Friday, 3 February 2012

•I'm really tired of putting my faith in to long awaited products or the new must have beauty counter item and being disappointed when it falls short of all it is advertised to be and disappoints me. This is probably the main reason why, when invited to do so, I jumped at the chance to pop down to Goodge St after work one evening recently to visit Sample Trend, a first of it's kind 'try before you buy' store in London.

The concept is pretty simple - You pay around £5 a month for membership, and are able to pick 5 (if you're lucky 6) items in full sizes to take away with you, use and give feedback on via an online forum. Generally speaking, it's hard to swerve the products you're already familiar with just because you're paying less than £1 an item and you're comfortable with what you know, though that really isn't the aim of the game.

There are products here from brands such as Nivea, Johnson & Johnson, Avon, Kraft, Nestle & Procter & Gamble (to name but a few) who are all making the most of reaching a wider consumer market by way of innovative, untypical promotion and sale. I picked up a 400ml Alberto VO5 Strong Hold Weather Resistant Hairspray and found myself resistant because often I use the Elnett Limited Edition Hairspray endorsed by Cheryl Cole, which got me thinking - Am I buying it because of the celeb endorsement or because I believe in the product? Am I sold easily on slashed prices, items that are marketed in luring ways and deals that mean I'll have plenty of one type of body lotion meaning I don't go near another for a year?

The answer to all the above is probably yes, though what I love about the Sample Trend concept is that there is a wide range of easily accessible brands and goodies from food, magazines, entertainment ideas to household and beauty products that may go untried because many of us don't have the luxury of spending our money on a new brand of something on the off chance we may like it... Live a little comes to mind but that's just the way we seem to be.

I picked up the items above and have mixed reviews on them: The Arm & Hammer toothpaste I can't believe I didn't discover sooner and I've become religious about it so they've gained a customer in me, the St Moriz fake tan is an alternative to the fake tan I use, not as good but an option I'll consider should my trusted Rimmel not be on the shelf, and the diet and exercise magazine is something I'll probably never pick up and actually read through, so at least if ever tempted in the future I know to not waste my money.
What do you guys think of this concept? Check out Sample Trend here and let me know your thoughts!


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