If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
See my January 2019 Ulta birthday gift review, my February 2019 Ulta birthday gift review, the Ulta 2019 birthday gifts article, and all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.
The 2018 Birthday Gift at Ulta Beauty changes every quarter. All gifts have been announced for 2018. This is the first year Ulta rolled out the announcements for all gifts this early. My birthday lands in the first quarter. If your birthday lands in the first quarter, happy birthday! Keep reading for a review on the gift. I know when I first saw the gift I was not sure if it was worth the trip to the store to pick it up. It would be really nice if we could redeem the standard gift with online orders, but they are only available in-store. Ulta Beauty does sell the items I received for my gift so feel free to read along if you are planning on purchasing any of them. Every Platinum and Diamond members gets a $10 coupon good toward any product. That means the review on the item I redeemed is almost guaranteed to vary from what you receive. If you did get the same item, you likely got it on the same day as I did and my review is of no value to you.
All UltaMate members with purchase history on their accounts get a birthday gift. There has been some chatter that the most recent purchase must have been within 90 days of your birthday, but I cannot confirm or deny that rumor at this time. On the first day of your birth month, which is March in my case, you will receive a coupon for the birthday gift. This coupon is valid through the end of your birth month. Take the coupon to your local Ulta Beauty to redeem the item listed on the coupon. Without that coupon, it is highly unlikely the associate will give you a birthday gift. If yours does not arrive, call Ulta Beauty customer service to ask about it. In the rare event your item is out-of-stock, the associate may substitute it for a gift that is in stock. Some employees will not substitute gifts.
All UltaMate members also get 2x points during their birth month. This offer must be activated. It is essentially 1 bonus point added to your base points. UltaMate members get 2x (1 + 1 base), Platinum members get 2.25x (1 + 1.25 base), and Diamond members get 2.5x (1 + 1.5 base). Like all multipliers, this offer works in-store or online. Bonus points on in-store orders apply within a few hours of shopping and within a few hours of shipping for online orders. Yes, this multiplier combines with other offers. Read my article for Earning and Redeeming Points for more details on how this works.
If you are a Diamond or Platinum member, you will also receive a coupon for $10 off any product. This will not work on gift cards or services, but it will work on anything else. I redeemed it for Mario Badescu in 2014 (no article), Butter London in 2015, Stila in 2016, Too Faced in 2017 (no article), and It Cosmetics (scroll for review) in 2018.
The 2018 gift for Quarter one is a full-size 0.15oz Ulta Beauty Collection Cranberry & Pomegranate Lip Oil ($9) and a Lip Mask ($3). Though the lip mask is not sold individually (which is why I cannot link it), it is available at times in kits. There is a chance it will pop up again if you like it and want to purchase it.
The current birthday gift is always advertised under the registers.
This is the only Ulta Beauty branded gift for 2018, but it is also the only gift with two pieces. Both pieces are also full-sized. I picked this up earlier in the month on a trip to the store.
According to the directions on the back of the lip mask, it takes 10-15 minutes of wear time to reap the benefits. I kept it on the full 15.
I started feeling a little under the weather on Sunday. When I am sick, my lips get really dry. Although I need a moisturizing lip product when I am sick, I try to limit myself to one. That way, I do not spread germs to other products.
After 2.5 days of use, there is still a lot of product left in the tube.
It has a standard doe foot applicator. I use one side of the applicator for my top lip and one for the bottom. Only one dip per application gives enough product to fully coat my lips.
I applied the lip mask this morning. After a few days of sickness, my lips are really dry. As you can see, I am experiencing a hormonal breakout. This did give me a whitehead under my lip on the left side within a day and a half of wearing the mask. As that happens almost every time I apply a lip mask from any brand, I fully expected it. The whitehead side effect is one of the main reasons I do not use lip masks often. It is too bad I cannot get the added moisture from a lip mask without the whiteheads, but I will keep trying more to find one that does not clog my pores.
This lip mask is moisturizing. What I like about this mask is it is malleable. When I open my mouth, the inner folds coat every part of my outer lips. Masks without a cutout in the middle miss the parts of the lips that touch when they close. After removing it 15 minutes later, my lips felt nourished and comfortable. I followed with another coat of the lip oil. If you like lip masks, this is worth the trip to the store to get the free gift. That is if a $3 gift is worth the effort. Those who get whiteheads from lip masks, like me, may not feel the mask is worth the trip.
The lip oil has a red tint, but it looks almost completely sheer once applied. It is very glossy. While it is on the lips, they feel very moisturized. This does not seem to penetrate my lips well and mostly just sits on top. There is also a strange taste, which I cannot describe well. I’d say it is similar to tasting rubbing alcohol mixed with hand sanitizer. As long as I do everything I can to avoid accidentally licking my lips, it is not too bad. Unlike the Coconut Lip Oil from the same brand, this is not very sticky. That means it does not last as long on the lips, but it also means it does not feel as moisturizing as it fades away. If you do not mind sticky lip products, you may prefer the Coconut Lip Oil. When varying scents from the same line have vastly different formulas, it always perplexes me. This is not something I’d buy, but it was worth a trip to the store to get it for free. For those on the fence, this lip oil is not worth the trip.
Because I was not feeling well, I decided to place an online order to redeem my $10 Platinum birthday coupon. It usually takes Ulta Beauty 7-10 days to deliver my online orders, and I placed this online order yesterday. Rather than waiting for it to arrive and me to review the product, I decided to get this review up now. That way, people could read the review on the items that require in-store pickup before the window to get them closes. Again, the $10 coupon is valid toward any product so while I will review this, it is not what matters for the birthday review.
Thanks to the coupon, and the 21 Days of Beauty, the full-size 0.31oz It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Anti-Aging Finishing Powder only cost me $4.50. That free Murad gift is now out-of-stock, but keep checking my targeted GWP Offers for new ones. This powder is something I’ve tried only once before from a small cardboard sample I received. Although I cannot really remember my thoughts well enough to offer a thoughtful review now, I never would have purchased it if I hated it. Once I receive the product and use it a few times, I will edit in pictures and a review.
What are your thoughts on this birthday gift? Let me know below. Targeted Offers are exclusive to UltaMate Rewards Members, so I do recommend joining. Whenever there is an exclusive or unique Ulta Beauty offer, I will note that above. An advanced breakdown on Earning and Redeeming Points can help you maximize the UltaMate Rewards Program. Coupons are almost always available. I go over all types of Ulta coupons and track 20% off prestige coupons. Remember to check my Ulta Deals page before placing an online order for possible exclusives and advice. There are always general and brand specific offers I do not list, so check the GWP section of the Ulta site as well. Ulta encourages deal stacking. Most major events run on a schedule, and I track each one. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal at Ulta. See all Ulta articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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