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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A different birthday (yes, we have a lot of spring birthdays, here)

This time, it was my birthday, a little over a week ago.

A few weeks ago we talked a bit about frugal beauty. If you wear cosmetics (or like to try nice skin care products) and you have a Sephora nearby, they have a birthday club. During the entire month of your birthday you can go into one of their stores and pick-up your birthday freebie. You usually get to choose between a cosmetic sampler or a skin care sampler. I usually choose the cosmetic one. It's totally free, and at least at the store near me, there is never, ever, any pressure to buy anything.

You simply go up to the cashier and give them your identifying information (phone number or email).  They hand you a nicely packaged gift bag with tissue and wish you a happy birthday. You need to sign up, online or in the store, well in advance of your birthday, so that you are in their system. Then once you've signed up, your good to go for as long as Sephora continues this freebie.

In past years, I've received lip stick, lip balm, mascara, blush, lip pencil, and eye pencil. This year, the cosmetic option was a lip stick, lip pencil, and those two small pellet-looking things are a lip scrub and a lip balm.

Of course, they are hoping you will like the products enough to buy full-sized versions. And, yes, that did happen for me once. I really loved the mascara that came in one year's birthday gift, enough to ask for a Sephora gift card the following year for a Christmas present so I could buy more. So, with a gift card, I have purchased something in their store. In addition, I have also purchased gift cards to give to women in my family. I guess you could say they've made a customer out of me through this freebie.

It's always fun to get some new make-up for free!


  1. Seriously??? I can do this??? We have a Sephora but I've never gone. My birthday is coming up in May. That sounds fun!

    1. Hi Kris,
      Yes! Go to their website, and sign up/register for Beauty Insider membership. Here's the link that should take you to the page you need
      on that page it says "Welcome to Beauty Insider" in a box. Click on "sign in" and it presents a form to fill out.

      It's a fun freebie. Sephora is also generous with samples of products. A few years ago I was able to get a bunch of sample-sized sprays of men's cologne to put in my son's Christmas stocking. And about a year ago I got a couple of skincare samples, just for asking if I could try a couple of products.

    2. I did it! I admit, I avoid the pricier makeup because I don't like sales pressure (and, you know, budgeting!). I did go into Ulta last year--that was kinda fun and I felt like the salespeople were helpful but not over the top trying to get a commission. Hoping I have a similar experience at Sephora. Thanks for the link.

    3. The Sephora birthday freebie is one of my favorites. If you Sephora is anything like ours, you'll probably walk in, go to the register, get your freebie, and leave with no sales pressure whatsoever. I tend to buy drug store cosmetics. And once I find what I like, I order refills through Amazon.

  2. Very interesting. Do they give you any choices as to the colors?

    I don't generally wear makeup, but I do like to use mascara or lip gloss on occasion... problem is that my coloring is sooooo far off the scale in terms of fairness, that "normal people" colors look ridiculous on me. About 10 years ago I found a place called "just for redheads" that actually carried stuff that works for people like me, but I don't think you're really supposed to use makeup that's 10 years old, and it wasn't exactly cheap.

    1. A makeup store just for redheads? Maybe I'd start wearing makeup also if I found one.

    2. Hi Cat,
      no choice in the colors. They do offer a choice between skincare products and the cosmetic samplers. Some years, the cosmetic option is extremely "benign," like 2 tubes of lip balm -- 1 clear, the other barely tinted. Here's the page to see this year's gift:
      You can get an idea for what the gift product choices are.

      That's a really good question.

    3. Live & Learn: It's an online store:

      Careful though, I got so excited when I found it that I ordered a ridiculous amount of stuff, most of which I've never used... because, you know, I don't really wear makeup. It was fun to find stuff that actually worked with my coloring though, instead of making me look like a clown.

      And thanks Lily for the link - I'll check it out!

  3. I've never seen a Sephora store and I just looked up locations and figured out why. The closest one is over an hour away. I'm sure there are other birthday clubs around, but I tend not to go shopping much so I don't notice many things like that.

    Anyway, Happy Belated Birthday, Lili.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      thank you! As you said, there are lots of birthday freebies out there. My other 2 favorites are Menchie's, a frozen yogurt place (a very generous frozen yogurt sundae) and Panera Bread (free pastry). The use-by date ranges on those freebies are generous, a month or more. I really appreciate that, instead of having to go in on my birthday.

  4. That is so neat, Lili. Thanks for the idea, I signed up too. Oh, and Happy Birthday!! I hope your day was terrific.

  5. Happy Birthday, Lili! I'm glad you got to enjoy the Sephora birthday freebie. Birthday freebies are a lot of fun!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday! Glad you were able to get a freebie that you enjoyed.


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