We are not affiliated with “A Beautiful Mess Plus”

A Beautiful Mess AppSorry to bombard you with app posts, but we wanted to get this out there hopefully to prevent any more of our readers from purchasing A Beautiful Mess Plus: We are in no way affiliated with that app and are in conversations with Apple about getting the app taken down. Our readers actually brought it to our attention when it first hit the store. Thank you all so much for your e-mails and comments about it!

They've stolen our app icon design, photography, screengrabs from our app, and of course our name. And even more frustrating/confusing is that the creators of this app put in over 70 or so fake 5-star reviews. You'll notice essentially all the reviews are either 5 stars (fake) or 1 star (frustrated real customer). We reported it to Apple the first day we found it, and we're just waiting for them on next steps.

The most frustrating part for us is that we've heard from several of you who've purchased the app by mistake. We don't know how Apple typically handles frauds like this, but our hope is that they'll be removing it from the store and reimbursing everyone who was tricked into downloading it. But again, we're not sure how that process goes.

But to be really clear, our app is called A Beautiful Mess (Red Velvet Art LLC), and that is the only app we have in the App Store. A Beautiful Mess Plus by John Harlampa is a scam. Please report that app here.

Thanks so much! Elsie + Emma

  • Dear Elise + Emma —

    Although I’m sure this is an incredible headache for you guys, one must have to admit, it’s kind of great that you’re making such an impression on people. Imitation is the fondest form of flattery, right? You guys are amazing. I know you’ll get it all sorted out. I look forward to the many other projects and experiences that you will share with the public.

    In the words of Steve Jobs: Stay hungry, stay foolish

  • Thank you SO much for this! I bought it yesterday, swooned by the word “plus” thinking it had extra features. The name John Harlampa threw me off a bit, but I just went with it. After realizing what a total mess (no pun intended) it was, I knew I had made a mistake. Then after reading back through app posts you’ve made and seeing yours was by Red Velvet Art LLC, I felt like a complete fool! The real app is much more beautiful and functioning. I too hope I can get Apple to reimburse me, but I doubt it. Anyway, thank you for alerting others out there in the world who may make the same silly mistake as me, and for creating an app that is truly beautiful and so fun to use!

  • oh wow i can’t believe someone did that?? wonder how he got his app approved so fast after you put yours out? hope they take it down & i hope you press charges!!

  • It is disgusting that you have put in so much effort to your wonderful app and then someone just goes and steals it! Good luck in getting it all sorted out

  • Thanx so much for clearing this up! I am one of those that purchased that app & found that it just didn’t work or flow right like y’all’s & dislike it immensely!

  • I almost bought that one last night, but notice the creators were different. Good thing I got the real one.

  • You need to copyright your material to protect yourselves from things like this happening. You guys have worked hard to build your brand. People will try to take advantage.

  • Oh no! It’s so horrible you guys have to go through something like this. Your app is beautiful! I really don’t understand why people try to get away with things like this. :/

  • I can’t BELIEVE Apple hasn’t taken that app down yet. Even John Harlampa’s “support” website is something like “myfreegames.com” – so obviously a scam!!

  • Sorry to hear about this. I just bought your (real) app and love it. Imitators are frustrating, but I have to say, your app is fantastic!

  • This is so horrible! I don’t get how people have the guts to do it.
    I thought you mentioned your working on an android app? I’m sure excited for it.:-)

  • That stinks and seriously hope you get it taken care of, because yours is truly an awesome app and no one should profit off of your hard work here.

  • This is just so cheesy and wrong! Makes me mad! I know you two are pros and will work this out. Hopefully with as little headache as possible.

  • I saw that one and I wasn’t sure what the difference between the two were. Now I know! I’m so sorry and very glad I bought the real Beautiful Mess App and not the fake one. I hope it gets taken down soon.

  • I did the same thing buying what I thought was an extended version of your app. I sat there going, “What is all the hype? This sucks.” Before I saw the blog post about your other app and I looked back and realized I had likely been scammed. I’m hoping a complaint to Apple can get my money refunded and restore glory to your awesome app. Keep up the great work. Thank you for informing us!

    Caitlin @ That House on the Corner

  • Eek! Yeah, I saw that but saw that it wasn’t made by your company. So sketchy.

    On an unrelated note, I started the 30-day self-portrait challenge yesterday- so fun! Instagram: allisonlallison

  • I’m so sorry! If it’s any consolation, I just bought your app and LOVE it!!

  • Obviously, I don’t know Apple’s process, but it’s too bad they didn’t notice the ‘Plus’ version was by a different developer. This burns me up so much. You’ve put in so much hard work on a beautiful app, which you offer for free, and then this person goes and steals everything about it, and is making money off of your fan base. I hope it gets resolved soon, and that anyone who made the unfortunate mistake of purchasing it, get their money back.

  • I was about to send you guys a comment about that same app. Nice to know that you already are aware off this scan, but I was silly enough to buy it. They fooled me :/
    But I have yours and love it!

  • I finally updated my phone this week and was excited to finally buy your app. I was confused by the two apps (but bought the right one). Was just heading over here to let you know there might have been a scam going on. Sadly it looks like it is true. Good luck getting it sorted out.

  • I was fooled by that particular app as well and I purchased it. I reported it to Apple and asked for a refund which they gave me. It takes a few days to process.

    Thank you for writing this post. Otherwise I would have just assumed it was your app!

  • So mad I bought it today only to discover its not what I thought it was saw the word plus and thought it had more btw it sucks

  • So sorry this has happened! I’m sure it’s the most frustrating thing in the world! I hope Apple helps solve this mess ASAP! Wishing you well! <3

  • Wow. I have been a reader of this blog for a little while now but never left a comment. But this is so crazy! As a creative business owner myself (kinda if you believe in creativity and chocolate), I find it very disturbing that someone/company would do such thing right on your face! And as horrible as this sounds, I was actually expecting some foreign-looking name on the developer, since several countries do not respect copyrights or patents. I hope this situation can be fixed quickly. I was pretty quiet about being a super fan of yours, but not anymore. Success to you, girls. You deserve it.

  • I saw this app the other day and was so confused. I’m glad that people have left reviews letting others know what’s up with it and that it’s a scam. Hopefully it’s gone soon!

  • I just bought the wrong app 🙁 It was double the price of yours too! I’m so upset.

  • That is so RUDE! That person deserves to have all of their sales revoked. Seriously, stealing your name, logo and app likeness is gross. Apple will deal with them, but karma will be the real one that bites them back in the butt. Hope this all gets sorted out soon! HUGS!

  • How disappointing but you’re handling this beautifully (of course). Hope you can find the somewhat misguided flattery in it all.

  • Hi Elsie + Emma,

    You should check the Google store for android phone. There is a “beautiful mess app” that look terrible and fake. Clearly by the pictures of the app it’s a copy related to your blog.

    I hope that this will help.


    Ps: Excuse my english I’m from Quebec.

  • I can’t believe some jerk did that to you, even all the comments and ratings. It’s like, really? Get a damn life.

  • I noticed that app too! Although I wasn’t entirely sure if it was actually by you guys or not, but I guessed it wasn’t. Anyway, I hope you get it fixed!


  • This is horrible – I got redirected to it by another blog – but I luckily saw the wrong name. Hope you get it sorted soon.

  • Hello Girls!

    I left you a comment last night saying that I had been scammed. I bought this APP two days ago, already contacted Apple.

    To my surprise I just opened the APP Tab to purchase the the actual app from you guys and I see that these scammers have increased to price to €1,79 from €0,89 (I am in Europe) in a matter of 6 hours! *when I last screenshot their scam app.

    I really hope Apple fixes this issue pronto! For those who have purchase the App perhaps is also convenient you change your passwords on Apple (as I just did) who knows maybe these scammers can also break into users accounts and steal Credit Card Information.

    Thank you!!

    xx, C

  • Its Terrible what some people will do, it has quite a few bad reviews now, so hopefully John Harlampa will just go away!!

  • I honestly thought it was just like the newer version of the app as I hadn’t purchased it before so thought, okay for the same price, i’ll get the more advanced one? I was honestly so upset, I mean okay it’s only a few pennies but I’ve been scammed! Such a shame that people do this 🙁

  • Thank you for the ‘heads up’! I love your app so much that I would have purchased the plus. I am a new blogger and I’ve been reading up on your blogging tips (thank you for that too) and wouldn’t mind some copyrighting tips and ways that I can protect myself as a blogger from hackers to cyber bullies.

  • It’s so sade that people would do that just to make a bit of money.
    Hopefully it gets taken down!


  • Thanks for letting me know, I was very confused and was going to ask which one I should buy. So sad this has happened to you.

  • This is so awful!!! How can people think this is ok do take someones idea and scam so many people!! Frustring!!

    Fingers crossed it gets sorted very soon!! I have reported it for you too.

    Lulu xx

  • Fingers cross in your venture of getting it removed. Be happy in the knowledge that YOUR app is wonderful 🙂

  • Ugh. This is beyond frustrating. It is horrible how some people think it is just fine to steal others hard work. I am so so sorry! Hoping everything works out for you two.

  • Glad you addressed this. I finally got around to buying your app last night and saw this one next to it. It didn’t seem like yours but with his title and how he’s ripped off your pictures, it is very confusing for sure. I read the reviews and it confirmed what I was thinking and thankfully, I got the right one!

    I just reported his app to Apple…is there a way to put something like ‘this is the one and only Beautiful Mess app by Elsie & Emma’ on your intro where people can see? That may be too much work, but until Apple takes action, this may keep happening! Love you gals!!

  • Ugh, this is super angering. I have a friend that happens to have a decent relationship with the Apple folks. I reached out to him to see if he could at least make sure Apple dealt with this issue…or even comment.

    He said they more than likely won’t comment but they will do something.

    He also has a pretty darn big audience in the developer and iOS side of things via his podcast Today in iOS and I hope he mentions this to his peeps.

    Super annoying!

    Thanks to both of you for handling this with such class and elegance, like you do everything else. You ladies are super stars!

  • Holy cow /( not sure if the App Store translates reviews or the five star ones are just written in very very bad German. Hope you’ll get it sorted out quickly.

  • Oh man, that really stinks. I guess this is how you know you’re kind of a big deal now? 😉 Well, I took this as a reminder to go leave a review on the newest version (you know, the REAL one).

  • That is so ridiculous! So sorry for all the frustration. But hey, I guess it means you’re app is a big deal if someone wanted to copy it! 🙂 Reporting the bad one now!

  • This is what I get for buying apps while under the influence. I didn’t even bother to look and see if it had your ™. I notified itunes (along with a billion other people). I know the cost isn’t much but I hope they refund everyone’s money so the creep that stole your intellectual property doesn’t make a dime off his thievery. (AND it doesn’t even work! Talk about adding insult to injury!)

    PS – It would be great if you guys/your developer would make your app compatible with all versions of iOS. iOS 6 isn’t available for my ipod touch (3rd gen) and since I refuse to get an iphone (I know it’s shocking but it’s true) I’m left without your beautiful mess (so to speak)…which is a crying shame. *pout*

  • Yeah I purchased the wrong one first but quickly realized that app sucked and u had just wasted my $0.99 so I purchased your app (the one I meant to purchase in the first place) and I love it!!

  • I’m not a smart phone/app user, but this is horrible. Best of luck straightening it out – when I finally join the modern day, yours will be one of the first apps I get! 🙂

  • There are no shortcuts to success. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths people go to to take the easy way out… Keep on keepin on. The cream always rises ladies. <3

  • Woohoo!! So glad this was caught and being put to an end (: Keep on being adorable ladies!

  • So sorry to hear that this has happened! I love your beautiful blog and can’t believe someone would try to steal your design and name. Hope this gets resolved soon – keep being creative!

  • Just wondering: is there any chance to have you app on android platform any time soon? Hughs!

  • I noticed this when I searched your app in the App Store the other day… Usually I’m pretty impulsive but luckily I noticed this time- the only difference was the names they said it was created by in the information section. I was like this doesn’t say Elsie + Emma… Waaaaait a seconddddd…!!! Anyway the REAL app is awesome! 🙂

  • I unfortunately purchased that other app, and Apple promptly refunded my money. You just have to report the app once you receive your e-receipt.

  • I had a look at this, I love how apparently Alex & Djohn are credited as the creators of this blog as well..!!
    Just AWFUL. SO shameful. I seriously hope you get this resolved as it’s theft, basically.

  • OMG! This is so wrong!!!
    I know how this feels, but keep posting about it, post it on instagram and everywhere so that people know about this fake app. Luckily I bought the original. But I noticed the description of the app says “by Alex and Djohn creators of the award winning blog “A Beautiful Mess”!!!! WHAT?

    Hope it all turns out good, I’m sure it will.


  • I bought the fake app several weeks ago and after opening the app and seeing what it was, I contacted Apple and they gave me a full refund (just so others know). It sucks that someone would take advantage of people like this.

  • I just sent you an email about this, but there’s also a scam app on the google play store.

  • I discovered your site maybe a week or two ago and read that you had a app and downloaded a beautiful mess plus. When I opened the app I was very confused and noticed that it did not have any of the features that were mentioned on your site. I quickly figured out that was the wrong app and purchased the correct version.

  • I love the second comment from the top posted by stephanie, because although this rarely makes anyone feel better it is true..all the same, shame on fraud and the likes. awful:(
    Attic Lace

  • Please keep us posted!! I too just purchased that app thinking it was your upgrade and was so frustrated that it wasn’t anything like I thought your app was! I hope Apple removes it and reimburses everyone!

  • I wanted to report this app after reading this post and couldn’t find it. Apparently, Apple took it down…

  • When will this app be launched for android? I’m jealous I don’t have it. Lol 😉

  • I am actually very happy to hear this, even though I wasted my money/time downloading the wrong app, since I was disappointed in the product. (I didn’t want to think I could be disappointed in what you two put together since I am a huge fan of your blog!)

  • Thanks for the heads up.

    Another issue the real app is having is when upgrades happen, previously purchases additions (words, boards, etc.) have disappeared. I’m frustrated because I paid like $8 dollars in upgrades and now they’re missing. 🙁

  • I hate when things like this happen. I really don’t care if imitation is the best form of flattery ,stealing someone else’s hard worked upon, and earned thunder and product is not OK!

    I hope it all gets resolved quickly – please also be on the lookout for it on google play as well – once you offer yours on droid phones as you plan to (make sure it’s not already there)…

  • Ugh that is terrible. So sorry to hear about that!
    I hope it gets reported enough and gets OFF of the Apple store.

  • That’s terrible. You really should take legal action. Don’t just leave it in Apple’s hands! This sounds like a copywright infringement. I’m assuming your App Icon is trademarked as well? If it’s not you should do that asap!

  • I took screen shots on my phone to send to you guys when I saw this the other night, and I’m so glad other people noticed and alerted you sooner since I hadn’t gotten to it yet!

    Whew, what creeps!

  • Oy! I just purchased this app thinking that it was yours – boo! I’m really kind of upset with Apple about this, shouldn’t they have pulled it already if they’ve been notified? I’ll definitely be reporting it as soon as I receive the receipt to my email. Hopefully they’ll reimburse everyone!

  • I don’t understand how people think it’s okay to make money off other’s people stuff then make an inferior version on top of it. Hopefully Apple will shut that idiot down soon.

  • I’m so sorry to see this. I can’t believe it’s still in the app store, and it copies almost everything of the original one (even the elements and the description).

  • I see there’s another one now too…so 2 fraud apps. The second one is called A Beautiful Mess – Photo Editor Pro for a Beautiful…
    Just wanted to let you know 🙁

  • Thank you for brining this to everyone’s attention! I actually bought this app a couple of days ago thinking it was yours, and was really disappointed when I found it was nothing like yours 🙁

    I’ve deleted it and I’ll be reporting it!

  • Unfortunately, there are 2 more apps using your logo and the name “A Beautiful Mess”. They don’t use your photos/graphics, but it’s still a rip-off of your brand. What a shame this is happening. I wish you two all the best!!

  • There are two more apps that Claim to be a beautiful mess and also charge 99c for purchasing the app.

  • Not sure if you are aware but there is another copycat app out there as of today called “A Beautiful Mess Pro for iPhone & iPad”. They’re doing the same thing, using all your graphics.

  • Sorry to hear about this. I have your app and love it. I just did a quick search in iTunes and see several more fakes. I hope you are able to get this resolved. Good luck.

  • It looks like there is another one too, called A Beautiful Mess Pro, same icon as well. Hope they all get taken down soon!

  • Have y”all also reported ABeautiful Mess Pro? They are using your description and app icon. People are terrible. Sorry ladies 🙁

  • Not sure if you have seen these as well but there are 2 other fakes in the App Store (Canadian App Store) not sure if its same as US? I know our iTunes is different. But there are 2 fakes using your images/logo etc A Beautiful Mess Photo Editor Pro by Jingjing Yui and A Beautiful Mess Pro for iPhone and iPad by Chang Youyi… Horrible! Hopefully they will all get taken down ASAP

  • I purchased this app first(on accident), and hated it! Its a horrible app. I also emailed Apple about it and they said they were looking into it and refunded me.

    I adore the actual app though. 🙂

  • I am sure y’all already know this, but there are now 2 new fake Beautiful Mess apps…:( I’m so sorry this is happening. Apple really needs to get it together when it comes to approving apps. It seems as if there may not be a review process or have apps placed in the App Store? That kind of seems silly considering the work that goes into creating an original app.
    Hope this turns out in the best way possible! Good luck!

  • I’m another silly one, I even downloaded it twice as I thought it must’ve been something I did.
    Third time lucky and I now have the correct and beautiful version. Scary how it got approved for sale!!

  • There is another app that has taken your name: A Beautiful Mess Pro for iPhone and iPad by ChangYou Liu. I’m not planning on purchasing it to see what they have stolen. This app has no ratings, and only came up when I searched for you real app. Your real app is amazing by the way.

  • I noticed two other scam apps with your logos, as well! I hope Apple resolves this soon.

  • In case this has not yet been brought to your attention…there is a second app that is pretending to be your app. It’s called “A Beautiful Mess Pro for iPhone and iPad” by ChangYou Liu.

    I hate that this is happening to you guys and I sure hope Apple makes it right.

  • Please hurry with the android app! I wait ever so impatiently. xoxo

  • There’s also one called “A Beautiful Mess Pro and A beautiful Mess Photo Editor Pro”. Just thought I’d let you know. Good luck and thanks for YOUR awesome app!

  • Looks like there is also “A Beautiful Mess Pro for iPhone and iPad” in the store now… and “A Beautiful Mess Photo Editor Pro”

    Aye carumba!

  • I was one who was duped. What a dummy. I thought it was your updates or something as I am new to the iphone. I realized right away and then went to buy your real app. It is so fabulous and I have gotten many friends to fall in love with it also! Such a great job ladies!

  • I can’t believe the app is still available. I’m not sure – but I went to have a look at it on the App store and there are no reviews under that app…..I did try to write one in order to steer people clear of the fraud, but to no avail – must purchase app first…I DON’T THINK SO. I’m not sure if that’s because my app store is set to New Zealand (where I live).

    I hope this gets sorted, I’d hate anyone to buy the app and assume this is the type of quality that you can expect from AB which it ISN’T.

  • Looks like there may be others: ABM Pro by ChangYou Liu and ABM Express by Jingjing liu 🙁

  • Thank God I found this post, cause I was looking to purchase the app and it was so confusing. I hope apple resolve this problem soon! XoXo

  • I just got scammed! i really wanted your app and I fell for John H’s version. I’m reporting it right now and buying the right one!

  • There is a new fake version now called a beautiful mess express by jing jing liu.

  • I just looked in the app store and there are 3 or 4 apps that use your same icon and “A Beautiful Mess” name. that’s awful!! I hope you get this issue resolved quickly. It’s so not fair!!!

  • I just looked up this fake app by looking for your REAL app. The original fake by John Harlampa came up, still being sold, with new updates and now with a “crazy discount. ” I can’t believe he is allowed to use pictures/screen grabs with you girls IN HIS APP DESCRIPTION! There are also 4 other complete fakes that use an almost exact replica of your app icon. 2 are for iPad and 2 are for iPhone. They do not use your screen grabs/pictures, filters or information. The developers are called changyou liu and jingjing liu. Good luck with taking them down, it’s so terrible. And yes, I did purchase yours and it’s great!

  • There are like 5 A beautiful mess apps all of them look the same and it’s hard to tell which one to buy. I’m glad I read this.

  • Thank God I googled the difference between “A Beautiful Mess” and “A Beautiful Mess Plus” app. I almost got tricked into buying the “plus” one since it says it has more features and everything. I saw a lot of “A Beautiful Mess” in the app store and I couldn’t be more relived I did my research. I hope Apple takes them all down as soon as possible to avoid further confusion.

    Beautiful app, btw! I just hope you can do something about the resizing of the doodles because every time I resize it into something smaller, it still is kinda big for me (well at least in the photo, it still appears quite big). Anyways, thank you for creating this app. Totally worth it. ❤

  • I’m sorry to hear about that. I was actually just searching for the app, and I noticed there are several others with the same app icon 🙁 Hopefully it all gets worked out for you.

  • I cacompletely understand our frustration. When I opened my bakery called sugar there were no bakeries in Seattle with sugar in their name then all of a sudden 3 different bakeries opened up. When I tried nicely to tell them that there would be confusion I got angry letters and comments back. I was actually trying to help them but sometimes people don’t make the best decisions. Oh well. But now five years later there’s only me and one other imposter around.

  • I recently got the app and I almost bought the fake one by mistake. =O

  • I bought the plus today thinking that this will have more features, but it kept freezing when I opened the app. I thought it was my phone…Anyway, I googled it and found this. Now I have the legit app and I am so happy with it. Just so you know, there are SEVERAL “a beautiful mess” apps in the app store – plus, express, etc. I can’t believe people get away with doing this!

  • I just purchased it 🙁 so frustrating. I should have twigged it was not you! Stupid me
    I wish I had read your post first

  • ANDROID APP!!! Please come out with a Droid app! I’ve been waiting ever since the very first posting about the Beautiful Mess app coming out and I’m just beside myself with waiting! Please hurry! Thank You!!!! Future #1 ANDROID Beautiful Mess App Fan!

  • Hi! I’m not sure where to post my question so I hope you girls would see it here. I have been using your wonderful app for a coupla weeks and absolutely love it. I do have a problem though. Is there a trick to resizing the doodles smaller than my fat fingers would allow? I would like to use tiny hearts and flowers but I just can’t get them small enough. Is there a trick to this that I am not aware of? Also, would there be an Undo function that only goes back on the last step, instead of undoing all changes?

    Thank you for making such a lovely app! It is my current favourite!

    x o

  • If you search A Beautiful Mess on AppStore now, there’s even more frauds like A Beautiful Mess Express eg.. So disheartening. Please figure the legal issues to prevent more confused readers. And also from ur baby, ur logo, and designs eg. From being stolen hey

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