clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What to Know About Shopping This Week’s Beauty Sample Sale

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

When it comes to apparel and shoes, sample sales are gold for off-season pieces priced well below their retail value. But how do cosmetics sample sales happen considering beauty products may not have a specific season, per say, but they do have expiration dates?

We popped into 260 Fifth Avenue this morning where a multi-brand sample sale from Stila, Tocca, and GHD kicked off at 9am. Specifically, to find out how the products were chosen and, of course, to survey the goods.

The sales associate we spoke to explained that the sample sale offering is filled with excess items from the brands' retail spaces and most importantly, all products were perfectly safe. All of the products were in original packaging with testers and staff available to answer any questions.

The bulk of the sale is housed in the middle with tables holding rows of Stila eyeshadows ranging from $8 to $10. Our absolute favorite eyeshadow pick is the Magnificent Metals Foil Finish eyeshadow ($10). The texture is very similar to Pat McGrath's limited edition gold foil shadow that sold out as quickly as it debuted. Sephora still has Stila's rendition on shelves (for $30!) but you can pick one up at the sample sale for way less than that.

We also saw products like eyebrow gels ($8) , concealers and bronzers ($8), plus foundations ($10). Sadly, matte lipsticks and glosses are missing from the mix but there are plenty of lip stains ($8) that change from glossy to light washes of color as your day progresses.

The Tocca and GHD products are housed on the outskirts of the sale, stationed on opposite sides. Tocca received equal traffic to Stila with customers scooping up arms of $25 candles and sets of sampler perfumes. We even spied a shopper purchasing Tocca's Laundry Delicate ($7) in bulk. Click through the gallery above to get a sense of the products offered.

The sale runs until May 22nd; check out the Dealfeed below for more details.