Saturday 26 March 2011

Free gifts

"Free gifts" infuriate me. Quite apart from the obvious tautology - after all, a gift is by definition free - the whole concept (a useless piece of tat rather than a cheaper product) is unpleasant. From the plastic cowboys which fell into my breakfast cereal when I was a child, to those rather hideous tumblers which came with petrol, to today's gripe: make-up.

Today, I went into a branch of a very well-known chemist's, spent over (over what? I can't remember how much. Well, I overspent, anyway) and was awarded a free gift.
It looked like a child's pencil case.

My free gift and I made our way home, where it transpired that the pencil case contained six of those itsy little samples which are neither use nor ornament, and which hang around in drawers until they are stale enough to throw away (the cosmetic equivalent of saucers of green fur in the fridge). There's "Energising Moisturiser" (I wish), and "Lift and Luminate Night Cream" (lift and luminate what, exactly? Can I smear it on my boobs?), "Beauty Serum", Radiance Revealed" exfoliator (I don't exfoliate anything, being of the belief that a good wash and some simple skin cream is quite enough, and all those horrible dead skin cells will probably drop off anyway without any assistance from me), a tiny mascara (thank you. I'll use that), some plum-coloured lipstick (ugh), and the kind of bright blue eye shadow that was around about thirty years ago.

So if anyone would like any of the above (apart from the mascara. You can't go to far wrong with mascara...can you?) just send a tiny SAE to me and I'll happily send it to you.


  1. You reminded me of Give and Make Up, Frances - they accept samples as well. Cosmetics and everyday essentials for women in refuge:

  2. Great, Aliya! Thanks for that. I'll look them up.

  3. I'm not sure why, but thinking about free gifts has made me think about the incredible 'Serving Suggestions' on packaged food.

    My favourite one was on a pot of mousse. 'Serving suggestion - Eat from tub.'

  4. Joanna, you are so right! On a tin of corned beef, there's invariably a picture of a slice of corned beef and a lettuce leaf as a "serving suggestion". Which implies that you bought the corned beef before you had decided what to do with it. Now, if they had, say, a pic of pile of cubes of corned beef intersperesed with pineapple chunks, parsley and potato peelings, then that would certainly be a serving suggestion.

    A new exciting recipe might be helpful, instead?