Black Friday Shopping Haul

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Now that is is Sunday and I have the chance to recap my nice, yet short holiday weekend I wanted to let you all sneak a peak at my mini haul from Black Friday shopping. I would also like to note that I did this shopping relatively late in the day and didn't have a terrifying experience like the many who went to Walmart, which is how I prefer it. I'm not a fan of crowds and even less of a fan of waiting in line. The stuff I got from Ulta wasn't really "Black Friday" special, they just had "Buy One Get One 50% Off" on NYX and Real Techniques brushes and I had been meaning to grab a few things for my makeup kit. I also stopped by MAC to pick up some essentials as well as some pigments from the Holiday Collection that I couldn't say no to. Here is what I ended up with...

Depotting Eyeshadows: Urban Decay Vice Palette Edition

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I've been holding onto a Z Palette that wasn't full for some time now and decided that I wanted de-pot some of my palettes to fill it up. I really love the Urban Decay Vice Palette but I wasn't using it very often for some reason so I figured putting it in a palette would spark my interest in the shades again. I googled how to depot the Vice palette and I actually came up with nothing! There were lots of posts about other palettes with a cardboard surrounding but the Vice Palette is made of a sturdy plastic which made it more difficult. I managed to get the job done with this method, though the process wasn't perfect and I did almost ruin a few shadows I'm still happy with the end result. And don't worry, if you do crack a few shadows like I did, my next post will tell you how to fix this problem.

Products You'll Need:
1. Thin spatula, I used one by Cinema Secrets. It needs to be very thin to fit on the sides of the shadow.
2. Blow Dryer
3. Magnet palette, I used the Z Palette (If you do not have a magnetic palette you can purchase a roll of magnetic tape from Michael's and stick those to the back. I did that with a Makeup Forever Palette that I will also show you).

When Did My Nails Get So Long?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Growing strong, natural nails has always been something I'd like to do but as soon as one breaks I cut all the rest of them and start over gain with little nubs. While I was in Sephora shopping for a birthday gift for a friend I came across their Crystal Nail Files.

Review: Lina Hanson Global Serums

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

With the summer heat still in full effect moisturizing is at the top of my priority list. When I put a moisturizer on my skin before I go to sleep I need to know a few things, that it will over compensate for the deep cleaning and drying my cleanser may do, that it will penetrate deep in the layers of skin and it will improve its look and feel. I am so excited to say I have found all of this and more in Lina Hanson's Global Face and Body Serum. In line with my quest for more natural beauty products I was really impressed with what Lina Hanson's serums have to offer. I've tested them for 2 weeks now and the texture and moisture value of my skin has noticeably improved.

Above: Photo Credit @LinaHanson (instagram)

Summer to Fall Foundation

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I've mentioned on more than one occasion that I'm into dewy finish foundation. With it being so hot this summer I stuck with a lighter foundation like MAC Studio Sculpt and Lancome Tient Idole, but there were times when I also needed full coverage. A while back I purchased my shade NC25 in MAC's full coverage foundation and sent me NW25. I don't have much if any warmth in my undertone so I scooped out half the pot and put the foundation in my kit but I still had half the container left. I tried the NW25 just to test and the red was definitely a little noticeable so I toned it down by mixing it together with Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in 120 and created the perfect Summer to Fall transitioning foundation. The full coverage foundation handles all the blemish problems you may be having and adding the Fit Me foundation gives the dewy look, the more you add the more dewy the texture. I only did a couple dabs because I don't like to wear powder lately. I just want to pat translucent powder on my oily areas and call it a day. I apply my foundation with a Beauty Blender and found this is the easiest way to blend the two textures together without a problem. One is a cream and one is a liquid so it takes a little bit of work to make your face look flawless but it will happen. I love this new routine because you can add or subtract the two textures to get the perfect look. Ill be sticking with this well into the fall months.

Updated Hair Routine

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I don't know if it's the weather, I don't know if it was the products I was using, but lately my hair has been extremely dry. I was going back and forth with a Dove conditioner and sulfate free Trader Joe's shampoo and that routine just was not working for me, my hair literally felt like straw. I made a trip to a local salon/beauty supply store and picked up a Shampoo/Conditioner combo by Joico that was on sale for $20.00. It's not like me to purchase a product without checking out reviews or trying it first but it was on a whim and I assumed Joico was a product I could trust. Turns out I was wrong about this and this shampoo/conditioner seemed to make my dry hair problems even worse. There was too much artificially lilac scent added to it and it was doing nothing for my dryness. Shortly after this I saw that Walgreens had a sale on Organix Conditioners for buy one get one free. I've heard good things about them so I went a little crazy and bought 4. I've used the conditioner a few times and I feel like it helped but I just didn't have my shampoo game right yet. Then I took my trip to Portland...

Freelance Life: Barn House Photo Shoot

Monday, July 15, 2013

One of the biggest things about promoting yourself as a freelance artist is to develop an impressive portfolio that will make potential clients want to book you. I've been doing makeup for over 10 years but unfortunately I didn't start taking the portfolio building seriously until recently.

Feature: Voodoo Dolls Cosmetics

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

If you participated in my giveaway you are probably wondering, what is that lipstick that she's giving away? What is this brand Voodoo Dolls Cosmetics and where can I get it?! The line was actually created by my cousins, Desi and Ciara and it is definitely worth checking out. You can find their products at for lips, cheeks, eyes and face. Just Out is hands down my favorite lip color, a corral/orange that's perfect for summer and a staple in my makeup bag. I have it pictured below compared with a couple other popular summer colors in the same range, Heftiest Hibiscus Chubby Stick by Clinique and Lady Danger by MAC. Just Out is in between the two as far as texture and it's super moisturizing. I find I'd rather wear this one during the summer instead of an ultra matte color so my lips stay moisturized. It glides on well and lasts throughout the day.

Travel Products Worth Your Money

Monday, July 8, 2013

Travel Products

I have this obsession with being a "bag lady" and carrying around all the possible things I could need throughout the day. This ranges from gum to a phone charger to 10 different lipsticks, vitamin E stick and various lip liners. I have perfume, eye drops and even a book sometimes.

Giveaway Winner Announced!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Good Morning Readers!
The day has come to announce the winner! I received so much great feedback on this I wish I could choose more than one winner but I tried to make this process as fair as possible.

My First Official Giveaway!

Monday, June 17, 2013


Hello My Gorgeous Readers!
I am very excited to announce the start of my first giveaway on MandyApple Makeup! I have been receiving such a great buzz around my blog lately and know that many of you are doing a huge part in getting the word out about me. To show my appreciation for your feedback, comments and support I would like to host a giveaway of some of my favorite products as well as some new ones I've been introduced to that I think are worth giving a look.

How To: Deal with Oily Hair

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Deal with Oily Hair

I have never really been the type of woman who washes her hair every single day in order for it to feel clean. I think this has a lot to do with me having naturally wavy/curly hair and the fact this style tends to lack moisture.

Summer Favorites

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer is in full effect and so is my Summer routine! Like I've mentioned before I'm all about glowing skin and keeping it easy and flawless these days so it only makes sense that I listed the products below. All of these beauty products have really made my life easier as far as face time goes and the body products make me feel fresh and delicious smelling, which is really how everyone wants to feel when it's hard to avoid being hot and sweaty! If you have any favorites, feel free to share.

Summer Favorites

Review: Melt Cosmetics Lipstick in By Starlight

Friday, June 7, 2013

If you've been following my posts for a little while you may have picked up on a few things. 1. I am super pissed I never snagged a tube of Heroine Lipstick by MAC and 2. I took a makeup seminar with the lovely Lora Arellano from Instragram @loreleicakes and I love her. Now combine these two things and it's only obvious that I purchased this lipstick by Lora's new makeup line, Melt Cosmetics. As an avid follower of hers I saw the announcement of her lipstick line and I was counting down the days to make a purchase (literally ordered the evening they came out). I decided to buy just the one color since I wanted to try the finish first, they are all ultra-matte which is genius and a testament to how closely her and her business partner are watching beauty trends because everyone is going bat shit for matte lippies.   I have worn the lipstick and all I can see is I should have bought them all! I did some trial runs with Currant Lip Liner from MAC and layering it with MAC's Dreaminess Lipstick for fun, but I found that I really love it by itself.

My High End Wish List

Sunday, June 2, 2013

High End Wish List

I saw a post like this from A Brilliant Brunette and thought it would be a fun way to remember my wish list and to also get some feedback from any of you who have maybe purchased some of these products so you can tell me how well they work. Also you'll notice by the list how obsessed I am with skin care lately! Forget the color I just want a flawless face ;)

Ruby Who?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm a little late on talking about this but I still feel it is worth reviewing since Rihanna's makeup collection for MAC is still due for release. I decided to go against my trend of not ordering limited edition products from MAC and I placed an order for "Riri Woo" which is Rihanna's signature red lipstick she pre-released before her actual collection comes out this summer. I had read that it was "inspired" by "Ruby Woo," their incredibly vibrant and matte as all hell red lipstick. I had seen the hype on instagram and I am a total sucker for a good red so when I received the reminder email I decided to go for it. I personally have 2 tubes of Ruby Woo sitting in my lipstick drawer but I acted on impulse, and it turns out now I have THREE tubes of Ruby Woo because the color is almost the same exact thing! Here's my review...

I've thought long and hard about how to compare to make it sound like there's really a difference but all I can really say about them is RiRi Woo is slightly less bright, let's say it doesn't have as much of an orange underton, but instead it's a bit more blue and somewhat less matte. Really though, that's it. It's a glorified Ruby Woo so if you missed out on the pre-sale consider yourself lucky and warned. Don't get my wrong, I love the color because I think Ruby Woo is a great red that everyone should own, I just disagree with the hype surrounding the color. I have a pro card and I wasn't even able to get my discount, so spending over $20.00 for a lipstick that I already have 2 of was pretty disappointing. A red is a red is a red and I will forever be needing red lipstick but this was definitely a lesson learned for me. I think at this point the only limited edition product I completely regret not purchasing was Heroine lipstick (if you have a tube and want to trade I'M DOWN ;)

Review: The Clean Dirt by May Lindstrom Skin

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In honor of Therapeutic Thursday, last week I decided to do something I never do...take a bath. Now I realize this may not sound like such a big deal to most of you, I see so many Instagram pics of ladies with their thighs covered in bubbles soaking their bodies relaxing in a tub. Though the idea has seemed appealing to me as an adult I just have never taken the time for one, or I should say I've never taken the time for myself. So last week I drew the water, lit 3 of my favorite candles (Garden Bouquet by Bath and Body Works), set my Spotify radio to 'Yoga,' poured some lavender bath soap and turned off the lights. It was amazing, it was just what I needed, and it was all inspired by the product I'm about to review, The Clean Dirt by May Lindstrom Skin.

Beauty Blender: Real Vs. Dupe

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Monday Everyone! Are you ready to talk about the Beauty Blender? As a huge hater of gimmicks and fads, I was definitely skeptical about purchasing a Beauty Blender because I felt like there couldn't be something so great about a sponge. I've used cosmetic wedges before and they literally cost pennies so the idea of paying $20.00 for a sponge was ridiculous to me, yet the product has remained popular. I began researching the product to understand all the hype and I also looked into the dupes (duplicates) that exist because I'm a firm believer that you DO NOT have to spend a ton of money to get a great quality product. There are plenty of inexpensive brands that offer tools and products very similar, the same or sometimes better than the expensive ones. In the case of the Beauty Blender I initially purchased a dupe from Marshall's on a whim (it was priced at $4.00) and gave it a shot. In contrast, I currently enrolled in a makeup class that requires the original Beauty Blender (No dupes allowed!) and now have tested each completely unbiased and open minded and this is what I've concluded, the REAL Beauty Blender is worth the hype and I will tell you why...

I actually used the dupe blending sponge I'd say for a good month or so, I even purchased a set of 4 from Ebay for $10. This was a different brand from what I originally purchased but the product was pretty much the same. I'm going to compare the dupe with the original side by side and tell you about the vast differences.

1. Density - the dupe products are extremely dense. When you're holding one dry it's almost hard in your hand and difficult to squeeze. If you were to try to use it without running it under water, it would make your makeup extremely streaky because the density makes it hard for the foundation to glide. The original Beauty Blender's density is much lower, it is definitely more "spongy" which to me is a positive because i know from use that this light weight consistency is what ultimately gives you that airbrushed look. It gets into the harder to reach areas like around your nose and under your eye much easier than the dupe, allowing it to cover better.

Above: Dupe wet (left) and dry

Above: Cracked Dupe Sponge after one cleaning

2. Ease of Cleaning- When I first cleaned my dupe blender I found working the sponge under water and getting the cleanser to really penetrate the sponge was difficult. You have to really work it to get it clean and even then I noticed the foundation spots weren't cleaning off. I also noticed that as I was cleaning it, the sponge was tearing because of all the work I was doing, not good. The original Beauty Blender cleans very well, it is easily worked to get the product out of it and does not tear with all the motion. My first time cleaning it I was able to get all the foundation out, no problem.

Above: Beauty Blender wet (left) and dry

3. Application - Hands down the Original Beauty Blender delivers the most flawless application! I used the dupe like I said for a month and I honestly thought, ok this works pretty good I don't have to buy the original, but seriously the difference is insane. The Beauty Blender bounces so lightly on the skin and really gives you that airbrushed look almost effortlessly. With the dupe I noticed if the sponge was not super soaked with water it would not apply flawlessly, also it was common that I got streaks on my chin and down my neck after use. With the Original, this was a non issue.

Above: Me with Beauty Blender application, no filter!

Overall, I would say there is really no comparison. If you have the money you should really invest in the Beauty Blender because honestly it has now completely changed the way I apply my makeup. Not only is my time cut way down because it doesn't take long to apply, but my skin just looks so much more amazing. I would recommend this products, hands down.
Note: I only purchased two kinds of dupes for this comparisson. I know that MAC, Sonia Kashuk and many other brands make versions of the Beauty Blender and those products may work just as well. My opinion is only based off of the no name brand versions I bought at Marshalls and Ebay.

Therapeutic Thursday: Facial Detoxing

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welcome to the first installment (and maybe the last, who knows) of Therapeutic Thursday! As I'm sure you've picked up on from my posts, not only am I a beauty junkie but I'm also extremely obsessed with skin care. I know all of the products I put on my skin can be damaging to my pores so I make it a point to start with a clean surface and detox my face as much as possible to eliminate impurities. It is also a DOUBLE bonus for me if such products are organic, thus good for me AND good for the planet. Lush is really my go-to brand for these types of products, and I have found my new favorite combination of skin magic when my face needs a serious detox from all the crap I throw on top of it on a daily basis.

How To: Maintain Your Spa Pedicure

Sunday, March 24, 2013

 It's Spring time and I'm sure you're all as excited as I am to put away your boots and bust out the sandals! Even in the winter I find myself getting pedicures because I just can't handle not having them done, but I pay particular attention to maintaining them when it's sandal weather. When I was working in high school and had no real bills to pay I was getting a pedicure every two weeks, so there was little need for maintenance but now that I prioritize other things over getting one (or sometimes I just don't have the time) I'm more interested in making them last. I started to notice that after I shower my feet are really dry and if I don't moisturize right after they lose their glow after a little while.Also, with it being summer soon I'll be hitting the beach and exposing my feet to the elements with the wearing of sandals and I want to make sure they stay pretty for as long as possible. I do this particular upkeep routine about every other day and I've found that it really makes a difference in how long my pedicure lasts. DISCLAIMER: Below I've posted pics of my actual toes/feet so if you're grossed out by feet, look away now!

How To: Get a Pro Discount

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm sure as beauty bloggers many of you are aware of the Pro Makeup discounts that many companies are offering for working makeup artists/cosmetologists to give us a break on product purchases for our kits. If you're not, you should know that there are cosmetic companies out there that are willing to give working makeup artists a discount ranging from about 20%-50% depending on the brand. When going through the application process for these programs you may find that if you live in a State/Country that does not require you to obtain a beauty license to be a Makeup Artist (like where I live in California),  it's difficult to obtain proof of your employment if you're doing mainly freelance work. I found myself in this very situation when I was looking to develop my bridal kit and looked a bit more into the pro programs and found that there are ways to get the discount without actually being on the payroll of a profession production. And there's how I did it!

First, I googled companies that offer the program and found the one's I was most interested in, the first being the most common, MAC. The MAC pro discount program was my introduction to the process of applying to other brands, and once I had my documents for this the rest of them were a breeze to apply to. Here is a list of accepted required documents to apply to the program from the MAC website

"Provide two current pieces from the following that indicate your selected category/profession: 
Composite Card, Business Card with name and specific profession, Editorial Page with name credit, Union Card, Professional License, Diploma/Certificate, Publication Masthead, Program/press Materials with name, Contract on Production Company Letterhead, Crew/Call List on Prod. Co. Letterhead, Professional Letter of Reference of Employment." 

The first, easiest and most necessary item on this list and one that you should already have as a working makeup artist is the business card. You can order some cute cheap ones at, which is where I ordered mine. After I went through those though, I decided to try and they have a WAY better selection, however they are more expensive. 
The second item from the list proved to be the most difficult for me because all I really had as proof of my work were the pictures I had taken and testimonials from my clients. However I had been working closely with my friend who is a hair stylist, and this is where I came up with my professional letter of reference. I had her write me a letter about the work I had completed with her and because she was a licensed cosmetologist I had her write her licence number on the bottom of the letter as well as list the salon she worked out of so there would be no questions about legitimacy.
Once I had these 2 pieces the rest of the work was easy, I just sent a copy of my photo ID and filled out the application form and sent a check ($35.00) for the amount of the annual fee. Keep in mind that MAC takes a VERY long time with this process. It was well over a month before I heard back from them via email that my application was received and was under review, I think it was a few more weeks after that, then I got my approval application that said I should see my card in the mail within a couple of weeks.

After I succeeded at getting the MAC pro I decided to investigate more into other brands that I love and found that the process was almost identical for a few companies and I now have pro cards for MAC, Urban Decay and Bobbi Brown. 
Urban Decay's was the easiest by far, you can submit basically the same documents but they prefer it to be done via email, I was approved for my pro-discount literally the very next day. The discount amount is 40% and the only bad thing about this program is you are only allowed to use your discount online and it restricts MANY items (like no NAKED Palettes!). So it's definitely worth your time because it takes almost no time, but it still is kind of a bummer that it's so limiting. Especially since so many artists have the naked palette in their kits...
Bobbi Brown was also the same process and the discount of 40% can only be used when purchasing items online. But to my knowledge it applies to all products, which is great because their pro-palettes are in the $250.00 range with is incredibly expensive, so the discount sort of brings it down to normal range.

Currently, I am working on getting the Makeup Forever Pro card, but they do not accept the letter of reference so I'm going to look through their required documents and see what I can do to apply.

So that's my experience! Kind of drawn out but I just wanted to make you all aware that you do not have to pay full price if you are a working artist and looking to expand your kit! If you have any stories, questions or comments about this, please share.

My First Visit to Naimies

Thursday, March 21, 2013

So if you live in the Los Angeles area you are probably aware of Naimies. It's pretty much the makeup mecca of the area, where you can find professional grade makeup for those hard to find brands all in one location. For a while now I've been meaning to take a drive to the valley (I live in the inland empire, so I'm a good hour to hour and a half drive away), and I finally did it last weekend, and I was not disappointed. My only complaint would be that we showed up an hour before they closed because my mom had some errands to run in LA before we got there, and it was obvious that the staff was more than ready to go home and there were not enough of them to address all of the customers. But luckily for me I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted so it wasn't too much of a problem for me. I had been compiling a list since I'm trying to make the final touches to my kit to do weddings and picked them up on this trip. Here is a list of my purchases...

  • RCMA Shinto Foundation Palette
  • (3) Makeup Forever 12 Color Case
  • Ben Nye Luxury Powders: Cameo, Buff, Banana & Sienna
  • Disposal Mascara Wands & Spatulas

 Had to snap a pic of my goodies for instagram (@mandy_apple)

Here's the Shinto Palette. I've heard great things from some youtube reviews, this is the "cool" palette but I feel like it gives a better range of shades than the other, which seems to be geared more towards red undertones. I'm using it for the first time tomorrow, I'll post a review soon.

My 3 Makeup Forever 12 Color Cases. I filled them with a majority of my lipsticks that range from MAC to Revlon, NYX, Cove Girl...Then the bottom palette is filled with my Cinema Secrets foundations.

Finally, my Ben Nye Luxury Powders, and all I have to say is BELIEVE THE HYPE. I used buff the first day I got them and seriously it leaves yours skin looking flawless with no sign of cakiness. I put it on top of MACs Studio Sculpt Foundation and my skin was glowy and amazing. Still have yet to use Banana because I think it's too yellow for my skin, but I'll be experimenting soon. 

And that's all for my Naimies haul, it was a fun experience and I'm excited to start doing jobs for people other than my friends and family. My next post will be about my Bridal Makeup Kit that includes all of these babies. I'm excited that I'm posting again, talk to you all soon!