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Video: How to score free beauty products

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    >>> all about free stuff. hey, cheryl, good morning to you. what's the catch?

    >> there's no catch. the only catch is that you have to be a good customer. don't go and say, where are my free samples ? can i have five? the whole idea is the companies are getting -- beauty companies are getting something, they're getting you to try their products so maybe you'll go back and buy them, and you get the free stuff.

    >> first, start with what's available i think in department stores . this is not what you get free, the big ones . but you get the little guys. most of us know we get little free samples but we don't always ask for them. basically people say, hey, take this sometimes.

    >> you should absolutely ask. beauty companies want you to try them because they are confident that their products are going to work and you'll want to buy them.

    >> do you mind if i just try a little sample of this, this, and this?

    >> exactly. one, two, three, four, five. this here is a very high end and a bit expensive, something like that where you'll make an investment, you definitely want to try first. la prairie . you have are a consultation, they say we think these will work for you. take this five to seven-day sample home, then come back and buy it.

    >> people who may not necessarily buy their products in department stores , like some of my family, we buy cover girl and -- for them, this is an opportunity for them to try stuff and to see, make a comparison.

    >> exactly.

    >> okay, great. all of these things are available.

    >> essay lauder, just go in and they'll choose a color, foundations, for you. not only can you see if it works if the light of the department store but at home, in your office. dior counters, fragrance samples. they're something that's pretty easy to get your hands on. you know if you get acosted in the store, nobody actually sprays you anymore. but that's something you have to try before you buy . you don't wear it, you don't know.

    >> this is the shu uemura cleansing oil. i actually tried this, it is really terrific in terms of cleaning off. you can get free samples of this.

    >> something like this where you say, oils for my face? i'm not so sure. it is great for the skeptic so you can try it again.

    >> it kind of foams when you wash.

    >> it rinses off.

    >> now you have some other -- these are cleansers?

    >> these are all products that you can get at beauty 360. beauty 360 is an off-shoot of cvs but it is not a drugstore. they sell prestige beauty products like these brands. bioel nlt bioelements, you get these three boxes for your skin type . this french brand is fabulous. you can get an eye de-puffing mask. mascaras. from laura geller and pop buyty, both of these are eye primer. this you put on with your finger or wand but it keeps your eye shadow in place.

    >> you can just ask for this.

    >> exactly. just ask.

    >> let's talk about this.

    >> that's a dry shampoo, a classic product. pssssst. for people who don't have time to wash their hair or you go to the gym, you spray it on your roots, it gives you a little volume and gets rid of the oils. it is an amazing product. and this is glowell, a beauty drink. it is full of antioxidants.

    >> where did you get these items? these were exclusive to "red "redbook" in the april edition.

    >> let's keep going.

    >> bare minerals, the foundation that started the whole mineral makeup craze. if you go in to the boutique and say "redbook" sent you, you'll get this big sample and the adorable little brush. these are all at the individual boutiques from kiehl's, or ggins, and body shop . this is like a to-go cup of beauty.

    >> cheryl kramer, this is fantastic. basically we go online, go to the shops directly. but we'll give people online our online, todayshow.com, thank you so much this morning.

updated 4/6/2010 11:57:55 AM ET 2010-04-06T15:57:55

Free beauty products are practically everywhere — all you have to do is ask! They’re a great way to try before you buy, and beauty companies are happy for you to take advantage of the offers, hoping you’ll fall in love with their products and come back for more. Of course, all of these products are available "while supplies last," but there’s almost always something available to try. Redbook magazine highlights the best deals:

Department stores
Department store counters are staffed with beauty advisors, ready, willing, and able to dole out free samples. Here are some that are available right now.

The Estée Lauder foundationmatching service will help you find the best liquid foundationshade and formulation for you. Then you’ll receive a 10-day supply, so you can see if the foundation shade looks right on you in all sorts of lighting, not just under the light of the department store. It’s available at Estée Lauder counters nationwide. (Full size products cost from $24.50 - $34.50.)

La Prairie Anti-Aging Longevity Serum ($225 for full size), has botanical anti-aging extracts curated from around the world, and the Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold ($580 for full size) is a skin plumper with hyaluronic acid and 24K gold mineral powders. These are really high-end, pricey products and it’s great to have to chance to try them out before you make an investment. You can get a five to seven day sample with a consultation at the La Prairie counter, which are in Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Fragrance samples are some of the most plentiful in department stores, and these are two from Christian Dior. Dior J’Adore ($95 for full size) is a sexy fruity floral, with bergamot, roses, and jasmine and Miss Dior Cherie ($95 for full size) is a citrusy, fruity floral. They can be snapped up at Dior counters at Macy's.

Shu Uemura Skin Purifier High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oils ($62 - $72 for full size) have been a cornerstone company’s philosophy for years — using oil to break down oil. They cleanse the face gently and remove makeup. Don’t be afraid to use these oils, even if you’re oily! You can get a deluxe sample at Shu Uemura counters at Neiman Marcus. The free lunch lives!

Beauty 360 stores
Beauty 360 stores are prestige beauty boutiques that are an offshoot of CVS — they have their own separate entrance, but you can also enter through the back of your CVS drugstore. There are 20 stores nationwide, many in California, and they are opening up all around the country.

Bioelements has little boxes containing three products each targeted to your skin type, whether you are very dry and dry, very oily and oily, and combination. (Full size price range from $28 - $59.)

Vincent Longo
offers a mini version The Curl Mascara ($23 for full size), which curls and volumizes.

Talika Eye Decompress ($30 for full size) is a calming, de-puffing eye mask.

Laura Geller Beauty Ingenuity Eye Spackle ($24 for full size) primes your lids to make your shadow smudge-free and long-lasting.

Pop Beauty
Eye Magnet Primer ($18 for full size) is another great product for getting lids ready for makeup.

REDBOOK organized some great online offers exclusively for readers, which are available to TODAY viewers.

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Psssssst On-the-Go Instant Spray Shampoo ($7 for full size) is a classic product that keeps your style fresh in between shampoos, and is also great for adding volume, freshening up roots after the gym — you name it. Dry shampoos are all the rage right now, but this has been around forever! Go to FreemanBeauty.com/Redbook for a sample.
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Beauty Drink Mix ($89 for a 30-day kit) offers beauty from the inside out with this anti-oxidant drink mix; it boosts your overall antioxidant levels, helping fight free radicals that cause skin aging. The packet contains one drink’s worth, which is a day’s recommended allowance. Go to Glowelle.com/Redbook for a sample.

Brand boutiques
Brand boutiques are also a great place to find free beauty deals, and these freestanding boutiques can be found in malls and in shopping areas all over the country:

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Foundation SPF 15 ($25 for full size) is the foundation that started the mineral makeup sensation. It even comes with an adorable little brush. It’s available at the 120 Bare Escentuals boutiques nationwide — mention Redbook to get a deluxe sample. 

"Dramming" is also a great way to try new products — these samples may not come in fancy packaging, but you get a really wide variety of choices, essentially everything at that store or counter. 

Kiehl’s can sample everything after a brief consultation, which is really a benefit to you, just a quick, 10-minute conversation with a Kiehl's Customer Representative to discuss your personal hair/skincare needs and concerns. A few of the products we love: Abyssine Cream SPF 23, $45; Facial Fuel men’s moisturizer, $21; Acai Damage-Repairing Serum, $49; Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion, $16; Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo, $18. Samples are available at the 33 freestanding Kiehl’s stores in the US plus Kiehl’s counters at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales.

The Body Shop can dram everything but makeup and fragrance, but you can test those in-store.  Some of our favorites are: The Body Shop Originals Dewberry Shower Gel, $9; The Body Shop Originals Banana Shampoo, $9; The Body Shop Originals Ice Blue Shampoo, $9; The Body Shop Satsuma Body Polish, $20. These are available at the 315 Body Shop stores nationwide.

Origins is known for its great natural products that smell heavenly. Some of the best:
A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-defense moisturizer with White Tea, $38.50; Checks and Balances Frothy face wash, $18.50; Clear Improvement Active charcoal mask to clear pores, $21; GinZing Refreshing eye cream, $29.50; Starting Over Age-erasing oil-free moisturizer with Mimosa, $45; Youthtopia SPF 15 Skin firming foundation with Rhodiola, $26.50. They’re available at the 110 Origins boutiques and 460 Origins counters nationwide.

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