Friday, January 23, 2009

Justice is Served: Free makeup for all!

Want free cosmetics? Well it's every Manhattanites for the asking this week at Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

When I heard about the possibility of free makeup I made a beeline for Macy's after work.

In hindsight this was not the best for speed and ease (Saks apparently was line-less today, their shoppers seem to be above free makeup), but it was worth the 15-minute wait for my $35 Lancome Mascara prize. Free makeup is free makeup, especially if it means long Twiggyesque lashes.

The giveaway is the result of a 2004 legal settlement where cosmetics companies and retailers were accused of price fixing.

The companies deny any wrongdoing, but the settlement requires them to give away $175 million in makeup to customers who purchased a product between 1994 and 2003. And it happened with big cosmetics brands too! Chanel, Guerlain, M.A.C, Clinique, and Clairns were all involved.

No receipt? No worries. They're operating on an honour system. To claim my free mascara (at this point all the Chanel perfumes and expensive creams were long gone), all I had to do was sign a form stating I was eligible, and off I shopped.

Customers are only supposed to get one item each, but many clever young things enlisted their boyfriends or male pals in their hunt, getting seconds and even thirds. And some major diehards I chatted to were on a department store trail, visiting every store and scoring up to nine products each.

The giveaway runs until Monday, or while supplies last. And any remaining items (yea right) will be donated to charity.

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