Never in a million years would I expect to purchase, not one, but two Estée Lauder products in one transaction (and in New Zealand at full RRP)! Being a luxury brand with a relatively long history, I've always associated it with mature women, and a brand I never really gravitated towards. That is, until I found out about their amazing gift with purchase promotion at Smith & Caughey's. The gift was simply irresistible and looked too good to be true.
Can you believe that I only paid for the two Pure Color Envy lipsticks, but walked away with everything in that photo? Because I'm still mind blown. While testers are offered for almost every makeup product available, samples are right on the other end of the spectrum — taboo, and never to be spoken of in front of a counter makeup artist (I kid). According to Estée Lauder, the gift is worth over $240 based on the recommended retail price of the full sized products. Of course, most items in the gift bag are sample sizes, but they're all very generous amounts. I purchased #410 Dynamic and #450 Insolent Plum (spending a total of $118) from the Queen Street store with the help of a lovely girl named Sandra. She was so patient with me and tried on all the products I asked her to. High end makeup counters can be a little intimidating in my opinion, and some assistants can be (for the lack of a better word) snobby. I work in a customer service environment, so I definitely appreciate good service.
That aside, let's have a look at the contents, shall we? There were two sets to choose from, and I opted for the purple/warm toned set. Makeup wise, the bag consisted of their: Pure Color Long Lasting lipstick in #17 Rose Tea, Pure Color Intense Kajal eyeliner in #02 Blackened Cocoa, Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying volume mascara in #01 Extreme Black, and a mini palette consisting of their Pure Color eyeshadows in #10 Ivory Slipper, #67 Lilac Whimsy, #18 Sepia Sand, and #07 Smokey Ember. Sandra also depotted a sample of the Double Wear Light foundation in Intensity 3.0 for me to try. She tried the original formula on me the day before and I wasn't a fan of the cakey, settled-into-pores look. I wanted to love the foundation so much, but at least I didn't fork out $80 before I found I it didn't work for me. (I am around a MAC NC30 and got matched in the shade 2W2 Rattan, if anyone was curious).
For skincare, a sample of their best selling Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum and Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant creme were included. Oh my goodness. ANR! This is pretty much the sole reason (not really, but really) as to why I wanted this gift bag so much. I get to try the famous ANR before shelling out $92 for a 30mL bottle? Yes please. If a product is Caroline Hirons approved, it's going on my to-try-when-I-have-the-funds-list. (Oh, my poor, poor bank account...) To complete my skincare addiction, Sandra also threw in a few sachets of the Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher serum. And lastly, the final two products are their Modern Muse eau de parfum, and Pure Color nail lacquer in Black Plum (perfect for autumn/winter)!
I've never tried Estée Lauder products before, but they've done an excellent job at recruiting another beauty addict (aka me) to their consumers' list. I love the fact that you only need to purchase two products to qualify, and there's no minimum purchase amount. The offer is available exclusively at selected Smith & Caughey's stores until Sunday 13th April, so make sure to grab yours before it ends!
Edit 16-04-14; Post has been updated with photos. Here is the link to my instagram photo that I originally used.