How to Get the Most Out of Ulta aka Why I Prefer Ulta to Sephora

Dear Mimi,

When you become old enough to start buying makeup, you may think Sephora should be your first stop. But nay! Steer towards Ulta. Always steer towards Ulta if possible, unless there’s a specific brand which ONLY Sephora carries, and Ulta doesn’t (which aren’t relatively many). Otherwise, Ulta all the way. And here’s why.

Not too long ago, I received the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette ($49), Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette ($42), Tarte Shape Tape Concealer ($24), and an eyelash serum ($50) FOR FREE!!! (Well, I payed $7 for the eyelash serum, but still!) How did I do it? One word: points.

Sephora and Ulta both have a points system that works in similar ways. You sign up for their rewards program (this has to happen in order for any of this to occur) and you get one point for every dollar you spend. However, Sephora only allows you to redeem your points on samples or sample sets, never on full size products.

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Project Pan 2017

Dear Mimi,

As we’ve all fully established that I have way too much makeup (and enough extras for the next 2 years), I have decided to give myself a challenge. Introducing my Project Pan for 2017!

I first saw this idea on YouTube and thought it was such a clever idea. It’s a great way to make sure you are using up the products instead of wasting them, throwing them away, having them expire, or just letting them sit there on your shelf for God knows how long.

I have so many products that I would like to get to using up just so I feel like I didn’t waste my money buying them. Everyone does this challenge a little differently, so here are my rules:

  1. There will be 15 products I have to try and “hit pan on”.
  2. I cannot go out and buy more makeup of that category until I finish the product, unless I absolutely need it. For example, when I finish my current foundation, I can go out and buy another one since I won’t have one anymore. But, unless I finish a lipstick, I cannot go out and buy another one since I have way too many already (exemptions will be made for limited edition products IF I absolutely truly need to have it).
  3. For powder products, I just have to hit pan to complete the challenge (this will be hard enough since there’s usually more product and I don’t wear makeup everyday). For all other types of products, I need to finish them, unless otherwise stated.
  4. Some products I don’t have to finish because there’s way too much of it, but I do have to try my best to complete my goal, which I will outline.

Without further ado, here are the products I will try to finish by the end of 2017:

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2016 Favorite Finds (with Emojis!)

Dear Mimi,

2016, although crappy in general, was great for beauty. So many new and fantastic products came out and this is the year when I really got into makeup and I figured out what thing were, when to use them, and how. My skincare regimen also paid off and I found some products for life! Brace yourself, it’s going to be a long post, so I’ve separated them into categories. I won’t go into too much explanation for each product, mainly just emoji ratings with a brief explanation, so just know I love all of them haha. Check out my October, November, and December favorites or Internet Made Me Buy It for more explanations, if mentioned.

Makeup:

Primers

Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer ($39 for 0.5 oz): 😁 So soft and creamy, foundation goes on flawlessly with this primer.

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Laura Geller Spackle Primer ($32 for 2 oz): 😎 I didn’t have high hopes for this primer at first, but it works so well! Every time I use it, I love it even more. It’s so light and moisturizing, and makes my foundation last wonderfully.

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Smashbox Photofinish Primer ($36 for 1 oz): 😊 This primer is more silicone-y, but really smooths my face and makes it even for the foundation to adhere to.

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($20): 😋 My go to eyeshadow primer. The only thing that I don’t like about it (and I’ve only noticed it the last few times) is that it will crinkle and crease when it accidentally transfers under my eyes, on top of my concealer. It leaves a mark which emphasizes my dry spots and looks super weird. It doesn’t go away that easily either. But use this before doing your face makeup and it’s great for eyeshadows!

Smashbox 24 Hour Eyeshadow Primer ($21): 😙 Found this recently, but I love it! Really lightweight, no creasing, and makes all the discoloration on your eyes go away for a clean canvas.

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Didi’s Delightful and Disastrous! December 2016

Dear Mimi,

This is it. We’re saying goodbye to 2016. And honestly? I couldn’t be happier.

These are the products I used a lot specifically in December, but check out my 2016 Favorite Finds (out tomorrow!) for all the products I loved during the whole of 2016.

*Disclaimers*: None of these links are affiliate links or sponsored. These companies have no idea I exist, and I merely add the links to their websites to make it easier for you to check them out, if you’d like. The end.

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Struggles of Perfume Hunting

Dear Mimi,

After I decided I have enough makeup for 3 lifetimes (which I later realized looking at other people’s collections that I am still impoverished in makeup, relatively), I decided to dedicate my efforts to another obsession: parfums.

Literally my only perfumes were an Adidas toilette that I received 2 years ago and a Victoria’s Secret rollerball. Part of adulting is finding some good scents Mimi and I was severely lacking in that department.

So I set out to find some more fragrances yet and it was way, way, wayyyyyyyyy harder than I imagined.

I started off doing the logical thing, in my opinion. I ordered a sampler kit from Sephora, which contained 8 samples of the most popular fragrances from this year. Here’s what was included and what I thought of them using emojis (which if you read my October & November favorites, you would already know some):

  • Angel by Thierry Mugler: 😷😷😷😷😷
    • This just smelled like BO mixed with Lysol in a bottle
  • YSL Mon Paris: 😍😍😍😍😍
    • A very girly scent, it’s a mix of fruity & floral. Smells very princess-y.
  • Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence: 🙂🙂🙂
    • This is a very elegant fragrance which smelled like your classic department store perfume.
  • My Burberry Black: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    • I can’t quite describe the notes in this, but it was very muted, yet confident and sensual. Definitely liked it better than the original My Burberry.
  • Tom Ford Orchid Soleil: 😊😊😊😊
    • It smelled like orchids, which was nice and it had a sweet undertone. I quite enjoyed this.
  • Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose:🤕🤕🤕
    • This was just meh. It was very spicy, with a little bit of sweet, but it didn’t appeal to me.
  • Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon: 😓😓😓😓
    • No. While I liked it eons over Angel, I hate the smell of Bourbon, which is exactly what this smelled like.

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MIM: Home Remedy Face Mask

Dear Mimi,

With the winter months upon us, it’s too easy for our skin to get dry, dull, and dark. My solution? A DIY facemask that has been popular in India for hundreds of years!

Indian brides usually apply this face mask a few days before their weddings, so you know that it’ll give you bright, healthy, glowing skin! Best of all, it’s super simple to make.

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Didi’s Delightful and Disastrous! November 2016

~Note: There was a bit of an issue with this post as it wasn’t showing up correctly. But that’s all fixed now! 🙂 Sorry for the inconvenience. (Technology, amirite?)

Dear Mimi,

I can’t believe there’s only a month left in the year °o°. That is INSANE.

November was a whirlwind, so sorry this is a little late. One of my close friends got married, and then there was Thanksgiving, and holiday shopping, and whew! I didn’t even realize it went by that quickly. Anyway, I still did get to try out a few products and here’s what I think were worth it and not.

*Disclaimers*: None of these links are affiliate links or sponsored. These companies have no idea I exist, and I merely add the links to their websites to make it easier for you to check them out, if you’d like. The end.

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