My first show – local debut!

ACR Summer Show

Here is a picture of my display at my first show! On display are the lipstick, lipstick balm and lip gloss. Response was positive, was nice to have the opportunity to meet with customers and get feedback from them.   My fellow vendors were very supportive and helpful too, I learned a lot watching and talking to them.

Another bench shot

Another bench shot

Here is another picture of lipstick hot out of the mold. Feverishly getting ready for the show, only two weeks!

The summer show is fast approaching!

Summer Show 2013

 

Getting ready for an indoor summer show

Signed up for a summer show! Busy in the lab cranking out more. . . .

Peppermint Lip Gloss just poured

Here is a picture of the peppermint lip gloss, first production size batch, freshly poured!

With the lip brush added

Here is a picture of the lip gloss with the lip brush added.

Lipgloss Flavors

The lipgloss flavors are in the final stages of development, I’m sure of it this time, ha! Encountered another delay in formulation – had the base, flavors and matching colors optimized, when I decided to try a new base ingredient – and it turned out to be a worthy replacement; therefore, production has been delayed – for time to optimize the new base ingredient. I was using Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, which has been approved by the FDA as a gum base – and as far as performance, is one of my favorite ingredients for lip products – it’s very thick, sticky and doesn’t rub off easily. Unfortunately, health conscience consumers don’t like hydrogenated oils, nor butene class type of ingredients – which creates a high marketing hurdle to overcome – especially here in Austin with the intense informed consumer demands.

For years I’ve been searching for a suitable replacement and finally stumbled on one last month! That’s the good news. The bad news is that it added a couple of months to my new product debut. In my opinion, the trade off is well worth the delay and I hope you’ll agree! The new happy ingredient is an extract from sunflower oil – a renewable resource. It’s thick, sticky and even seems to have greater emollient properties – has acceptable stay power and helps the lips feel more hydrated. For this reason, I like it better than Hydrogenated Polyisobutene even – a win/win for the balance of marketing label appeal/performance benchmarks!

Organizing and Inventory

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I hope to phase from lipgloss and lipbalm development into production this month; therefore, have been cleaning, organizing and taking inventory. Am using some of the ideas from Marie Gales fabulous book Good Manufacturing Practices for Soap & Cosmetic Handcrafters by Marie Gale.   A very useful tip I’ve been implementing, is her suggestion to keep a running inventory sheet on the storage boxes, and subtract as you use the supplies.   Found some full adhesive post-it notes at the store, will see how that works.   I think it’s a step up from masking tape labels.

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Organizing the bench too, cleaned out space on the shelf for my most beloved piece of equipment – the triple beam balance.   You can see here that he now has a safe place to rest.   It feels good to get organized, am almost ready to begin pouring fun lippy products with abandon!

Picture from the Bench

 

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

 

Been working in the lab to balance flavors, colors and base emollients. Ten different flavors of lip balm, twelve different flavors of lip gloss. I think I have most of these elements close to the finish line – now the job is to weave these different elements into finished product.

You can see in this picture the two different types – in the foreground are early versions of the lip gloss. I start out with small 2gm batches (this uses very little ingredients and works my chops with the scale;-) and the initial gloss experiment batches are poured into these little cups. The balm experiments are poured into the regular containers because the packaging cost is less.

Some flavors are worked out in two or three pours, but most of them require more. Each pour takes at least one hour – to allow time to work out the numbers in Excel, and measure each ingredient. (Sometimes longer if I get stumped with a problem or fail to take an ingredient out of the fridge early to warm up.) Now that I have these different elements worked out, I’ll pour each completed gloss formulation into the small plastic containers for evaluation. If I’m happy with the outcome, will pour into the gloss brush package to test for compatibility.

After this stage is complete – work on my spreadsheets – making sure that the final version is the one saved in my ‘Final version’ file. Then, will hook up each spreadsheet with the ‘Cost of Raw materials’ spreadsheet for cost evaluation.

I can’t wait to get these fun balms and glosses to market! I have my eye on a little market not far away that only allows hand crafters. Hope to see some of you there, details forthcoming.

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