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!