Ulta & Sephora Birthday Gifts 2018

As far as beauty stores are concerned, Ulta is definitely my favorite. I love that they have so much more to offer, often at more affordable prices than Sephora and they have coupons. But when it comes time for birthdays, both stores are my favorite. That’s something I look forward to every year when my birthday comes around is what each store is gifting. As if we don’t already spend enough money there, it’s nice to get something in return every once in a while.

Let’s talk about Ulta first. They might be my favorite store out of the two, but their birthday gift set this year was very underwhelming. In order to get birthday gifts at either of these stores, all you need to do is be signed up for their rewards program. When it gets close to your birthday, Ulta sends you an email that is valid the entire month of your birthday. All you have to do is print that email or show them the barcode on your phone in-store and they hand you the gift set, no purchase necessary. You also get double points on every purchase you make for your entire birthday month, which will then lead to coupons (aka free makeup!)

Ulta typically breaks their birthday gifts for the year into quarters. They have different gift sets for Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept, and Oct-Dec. My birthday is in January, so that’s the set I’ll be sharing with you. This year, the box included an Ulta brand Cranberry and Pomegranate lip oil and lip mask. They claim this is a $12 value, but it seems like a cheaper alternative to what they’ve offered in previous years. I haven’t tried the lip mask yet, but the oil is very comfortable to wear and smells like yummy fruit.
Because I don’t shop at Sephora as often, I didn’t really know what to expect for their birthday gift this year. To my understanding, you get to choose whether you’d prefer a skincare or makeup gift. I have never been asked my preference before, and last year I even received the previous year’s gift again because they hadn’t changed their inventory yet. However, they do make it easier to receive your gift than Ulta does because rather than needing to scan a barcode, they just pull up your account through your email or phone number.

The makeup gift that they’re offering this year is pretty nice. It’s a Bite Beauty lip care box that includes a mini size of their Amuse Bouche Lipstick in the shade Chai, a mini size of their Matte Crème Lip Crayon in the shade Glace, and an Agave Lip Treatment sample that includes the Agave Lip Scrub and the Agave Lip Balm. The two lip colors are pretty comfortable and extremely pigmented, but I really couldn’t stand the texture of the lip treatments on my face. The scrub just felt like I was moving molasses around on my lips with about 4 granules of sugar, and the lip balm was so thick I could barely get it out of the sample packet.
If you’re a beauty lover, or even if you just like free stuff, you definitely need to be signed up for both of these reward programs by the time your birthday comes around. Even when they’re not as impressive as you might think, it’s still fun to get a gift to celebrate you. Plus, it’s a great way to try new products that you might have been interested in!

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