Cutest freebies that come with Japanese beauty magazines

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01 /04 2022
New seasons brings change, and we face the sudden awareness that we need to make some room in our cosmetics bag or stock-up on latest Summer/Spring arrivals. Well, while you’re thinking about your spending, the magazine media offers plenty of freebies in most events you join, so why not you too take advantage of the good things?

Last week’s (March) edition of VOGUE JAPAN came with a fold-out find list of some essentials that every makeup addict must have. From brushes to lip gloss, lashes and eyeshadow, it’s a wide range. The find list is part of a summer-only issue, so you have the whole year to go through it.

In recent months we’ve been seeing many freebies not so frequently, such as free gift with purchase, promotions on beauty articles or last minute travel deals etc. Usually we only get to know about them much after the event, and all we can do is to keep an eye out, or have a phone ready to receive a text, at the same time giving you a tiny respite when you look at a freebie here and there and think ‘damn, I hope I’ll see one tomorrow, because I’ve used it already!’, or miss out on a travel deal because you looked on a freebie website the day before.

I’ve been there, so as usual, I looked for freebies online only two days before reading the magazine, this time it was one of those instances when I actually had it folded in the magazine and not on the cover or spread all over the pages. (We all know what you mean – it just hurts when you need to remember the approximate page you’ve seen the freebie on!)

That said, with at least the attempt to justify the looks, sometimes you can pick up your free gifts even when you’re distracted, and it doesn’t feel wrong. Or as the Japanese express it, yuru zo zainichi or ‘we want to look trendy and trendy people are affordable’.

Earlier this year I picked up free Garnier Mini Supre Body Cushion Blush Combo, which made my face look so spot on all those sunny days!

You may be lucky and be able to find an alternative, for example K-Palette Soothing Comfort Eye Liner gives the usual pink colour plus a glowy tone, but with more comfortable tip that I use it for liner and smudge so that I don’t have to be afraid of rubbing it off in the future, thus something important if I decide to use it for the rest of my life. It also doubles as a brow-humper for my stray brows that wouldn’t want to go away, for the life of me. We also saw a limited edition Garnier lash mascara last year, and a liquid liner where Garnier logo was incorporated, the shade wasn’t known so some people found it missing but I have no recollection of how it looks.

However for different reasons, sometimes you may be disappointed with a freebie you paid your hard earned money for. The previous two Garnier products have always resulted in feeling really good with the end product, but the Star Olive SS02 Shampoo & Ultra Repair Conditioner I tried did not fill my insecurities and reduce my crazy hairs from walking around throughout the day without feeling comfortable. I did test the dry shampoo and only went back to Garnier because of so many ads for it and the products, I don’t even remember if I was actually drawn to the free sample or the cost was enough to make me choose another shampoo.


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