24 Products We Got as Samples but Would Now Happily Pay Full Price For

E! editors weigh in.

By Carolin Lehmann, Carly Shihadeh Mar 18, 2022 11:38 PMTags
E-Comm: Samples

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Who doesn't love a free sample? Or better yet, who doesn't love a free sample that immediately turns into a life-changing must-buy? We enjoy any opportunity to try products we wouldn't otherwise to find those hidden gems. Our team is always asking each other for product recommendations to fill a certain need since we're all trying the newest and best products out there. Not all are great, but some have become staples in our lives and daily routines.  

After receiving so many products in the mail or at events, it's so exciting when a certain item really sticks out and makes us want to actually buy it to replace it. Many of our editors still rave about certain products and couldn't imagine life without them. 

Below, the free samples that have now turned into must-buys for our editors, from beauty products to clothing items. Shop them to see what all the hype is about.

These Cute & Comfy Pajama Sets for Under $50 Will Elevate Your Beauty Sleep

C & The Moon Malibu Made Body Scrub

"I thought all exfoliants were the same until I used the C & the Moon Body Scrub. Before I even got out of the shower, my skin felt softer than ever before. Normally, I have an extensive post-shower regimen of applying creams and oils. However, that wasn't necessary after using the scrub. You know that satisfying feeling of slipping into clean bed sheets with just-shaved legs? That combination is even better after using this exfoliant. The next morning, I woke up amazed that my skin was still so silky soft. And I've been habitually buying this ever since." -Marenah Dobin

Boscia 0.6% Pro-Retinol Repair+Renew Waterless Advanced Treatment

"Saying this retinol has been a game-changer for my skincare routine would be an understatement. I got it at an event, and it's the first retinol I've used that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. I use it at night and wake up with super smooth, glowy skin. After running out of it, I ordered a new one, and the days in between made the difference in my skin very apparent. Can't imagine a world without this product!" -Carly Shihadeh 

Relaxed Piper Crop Jeans

"I got sent jeans from NYDJ a while back and I thought they would be really frumpy but they are actually super flattering." -Ashley Parker

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

"This lip balm is so buttery and smooth on your lips. I am obsessed with the texture and feeling."—Amanda Williams

French Terry Sweatpants

"Every man needs and deserves a comfortable pair of sweatpants. Cash Warren's company created stylish loungewear that is perfect for working from home or chilling after a long day. As a bonus, they wash great and don't lose their comfort. Trust me, I've been wearing my pair for months." -Mike Vulpo

Huron The Big 3 Kit

"I discovered this brand around Father's Day and was thrilled to try out their affordable items. Their skincare products, made in the U.S.A., are perfect for someone who feels overwhelmed with beauty routines, but wants to take care of himself."—Mike Vulpo

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+ Sunscreen

"I fell in love with Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protector lotion after receiving a sample in a subscription box. It is super lightweight and absorbs really quickly into your skin and is factor 50 so it gives you really good protection. Plus, you can use it on your face and body, meaning you don't need two separate lotions. Some sunscreens make my skin break out but this actually makes me look glowy and moisturized. Obsessed!"—Sophie Forbes-Johnson

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Eau de Toilette

 "This is a product that I received a sample for and ended up buying the full thing. It's my go to daily scent that's super light and fresh."—Jessica Goldstone 

Mutual Weave Stretch Mens Straight Fit Jean

"JcPenney recently introduced their new Mutual Weave menswear line and their denim jeans are fantastic. They are true to size, have plenty of fits/denim shades to choose from and the best part is they won't break the bank. Plus, they have shirts and shoes to create a whole look." -Mike Vulpo

Kai Body Lotion

"My sister-in-law gave me a sample of this, thinking I'd like the scent. Was she right! Gaye Straza created Kai's signature fragrance with notes of white flowers and gardenias, influenced by her childhood summers in exotic locales. It's lush but still light enough for everyday use. Kai is available as a perfume, bath wash, home spray and more, but I stick to the body lotion."—Katherine Riley

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream

"Normally I stay away from testing pricey products like this for fear of falling in love with it, but when a friend gave me the Ceramidin cream and liquid I had to try it, especially since I'm prone to dry skin. Like I predicted, I was hooked. I've since used every last drop, but bought more as it's now a regular part of my nighttime skincare routine."—Cydney Contreras 

Revtown Jeans

"Buying jeans online without trying them on first is a scary thought for me. But Revtown's digital tailor helped me pick out the perfect pair of pants. Once my first purchase arrived, I was blown away by the quality and fit. I'll be buying more once temperatures drop."—Mike Vulpo

Ella + Mila Bonbon Collection

"I received an Ella + Mila nail care set in a PR package last year and am now a loyal buyer. My niece loves to have her nails painted and I love that this is a vegan, cruelty-free brand. It's a win-win."—Cydney Contreras 

Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner

"I love the Indie Lee toner because you spray it on your face and it immediately feels refreshing and has hyaluronic acid in it for immediate hydration and plump."—Amanda Williams

Shoe-Pourri Shoe Odor Eliminating Spray, White 2 oz Bottle

"Yes, we love Poo-Pourri for the bathroom, but their spray for shoes is a game changer. Shoe-Pourri eliminates the stink in your shoes after a long day filled with errands, exercises and more. Plus, each 2 oz bottle contains up to 100 uses." -Mike Vulpo

StriVectin-TL Tightening Neck Cream

"I tried a sample of StriVectin-TL Tightening Neck Cream. I had read reviews on how this is the holy grail of neck creams. I've been noticing some not so great changes in my neck lately and wanted to start preventative measures ASAP. The sample was small but lasted me three weeks. Within those three weeks I saw a noticeable difference in my neck and my decolletage. My neck was tighter, more hydrated and appeared smoother. The signs of sun damage from all my years of tanning were less noticeable on my décolletage. Before you start this product, take photos so you can see the progress! Needless to say, I am happy to spend $140 for the full size product. A little goes a long way and it will last me a while. I can't stop raving about it! It's been 4 months since I started and it continues to work!"—Holly Passalaqua

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

"I got a few SkinMedica samples from my dermatologist and since they are usually so expensive, it was a dream to try before buying. The Hydrator stood out so much that I ended up purchasing it. It moisturizes without being greasy and a 1 oz bottle lasts a while since you don't need to use much."—Lindsay Scheinberg 

Mocha Collagen Creamer

"During quarantine, I became a little obsessed with making iced coffee concoctions at home and I added this to one after receiving a sample and it was delicious. It has 5 grams of collagen, no dairy or added sugar (the most important thing I consider in my food, to be honest) and adds the perfect amount of chocolate-y flavor to any smoothie or drink with the bonus of being great for your hair, nails and and joints. I guess we can have it all sometimes!"—Tierney Bricker 

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer

"I've been in a pretty committed relationship with this brand for several years, but hadn't tried this product until receiving a free sample. Now? It's my No. 1 product, that completely brightens the area around my eyes without feeling too heavy and doesn't crease AT ALL. I immediately bought a full-size and consider it an essential step in my beauty routine."—Tierney Bricker 

Tatcha The Starter Ritual Set

"I'm embarrassed to admit I never had a skin care routine beyond Olay Daily Facial wipes. Well, that all changed when I was sent Tatcha's The Starter Ritual Set. This set came with everything I needed to purify, polish, soften and hydrate my tired face."—Katherine Riley

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle

"As I get older, the scents I decide to wear change. From wearing Victoria's Secret perfume in high school to just graduating college, I feel like I've found a mature scent that's still light and sexy that I can still grow into. I love this because it's been a transitional piece in my fragrance rotation during this time."—Jessica Goldstone

Zesty Paws Allergy Immune Supplement for Dogs

"OK, this one is from my dog. My fluffy and feisty Chow rescue hates any and every supplement I've tried to get her to take. Then we got a sample of Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Bites in the lamb flavor. She not only eats the 'treat' but her near-constant paw licking has stopped completely. Paws up from us!"—Katherine Riley 

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

"Started off with the mini just in case I hated it (I'm very particular about my brows for a girl who barely has them)—but turns out I'm obsessed and am looking to buy another once I'm through with my mini. The consistency isn't gloopy but you can still build on it. It dries nicely and makes my eyebrows fuller but still natural."—Jessica Goldstone

Daily Harvest Subscription

"I received a sample of the Daily Harvest foods and now have a subscription myself. The vegan food delivery service makes it so much easier to get my fruits and vegetables in without a ton of prep time, and that's something I appreciate while working full-time. Dishes start at $6 a pop. You can read my full review here!"—Carolin Lehmann

Up next: Snack Your Way to Better Skin With These 12 Products

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— Originally published Jul. 22, 2020 at 5:00 AM PT