Every week is beauty week at ITG, but this week* is also Saks (Fifth Avenue, of course) Beauty Week. And at Saks, when they say beauty week, they don’t mess around. From now through Saturday March 2nd, if you spend $100 on face, body, and smell-good swag, you get that heart-flutter-inducing, hot-flash-creating, adrenaline-surge-worthy thing, which, rain or shine, February or June, makes your day just a little bit brighter: something FREE. You get a “Gift With Purchase,” which is in fact several free things: a leather bag, and a stash of fragrance and skincare samples.
But let me back up. Until around, oh, the age of thirteen, when any/all my babysitting money went to Stila Lip Glazes, the majority of my makeup and skincare (and believe me, I had an inordinate amount given my age) was from my grandma’s Gift with Purchases. God, I loved a Gift with Purchase. There was a lot of Clinique: I remember the eye shadows being particularly thrilling, yet somehow my grandmother never wanted them. But you know what I say? One woman’s trash is another woman’s gateway drug into the world of beauty. A Gift With Purchase—that original version of sampling, pre-Birchbox—is the perfect way to try some stuff you might not have tried before. Take the Marni fragrance that comes in the nifty leather tote (which comes, by the way, in three very Spring-y colors)…Wait, Marni has a new fragrance? Who knew! Well, now I do, because I just pulled it out of the bag and spritzed it all over myself. And it’s kind of great.
And yes, $100 is a nice chunk of change, but let’s be real: one hundred bones goes pretty fast when you’re dealing with La Mer this and Annick Goutal that. Personally, I’d recommend looking through all those emails you sent to yourself about stuff you ran out of, and the random notes you made about Top Shelves past, including that mascara you had to have and that foundation you want to try, and physically get thyself to Saks (be it in NYC or any location across the country) and do some shopping. Yes, it’s easy to order everything online these days, but there’s something to be said for the physical experience of traversing a well-curated beauty department. And let’s be real: you’re not going to be able to hem and haw over the “right shade of red” until you try it on your mouth.