last few years I got cupcake-scented shower gels. Mmmmm.
Lush Stores even hosts actual monthly parties, where you get to try things out, play games to win full size beauty items, and even show up dressed with the parties' theme for more goody bag giveaways. I always make out from Lush parties like a bandit!
In the Store:
Sephora - ask for makeovers too!
Origins - they have wonderfully relaxing chair facials and makeovers
Bath and Bodyworks - frequent BOGO specials, too (buyone, get one free)
Aveda - makeovers
The Body Shop - makeovers
Lush - parties, facials, makeovers, BOGOs, fun demos, hand massages, massive samples of soaps and much more
L'Occitane - samples of everything
Bare Minerals - makeovers, good sized powder samples of eye glimmers, glimpses and glitters, plus their famous SPF-rated foundations
Nordstroms cosmetic counter - makeovers, good sized samples of everything, frequent special events, and glorious 'Fashion Week' parties
Other department store counters, like Macy's, JC Pennys, Nieman Marcus...mostly perfumes and makeup, but also makeovers
From Shops Online:
Paula's Choice - you can select three free samples with your purchase
Sephora - free beauty members get freebies to choose from with every order
EclecticLady.com - ask for samples of soap, African Shea butter and more!
Lush - the crew always tosses in a few freebies, or you can request certain samples with your order
Avon - your Avon rep can order you samples of your choice, or bring you fun freebies to try when she visits. Always ask her for samples!
There are many more shops both in realtime and in cyberspace that will give you more free luscious lotions and potions than you keep up with. Always ask for sampes - don't be shy - and enjoy what you get to play with once home.