Birthdays Aren’t Just For Kids. Here’s How To Make Your Next One Great

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Sephora, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Sephora Birthday Gifts

The way in which we celebrate our birthdays can often be used as a marker to separate childhood from adulthood. Indeed, many of us frequently look back on our childhood birthdays as the best birthdays as the responsibility for ensuring happiness on that day falls on somebody else’s shoulders.  It’s up to your family and friends to make you feel special. All you have to do is show up and be ready to receive. 

As an adult, I’ve learned that in order to have a happy birthday I have to take charge. Happy, of course, is relative, but for me, a happy birthday involves spending some cuddle time with my husband, eating at least two of my favorite meals, having a huge slice of birthday cake, and enjoying a bit of beauty pampering.

My advice for ensuring you have a happy birthday as an adult? Plan. 

Planning for you might involve taking the day off from work, sitting on the couch, and eating junk food all day. Whatever happy is for you, plan to do that. My most lackluster birthdays have been when I’ve decided to go with the flow. This year, I plan to take a bit of my own advice and plan my day accordingly.

After dropping JB off with my parents for the day, I intend to hit up my favorite store: Sephora.

Beauty is my thing, this is no secret, so I’ve been a Sephora Beauty Insider for years. What this means, in a nutshell, is that whenever I shop at Sephora I earn points to be used towards various rewards. There are, however, tiers. The more you spend per year at Sephora, the more points (ie. perks) you receive.  For instance, I’m currently Rouge. See below for an explanation of the teirs and benefits. 

Sephora Beauty Insider Benefits

Why does any of this matter? Well, my birthday is on March 17,  so as a Beauty Insider the time is here to select my free birthday gift, which I plan to pick up in-store in a few days.  March’s Beauty Insider birthday options are:

Sephora Birthday Gift Choices


Kat Von D Makeup Set Kat Von D Sephora Gift

In this set you’ll receive, a Mini Tattoo Liner in “Trooper Black,” a Mini Lock-It Setting Powder, and Studded Kiss Crème Lipstick Sample Trio in “Lolita,” “Outlaw,” and “Vampira.”

The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is one of my favorite felt-tip liners. It’s easy to apply and gives you that super black liner you’re looking for. For those who want to practice winging it, this is the liner to work with. The setting powder is another fav. I like to mix it with a warm brown to set my undereye highlighter. Lastly, being able to sample lippies is a great way to try before you by. My vote, however, is for the color Lolita. It gives you the perfect rosy/neutral pout that’s all the rage these days. 


Drunk Elephant Sephora Birthday Gift Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser Drunk Elephant Polypeptide Cream

Any other skincare junkies in the house? Listen, when it comes to my skin your girl doesn’t play. And Drunk Elephant skincare products have become a cult fave. 

In this set, you’ll receive a pH-balanced, unscented cleanser, and the original mega-amino protein cream.

  • 15ml/ 0.5 oz Protini™ Polypeptide Cream
  • 30ml/ 1 fl oz Beste™ No.9 Jelly Cleanser

If you’re VIB or Rouge you get even more choices– you can choose from the same mini set options above, and new this year – a surprise online-only Jo Malone mini set, or +250 bonus points to be added to your beauty bank so you can treat yourself. This online-only option is available for a limited time so get yours while you can.


Jo Malone Sephora Birthday Gift Mini Jo Malone Perfume

This perfume smells divine. This scent unisex, by the way, so it’s worth a shot to snag if for your significant other, too.  Head into Sephora to catch a sniff for yourself. 

If you aren’t a Sephora Beauty Insider, what are you waiting for? It’s free to sign up, you get a birthday gift every year (no purchase necessary), and whenever you shop you earn points towards great rewards. It’s a win-win if you ask me. Sign up HERE.

Okay, so back to my Birthday. After snagging my free gift from Sephora, I plan to head off for a mani/pedi at the spa, followed by lunch at my favorite Thai spot. I live for Thai food, so if you have any other great Thai recommendations in the Boston-area please do let me know. I still need to plan for dinner. 

I’ll close out the day singing myself a jolly happy birthday tune, followed by indulging in my favorite cake: Coldstone Creamery’s Cake Batter Confetti Cake. Coldstone Creamery Cake

Ultimately, when it comes to adult birthdays, it’s all about what you make of it. Don’t depend or expect anyone else to make it special for you. What are your life’s simple pleasures? Pick a handful of those and do one of each on your birthday and you’re bound to have a happy day.  

What are your tips for a successful adult birthday? Sound off below!

Beauty Insiders are eligible to redeem one birthday gift per year. 250 bonus points and the surprise online-only gifts are only available to VIB and Rouge members. In-store redemption: no purchase necessary. Redeem in Sephora or Sephora inside JCPenney stores during your birthday month by providing your Beauty Insider email address. Online redemption: a merchandise purchase is required. Redeem two weeks before or after your birthday and any time during your birthday month. Offer not valid on If you are having problems redeeming online, please contact customer service at Substitutions may occur. Valid while supplies last. This offer is subject to change, alteration, or termination by Sephora at its sole discretion at any time.


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  1. Nicole Gilbert says:

    Sephora Beauty Insider is absolutely the best perk of being a sephora-aholic! I love my birthday treats and get so excited to use my points.

  2. My birthday was last month and I still haven’t gone to Sephora to pick up my birthday present! Definitely gonna remedy that this weekend and also pick up a few other things. Planning birthday stuff is always so stressful for me (too much pressure i guess lol) but yasss to free birthday goodies!

  3. Guyanese Sista says:

    I’m gonna be 35 this year. I normally don’t do much for my birthdays but this one I will surely plan. Also, this post made me realize I forgot to go get my birthday gift from Sephora last November. ?

  4. I LOVE my birthday! It’s my own personal holiday! I celebrate AND accept gifts all month long! My key to the perfect birthday is the “Birthday Trifecta”: something to open, something sweet to eat and some sweet love!
    My favorite birthday pampering involves a facial and massage. So I say go with the skin care set!
    The Jo Malone perfume sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip! Happy Birthday ???

  5. Sephora has the BEST bday gifts! My local store had extra ones from last year so they were letting us pick two this year #winning

  6. I love celebrating my bday. And I always, ALWAYS hit up Ulta and Sephora for birthday freebies. I was so bummed I didn’t have time to make it to Sephora this year. Guess, I’ll just have to go spend regular money in there, lol.

  7. Daphney Moise says:

    I love getting my annual birthday gifts from Sephora!

  8. You are gorgeous and I looove Sephora! Happy belated birthday!

  9. I LOVE birthdays! Especially mine. I make a big deal of it year and this year is no different. My only tip for a great adult birthday party is, DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Have fun…do something spontaneous. Take a vacation by yourself…heck throw a mega party. Just have some fun celebrating you.

  10. This next year I NEEEEED to really plan and make sure my birthday is popping! I’m speaking Trinidad and dewy vibes all January 2020. Definitely gonna check out these products cu I need to serve LEWKS in my birthday photo shoot. I’m about to celebrate half birthdays too starting this year !!!! #WhyNot #MoreLife

  11. I LITERALLY just left Sephora and wished it was my birthday (I wanted the Drunk Elephant cleanser). Their birthday gifts are my favorite thing to look forward to every year. I’ve tried out so many amazing products for free because of them. Thanks for this post!

  12. Make plans early in case an appointment is needed. I always try to do something I’ve never done or something I’ve always wanted to do. I celebrate myself every year sometimes extravagant and sometimes not. I also always put on a nice perfume.

  13. Thanks, Lisa!
    I can always count on your for skin care products and tips! And yes, Sephora is everything!

  14. I have to try that Kat Von Dee liner. I love a good wing but getting it is tricky, lol.

  15. ShawnTe Pierce says:

    I am just an Insider because I don’t have the funds to drop to become rouge. I think I can only pick one of these. Has Sephora changed the Birthday freebie to be different every month now? I thought it was the same options for the entire year.

    As for planning birthdays, you kinda have to. Everyone has busy schedules so you gotta get people together when they are free. Shoot, I’m trying to see if I can get a money cake this year. lol

  16. I absolutely LOVE getting my free gift on my birthday! It’s how I discovered my signature lip color.

  17. I love my birthdays and turn them into month long celebrations lol

  18. Love these ideas! Sephora is the BEST bday jam!!

  19. This definitely sounds like my kinda birthday gift list. Pity coldstone closed down over here.

  20. Great post Lisa.

    I believe too that we can enjoy birthdays at any age.

    1. right??!! I’m all for celebrating every age!

  21. Happy Birthday! I definitely don’t enjoy birthdays like I used to. I think you’re right. Time for a plan and to treat myself! My birthday is next week. Time to look up my status and get some makeup and maybe find a place with a good margarita after!

    1. Thank you!! And I’m jealous about the margarita!!

  22. Shaquanna says:

    I’m overdue for a trip to Sephora. Thanks for the info on the Beauty Insider program!

    1. Girl, you better sign up and get your free gift! So many goodies in store, too

  23. Lora Patterson says:

    Sounds like a great way to spend your birthday!

  24. Create a bucket list….and every year Cross one thing off!

  25. I absolutely love this! I agree that birthdays should still be a big deal for adults too. I’ll be bookmarking this as a reminder for my birthday later this year.

    1. yes!! thanks for stopping by!

  26. Yas! happy early birthday

  27. My father grew up Jehovah’s Wittness so birthdays were never big growing up. It’s hard to get the energy as an adult to celebrate but these are really good simple ideas to celebrate myself!! Thanks!! And I can’t wait till November so I’m headed to sephora today!

  28. Angelic Davis says:

    I definitely agree, planning is absolutely necessary these days to ensure your birthday is what you want and enjoy. Happy Birthday!

  29. Jalisa Harris says:

    After having my son I pay attention to so much to celebrating him. Ironically I turn 30 this year. I guess I should start making plans etc

  30. Awesome post! Birthdays are the main days that we celebrate the most in my household. We absolutely agree that adults should celebrate their birthdays as much as they celebrate their kids birthdays. Cake anyone? ? ?

  31. Fantastic post. I really regretted my birthday this year, I wish I had read this a couple weeks ago! Haha

  32. Love these tips! My birthday this year is definitely a big deal!

  33. Stephanie says:

    This is a great idea and post! I will definitely plan things out to make sure that I actually celebrate and enjoy all my future birthdays. Thanks for the inspo, bella!!

  34. Aceey Emme says:

    These are some dope ideas to treat myself to for my birthday. I adore Sephora!

  35. I still celebrate my birthday the same as a kid…I get myself a crown and hit up all my favorite spots for my birthday treats. Celebrating is not just for the young, I celebrate another year of life, health and blessing. That’s enough for a party!

  36. Just in time for my birthday ? Hapoy Belated Birthday beautiful and keep doing your thang miss ?

  37. Angela Ricardo says:

    I love shopping at Sephora! I also enjoy the occasional birthday surprise and the freebies at check out. My personal choice is the fragrance samples. You look glamorous doll and I enjoyed reading this birthday ideas post! Thanks for sharing.

  38. Happy birthday! Go get your freebies!!

  39. Happy belated bday! I love being a Sephora insider myself as well. So many great perks and samples!

  40. Great tips. I needed this info.

  41. Thank you Lisa
    Great Article

    We really appreciate you

  42. I need to get up on my skincare game. You always have a good skincare routine. Thanks for the suggestions!

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