The Dog Ate My Homework….

Excuses, excuses. Seems like they’re all I have for not writing in my blog.

But it’s not like I haven’t meant to. I’ve had great ideas! When I’m putting gas in my car, or taking a shower or lying awake at 2:00 a.m. But when I finally get to work, those ideas are gone. And they never happen AT work. Maybe I’m too busy when I’m here. Doesn’t it seem like we’re too busy for anything these days? The days now just fly by. Summer is over already. My little niece is going to be 17 in two months. I remember when my sister-in-law was in my wedding and we found out she was pregnant with this child. And the kid will be graduating in a year! Where does the time go? Is our society moving too fast? Am I the only one who feels this way?

Back to cosmetics – ya know, what I’m supposed to be writing about. My major dilemma for the past few months has been our next product introduction. Not to let the cat out of the bag (that’s a weird expression) but it’s going to be foundation. The issue is what KIND of foundation? About half of customers surveyed want liquid; the other half want loose mineral powder. The sad part is that I can’t do both (unless L’Oreal decides to be generous and donate half their R&D budget to me). The other issue is color range. My coloring is different from your coloring which is different from your neighbor’s coloring, etc. So do I put out 20 colors? I can just hear the stores screaming at me now – “do we REALLY have to stock ALL of this?” “it takes up too much room” “my customers only wear these three shades”.

So that’s where I’m at with things. What is YOUR opinion? Let me hear from you. Afterall, we make these products for you – we’re just looking for a little guidance.

Mascara Tips and Tricks

Okay, we all know how excited I am about the new lip gloss and mascara. These products have been more than two years in the making – hey, I wanted to do it right! So I was all comfy and happy with putting them up on the site, and then a customer called and our conversation had me realize that some people need assistance with putting on their mascara!

This customer told me she can’t wear any mascara because it smudges below her eyes almost instantly. I asked if her skin was oily. She said yes, but not excessively oily. Long story short, I came to find out she wears foundation – oil-based foundation! So now she has oily skin over which she is applying more oil. Hello! Anything is going to stick to that and smudge. We talked and I suggested she not apply the oily foundation to the area below her eyes (the powder foundation will do a better job of covering up her undereye circles anyway). Plus the powder foundation will help to control her natural oilyness. If her lashes do happen to touch the skin below the eyes, the powder will also help to continue to “set” the mascara. I’ll bet her smudgy problems go away now!

You see there, with any problem it helps to talk it out. So who wants to chat with me about my workaholic issues….? anybody….??

“Where can I find your products in my area…?”

We get this question every single day. I wish I had a better answer.

See it depends upon where you live and what stores are in your area. And who the body care buyer is. And what mood he or she is in. And what phase the moon is in. Okay seriously, here’s the deal. We mostly sell our products to distributors. Distributors are big companies who stock products from a whole bunch of different companies to make purchasing easier for stores. Think about it this way, if you’re a big health food store like Whole Foods Market, imagine how difficult it would be to place an order for all the stuff you needed if you had to contact each company individually to buy their products. You would be calling us for lipstick, Sun & Earth for laundry detergent, Kashi for cereal, etc., etc. So distributors make it easy – a store like Whole Foods can call them up, tell them all the stuff they need, and the distributor personally delivers the products to that store, several times a week if need be.

So where does that leave us? Pretty much not knowing where our products end up!! Now there are some stores who contact us directly for product, and some stores who call us with questions or needing testers – we keep track of them so when you come to us and ask us where to find our products in say Atlanta, we can tell you.

“Well why not just ask the distributors for a list of stores?” you might ask. Because they won’t tell us. Why should they give us their list of customers and risk us selling directly to those stores? It’s really a very frustrating process.

In general, you’ll find our products at health food stores like Whole Foods Markets, New Seasons, etc. Or simply check with your local health food store. If they don’t have the product you’re looking for in stock, they can probably order it for you at no extra cost to you. They’re buying from these distributors anyway, so why not just tack an extra lipstick on to their order? If you want, you can email us for a list of distributors that sell in your area. Some of these stores may not even know about us (hey, we don’t have the advertising dollars that the big boys do, and with all of those bigger companies getting bought by even BIGGER companies, it’s getting that much harder for us to get the word out). So by talking to a store buyer about our water-based nail polish or odorless polish remover, you might be educating them and allowing them to offer better products to their customers, which they may not have otherwise even known about!

Another thing we’re doing to try and make it easier for our customers to find our products locally is that we’re making a list – and checking it twice (sorry, just had to say that…haven’t had my coffee yet). We’re compiling a list of stores who carry our products, and which products they carry. We plan to publish that list on our web site. So if you know of a store in your area who carries our products, TELL US! We’ll put their info on our site to help all of our customers. And really, it helps you too. If we know about these stores, we can make sure they have fresh product testers, proper educational information available for their customers, updated colors and new products. It’s really a good thing for everyone. It makes the store’s job easier and makes it easier for you to find the products. Okay it makes things a little harder for us to keep track of all that, but hey, that’s what we’re here for!

As always, we love hearing from you. Let us know your thoughts. You can use our on-line comments form or just email me directly:

I’m off to get that coffee…

Your Valentine’s Day Memories

I LOVE Valentine’s Day. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my birthday is the day before (if only my mom could have held on for four more hours, I’d be a Valentine’s baby). Still, it was fun growing up with heart-shaped birthday cakes and candy hearts and I usually never got shafted having a birthday so close to a holiday (my husband has learned that they are two very distinct and separate days!). This year, I’m getting a little wild for the event. I have decided to fly to Miami and get my first – and last – tattoo. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, and decided that now was the time to go under the knife – I mean, needle. What will my tattoo be? I’ll leave you guessing for now…

Considering I’ll be having such a memorable holiday, I was wondering what everyone else was doing. So I decided to hold a contest: what was your most memorable Valentine’s Day? And it could be anything – good, bad, crazy. Tell us! Did your boyfriend surprise you with a romantic engagement? Did your girlfriend say she was busy that night, but you later found her at a restaurant with someone else? Did a moose plow into your living room window while you were watching a romantic movie with your husband? We want to know! Share your stories with us, and the top five winners will receive a $25 gift certificate to Email your tales to Winners will be decided the week of Valentine’s Day.

Just Like Men: If it ain’t broke…..

I hope everyone has gotten through the holidays, and managed to survive. I personally had my first warm-weather Christmas in Florida. I have to admit, it was weird seeing palm trees decorated with holiday lights, and walking on Daytona Beach while hearing “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” piped from the nearby shops. But I LOVED IT!
Anyway, I wanted to share a recent experience I’ve had with cleansers. A few months ago, I was shopping in a department store and wandered into the cosmetics aisle. I was approached by a rather aggressive sales lady who began to critique my appearance. “You know, your skin is a little dry on your cheeks…and a bit oily around your nose….we have a great cleanser that could correct that.” Maybe I was feeling vulnerable. I usually stand my ground. Depending on my mood, I sometimes consider slugging her for picking on my flaws. But I got suckered into taking along some samples of a cleanser and moisturizer (hey, there’s no way I was gonna spend $30 on something to wash my face!). When I got home I decided to use the products. They weren’t bad. Smelled nice too. But this seemingly innocent act turned into a destructive spiral that cost me my complexion. I used the samples until they were gone. And I noticed my skin was very hydrated, but I was also breaking out. Maybe I need a different cleanser? So I went to the drugstore and bought something else. It promised to reduce wrinkles, eliminate dryness AND fight blemishes. Yeah, right! My skin got even worse! I started breaking out like I was a teenager (wow, did that bring back some painful memories!). After a few weeks (okay, I can be a bit slow) I came to my senses and realized it wasn’t hormones, or stress from working too much or those french fries I had at lunch – I was putting too much junk on my skin. I finally went back to good old soap and water: wash my face before going to bed with our Honeybee Goat’s Milk Soap, splash with warm water in the shower the next morning and that’s it. I know from personal experience and reading lots of scientific studies, that the less you do to your skin, the better. Your body has a natural built-in system to balance itself, and too often we do things that knock it out of balance. Within a few days, my complexion starting getting back to normal. My point in all this is – find what works best for you and stick to it. Don’t be lured by fancy brands, tv ads showing models with airbrushed flawless skin, or sales people who prey on your vulnerabilities. It’s kind of like dating – you go out with a bunch of duds to find out what you don’t like, so when someone good does come along, you can recognize those traits and go with what works best for you. Is this analogy a bit of a stretch? Maybe I need to lay off the egg nog….