One of the great things about handmade beauty is the ability to get almost any product in a sample size. Most artisans either list samples as part of their regular inventory. Or they will accommodate requests for sample listings. I have also had the good fortune to receive a number of samples with orders.
Samples of mineral makeup often come in tiny envelopes. And unless you have a very steady hand, trying to get a makeup brush into and out of a tiny plastic envelope is not a graceful process. I like to put the samples in purchased cosmetics jars (available at any drugstore), or washed out cosmetics jars. I then have enough access to the minerals to use them for a few, or even several, applications, and can decide if I really like the product feel and color before committing to a larger size.
Requesting samples doesn’t have to be limited to cosmetics either. I really wanted to try the bubble bath from Karen’s Soaps. She had soap samples listed, but not the bubble bath. So I requested a listing for a bubble bath; and she was able to accommodate me with a nice lavender scented sample. I also recommend her Day at the Beach soap.
You can also request minimal packaging, and refills from artisans. Did you know the shakers on your mineral makeup jars can be removed? Just pry up the shaker piece gently. You can then refill the jar with foundation free of bismuth oxychloride, or eye shadow free of aluminum lake, or any other ingredient that is irritating to your skin.
Soap samples and gift packs often come packaged in small plastic bags. But weather permitting, you can ask that they be individually wrapped in (biodegradable) paper and then placed in a single plastic bag.
You can also use gift packs as actual gifts. I like to order a whole loaf of natural soap (cut into bars), or a dozen lip balms at holiday time and put them in Christmas stockings.