Ulta is one of the few retailers that offers a completely free birthday gift. It does not require a purchase, but it does have to be picked up in person. There are a number of retailers that offer free gifts or a GWP for your birthday. Every quarter in 2016, the gift is changing. The birthday gift for the first quarter, for anyone born in January, February or March is a 0.1oz Benefit Roller Lash mascara. I will update the general list and my general Ulta gift article as soon as I find out what the gift is for each subsequent quarter. Within the next couple of days, we should know what the quarter two gift is.
New birthday gifts are available every quarter at Ulta in 2016. Remember to check all birthday offers before your birthday arrives, because many retailers have great offers. Every quarter when the next gift announces, I will update this (and the main post). If you have not joined the UltaMate Rewards Program yet, join before your birthday to receive your free gift. Joining with a referral link will also give you $10 off your fist purchase.
Platinum members receive a $10 coupon on their actual birthday (in addition to the standard gift), which is good toward anything without a purchase minimum. This coupon is valid in store or online. It will work once in store AND once online, because the codes are different. If you have questions about any Ulta Coupon, I go over all types. You will not pay anything in-store if your purchase is $10 or less. There is a free shipping minimum (usually $50 but it does lower at times to $35 or even $25) for online purchases, so only order online if you’re going over it. Shopping in store is the only way to redeem the standard and Platinum gifts at the same time.
All members get 2x points on every purchase the entire month of their birth. Yes, this offer combines with others. There is a simple breakdown of how points multiply on my Ulta Page, which also covers everything there is to know at the UltaMate program and shopping at Ulta. It is not as simple as adding them together, because base points and the Platinum bonus never multiply. The easiest way to look at this is you get a bonus point for your birthday, because the first point is something you’d get anyway.
When the new month starts, I toss everything I finished the previous month. I give a mini review of each item. Items I love are usually repurchased, so some of them appear in the Empties Series a lot. If I like or am indifferent to an item, I will not rush out to repurchase, but I would be willing to use or try it again. Items that are not for me may not always be empty. Generally, I finish them but do not use them again in the future. If they’re really awful and new samples find their way to me, I give them to someone else unopened. For items I really love, I do a separate product spotlight to discuss them in more detail.
When it comes to favorites sets, no one puts them together like Sephora. I have a really hard time passing on favorites that are makeup and skin care related causing me to buy more than I should. The Sephora Favorites Kits have been hit or miss lately. Most products in sets are great even if they are repeats from earlier favorites, but I still cannot wrap my head around the $45 I paid for last year’s Summer Stash for a kit containing nothing but deluxe sizes. It is one I should have passed on.
I purchased Summer Stash on 04/19/14. As recently as June of 2015, they were still trying to move them for $30, which is 33.3% off. That should have told Sephora they priced it too high. As if I did not learn my lesson on the early summer release, I also purchased the Sephora Favorites Summer Crushes kit on 07/12/14 for $45. While the sizes were bigger, it was still a kit of deluxe sizes. To add insult to injury, the price went down online the day after I bought it. While some convinced me that I could get the price matched, I did not even bother trying.
By now, I am sure you’ve heard Sample Society Boxes no longer exist. Allure took over management and anyone who chose to continue with the subscription was transferred to the Allure Beauty Box. After receiving my March box, I decided to cancel. Do not get me wrong. I was happy with every single sample that came in this box. It just arrived during a time when I was not in a beauty product mood. Based on my history, which was hit or miss, I did not want to continue. Sample Society also sold boxes that did not sell out on Beautybar’s website for the same price subscribers paid.
The only benefit to subscribing was a guaranteed box, which based on some of them, was no benefit at all. My thoughts were I would just buy any box that tickled my fancy after I saw the contents. Beautybar stopped selling the newer boxes. I am still deciding whether I want to subscribe to Allure’s new box, but I did not subscribe in time to receive June, July, or August.