My birthday is just a few days away, and I spent all morning trying to decide which Beauty Insider birthday gift I want this year. And when I did the same thing for my last birthday, it got me thinking. Sephora can't be the only beauty store that gives away birthday freebies – so I decided to look around and find out exactly where you can score free makeup and skincare birthday gifts in Canada.
Through my search, I found six different stores that offer birthday treats. Some of them are free products, extra samples or coupon codes for discounts off an order. And to help you keep them all straight (and know which ones you want to sign up for), I'm laying out exactly where, when and how you can claim these presents, starting with the most famous one: the Sephora birthday gift – and yes, I updated the list for 2019.
By now, you've probably heard of the Sephora Birthday Gift, and that's for a good reason. Every year, Sephora launches new sets of minis from some of their bestselling brands – and this year, they have makeup samples from Kat Von D and little trial-size versions of Drunk Elephant products. If you're a Beauty Insider, you can choose one of them when you shop in-store or online during your birthday month.
This year, they added a few new options as well. If you're a Beauty Insider member and you've reached either VIB or Rouge status, you can choose either an exclusive IGK haircare trial set or an extra 250 bonus points that you can use toward anything in the Rewards Bazaar.
How to claim yours: To receive a Sephora Birthday Gift, you need to have a Beauty Insider account. If you don't have one yet, you can sign up here. If you're already a member, just sign in. Make sure you enter your birthdate in your Beauty Insider profile. When your birthday month rolls around, you can claim the kit of your choice in-store (no purchase necessary) or online when you place an order.
Clinique is one of my go-tos for all things skincare (it's probably them and then Origins), so I was really excited to find out they offer a birthday gift to all Smart Rewards members. It's absolutely free to sign up, and it guarantees you a free gift (with purchase) every single year. In 2018, they gave away Deep Comfort Body Oil (but others may have received something else), which I absolutely loved, and I'm a little heartbroken that you can't buy it on its own. So what's the gift this year? Well, you'll just have to sign up and see for yourself.
How to claim yours: The first step is to create a Clinique Smart Rewards account. You can register here or sign in to your existing account (and check that your birth month is recorded on file). During your birthday month, you may see a button at checkout that you can click to apply your birthday promo code for a free item. Now here's where it gets tricky. If you've been part of the program for more than one birthday, it might not work. So make sure you're signed up for emails, because they'll send the promo code there.
It had been a while since I shopped at Tarte Cosmetics, but I absolutely had to – because their birthday offer was too good to pass up! If you're a Tarte Rewards member (at any rewards level), you automatically qualify for an exclusive birthday gift that you can claim anytime during your birthday month. They're usually little freebies like a tube of lip paint or something similar, as well as a promo code for 20% off your order.
How to claim yours: To start, you need to be a Tarte Rewards member. You can sign up online and save your birthdate under your account info. During your birthday month, Tarte will send you a one-time promo code that you can redeem on any order. If you don't get one (which happened to me), you can reach out to a customer service rep (via chat or email), and they should be able to help.
Now his one works a little differently. To score a birthday gift from MAC Cosmetics, you first need to sign up for their loyalty program (called MAC Select) and then work your way up through the ranks. So while it's free to sign up for MAC Select, you'll need to spend at least $150 to become a Devoted member and score a birthday gift. I'm pretty much a self-identified lipstick addict, so this usually isn't a problem for me.
How to claim yours: Signing up for a MAC Cosmetics account is a two-step process, so you might want to set aside a couple minutes to do it properly. If you don't already have a profile with them, you can register online for a My MAC account. Next, the site will prompt you to sign up for MAC Select and enter you birthday. After you hit "submit," spend at least $150 to level up in the program and qualify for their free birthday gift, which you can redeem in-store or online at any point during your birthday month.
The Body Shop
Here's one for all the Love Your Body Club members out there! Instead of a free product or gift set on your birthday, The Body Shop gives out discounts. If you're part of the club, you have your entire birthday month to log on (or visit a store with your membership card) and take $10 off an entire purchase.
This is the birthday offer I used to claim every single year – especially since I could almost always combine it with whatever sales were happening in July. And since it's completely free to join the Love Your Body Club, you might as well sign up. Even if you only buy Body Shop products once a year, you'll still save on that order!
How to claim yours: For starters, sign up for the free Love Your Body Club, either in-store or online. Even though it's an optional step, make sure you enter your birthdate when you register. If you forgot or didn't enter your birthday initially, you can always go back and add it to your profile later on. That way, your free birthday gift will automatically be loaded to your account, and you can redeem it during your birthday month.
I'll be honest here: the Urban Decay birthday gift confuses me a little, but I think I finally got the hang of it. Last year was the first time I tried to claim a freebie from them, so I (finally) signed up for UD Beauty Junkies. I had to wait until my actual birthday to hear from them, but they sent an email that made things pretty easy.
How to claim yours: Start by joining the Urban Decay Beauty Junkies rewards program (if you're not a member already). You can sign up here or log into an existing account. You'll start at the Obsessed tier, which gives you benefits like free samples with purchases and a birthday gift. Then, around your birthday, log in, place an order online, and that freebie will be waiting for you in your cart when you go to check out.
Know about any other birthday beauty freebies in Canada?
I've heard rumours that other beauty brands (like Lancôme and Kiehl's, among others) may give out birthday treats, but I haven't seen any solid evidence. Last year, I signed up for a bunch of beauty brands' loyalty programs in hopes of earning a few more perks but never received any. So if you know about other stores or labels that offer free stuff or discounts when it's your birthday, let us know in the comments!