Beauty & the Bike

5 Insider Tips to Becoming a Successful Beauty Bag Blagger

Guilt-free shopping for beauty products armed with nothing but a friendly smile and some insider tips

Always on the lookout to save weight in our commuting bags, we thought we would set ourselves a little challenge. In a bid to prove that saving weight can also save money, we sent team member Hannah off on a beauty blag. Here is how she got on… 

Not one to shirk away from a challenge, I jumped at the chance to spend a morning on a guilt-free shopping spree in some of London’s most prestigious department stores. My remit was to get my hands on anything ‘free’ and ‘light’ from the luxurious beauty counters. I knew I had some serious sweet-talking ahead of me to ensure my pockets were filled with goodies but I was confident I would succeed.

First things first –  freebies are not quite the same as they used to be. I remember (not that I used to spend my days collecting samples or anything) the days when free lippies and mini mascaras were literally thrown at you as you entered the store. I was very disappointed to find that foundation is now one of the only make-up samples given out these days.

As you can see perfumes and body/face lotions were the top contenders. I came away with some great brands too: Elizabeth Arden, No7, Calvin Klien, Avène, Lacoste, Caudalie and Bioderma. Not only were these all free, but are also the perfect size to fit into the limited space available in your commuting beauty bag.

If you’re up for the challenge or are just looking to test products before you buy them, here are five useful tips to make sure you come home with a life supply of scrubs, creams and lotions.

1) Act interested. This may seem obvious but the key is to make sure everything they tell you about the product is the most exciting thing you have ever heard. They love it.

2) Look the part. Beauty consultants can spot a ‘sample scab’ from a mile off and of course love the customers who look like they can splash the most cash. I’m not the groomed or glamorous type but it is definitely worth spending an extra 10 minutes in front of the mirror before heading off.

3) Stash some make-up wipes in your bag. There is no such thing as a free dinner. And unfortunately beauty counter assistants love nothing more to try out their new ‘looks’ on those who are willing. The more you ooh and ahh at the electric blue eye shadow they are putting on your face, the more successful your trip will be. Best to leave yourself with a blank canvas before heading to your next counter though!

4) Be very friendly. It can take some work to sweeten up the beauty consultants before they give in to your request. Female chit-chat is a must.

5) Know the brand. This will not only give you some kudos with the sales assistant but it’s also worth remembering that the best freebies are usually part of seasonal promotions. It’s worth checking online when these are and planning your purchases around them.

It may have taken a couple of hours but I think the loot was worth it. If you are heading out on the beauty blag this weekend, do be sure to share your success stories with us!


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