Saturday, July 9, 2016

Birthday Freebies


One of the things I look forward to every July is the slew of e-mails that show up in my inbox, filled with awesome coupons and promises of freebies. Why July? Because it's my birthday! As much as celebrating with a big party and cake can make me feel loved and appreciated, I honestly look equally forward to my yearly ritual of parading around the mall, collecting my free little treats. Maybe I'm just an introvert, but the gift of me-time is perhaps my favorite thing to give myself (you know, along with some chocolate and a bath bomb). To keep you guys in-the-know, I thought I'd round up a list of my favorite birthday freebies, both beauty and non-beauty, so you too can get in on all the goodness.

Beauty 

Bare Minerals //
Bare Minerals was my jam back in the day. When I first got into makeup, it was pretty much what I exclusively used. Even though I've moved on, I still love their color cosmetics, and have an embarrassing number of their eyeshadows tucked away in a drawer. If you join their free rewards program (called Friends and Benefits or FAB, for short) you'll not only get notified of special discounts and offers, but you'll also get a free full-sized product during your birthday month! This year is a Lasting Line Long-Wearing Eyeliner. I was supposed to get the shade Endless Orchid, but apparently my local shop ran out and was only able to give me a black one. I have more black eyeliner than I know what to do with, so I'll probably be adding this to an upcoming giveaway! Want to get in on the FAB benefits? Sign up here!

The Body Shop //
So this one is a little less of a freebie, but still equally worth knowing about! The Body Shop has a pretty sweet loyalty program that can save you tons of money in the long term if you shop their often, however it costs $10 a year to join (or, if you earn 8 points within a year, your annual subscription will renew for free automatically). Love Your Body members save 10% on all purchases, earn rewards as they rack up points (every $20 spent is equal to 1 point), and get a $10 reward certificate on their birthday. So truly, if you shop at the Body Shop with any relative frequency, or make a couple big purchases to stock up in the year, you'll easily get your $10 back. Want in? You can sign up for the Love Your Body program here.

CVS Beauty Club //
I do a lot of my drugstore makeup shopping at CVS. While I think that their prices are a tad bit higher than Target and Walmart overall, they offer way better sales and coupons, allowing me to easily save anywhere from 40 to 60% off all of my purchases. If you've already got a CVS Extracare Card, signing up for the Beauty Club is easy. Once you do you'll earn $5 Extrabucks for every $50 you spend (it doesn't have to be in a single transaction, it'll accumulate over time) on beauty products. For your birthday, you'll also get e-mailed a bonus coupon for $3 on any purchase. Layer that on with a Manufacturer's Coupon and a weekly sale, and you'll easily get that new lipstick for next to nothing!

Sephora //
Love beauty minis? Then you'll probably adore Sephora's annual birthday gift. All Beauty Insiders get their choice between a set of makeup minis or skincare minis during their birth month. Once you've received the email that it's time for you to pick up your gift, you can either add it to your online shopping cart, or pick it up in store. For 2016 your options are either a lipstick and liner from Marc Jacobs, or a cleanser and face mask from Fresh. As much as I love Marc Jacobs, I figured I have enough black liner and pink lipstick to last an eternity, so I opted for the Fresh set instead. All you need to do is make sure you're signed up as a Beauty Insider, which is Sephora's free rewards program. It's a good idea to do in general, as you can earn points to redeem for other rewards and get emailed sweet coupons year round.

Ulta //
Ulta has really stepped up their game with their rewards program in the past year. Now you can redeem your points for cash off any purchase (including prestige brands). They also gift you a pretty sweet freebie for your birthday. All Ultamate Rewards members are eligible to receive the birthday gift, but if you've hit Platinum status you'll also get a bonus $10 gift certificate emailed to you. Ulta's birthday gifts change quarterly, which means that, depending on when your birthday falls, you'll end up receiving one of four options. If your birthday is in July, August, or September this year, you'll get a free full-sized Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy. It even comes in special limited purple packaging, which I nearly died over. The only caveat is that Ulta's birthday gift cannot be redeemed online. You'll have to make a trip out to the store to pick it up (which may be super inconvenient, depending on where you live). On the plus side, you'll also earn double points on any purchases made during your birthday month, so while you're out there, you might as well treat yourself to some other birthday beauty goodies. Now, even though you can earn your bonus points all month long, the email allowing you to redeem you birthday gift won't come until your actual birthday, just something to keep in mind if it falls at the end of the month! All you need to do to qualify for your birthday gift/bonus points is join the Ultamate rewards program (it's free). And, if you sign up using my referral link, we both get $10 off our next purchase! Woop woop!


Non-Beauty

DavidsTea //
Anyone who's been frequenting my blog and/or Instagram for any length of time will know that I'm kind of obsessed with tea. While I love a lot of brands, DavidsTea is perhaps one of my favorites. They release the most amazing seasonal collections, and have a fun, cheerful approach to tea that I can really get behind. If you join their free loyalty program, you'll not only earn points with every purchase that you can put towards free tea, but they'll also make you a free cup of anything you want in store on your Birthday! Just make sure you don't forget to add the actual date to your account ;-)

Dunkin Donuts //
Speaking of free drinks, if Dunkin Donuts are a thing where you live and you frequent them often, I would highly, highly recommend downloading their app and using it to make your purchases! You get tons of coupons and can earn points that redeem for free drinks. And, as you probably can guess, you also get a reward certificate for a free drink on your birthday. I'm thinking I'm going to cash mine in for an iced Almond Joy coffee. Nom.

Godiva //
As a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I will never say no to the promise of free chocolate. If you sign up for Godiva's free rewards program, you'll get e-mailed a coupon for $10 off your purchase of $10 or more in stores or online. Plus, as long as you spend $10 after you sign up, it'll qualify you for a free piece of chocolate every month for a year! Sounds like a pretty good reason to buy $20 worth of truffles to me!

Kohls //
Is it just me, or does Kohls not get enough love? While I think their merchandise is generally way overpriced, everything goes on sale with relative frequency. Plus, they're also almost always running Kohl's Cash campaigns, which gives you back $10 for every $50 you spend and can be put towards anything in the store. If you haven't already noticed, they have a pretty baller new beauty department, carrying brands like LORAC, theBalm, and Cargo. So if you're going to buy yourself some new pillows, you can put that $10 reward certificate towards a new eyeliner. Seriously, what's not to love about that?? Since I personally shop their often I decided to get the Kohl's charge card, which gives me extra percent off coupons throughout the year, however they do have a totally free to join rewards program now if you'd rather not go that route. The Yes 2 You rewards program is a bonus on top of all of the normal sales and Kohl's Cash deals you can get in on. You'll get $5 for every 100 points you earn and a $10 reward certificate on your birthday. A LORAC Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner for $13 sounds pretty good to me!

Panera //
Got a MyPanera card? If you do, you'll get a free pastry of your choice during your birthday month! I'm personally a huge fan of their orange scones. They're super fluffy and decadent and delicious. Not a member? You can sign up to get your free card here.

What are your favorite birthday freebies to cash in on? Are there any I missed and should check out next year? Share with us in the comments below!

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