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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My Skincare Routine

Dear Mimi,

I had great skin in high school. Not to brag, but acne was not something I struggled with, and people used to ask what I used to do to keep my skin looking so good.

Then college happened.

College does not do great things for your skin. My acne erupted like no other, and huge welts covered my forehead, nose, and chin. It was ridiculous, embarrassing, and confusing. Even when I wouldn’t pick at them, the scars were inevitable. By the end of it, you could pinpoint every single pimple I had had on my face like a trail on a map. I refused to leave the house without makeup since I looked so atrocious, and my self-esteem was almost non-existent.

So, when I turned 21, I told myself I would make a change. Even though it was going to be a little pricey, I wasn’t a college student anymore, so it was time to make an investment in myself and in my skin. I put aside the money, put in the effort and commitment, and I swear to you, IN ONE YEAR, I was a completely different person. ALL MY SCARS had vanished and no one could even believe the “before” pictures. Once again, people started to ask me what I was doing to my skin to keep it looking so fresh and it was incredible. My skin looked even better than it did in high school, and for the first time in years, I felt confident enough to step out without makeup. It was enlightening, to say in the least.

Here is what I did and these are products that I swear by and that I will continue to use for eternity.

*Disclaimer: Once again, these are not affiliate links and I do not receive anything for anyone clicking on them nor am I sponsored in any way, shape, or form. I just provide them for your ease should you choose to purchase any of these products yourself.*

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Didi’s Delightful & Disastrous! October 2016

Dear Mimi,

As I am going through life, trying new things and experiencing different moments, I will come across things I like and would wholly recommend to you, and things that I would stay away from.

Hence, my new monthly tidbit, Didi’s Delightful & Disastrous! At the end of every month, I will share with you, from all the stuff I have tried, things that I like (those would be “delightful”) and things that I would rather not repeat (aka “disastrous”). Hope you enjoy!


October was definitely a busy month for me. I was trying some new skincare products, taking a break from my beloved Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (I will be going back, don’t worry. Just wanted to see how some other samples, which I’ve had for longer than I’d like to admit, performed). I was also in the market for a new fragrance, and that has been a struggle in and of itself. So, without further ado, here’s what was delightful and disastrous for this month!

*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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Beauty Products the Internet Made Me Buy (and How I Feel About Them)

Dear Mimi,

When you get older and start exploring in makeup, there will be things that you hear about that everyone is buying. Literally everyone and their moms. And sisters. Everyone. I don’t know if YouTube will still be a thing in 10 years, but if it is, (and even if it’s not), you’ll hear people talking about these ah-mazing products and guess what? You’re gonna want to buy them and try them out for yourself. And most of them will be kind of expensive. You’ll start racking up those Ulta and Sephora points like it’s your job. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything (*nervous laugh*).

Well, here are the products that I did not have enough self-restraint to escape from purchasing and what I really think about them. Were they worth it? Were people just lying/pretending? Or were they really things I would buy again AND tell you to buy too? Let’s find out. Continue reading